Critical Thinking

Abstract—The institutions as well. This research adopts the

Abstract—The advances of emerging technologies have
broadened the meaning as well as the applications of the
Internet. With smart connectivity, physical objects are
networked and will gain the ability to communicate to each
other. The vision of “The Internet of Things (IoT)” promises to
enhance the capabilities of objects and forms a smart
environment so that people will benefit from the IoT revolution.
As the global population grows, the resources on earth are
depleted quickly. In order to have a sustainable earth,
governments around the world put a lot of efforts to advocate
the reduction of carbon production as well as to emphasize the
benefits of reducing the consumption of energy. The proposition
has been promoted on campus of educational institutions as well.
This research adopts the concept of the “Internet of Things”
to construct a green campus environment which will realize the
idea of energy-saving by properly managing the computers and
air conditioners. The architecture of a green campus is
established in this research. The prototype of the system is also
demonstrated in the paper.
Index Terms—internet of things, RFID, Zigbee, green campus,
cloud computing.
I. INTRODUCTION
HE advances of emerging technologies have broadened
the meaning as well as the applications of the Internet. In
other words, almost every “object” can be part of a network.
With smart connectivity, physical objects are networked and
will gain the ability to communicate with each other. The
vision of “The Internet of Things (IoT)” promises to enhance
the capabilities of objects and forms a smart environment so
that people can benefit from the IoT revolution 1, 2. The
IoT applications cover the building of smart cities, the set up
of smart environment, the provision of smart public services,
the plan of eHealth, and the building of smart home/office, etc.
1, 3.
As the global population grows, the resources on earth are
depleted quickly. In order to have a sustainable earth,
governments around the world put a lot of efforts to advocate
the importance of the reduction of carbon production as well
as to emphasize the benefits of reducing the consumption of
energy. The proposition has been promoted on campuses of
educational institutions as well.
Smart campus is a trendy application in the paradigm of the
IoT. The concept of constructing a “Smart campus” implies
that the institution will adopt advanced ICTs (Information
Manuscript received March 1, 2013; revised March 28, 2013.
Hsing-I Wang is now with the Department of Information Management,
Overseas Chinese University, Taichung, Taiwan. (e-mail:
[email protected]).
Communication Technologies) to automatically monitor and
control every facility on campus. The benefits gained from
building a smart campus include that the use of all facilities
becomes more efficient and the energy consumed is
minimized. Such efforts are also recognized as constructing a
“Green campus”.
Two major ICTs which make the realization of IoT
possible are the emergence of cloud computing and the
network of wireless sensors. In fact, cloud computing and
wireless-sensor network together can provide the most
reliable, scalable, dynamic and composable resources that the
IoTs required 4- 6.
This paper demonstrates our work toward constructing a
green campus. The objective is realized by constructing the
Internet of Things using wireless sensors. The architecture of
the green campus within IoT will be explained, and the system
that we have developed is demonstrated in the paper as well.
II. LITERATURES REVIEW
A. The Development of Green Campus
New emerging technologies have changed human life
styles dramatically. As people enjoy advanced and smart lives,
ironically, our earth is facing major crisis that may bring
disasters to human lives as well. Fig. 1 shows the carbon
emission records from January 1955 to January 2013. The
concentration of atmospheric CO2 was below 320 ppm in
1955. By January 2013, the number has increased by 25%.
The data indicate how serious the earth has been polluted. In
addition, more environmental crises such as global warming
and climate disturbance; acid rain, and soil erosion;
ecosystem damage and so forth have got the attention across
the world 7, 8.
Toward a Green Campus with the Internet of
Things – the Application of Lab Management
Hsing-I Wang
T
Fig. 1. Carbon emission from 1955 to 2015 9
Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2013 Vol II,
WCE 2013, July 3 – 5, 2013, London, U.K.
ISBN: 978-988-19252-8-2
ISSN: 2078-0958 (Print); ISSN: 2078-0966 (Online)
WCE 2013
Scholars and experts have agreed that the knowledge of
protecting the earth should be cultivated by educations.
Universities should provide leadership for broader society 7
and institutions of higher learning have a special
responsibility to address the continuing environmental crisis
7, 8. In 8, the author specifically points out that one of
the greatest opportunity and ability to conserve energy is
through facilities management on campus.
Educational institutions across the world, especially the
higher education, have recognized that they are in a unique
position to prevent the crisis from getting worse. Not only are
the faculties realizing that they possess the intellectual
capacity to address these issues, but also the institutions are
putting a lot of efforts in the integration of all resources and
effectively adopting new technologies to their missions to
create a green environment. There are a number of well
known “Green Campus” examples. For instance, the green
campuses of the University of Pennsylvania, Boston
University and the University of Chicago in the United States;
Macquarie University in Australia; University of
Copenhagen in Denmark and Queen’s University in
Canada, etc.
