This project was developed for the 2017 Junior Devision GCRSEF. It received the Air Force Award.
A large amount of energy is being wasted in our current heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Often, an entire home is being heated just so a single person can sleep in their room comfortably. These systems also use a single temperature measurement to determine if the entire home needs to be heated or cooled. Our current systems have no way of telling if someone is in a room, this can lead to unnecessary heating and cooling and energy loss.
A device that could open and close heating vents to redirect the heated air to where it is needed, would greatly reduce the energy usage in a home. It would open and close vents depending on human presence, room temperature and a preset heating schedule the device can follow. This device should cost under $40 per vent and should easily connect with existing HVAC systems.
Such a device will be comprised of off the shelf parts enclosed in a 3D printed housing. The device will consist of a processing unit, a temperature sensor for feedback control, a motion detector to detect a person's presence, wifi connectivity and a small servo motor to open and close the vent. There will also be a central processing unit that communicates between the devices and controls the house’s HVAC to keep specific rooms at specific temperatures.
There are 3 separate parts of the device. There are sensor modules that are plugged into the wall, vent modules that control airflow to each room and a central unit that communicates between the sensors and the vents to keep the house just how the user wants it. All of the device communicate via Wi-Fi to allow for easy setup. The central unit connects to an app that allows the user to switch between the motion detection, consistent temperature and schedule mode.