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Individual Power Monitoring on the Cheap

Tom Igoe, Assistant Arts Professor, ITP/NYU
Jeff Feddersen
Raffi C. Krikorian, Synthesis Studios, Inc.
Jeff LeBlanc

Track: Generation and Distribution
Date: Friday, August 24
Time: 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Location: Salon 3-4

Realtime whole-building or home monitoring of power usage has been shown to promote energy conservation. Currently available systems for consumers only allow whole-home monitoring of aggregate consumption. Plug-level monitoring products (such as the Kill-A-Watt) are ad-hoc solutions not easily integrated into a whole home system, and other commercially available products are too expensive for most consumers. NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Programworking is working on a device that is small and inexpensive enough to implement circuit- or plug-level monitoring throughout a building or home.

One experimental version draws both its power and monitoring function indirectly from AC fields around home wiring and requires no connection to a circuit. This makes the device safe, compatible with existing electrical codes, and easily placed in nearly any location. A variety of feedback methods, from direct visual power indication, to low-power wireless RF reporting, have been demonstrated.

In this talk, we'll present our work on this, explaining the circuits and showing how they are built and how they work.