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Personal energy monitor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236284D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-17
Document File: 3 page(s) / 374K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The invention is a smartphone application ("app") that determines the personal energy consumption of its user based on input from different smartphone sensors. The energy consumption is displayed graphically and rated with respect to target values (e.g., 2000-Watt society, average of similar users). Optionally, recommendations about possible energy savings are made.

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Personal energy monitor (ID CH-1333501)

With the number of consumers steadily increasing and resources remaining scarce, it is essential to utilize energy in an optimal way and to minimize waste. However, most users are only prepared to save energy if this does not alter their way of life. For that reason, considerable effort has been expended to render established loads - e.g., light bulbs, household appliances, transportation - more efficient. Another way of achieving energy savings is to identify and disable loads that are being used wastefully. Such loads are particularly common in personal life. They include lighting and air-conditioning of unoccupied rooms, excessive heating, understaffed cars, appliances in standby mode, etc.

The present invention is a smartphone application ("app") that allows one to identify wasteful loads easily. It can further propose energy-cutting measures that do not affect the user's habits. The distinctive feature of the proposed solution is that it is software-only. Therefore it does not require any new installation of power monitoring equipment or home automation networks. This is achieved by making use of the numerous different sensors contained in smart phones in conjunction with sophisticated signal processing.

The present invention helps lowering wasteful energy consumption in everyday life. It does so in a non-intrusive way since it does not require any new investment or equipment installation. Specifically, the user installs a smartphone application that analyzes and displays his personal energy consumption along with recommendations for savings. Energy monitoring and management is increasingly being used in private life. However to the best of our knowledge, all competitor solutions rely on dedicated hardware to monitor power consumption and perform optimizations. For instance, PowerhouseDynamics' eMonitor [1] requires an electronic monitoring box to be installed inside the circuit breaker panel in the home with sensors that clamp around each circuit. In this way, all electricity uses in a home can be monitored. Other devices (e.g., Efergy e2 eLink energy monitor [2]) are clamped to the power cable of a particular load to monitor its power consumption. Finally, some apps (e.g., houseEnergyMon [3]) require the user to periodically enter readings from electricity and gas meters in order to determine average energy usage. This does not allow one to pinpoint individual loads however.

As discussed above, the present invention differs from existing solutions in that it does not require any dedicated hardware in order to acquire the energy profile of the user. Instead, it makes use of the numerous different sensors that are found in modern smartphones: ambient light, cameras, microphones, accelerometers, GPS, etc. The trick is to measure the effect of various energy consumers (e.g., the light emitted by lamps, the humming sound produced by an air-conditioning system) instead of directly measurin...