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Note 11. Personnel Sensors

Personnel sensors, also called “motion detectors” and “occupancy sensors,” are devices that sense the presence of people within an area. They are recommended by the Energy Efficiency Manual for energy saving control of a variety of equipment, including lighting and HVAC.

This Note explains how to select and install motion detectors and other types of personnel sensors. You will learn about the types of motion sensors, including passive infrared, ultrasound, microphones, light beams, tread switches, and other types. You will learn the best applications for each, their coverage and range, selection criteria, and installation tricks.

Originally developed as security devices, personnel sensors have become an efficient method of controlling equipment that is needed only when people are present. In appropriate applications, personnel sensors tailor the operation of equipment to occupancy more accurately than any other method. At the same time, using personnel sensors can be tricky. Inappropriate or careless installation can waste energy, annoy occupants, and create safety hazards.

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Note 11. Personnel Sensors