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ACM International Conference success


DPhil student Joe Brown and co-authors, Jonathan Chambers (Geneva), Alex Rogers and Alessandro Abate, were Best Paper runner-up at the ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Built Environments (BuildSys 2020) conference last week. The winning paper was SMITE: Using Smart Meters to Infer the Thermal Efficiency of Residential Homes.

Residential homes represent approximately 22% of global energy use and a large proportion of this is due to space heating. The thermal efficiency of a building is typically evaluated manually via surveys, or via intrusive measurements requiring homes to be vacated for prolonged periods, which is inconvenient and expensive.

Non-intrusive methods have been developed to infer the thermal efficiency of a home: they can identify where interventions, such as installing insulation, will have the greatest impact in reducing heating energy usage and carbon emissions. 

This work proposes a novel algorithm, SMITE, that detects the time periods of the day where the heating of a home is on for an extended length of time and uses this selected data to infer the heating loss coefficient (HLC) and the heating power loss coefficient (HPLC) of the home. The SMITE method shows a significant improvement over the state-of-the-art non-intrusive algorithm for inferring HLC. This paper also discusses the merits of using the HPLC (instead of the HLC) as an industry standard for evaluating thermal efficiency.