Characterisation of household water use events using a non-intrusive sensor
Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The reduction of indoor water usage is an important aspect of water conservation, especially in a water scarce country such as South Africa. Therefore, monitoring indoor water usage could help in finding techniques to reduce water consumption. A non-intrusive and relatively cheap method would help to characterise household water usage under certain constraints. A vibration device was developed as part of this study to characterise household water usage by detecting the vibrations caused by water flowing through a pipe. Various tests were conducted to ensure the accuracy and precision of the device which is IOT compatible. The device had an accuracy of about 80% in distinguishing between events and non-events and a precision of over 90% in recording event duration. The vibration device was tested in two houses in South Africa and the results were similar to that of previous studies. The vibration devices were also complemented by flow data, which was simultaneously recorded at the two houses. Several end points were analysed such as showers, taps, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines. In total 2 195 events were recorded at the two houses by the vibration devices over a combined study period of 25 days. Recommendations were given to improve the device and how to obtain more accurate results with the flow data complementing the data from the vibration device.