Science 2 min read

Fraunhofer's AI Smart Meter Makes a More Efficient Grid

Fraunhofer has developed an AI Smart Meter that is capable tracking individual energy consumption placed on the power grid by a given appliance.

Panumas Nikhomkhai | Shutterstock.com

Panumas Nikhomkhai | Shutterstock.com

We can better manage energy consumption with the help of artificial intelligence. In 2017, the world leading BAU trade fair will host Fraunhofer’s prototype AI smart meter. Its capabilities can replace a difficult, costly operation with power grid management that is cheaper and more effective.

Fraunhofer’s AI smart meter can interpret each device’s pattern of energy consumption as a signature or “fingerprint” on the power grid. Conventional meters only measure total power consumption from a given location rather than the individual appliances and devices pulling power.

Traditional meters make tracking energy use difficult in places where the commercial and private sectors merge. As energy costs continue to rise, it makes sense for everyone to conserve power whenever possible.

The New AI Smart Meter

AI smart meters will use algorithms to measure the exact energy usage by a given appliance. As an added benefit, this measurement will also help indicate when an appliance is not operating at maximum efficiency.

One of the biggest advantages of the AI smart meter will be the ability to run up to 20 appliances through one node. Conventional systems require several electric meters linked to others, and sub-metering can be costly to install and maintain.

The AI algorithm meter reduces installation and maintenance costs of energy meters as well as overall energy cost.Click To Tweet These meters deepen analysis of a system’s energy use. This information can be used to reduce peak load times thereby reducing overall energy consumption.

Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisburg developed this new system with the goal of having a sellable product by summer 2017. With the development of non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM), energy savings could be upward of 12 percent.

The SmartMeter, a system developed by one of Fraunhofer’s partners in the project, measures energy at a frequency under 1 megasample-per-second. The meter picks up interference voltage, which is noise appliances produce on the power grid. The SmartMeter will use this noise as a given device’s signature.

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