News

Rodin Tests Temperature Occupancy Sensors

December 7, 2009

Rodin College House has begun a pilot of wireless occupancy sensors that determine the potential for improved heating and cooling efficiency in College Houses across the campus. 

Wireless passive infared occupancy sensors installed in five Rodin apartments last August have been regulating room temperature and will compile data for a full year before determining the viability of campus-wide implementation. The sensors transmit room occupancy status by detecting body heat, and they have the ability to work with any HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) unit without running wires.

Programmable setback levels allow residents to adjust heating and cooling periods according to their schedules. In addition, the sensors boast an “Open Door” feature that can prohibit or allow heating or cooling to occur if a door or window is left open.

The sensors are capable of reducing room energy costs from 35 to 45 percent, with a payback of the initial costs in two years, which will be calculated by the beginning of the Fall 2010 semester after one full year of compiled data.

Fact

Penn President Amy Gutmann was the first Ivy League President to sign the Presidents' Climate Commitment.

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