[OpenTRV-interest] Adaptive comfort

Lisa Ann Pasquale lisa.pasquale at six-cylinder.co.uk
Tue Jul 12 16:15:13 BST 2016

Humidity is a metric which is more relevant for controlling ventilation
than heating. When the humidity rises, you need to ventilate to remove the
moisture. Increasing the temperature only disperses it and adjusts the
dewpoint - it doesn't remove the moisture, which is a risk of condensation
and mould problems within the home - regardless of comfort. Tweaking the
temperature is unlikely to alleviate discomfort caused by high or low
humidity levels as efficiently or effectively as ventilation.

There's been some good research on fuzzy logic controls, in the past, which
most closely relates to how we control our comfort from an adaptive comfort
perspective. One of the main tenants of adaptive comfort is that we 'adapt'
when we feel DIScomfort. It's not a means of maintaining comfort so much as
a means of continually eliminating discomfort. Might sound like two sides
of the same coin, but the distinction is actually very important in control
logics. Some fuzzy logic controllers even take into account the likelihood
of window opening, as it may relate to outdoor noise levels, etc.

personally, I'd be very interested to see a controller which allows people
to adjust the thermostat based on "I'm too hot", "I'm too cold" commands to
boost temperatures for short periods of time. That way, when an individual
might be wearing heavier clothes than normal (like, when I'm cooking in a
hoodie), I can just tell the controller "I'm too hot" and it adjusts the
temperature accordingly. Or when I'm walking around barefoot (for whatever
reason), I can say "I'm too cold" and the temperature bumps up for an hour
or two. That responds to my immediate needs for comfort, and also gives me
a chance to either peel off a layer, or put on some slippers once the
discomfort has been alleviated (which, again is "adaptive"...).

The learning/programming part would need to consider how often someone
calls out they're too hot or too cold at specific times of day, and at give
set points. It would need to learn a safe "base" behaviour, and then be
able to identify 'outlier" requests which can be excluded from being
averaged into the base behaviour.


On 12 July 2016 at 15:54, Chris Skerry <chris_skerry at icloud.com> wrote:

> Tim,
> I wonder if I can upset the question a bit with this  —
> My understanding of comfort for us humans depends upon 3 different
> external factors
> 1.  Temperature
> 2.  Humidity
> 3.  Air movement.
> Lets assume that in almost all situations the air movement is almost
> zero.  If a house is draughty, then it is not that expensive to fix.  I
> found installing cavity wall insulation in two houses made all the rooms
> more comfortable, less temperature change at the walls, and less draughts.
> Humidity is expensive to control, as I think you would need some
> air-conditioning.  But it is not expensive to measure.
> I think the house owner could develop a comfort graph for the house with
> humidity versus temperature, so the system would measure the humidity, look
> at the graph and set the temperature level to suit.  The heating system
> would then heat to the required temperature.
> My Evohome system gets an external temperature forecast from Honeywell.
> This is used to set the time of ‘heating on’ so the room temperature is at
> the requested level at the requested time.  However it takes no account of
> humidity, perhaps a future update. . . . . ?
> Regards,……….Chris.
> .
> > On 12 Jul 2016, at 16:05, Tim Small <tim at buttersideup.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > I was wondering if there were any explicit plans to try and use some of
> > the "adaptive comfort" research findings to vary the temperature
> > set-point (in order to optimise for "minimum comfortable" temperature),
> > e.g. based on physiological adaptation?
> >
> > I know that personally 19 degrees normally feels too cold at the start
> > of the heating season, but is probably fine by the end of it (and 18.5
> > is OK in the rooms which have triple glazing, but I can't really go any
> > lower than that without discomfort, although I know that there are
> > people who can).
> >
> > Knowable influences include current and past (up to a month IIRC) indoor
> > and outdoor temperatures.
> >
> > I'm wondering if some sort of phone-based "how comfortable are you" app
> > would be good (very much as an add-on rather than a pre-requisite).
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Tim.
> > _______________________________________________
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*Lisa Ann Pasquale  *BArch MSc CEng MCIBSE
Director | CoRE Retrofit Coordinator | CoRE Fellow

**UK Green Building Council Rising Star 2016**

+44 7896 051 660

*We're like crash-test engineers, but for low-energy buildings... *


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