MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “Sensors for Energy Efficient Buildings and Building Management,” finds that sensors are gradually becoming an integral part of buildings, allowing the demand-based control of systems such as HVAC and lighting. Equipping buildings with motion and air quality sensors too has become a popular trend in the construction sector in recent times.

“A key factor driving the growth of sensors is the integration of wireless communication techniques in sensors, thereby enabling systems to overcome the challenges posed by wired sensor networks,” said Sumit Kumar Pal, Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights research analyst. “Wireless sensors can be easily fitted into existing infrastructure.”

In addition, incorporating energy harvesting techniques in sensors ensures that zero power is drawn from the electricity grid while also reducing maintenance by eliminating the need for battery replacements. However, self-powered sensors need to be highly accurate with minimum errors in terms of false positives and false negatives. Sensor errors such as not being able to detect human presence or indicating the presence of an occupant even when no person is present can limit widespread implementation.

“Providing multi-sensing capabilities for various parameters such as temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide levels, and light intensity along with occupancy sensing will facilitate comprehensive monitoring of the environment and minimize sensor reading errors to a large extent,” added Pal. “The installation of devices using microelectromechanical systems and nanosensors can further help overcome these challenges and reduce overall costs.”

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Publication date: 12/23/2013

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