Proof of concept : large-scale monitor and control of household water heating in near real-time

Booysen, Marthinus J. ; Engelbrecht, J. A. A. ; Molinaro, A. (2013-07)

Presentation presented at the International Conference on Applied Energy ICAE 2013, Jul 1-4, 2013, Pretoria, South Africa Paper ID: ICAE2013-189.

Conference Paper

Two fundamental challenges for efficient energy management are the lack of timely demand and consumption information at the distribution level, and inability to responsively control supply at that level. With recent advances made in wireless communications and machine-to-machine (M2M) networking, a plethora of new solutions have been proposed for smart-grid and home automation. The many approaches, however, focus on the communications and technological domains of these solutions. In this paper we present the design and results of a proof-of-concept project, in which 18 homes were equipped to remotely monitor and control hot water cylinders in real time. The system makes use of the SMART platform to collect and collate telemetry data, and to deliver commands through the use of a cellular network. Users can set the on-off times of their water heating, and also monitor the consumption on a daily basis, in energy or monetary units. The data is centrally processed to provide useful information to the utility, such as the expected total demand for the system in 15 minute intervals, detected leaks, sudden drops in pressure, anode depletion, and to control each cylinder individually. In this paper we look at the system design and highlight some key results.

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