By Kymberly Martin

Monitors energy consumption in ‘real time’.



CSIRO will partner with start-up company Ecocentric on a system that recognises the electrical ‘fingerprint’ of individual appliances to increase energy efficiency in buildings.

The ‘Numen’ energy system brings together a building’s total energy signal, identifies the appliances present, and then separates out appliance-specific consumption data on how much energy the appliance is using. Numen improves the processes involved in using and conserving energy in homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities.

Where conventional smart meter systems record low-resolution total energy use, generally for the purpose of billing, this technology identifies individual appliances using a unique signature of high-frequency electrical data. Advanced machine learning algorithms are then employed to measure appliance power consumption without them needing to be metered individually. Numen uses cloud-based technology to monitor energy consumption in real time, allowing unprecedented insights into the operation of critical machinery. The system allows for automatic identification of metered electrical devices, facilitates better understanding and prediction of energy use patterns, and predicts faults for pre-emptive maintenance. This information will highlight opportunities for more efficient energy use, resulting in cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint.

CSIRO Energy director Karl Rodrigues said the system had significant potential to improve energy intelligence. “The energy domain is experiencing an increased focus in the megatrend ‘digital immersion’, affecting both domestic and commercial energy consumers,” Rodrigues said. “Our research is helping drive the next wave of productivity and efficiency in energy consumption.”

As well as its commercial prospects, Numen has the potential to lower energy use in the built environment, Ecocentric CEO Tim Bray said. “Numen will be a part of Australia’s contribution to a more energy efficient future. There is no waste in nature, that’s a human phenomenon,” he said.