Design and fabrication of an energy efficient smart air conditioning system
Kavita, Dennis Mwania
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Residential and commercial space cooling demands are increasing steadily throughout the world. This has led to high growth in demand for air conditioning (AC) systems. Technology is playing a key role in digitization of these systems with sensors and microcontrollers being used extensively. Energy conservation remains the main focus of scientists and engineers. In line with working towards developing energy efficient systems, we carried out research to optimize the control of air conditioners for energy conservation purposes. This research was geared towards having an energy efficient system. In this research, temperature, proximity and a passive infrared sensor (PIR) were used as smart sensors. The system was designed such that when room occupants’ approach a room, the system is activated and rapid cool down or warm up achieved within a predetermined time depending on the size of the room. As long as there is occupant in the room, the system settles quickly into the set conditions. When there is no one in the room, the system need not to be working and therefore it switches off. This ensures that the system only works when needed hence helps in energy conservation thus reducing bills paid by home owners and companies. The designed prototype is able to detect room occupancy, responds perfectly to temperature changes as well as human presence in the field of view of the PIR with an overall performance efficiency of 55.95% which is a good start towards actual implementation of an energy efficient A.C. system. We also recommend that utilization of more sensors like radiation detectors can be explored to diversify the working of this system.