Beside the advances in the electric power grid, we presently observe the emergence of electric vehicles, increased utilisation of renewables, and a rising energy awareness in households. In the near future, Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) will play an important role to improve energy efficiency, provide reliability, and reinforce energy conservation. HEMS will provide feedback, support autonomous responsive demand, and be able to interact with cyber-physical energy systems. The group of Professor Elmenreich investigates in the research domain of HEMS. In particular, the group focuses on effective feedback solutions and the integration of legacy appliances.
Energy management systems can help to decrease energy consumption by giving user feedback or by directly controlling devices. Smart appliances create a network of devices that can be addressed and controlled via a defined network interface. However, most contemporary households contain mostly legacy devices. These devices don’t integrate a network interface and, therefore, need to be included into the management system. To overcome this issue, the researchers propose an open architecture to integrate smart and non-smart devices by using smart plugs and non-intrusive load monitoring methods. “Devices are connected either as smart appliances via wireless network, legacy devices connected to a smart plug, or other legacy devices being detected from a time sequence of power consumption values, which are disaggregated into the power draws of different devices, ” states Professor Elmenreich.