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Title: Field Trial of a Low-Cost, Distributed Plug Load Monitoring System

Researchers have struggled to inventory and characterize the energy use profiles of the ever-growing category of so-called miscellaneous electric loads (MELs) because plug-load monitoring is cost-prohibitive to the researcher and intrusive to the homeowner. However, these data represent a crucial missing link to understanding how homes use energy. Detailed energy use profiles would enable the nascent automated home energy management (AHEM) industry to develop effective control algorithms that target consumer electronics and other plug loads. If utility and other efficiency programs are to incent AHEM devices, they need large-scale datasets that provide statistically meaningful justification of their investments by quantifying the aggregate energy savings achievable. To address this need, NREL researchers investigated a variety of plug-load measuring devices available commercially and tested them in the laboratory to identify the most promising candidates for field applications. This report centers around the lessons learned from a field validation of one proof-of-concept system, called Smartenit (formerly SimpleHomeNet). The system was evaluated based on the rate of successful data queries, reliability over a period of days to weeks, and accuracy. This system offers good overall performance when deployed with up to 10 end nodes in a residential environment, although deployment with more nodes andmore » in a commercial environment is much less robust. NREL concludes that the current system is useful in selected field research projects, with the recommendation that system behavior is observed over time.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Energy Center of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Energy Center of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B) (Building America)
Country of Publication:
United States
residential; Residential Buildings; NREL; Building America; plug load; MELs; AHEM; monitoring; wireless; distributed; NILM; energy meter​