LBNL Report Number
Current water distribution systems are designed such that users need to run the water for some time to achieve the desired temperature, wasting energy and water in the process. We developed a wireless sensor network for large-scale, long time-series monitoring of residential water end use. Our system consists of flow meters connected to wireless motes transmitting data to a central "manager" mote, which in turn posts data to our server via the internet. This project also demonstrates a reliable and flexible data collection system that could be configured for various other forms of end use metering in buildings. The purpose of this study was to determine water and energy use and waste in hot water distribution systems in California residences. We installed meters at every end use point and the water heater in 20 homes and collected 1s flow and temperature data over an 8 month period. For a typical shower and dishwasher events, approximately half the energy is wasted. This relatively low efficiency highlights the importance of further examining the energy and water waste in hot water distribution systems.