Wireless Sensing of Circuit-Breaker Currents

Knowledge is power when it comes to saving electricity. Wireless Sensing of Circuit-Breaker Currents is a simple way to keep tabs on consumption, and take advantage of lower electricity prices when demand-response incentives kick in.

PROJ circuitBreakersMost consumers have no way of knowing how much electricity is consumed by the many electric circuits in their homes and businesses. A simple system of wireless sensors — easily attached to circuit breakers inside a breaker panel — provides that key information. The inexpensive stick-on sensors are easily installed, requiring no wiring and no electrician.

They then go to work, reporting on the flow of electric current at each site, sending data to a secure repository on the Internet. Consumers can access this fine-grained, real-time information to make better decisions about electricity use and the dollars they spend on energy.

As utilities adopt dynamic electricity pricing — charging more when demand is high and less during hours of non-peak usage — sensor data will help customers pinpoint their costly behaviors. Do you sleep with the TV on, leave lights blazing in empty rooms, routinely run appliances during peak hours? Circuit-breaker sensors can help you change your ways, curb wasted energy, and save money.

Research lead(s)

Igor Paprotny, Electrical Engineering, UC Berkeley
Paul Wright, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, UC Berkeley
Richard M. White, Professor Emeritus, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley
Qiliang (Richard) Xu, Research Scientist, Mechanical Engineering, UC Berkeley

Sponsors

Citris
Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), UC Berkeley

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