Smart Public Parks – City Of Surrey

Quantifying usages of public facilities to reduce energy consumption

This project was a part of a student initiative to integrate IoT systems and AI in public parks. We installed custom sensing devices and developed an IoT platform to monitor indoor and outdoor public facilities' usages, including tennis courts and seniors room in 4 different parks at the City of Surrey. Some of the data is to be used for energy efficiency predictive analysis.

We are grateful for the Parks and Recreations department managers and workers, who generously allotted their time and efforts to work with us and help us install the sensors, as well as provided us with feedback on our reports.

Sensors Public Parks Project At The City of Surrey

Quantify facilities usages

- Sensors to count the number of users of indoor and outdoor facilities, such as senior rooms and basketball courts
- Remote monitoring in real-time. Park workers need not be physically present at all
- Generate reports for managers about collected data
- Significant system upgrade to current systems which heavily rely on archaic ways, including manual counting at specific times and locations

Monitor temperature and humidity Reduce energy consumption

- Monitor temperature and humidity inside the seniors room and outside at all times
- Count the number of people present in rooms at all times, making sure the number of people doesn't surpass the occupancy limit.

Correlate usage patterns to operational costs

- Correlate usage patterns to operational costs, such as maintenance costs. For example, change clean-up schedules from weekly basis to usages, i.e. clean-up or service every 100 uses.
- Predictive analysis to manage operational costs by comparing collected data to historic data, rather than estimations
- Further significant reductions in operational costs by correlating usages to energy consumption, including auto-regulating outdoor lighting and HVAC systems with actual facilities usages, rather than estimations

Sensors and setup:

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Indoor counting sensors: microcontroller with an embedded wifi module connected to an ultrasonic sensor.   

Ultrasonic sensors are relatively better in detecting objects regardless of sunlight intensity, in comparison to laser or pyroelectric sensor. 

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A counting sensor placed in a box. 

The sensors installed indoors are directly connected to a power source. 

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Sensors are mounted on both sides of the door. Individuals coming into the room would trigger the sensor mounted on the outer side of the door, then the sensor mounted on the inside. Thus, a count is registered for a person going into the room. 

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The count number is updated every time the number of people in the room is changed. Similarly, the sensors register individuals leaving the room, by triggering the sensors indoor first the outdoor sensor. 

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Outdoor sensors (at tennis courts and outdoor facilities) are powered using a solar pad and a rechargeable battery.

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The device is packaged within a protective casing, with the sides sealed with a waterproof sealant. 

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The solar pad was mounted on a lighting pole within the tennis court. 4 sensors monitoring 4 tennis courts were connected to 2 solar pads.   

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The side facets of the solar pad were placed at an angle to maximize exposure to sunlight throughout the day.

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Seniors room: temperature and humidity sensors inside. Counter sensor is mounted on top of the door. 

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Seniors room: temperature and humidity sensors measure the temperature outside the room (sensors are on the roof). Sensors are connected to a power source. 

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Temperature and humidity data inside and outside the seniors room over the course of a few days. 

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Seniors room: data showing senior room usages for the month of January. On the vast majority of the days, there are a few to no users of the room.  

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Counter data for one of the other sensors in another park.  

Some conclusions for collected data over the course of 4-5 months.

                    - Parks usages in the winter month drastically decreases.

                    - Parks with outdoor facilities, such as tennis courts, are more active on weekends

                    - Even though the results were expected, quantifying the usages allows for a more accurate
                      reporting, rather than relying on estimations

                    - Temperature and humidity data indicate that the HVAC system was maintained within a specific
                      range, regardless of whether facilities were used or not.

Based on the findings, we made some suggestions to the department.

More information about this project will be uploaded at a later time.