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Engineering news

Smart meter tracks power consumption of individual devices

Amit Katwala

(Credit: 42 Technology)
(Credit: 42 Technology)

A new smart metering device can give customers itemised electricity bills that detail how much power different types of appliance are using.

The analysis can also be displayed in real time via a smartphone app.  

The device uses ‘Triple Ohm’ technology developed by Cornwall-based engineering consultancy 42 Technology. It can be embedded in the meter, and works by monitoring changes in the high-frequency current or voltage harmonics caused when specific appliances are being used within a building, and doesn’t require any additional switches or add-ons.

It can differentiate between the characteristic traces of specific appliance types using an algorithm, and display the results in real time or store them on the meter for incorporation into a bill.

The technology can also be used to monitor the load of different appliances. It is capable of differentiating between a vacuum cleaner with a full bag and one with an empty bag.

“We have already built demonstration units, several team members have had them installed in their homes as part of a field trial, and we are starting to collect real usage data to show to potential development partners,” said Jeremy Carey, managing director of 42 Technology.

Research in the US found that giving customers this kind of information led to a 12% average reduction in the amount of energy they used.

 

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