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Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2017


 

Smart meter tech can tell what appliances are running
15 November 2017, Power Electronics / Power Management

A UK company called 42 Technology is developing a smart metering technology breakthrough that will potentially allow energy suppliers for the first time to provide customers with itemised bills and statements showing their specific electricity consumption by appliance type. The technology is even precise enough to distinguish between the harmonic signature of a full vacuum cleaner versus an empty one.

This detailed analysis, which can also be displayed in real time via a phone app, could give consumers the feedback and encouragement they need to start taking a more active role in managing their household electricity bills. For example, by deciding to limit usage of specific appliances, to switch devices off rather than leaving them on standby, or to replace outdated appliances with more energy-efficient models.

The company’s patented Triple Ohm technology is being developed for integration into a new generation of smart meters for use in domestic or commercial environments. The technology works with all electrical appliances and has been specifically designed so that everything is embedded within the meter without consumers having to purchase any special switches, devices or other technology add-ons.

Triple Ohm works by monitoring changes in the high-frequency current or voltage harmonics in a single- or poly-phase power supply caused when specific appliances are used within a building. It can identify and differentiate between the characteristic traces belonging to specific appliance types and, using a sophisticated data analysis algorithm, separates them out to calculate energy consumption per device. The resulting data can then be displayed in real time via a smartphone app or a low-cost home energy monitor, or stored within the meter for incorporation into the householder’s next bill.

Triple Ohm can also be used to monitor how specific devices are behaving under load as an indicator of a potential performance issue. Initial studies have shown the technology can differentiate between a vacuum cleaner with a full bag or an empty bag, which is a feature that could be developed to alert customers for example to check their washing machine or tumble dryer filter, or to arrange a service call to maintain an appliance in peak condition.

42 Technology’s innovative smart metering technology can also provide energy companies with more detailed feedback on patterns of domestic and commercial energy usage than is currently available with existing technologies and monitoring systems. As a result, it could help energy suppliers to find more cost effective and efficient ways to balance supply with changing demands while complying with carbon reduction targets.

For more information visit www.42technology.com


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Further reading:

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