A group of researcher from MIT has recently built up another device and software that could get to be accessible soon. The new creation represents a less demanding approach to decide how much power is being utilised by each appliance, lighting installation and device in a home, with pinpoint exactness and at a low price.
You could try to figure that out by comparing the energy-use labels from your existing appliances with those of the models you might purchase — if you still have your old labels. Even then, the numbers may differ significantly from your actual usage, depending on factors such as age, condition, and your local climate
The new MIT system has some key advantages over other approaches. First, it involves no complex installation: No wires need to be disconnected, and the placement of the postage-stamp-sized sensors over the incoming power line does not require any particular precision — the system is designed to be self-calibrating.
Perhaps most significantly, the system is designed so that all of the detailed information stays right inside the user’s own home, eliminating concerns about privacy that potential users may have when considering power-monitoring systems. The detailed analysis, including the potential for specialized analysis based on an individual user’s specific needs or interests, can be provided by customized apps that can be developed using the MIT team’s system.
“A bunch of major players have gotten into, and out of, this field,” says Leeb, including giants like Google and Microsoft. But now, he says, the MIT team has solved the key issues and come up with a practical and very powerful system. One of the major insights they had was that keeping most of the data within the home and sending only small subsets out into the cloud for processing solved two problems at once: It eliminated the privacy concerns of using such a system, and it eliminated the huge bandwidth and data transmission costs that would be required if the raw data was sent to a central facility.
Once the system is developed into a commercial product, Leeb says, it should cost only about $25 to $30 per home. “We’re trying to lower the barriers to installation,” says co-author John Donnal, and this noncontact sensor is simple enough for most home users to install on their own. “It just goes on with a zip tie,” he says.