Monitoring the Rotorua NOW Home®

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Building scientist, Andrew Pollard, checks the monitoring equipment.  Photo: Craig Robertson Photography

How the monitoring worked

The monitoring set-up used in the Rotorua NOW Home® was quite different to the two-year intensive monitoring of the Waitakere NOW Home®.  The goal this time was to cut down and simplify the monitoring, reducing the data channels by two thirds.  At the same time data collection became completely remote, reducing the need for site visits. 

Wireless data collection technology was used more extensively within the Rotorua NOW Home®. The electricity and water data, which were measured with a sophisticated Agilent® 34980A Data Logger in the Waitakere NOW Home®, were instead measured using the Point 6 wireless system in the Rotorua NOW Home®. Other differences were the use of a thermistor to record the use of the pellet burner and the use of a USB thermocouple card to record the supply and return temperatures of the solar water heater accurately.

Where the computer system in the Waitakere NOW Home® emailed data from the house back to BRANZ on a daily basis, the Rotorua NOW Home® was configured (post occupancy) for “Remote Desktop Connection” which allows full control of the computer to be undertaken from a remote site, and allows for software reconfigurations, some diagnostics as well as the data files to be retrieved without the need for a site visit.

Monitoring problems

Electrical supply issues in the Rotorua NOW Home® challenged the monitoring team.  The RainBank system for the rainwater tank developed an electrical fault which regularly blew the fuses in the house.  This took some time to identify and resolve, and resulted in poor water monitoring data.

Rotorua NOW Home

Rotorua NOW Home®