Australian university researchers develop smart meter


Jugdutt Singh,
Director of Technology
Infusion Centre, La
Trobe University
Melbourne, Australia — (METERING.COM) — October 15, 2008 – Researchers at Melbourne’s La Trobe University in conjunction with local IC developer Semitech Innovations have developed a smart energy meter that shows in real time where energy is going and how much it costs.
A pilot project using thirty of these meters is now underway at the University’s main Melbourne campus at Bundoora, where they have been installed at the Research and Development Park. The pilot automatically measures energy use and manages load for the Park’s entire Technology Enterprise Center (TEC) building in real time.

Professor Jugdutt Singh, director of the University’s Center for Technology Infusion, says the project is aimed at encouraging people to better manage energy by providing them with a range of data about their energy use via an interactive touch-screen user display.

“An advanced software interface using context-aware and persuasive software technologies has been integrated to influence users to change their behavior and encourage energy conservation, resulting in reduction of greenhouse gas emission,” explains Singh.

The smart meters relay data to a central concentrator where the information can be stored for up to six months.

“If someone turns on a heater it shows up as a peak on a graph on the interactive display.”

The research being carried out at La Trobe is focussed on integrating wireless capability on to PLC microchips to provide a complete solution for smart home and industrial resource management, including gas, water, electricity and appliances.