An advanced bio-mimetic user adaptive blind and electric lighting controller using wireless sensors

Project leader: Nicolas Morel
Project participant (EPFL): David Lindeloef
Project participants (external): Antoine Guillemin and Thomas Schumann, Adhoco AG , Winterthur

Duration and funding: August 2005 to July 2007, funding by Swiss CTI


The project aims at the elaboration, the experimentation and the realization of a ready-to-use prototype of an advanced bio-mimetic controller for blinds and electric lighting. The control algorithm will at the same time optimize the energy saving (through an optimal use of passive solar gains, other free heat gains and daylighting), while maximizing the indoor comfort and the acceptance by the user, thanks to an adaptation of control parameters to user preferences.

The project will build on the results of the EPFL research project AdControl, carried out during years 2002 and 2003, which has shown the dramatic increase of user acceptance when a control system is made adaptive to user preferences (rejection rate decreasing from 25% to 5%, while keeping the same energy saving). It will also build on the European research project Ecco-Build for the model to control a venetian blind. The developments already done at Adhoco (a modular control structure, the use of wireless sensors, and adaptive characteristics) will of course also be used for the new product.

Two main phases are planned:

  • During the first one (August 2005 to July 2006), the control algorithm will be developed, starting from the one elaborated in the framework of the AdControl project, and operational tests will be carried out at the LESO building, after the equipment of two rooms with the new control algorithm;
  • During the second one (August 2006 to July 2007), the controller prototype will undergo long term measurements both in the LESO building and in an inhabited one-family house near Winterthur, in order to assess the user acceptance and the performances of the new controller.

Publications and References

D. Lindelof, A. Guillemin, L. Wilhelm, R. Altherr: “aHeart, A Hardware-Independent Building Control API”, Proceedings of the CISBAT 2005 Conference, Lausanne, 28 September 2005