Stick-on Electricity Meter
About This Technology
Technology Marketing Summary
Lorek, M. C., Chraim, F., Pister, K. S. J., Lanzisera, S. “COTS-based stick-on electricity meters for building submetering,” IEEE Sensors Journal, Vol. 14, No. 10, October 2014. (3,997 KB)
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.
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.
Applications and Industries
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
Branch circuit-level submetering
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|IB-3165||Prototype - 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.||Available||12/16/2014||12/16/2014|