In Taiwan, Y. S. Sun Green Building Research Center
Located at the NCKU Li-Hsing Campus is Taiwan’s first
zero-carbon, energy-saving building. The building is very
famous to people in Taiwan as ‘The Magic School of Green
Technology’. Embedded within The Magic School is the hope
that its design principles can eventually be scaled to Taiwan’s
metropolitan centers 10. The building was designed to use
“adequate techniques”, instead of “expensive techniques”, to
achieve “quadruple benefit”. The aims are estimated to save
50% energy, to conserve 30% water, and to reduce 30%
carbon emission. It is also expected that the building will be
utilized for one hundred years 11. The building started
operation in January 2011, and in six months, the
accumulated Energy Usage Intensity (EUI) was 19.3 kWh/m².
The figure was far less than Taiwan’s medium and low
intensity office buildings, which consume 125 kWh/m² per
year on average 11. The existence of ‘The Magic School of
Green Technology’ will be a model for all other universities
in Taiwan.
B. Cloud Computing
The major function of cloud computing is the delivery of
services. It is not new to consider the pursuit of “service” as
the entire and sole philosophy in the adoption of new
technology. Clustering computing, grid computing, and
service oriented architectures are the three famous examples
that have seamlessly combined technologies with business
flow. Cloud computing is similar to the aforementioned
concepts but with three unique characteristics, which include
virtual, dynamic provision on demand, and negotiation.
Therefore, in the literature, cloud computing is defined as,
“offering hardware and software resources as services across
a parallel and distributed system consisting of a collection of
inter-connected and virtualized computers that are
dynamically provisioned.” 12, 13.
According to the definition, in the cloud paradigm, there
are many distributed systems. In many cases, the distributed
architecture consists of wireless sensor networks which are
responsible for sensing data. Cloud computing usually plays
important role in this kind of architecture since wireless
sensor networks are limited in their processing power, battery
life and communication speed while cloud computing is
known for having powerful computational and processing
capacity and the communication speed is much faster as well
14. Cloud computing is also believed the paradigm for
delivering services for IoT environment 4.
C. The Internet of Things
The concept and the realization of the “Internet of Things”
make the world truly ubiquitous since the IoT radically
changes the view of the “Internet” by embracing every
physical object into network 4, 15.
The term “Internet of Things” has become very popular in
recent years. There are books to teach or to discuss various
subjects about the IoT. International conferences open up
sessions for scholars and specialists to exchange their ideas,
opinions and experiences regarding the development or the
applications of the IoTs. And finally in 2009, even the EU
Commission realized the importance of the revolution of the
Internet and initiated an IoT action plan 16.
In 17, it is suggested that an IoT must be internet-oriented
(middleware), things oriented (sensors) and semantic oriented
(knowledge). Based on the assertions, 4 proposed that the
architecture of an IoT actually contains three segments which
are the hardware segment, the middleware segment and the
presentation segment. The hardware segment mainly refers to
the connection of sensors or any embedded communication
hardware. The middleware segment usually refers to cloud
environment which is responsible for data storage,
computation and data analytics. The presentation segment, on
the other hand, visualizes the result of data analytics or
interprets the data in an easy and understandable format.
Moreover, an IoT must possess the capabilities of
communication and cooperation, addressability,
identification, sensing, actuation, embedded information
processing, localization and user interfaces 15.
At the hardware segment, wireless sensor network is
expected to be a key technology for various IoT applications
such as home automation 18, and energy saving 19. The
sensor devices in the wireless sensor network work as the
communicate node and will communicate to other devices
wirelessly 20. The sensor device also carries out its
designated duty to collect data and send data to data center.
Therefore, communication and measurement are the two
major functions of a wireless sensor network 20.
ZigBee is the name of a standard that specifies the
application layer of a wireless network in a small area with a
low communication rate 21. Previous researches and
projects have shown that ZigBee sensor networks are suitable
for applications in many different areas.
III. CONSTRUCTING GREEN CAMPUS WITHIN IOT
ARCHITECTURE
Based on the definition and the required elements defined
in the literatures, Fig. 2 shows the proposed architecture of the
Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2013 Vol II,
WCE 2013, July 3 – 5, 2013, London, U.K.
ISBN: 978-988-19252-8-2
ISSN: 2078-0958 (Print); ISSN: 2078-0966 (Online)
WCE 2013
green campus within IoT. The architecture consists of three
major segments which are the hardware segment, the
middleware segment and the presentation segment.
The hardware segment mainly uses RFID to induce the
students who are going to enter the computer labs. The IoT is
setup to connect the computers and the air conditioners in the
lab. Not only do the computers own an IP, but also each air
conditioner is assigned an IP. The temperature sensor module
of ZigBee is used to monitor the temperatures in the lab.
In our work, a ZigBee network is constructed with
ZB2530-01devices from Dmatek Limited Taiwan. The
specifications of the devices are as follows:
1) Radio frequency: 2.4 GHz band.
2) Data rate: 38400bit/s (max to 115200).
3) Distances: 10 meters
4) Number of channels: the device is able to search up to 32
satellite channels.
5) 10 I/O ports.
The emitter device shown in Fig. 3 is placed in the lab and
connected to the IoT. The receiver device shown in Fig. 4 is
connected to a PC via a USB interface. The receiver device
will collect all the data sent by the emitters.
