This project targets the design and fabrication of a door-mounted sensing unit that will detect room occupancy. The unit will communicate with control devices via different protocols enabling the control of lighting and air conditioning (AC) systems.

As the world witnesses a global change of attitude towards energy consumption, notions of energy conservation become more prevalent. Consequently, industries concerned with Building Management Systems directed their attention to energy-efficient solutions. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the residential sector was responsible for 38% of total power consumption in 2009. Home Automation solutions came under the spotlight when world-leading firms started focusing on reducing energy consumption in houses. The best example of this is the use of sensors that detect room occupancy & respond accordingly therefore saving energy.

A number of Electrical Engineering Technology students at the College of the North Atlantic started researching a Home Automation project. The project has utilized off-the-shelf motion sensors to detect room occupancy and hence perform ON/OFF operations on lighting & AC loads. An issue was encountered concerning the Passive Infrared technology used in those sensors, as they are optimized for office applications.

To eliminate the need for constant motion in a room for occupancy detection, a new sensing unit can be used on the frame of a door. The unit will employ infrared emitters, receivers & a microprocessor. The microcontroller will be programmed to communicate in different protocols.

Detect occupancy

Send signals over different networks.

Ensure that the unit is compatible with standard size residential doors.

Integrate with other application.

Researching Technology

Sketches and Drawings

Components Selection

Microcontroller Programming

Prototype Design and Fabrication

Integration and Testing

The outcome of the project will be a new standalone sensing unit for implementation in Home Automation systems, and with components from different manufacturers. The new proposed unit will be more practical than its counterparts, by eliminating the need for constant motion, it can find a way into larger scale applications. In this project, the unit is to be limited to standard-sized single-leaf residential doors, while the basic concept can be enhanced to cover a variety of residential and/or commercial doors.


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