The Aim

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Project20/20/20 Research Gate

The heart of the proposed approach consists of a data collection system (energy consumption data)and the synthesis of the information in order to be presented to end-users. This system can be integrated with technological infrastructure already present inside the building (smartphones, tablets, SmartTVs), in order to reduce the use of dedicated systems (such as the Busch-EnergyControl) usually difficult to use and therefore requiring trained personnel.

The heart of the proposed approach consists of a data collection system (energy consumption data)and the synthesis of the information in order to be presented to end-users. This system can be integrated with technological infrastructure already present inside the building (smartphones, tablets, SmartTVs), in order to reduce the use of dedicated systems (such as the Busch-EnergyControl [1]) usually difficult to use and therefore requiring trained personnel.

The virtual energy gateway is realized using a multiplatform approach in order to have the same end-user interface regardless of the platform (iOS, Android, Windows 8 and so on). If it’s used in manual input mode, users can periodically enter consumption data from different meters: periodic warnings on smart-phone calendar could help remembering the dates. Otherwise, information-supplying devices (such as smart meters) can continuously transfer data to the Virtual Gateway, realized with cloud technologies. Local network devices transfer only information strictly necessary for the elaboration, adopting all the modern data encryption techniques to ensure maximum protection of sensitive data coming from the house.

This solution, compared to the state of the art, has the great advantage of avoiding the use of any physical device inside the house to store the data, requiring only intelligent devices capable of transferring data to the cloud. The data obtained from processing can then be transferred back to smart systems already present in the building, such as smart TVs, tablets or smartphones. Through an appropriate interface software, it is possible for the end-user to constantly monitor energy consumption, and, if any smart appliances are present in the building, remotely control them. The collected data can be shared, with user permission, with the energy distributor or such, in order to allow further analysis and actions to improve energy efficiency.

Together with the software system, a series of hardware devices are proposed, such as docking stations, in order to allow the interfacing of smartphones and tablets with the electricity distribution network (via PLC) and towards the possible distributed measurement system present in the building (smart meters, smart plugs, appliances), which generally uses non compatible communication standards, such as KNX, ZigBee Smart Energy, ZigBee Building Automation. The use of different technologies within the same environment requires the presence of gateways, able to interface to various protocols. A modular solution which incorporates the main communication standards for smart metering can be a win-win for both compatibility and cost.

Virtual Energy Gateway system schematic.

References

  1.  Busch-EnergyControl. On line: www.busch-jaeger.de.


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