Quick Facts

  • The Desert Rose uses Model Predictive Control to achieve maximum energy efficiency.
  • Lighting is controlled through a Dali Lighting system .
  • KNX is the Desert Rose’s primary home automation software.
  • The Desert Rose uses LED lighting for increased control and energy saving.
Desert Rose BMS
Kitchen Lighting- Team UOW

Model Predictive Control

The main energy strategy of the Desert Rose is to maximise the self-consumption of renewables, relying as little on grid energy as possible (if at all). This will be achieved using optimal control of the solar resources and the on-site energy storage. The optimal control for the battery was developed by Team UOW. The technique we are employing is known as model predictive control (MPC). The MPC optimisation algorithm uses prediction models of both solar PV production and electrical load of the Desert Rose House for the next 24 hours. Based on this data, the algorithm determines the optimal charging and discharging schedule of the battery, ensuring as much solar energy is used as possible. This optimisation algorithm is updated every 15 minutes to ensure the battery is using the most up to date weather and load data (this is the advantage of MPC over regular optimal control).

KNX + Internet of Things

The Desert Rose makes use of KNX as its primary building automation protocol. KNX was chosen due to its open source nature and compatibility between devices from multiple manufacturers. Another advantage of a KNX building management system is that it can be reprogrammed if need be to adapt to the occupant. This removes the need for complex rewiring of the house which would be required in a normal electrical installation.

In conjunction with KNX, the Desert Rose uses innovative, low cost IoT (internet of things) technologies which will all be interfaced with the Node Red IoT platform and Google Home. Using Node Red allows the seamless integration of IoT and KNX, allowing Team UOW students to develop multiple graphical user interfaces that ensure ease of operability for both the technologically savvy and also those living with age related illnesses. These interfaces can be operated by your phone, tablet or any device you program from anywhere in the world.


Dali lighting is an innovative lighting system that gives every light and switch a unique ID. Rather than having to wire every light to every switch, we plug all of the lights into a house wide loop, and every switch into a separate house wide loop. Using our programming we can than assign different switches to perform different actions where they may turn on a light, dim a light etc. This also gives the option for the occupant to control the lighting via an app, integrate home assistance devices to help control all the lighting and also hand over control to the automation of the KNX system.

All lights in the Desert Rose are LED lights which consume less energy and give off less heat than common halogen light globes. LED lights also have a longer lifespan and are more flexible in terms of colour and brightness control.

LED strips are installed on cornices throughout the bedrooms and lounge room and are adjustable to provide ambient lighting. This lighting can also be used to reduce agitation experienced by people living with dementia during sunset.