"A smart metering technology breakthrough that will potentially allow energy suppliers for the first time to provide customers with itemised bills and statements showing their specific electricity consumption by appliance type," may be a reality according to 42 Technology.
The company is working on technology which can be displayed in real time via a phone app, which could give consumers the feedback and encouragement they need to start taking a more active role in managing their household electricity bills. This could mean by limiting usage of specific appliances, switching devices off rather than leaving them on standby, or replacing outdated appliances with more energy-efficient models.
According to a release by the technology company, its patented Triple Ohm technology is being developed to be integrated into new generation smart meters in both domestic and commercial settings. Working with all electrical appliances, the technology has been specifically designed so that everything is embedded within the meter without consumers having to purchase any special switches, devices or other technology add-ons.
Triple Ohm monitors changes in the high frequency current or voltage harmonics in a single- or poly-phase power supply caused when specific appliances are used. It can identify and differentiate between the characteristic traces belonging to specific appliance types and, using a sophisticated data analysis algorithm, separate them out to calculate energy consumption per device. The resulting data can then be displayed in real time via a smartphone app or a low cost home energy monitor, and can also be stored within the meter for incorporation into the householder’s next bill.
Says Jeremy Carey, managing director of 42 Technology: “42 Technology has recently been awarded an Innovate UK Energy Catalyst 4 grant to help us demonstrate the feasibility of using Triple Ohm technology to identify different appliance types and to separate out their demands from a single metering point. We have already built a number of demonstration units, several team members have had them installed in their homes as part of a field trial, and we are starting to collect real usage data to show to potential development partners.”
42 Technology’s innovative smart metering technology can also provide energy companies with more detailed feedback on patterns of domestic and commercial energy usage than is currently available with existing technologies and monitoring systems. As a result, it could help energy suppliers to find more cost effective and efficient ways to balance supply with changing demands while complying with carbon reduction targets.
In addition to smart metering, 42 Technology is also developing Triple Ohm for use in a low cost system for remote monitoring of the UK’s network of electricity distribution substations. The company was awarded an Innovate UK phase one grant for this application which it announced in November 2016 and since then has secured phase two funding to enable further commercialisation.