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Stick-on Electricity Meter

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a sensor mounted by adhesive to the external face of a circuit breaker that replaces current and voltage sensors installed in circuit breaker panels to provide building submetering. The Stick-on Electricity Meter (SEM) generates current and voltage signals at a set sample rate to enable computation of real and apparent power and to capture harmonics created by non-linear loads. It uses low-voltage cabling and requires no conduit or special enclosures.

Description

Specifically, as current flows through an electrical conductor, the device measures current by sensing the electromagnetic field near the electrical conductor and then reporting a voltage proportional to the electromagnetic field’s strength. Calibration of the device is achieved electronically through an array of sensors installed on the metered breaker.

Berkeley Lab’s SEM replaces bulky transformers and in-panel hardware that have been used for building submetering. The SEM does not require installation by an electrician and, therefore, is estimated to cost 10 times less than traditional submetering. Earlier versions of non-contact-based circuit breaker metering required a custom MEMS fabrication process. The Berkeley Lab SEM can be assembled easily at an anticipated cost of $20 to $25  per device once commercialized.

Benefits
  • Non-contact sensing: installed without shutting down panel power or opening panel
  • Interference mitigation uses sensors installed only on the breaker of interest
  • Significant reductions in the installed cost of electricity submetering
  • Low-cost components
Applications and Industries
  • Branch circuit-level submetering
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IB-3165Prototype - Bench scale prototype of hardware showing field measurement. Prototype hardware and software that combines hardware with offline signal processing and simulated magnitude correction showed measurement errors below the 10% level. Experimental results from laboratory testing and a residential installation are included in the publication linked below. Testing to optimize performance is ongoing.Available12/16/201412/16/2014

Contact LBL About This Technology

To: Shanshan Li<ipo@lbl.gov>