Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2017.

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Hohyun Lee


In this thesis, two Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) approaches were considered to reduce residential building energy consumption. First, a flow sensor was developed for residential gas and electric storage water heaters. The sensor utilizes unique temperature changes of tank inlet and outlet pipes upon water draw to provide occupant hot water usage. Post processing of measured pipe temperature data was able to detect water draw events. Conservation of energy was applied to heater pipes to determine relative internal water flow rate based on transient temperature measurements. Correlations between calculated flow and actual flow were significant at a 95% confidence level. Using this methodology, a CPS water heater controller can activate existing residential storage water heaters according to occupant hot water demand. The second CPS approach integrated an open-source building simulation tool, EnergyPlus, into a CPS simulation platform developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The NIST platform utilizes the High Level Architecture (HLA) co-simulation protocol for logical timing control and data communication. By modifying existing EnergyPlus co-simulation capabilities, NIST’s open-source platform was able to execute an uninterrupted simulation between a residential house in EnergyPlus and an externally connected thermostat controller. The developed EnergyPlus wrapper for HLA co-simulation can allow active replacement of traditional real-time data collection for building CPS development. As such, occupant sensors and simple home CPS product can allow greater residential participation in energy saving practices, saving up to 33% on home energy consumption nationally.