Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed technology they say could make it much easier for consumers to accurately determine how much power is being consumed by each appliance, lighting, fixture, and device in their home.
The technology makes use of an array of five sensors, each slightly offset from the others, and a calibration system that tracks their readings and determines which one is positioned to give the strongest signal. The postage stamp-sized sensors, which are placed over the incoming power line, capture detailed information about spikes and patterns in voltage and current. The data is relayed to a program that can tell the difference between each kind of light, motor, and other device in the home and show which ones go off and on, and at what times. The team developed a catalog of "signatures" for specific appliances, and an interface to "zoom in" on specific time segments.
MIT professor Steven Leeb says tests found the system has the potential to save energy. In addition, he says, it can be used to develop customized apps to provide detailed information, with a commercial product potentially costing only about $25 per home.
From MIT News
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