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Scientists Develop Device That Gauges Power Consumption

Aug 02, 2016 03:45 AM EDT
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Researchers at Massachusetts Institue of Technology (MIT) have structured a device an software that could determine the amount of power consumption of a device in a household.

MIT Electrical Engineering Professor Steven Leeb and recent graduates David Lawrence and John Donnal were the people behind the study, Tech Crunch has learned. As per the publication, their system required no complex installation, as no wires had to be disconnected and it was meant to be self-calibrating, since the position of the sensors over the power line does not have to be very precise.

The system also makes use of cloud-based servers to boost the user's privacy and decrease the bandwidth expenditure through sending information back and forth. According to Science Daily, it also provides data at high speed and can tell the difference between various kinds of light, motor, and devices at home, including which ones are switched on and off and the time it happened.

Along with saving energy and greenhouse emissions, the system has also proven itself to boost safety. It was revealed that an installation of the device at a military base showed that large tents were being heated during winter months, though no one stayed there during daytime. In a house installation, an anomalous voltage trend indicated a wiring flaw that led some copper plumbing pipes to run a possibly dangerous live voltage.

In a statement, as cited by the publication, Leeb said that for a long time, the premise had been that if they could get access to better information about energy use; thus, they would be able to create significant savings. Leeb and his crew have been finding ways to address the problem for more than a decade and such innovation has led them to successfully resolve the issue.

Leeb's study was supported by the Grainger Foundation, the MIT Skoltech Initiative, the Office of Naval Research Neptune program, and the MIT and Masdar Institute Cooperative Program.

Watch a power consumption method in this video.

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