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How much energy do occupancy controls save?

An independent study conducted at a Wyndham Hotel in Boston sought to measure the HVAC and lighting energy savings that could be realized by utilizing sensor and control devices that can sense whether or not you are in your hotel room . Testing concluded that hotel rooms controlled by a type of control called the Verde Energy Control System consumed 33% less energy than rooms without the energy harvesting controls.

The Verde hotel room energy system determines if a hotel room is vacant or occupied according to the status of the system’s Keycard Access Switch. When a guest enters a hotel room and inserts their key card into its dock, a radio signal is sent that alerts the system the room is occupied.

When the guest leaves the room unoccupied, the removed key card automatically shuts off controlled lights and/or electronics and sets the in-room HVAC system back to its unoccupied / energy-conservation mode. (One might presume, then, that the system would likely be unaware of hotel guests who happen to step outside their room door in the morning to fetch their complementary newspaper. If the door happens to lock behind them with the key card in place, the system will apparently think the occupant is still in the room and not, in fact, standing in the hallway clad only in underwear.)

In the Wyndham Hotel study, four hotel rooms were monitored. Two were retrofitted with Verde system controls and the other two were used as independent control rooms. HVAC and lighting energy consumption was analyzed over a period of thirty days. The Verde-equipped room used 33% less energy for HVAC and electronics than the control room.

With the implementation of the Verde Energy Control System in all 293 rooms, estimates are the hotel will save 480,991 kWh annually. The Verde Energy Control System additionally helps hotels comply with energy standards such as CA Title 24 and ASHRAE/IESNA standard 90.1.

Self-powered radio modules and energy harvesters used in the system comprise batteryless radio modules that convert ambient solar, thermal and motion energy into useable electrical energy that powers building network communications. These ‘peel-n-stick’ devices reduce the time, cost and occupant disruption of energy conservation retrofits.

More info: Magnum Energy Solutions,

EnOcean energy harvesting wireless sensor networks,

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