Air-conditioning research at XJTLU could lead to big energy savings

LONDON, Oct. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mehdi Pazhoohesh, a postgraduate student at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, has been conducting research into air-conditioning technology that could lead to increased comfort for occupants of shared spaces and energy savings of 11 to 41 percent.

The research, completed as a successful PhD project at XJTLU, is related to the topic of smart buildings, an important area for innovation in the built environment. The specific aim of Mehdi's research is to keep occupants satisfied while saving energy.

"Most of the energy consumption inside buildings is related to cooling and heating systems," said Mehdi, who is from Iran. "That's why we focused on this area. However, my methods could be applied to lighting systems as well."

The principle of his method is to collect data on the occupants of buildingsĀ - their 'occupancy patterns' or what areas of buildings people occupy and at what times, and their 'thermal preferences' or how hot or cold people prefer particular rooms to beĀ - and to feed this data into computers that control Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning systems (HVAC).

Machine learning algorithms can then determine when rooms are occupied by particular people, with HVAC settings being automatically adjusted to suit their preferences. It can also be determined when rooms are unoccupied so that air-conditioners can be automatically turned off.

Mehdi completed a masters degree in energy and sustainability with electrical engineering at the University of Southampton, UK, before deciding to pursue at PhD at XJTLU. He chose to conduct his research in China due to the relatively low cost of equipment, but also because of the support XJTLU offers for interdisciplinary research projects.

"XJTLU is a young and vibrant university where academic staff are open-minded and willing to do multidisciplinary research collaborations," said Dr Zhang from the Department of Civil Engineering at XJTLU, principle supervisor of Mehdi's PhD project. "That's how Mehdi's research could be successfully done with support from experts from the departments of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and Software Engineering."

Founded in 2006, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is the largest international joint venture university in China, a partnership between Xi'an Jiaotong University and the University of Liverpool.

Our vision is to become a research-led international university in China and a Chinese university recognised internationally for its unique features.