How we’ll monitor the two properties
How the building monitoring system works
A comprehensive monitoring system has been installed in both houses:
- A wireless, radio linked system provides maximum flexibility
- With one or two exceptions, the monitoring and metering components are powered by batteries with a typical life of more than ten years
- Each component has a radio transmitter communicating with a centralised GPRS concentrator. This means the system can be remotely monitored via the mobile telephone network
- Data recorded will be sent to an intermediary web server which can be interrogated via any PC connected to the internet
At performance house two gas meters have been installed to assess the overall gas usage and the proportion of gas that is used by the boiler as well as by the cooker.
At cost house there is only one gas meter as the cooker is all-electric.
Each property has had a number of electricity meters installed to separately monitor:
- Output from the photovoltaics
- Lighting circuits
- Small power circuits
- Mechanical plant power supplies
- Overall import and export of electricity
Water flow meters will monitor water use at each property. Separate meters have been installed to measure:
- Total incoming water
- Mains input to the rain water harvesting header tank
- Rain water input to the rain water harvesting header tank
In addition a temperature sensor has been installed at each property to monitor the temperature of the incoming water and the temperature of the hot water being stored in each hot water service cylinder.
Separate meters have been installed at each property to monitor:
- Heat produced by the boiler for hot water
- Heat produced by the boiler for heating
- Heat produced by the solar thermal system
This will enable us to closely monitor the distribution of heat from the various sources in each property.
Separate temperature sensors have been provided to monitor:
- Incoming water temperature
- Stored hot water temperature
- Internal air temperature in each main room including the loft
- Internal temperature at the point that the brickwork meets the insulation in each type of external wall construction
- External air temperature
These help us to monitor both comfort levels and the energy used to heat spaces and water in each property.
Separate air quality sensors have been installed at each property to monitor:
- Carbon dioxide content of the air in each habitable room
- Carbon dioxide content of the external air
- Relative humidity of each main room
- External relative humidity
This will help us to monitor resident comfort levels and any potential condensation problems in each property.
Doors and windows
Magnetic reed contacts have been fitted to every door and window of each property in order to monitor whether or not they are open or closed at any given time as this will impact on both air quality and heat loss.