All the data collected, including the data read by RFID, the
status of each of the computers in the lab as well as the
temperatures of the computer room, are sent to the center of
data and applications. The data are computed, analyzed and
controlled.
At the presentation segment, two major systems are
provided to students and controller of the general affair office.
The students may use computers or any mobile devices to
connect to the system and retrieve the usage status of the
selected computer lab. This will allow the students to make
proper decisions if they still want to go to the labs which
might not have seats available.
The application that monitors the changes of the
temperatures of each lab allows the controller to control the
air conditioners in the lab. In addition, the network alert
system will track the usage of each computer so that the
computer will be shut down once it has been idle for a
designated time.
IV. THE INTRODUCTION OF THE SYSTEM
The prototype of the computer labs control system has been
developed in this research. Fig. 5 through Fig. 11
demonstrates how the system operates.
On the lab side, the system tracks the usage of every
computer lab at all times (Fig. 5). The system gives the
information of computers that are occupied, available or
malfunctioning.
Once a student enters a lab, the RFID reader reads his or
her ID, the system will assign an available seat to the student
(Fig. 6) and the status of that seat will be marked with green
color to indicate that the seat is ‘in use’ (Fig. 7).
Fig. 2. The architecture of the green campus within IoT proposed in
this research.
Fig. 4. The receiver that reads the signal from emitter.
Fig. 3. The emitter which equips with the temperature
sensor and sends out the temperature reading
continuously.
Fig. 5. The system shows the usage status of every computer lab.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2013 Vol II,
WCE 2013, July 3 – 5, 2013, London, U.K.
ISBN: 978-988-19252-8-2
ISSN: 2078-0958 (Print); ISSN: 2078-0966 (Online)
WCE 2013
Each student is allowed one hour to use the computer. A
warning message will be given and the computer will be shut
down automatically by the system (Fig. 8) if the computer has
been occupied for more than one hour or if the system detects
that the computer has been idle for some time.
A system control dashboard is provided to the controller in
the general affairs office. Four functions are available at
present system. The first tab shows the same labs information
as the students can see. The second tab (Fig. 9) gives the
current temperature of a selected lab. By clicking the on/off
button, the controller is able to turn on or turn off the air
conditioners in the lab.
The third page shows the real time average temperatures of
all computer labs (Fig. 10). In every 30 minutes, this system
records the average temperatures of all computer labs. The
records are shown on the fourth page of the dashboard (Fig.
11). The temperatures that are below 26 are marked with
green. If the temperatures are higher than 30, red colors
appear to show the warning. Yellow colors are shown if the
temperatures are in between.
Fig.6. RFID reader senses a tag and assigns a seat to the student.
Fig. 11. The changes of the temperatures in the computer labs.
Fig. 10. The average temperature measured by ZigBee temperature
sensor in the computer labs.
Fig. 9. The status of each of the air conditions in the computer lab.
Fig. 8. The warning message will pop up on the screen either when
the computer has been occupied for more than an hour or the
computer was assigned to a student but has been detected idle for
some time.
Fig. 7. The system indicates the number of seats that are occupied, or
the seats that are still available, or the number of computers that are not
in function.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2013 Vol II,
WCE 2013, July 3 – 5, 2013, London, U.K.
ISBN: 978-988-19252-8-2
ISSN: 2078-0958 (Print); ISSN: 2078-0966 (Online)
WCE 2013
Together with the information of the status of computer
labs, air conditioners and the changes of the temperatures as
well as the statistics of the temperatures in the labs, the
controller can make decisions easily. The decisions such as
how many labs should open to students, when and which air
conditioner should be turned on, and finally, the controller
can also monitor if the computers are used properly and
efficiently.
V. CONCLUSION
This research adopts the concept of the “Internet of
Things” to construct the green campus which will realize the
idea of energy-saving. The objects of our work include the
computers and air conditioners. RFIDs and the ZigBee device
with temperature module are used to build up the wireless
sensor network.
The contributions delivered by this research include:
1) The computer labs can be managed efficiently. More labs
will be open only when the demand is increasing.
2) The use of the computers will be monitored at all times.
This mechanism decreases the number of idle power-on
computers.
3) The air conditioners will be turned on only when the
temperatures reach a preset level. As a result, more
energy will be saved.
The idea of constructing a green campus is just the first step
in our institution. This research shows how to build up the IoT
to manage computer labs. The performance of current project
will be examined continuously. The next phase is to build the
IoT around the whole campus. Hopefully, as a higher
educational institution, we can show some leadership and
demonstrate our responsibilities to the society.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author likes to thank Y. Lai, Y. Chen, Y. Lin, M. Shen,
L. Hung and H. Chen for their dedication to the development
of the system.
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Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2013 Vol II,
WCE 2013, July 3 – 5, 2013, London, U.K.
ISBN: 978-988-19252-8-2
ISSN: 2078-0958 (Print); ISSN: 2078-0966 (Online)
WCE 2013

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