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Energy Saving and Value Added Sevices:

Controlling Intelligent Buildings Using a Multi-Agent Systems Approach

Summary

In a de-regulated market the distribution utilities will compete with added value for the customer in addition to the delivery of energy. We describe a system consisting of a collection of software agents that monitor and control an office building. It uses the existing power lines for communication between the agents and the electrical devices of the building, i.e., sensors and actuators for lights, heating, ventilation, etc. The objectives are both energy saving, and increasing customer satisfaction through value added services. Energy saving is realized, e.g., by lights being automatically switched off, and room temperature being lowered in empty rooms. Increased customer satisfaction is realized, e.g., by adapting temperature and light intensity according to each person's personal preferences. We present initial results from simulation experiments of an office building and its staff. Different user profiles are modeled in terms of their energy consuming behavior, e.g., their tendency to put out the light when leaving a room, and to adjust the temperature when leaving and entering the building. The energy consumption when using the system is compared to that of not using the system. Our simulations indicate that significant savings, up to 40 per cent, can be achieved.

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