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Wireless technology taps into building temperature control

Wireless technology to control building temperature by tapping into the heating, ventilating and safety ducts could lead to significant time and cost savings for builders and building managers, according to a study by the North Carolina State University.

The technology is based around a centralised radio-frequency identification (RFID) system that broadcasts a radio wave with a specific frequency. When a RFID tag equipped with sensors that can transmit information – such as temperature – absorbs energy from the transmission, it responds to the reader by reflecting the wave.

Dr Dan Stancil, co-author of the study paper and professor at North Caroline University, said: “Because you can tap into existing infrastructure I think this technology is immediately economically viable. Avoiding the labour involved with installing traditional sensors and related wiring would likely more than compensate for the cost of the RFID tags and readers.”

When placed in open spaces UHF RFID tags typically need to be within five to ten meters of the reader in order to respond to a transmission, however the researchers found that, by tapping into a building’s HVAC system the tags can operate when located 30 meters or more from a reader.

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