Circuit-Level Load Monitoring for Household Energy Management

The first requirement for any intelligent household energy management system is to be able to accurately measure energy usage in the home. Whole-home energy measurement is cheap and easy to set up because only one sensor is placed where the home connects to the power grid. The collected data can provide useful information for large appliances. However, the only way to monitor the energy usage of smaller devices is to install an energy meter on every device of interest. This creates a very detailed picture of household energy consumption, but requires a lot of additional hardware -- one meter per device in the home. This article explores an alternative, more practical, approach to monitor household energy usage including small devices by using circuit-level power measurements. We have developed and evaluated two algorithms to disaggregate the circuit-level data into device-level estimates. Our evaluation resulted in an average error less than 5.35% for each device. We therefore believe that this approach enables the development of highly intelligent automated energy management systems.

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