CSIRO and Ecocentric partner on electrical fingerprinting technology


By Sustainability Matters Staff
Thursday, 16 February, 2017


Paul lyons ecocentric photo

Ecocentric has finalised a licensing and research agreement with CSIRO, enabling the start-up company to further develop a system that recognises the electrical ‘fingerprint’ of individual appliances to increase energy efficiency.

Ecocentric is the developer of the Numen energy system, which uses cloud-based technology and CSIRO algorithms to monitor energy consumption in real time. The product brings together a building’s total energy signal, identifies the appliances present, then separates out appliance-specific consumption data on how much energy the appliance is using.

While conventional smart meter systems record low-resolution total energy use, CSIRO’s ‘cognitive metering’ 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.

The Numen system will allow automatic identification of metered electrical devices, better understanding and prediction of energy use patterns, and fault prediction for pre-emptive maintenance. This information will highlight opportunities for more efficient energy use, resulting in cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint.

“Existing metering-based technologies are designed to support billing, and while some are smarter than others, fundamentally that is their role,” said Ecocentric founder Paul Lyons.

“Numen has been designed from the ground up for a different purpose — to support end users to become as efficient in using energy as possible. With Numen, the ability to become a net zero user of energy is now real.”

Under the new agreement, Ecocentric will obtain a licence from CSIRO to the cognitive metering technology and work with the organisation for a period of six years to further refine Numen. The system is already attracting strong commercial interest from a range of companies, including energy retailers, large-scale mining and waste management organisations, both in Australia and overseas.

Image caption: CSIRO’s Sam West and Ecocentric’s Paul Lyons with the Numen energy efficiency device.

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