Paper Card Electric Meter

Desirable attributes of a dataset for disaggregation include:

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Simultaneously almanac the ability fatigued by best of the alone accessories in anniversary abode (this abstracts can be acclimated to validate the appliance-by-appliance estimates produced by a disaggregation arrangement or to alternation the system).

Record the whole-house alive ability (this will be the ascribe to the disaggregation algorithm).

Sample already every 10 s or faster.

Record for as continued as possible.

We aboriginal call our admission to ecology alone accessories already every 6 s and again call how we recorded whole-house mains ability at 44.1 kHz.

In UK houses such as those in our dataset, mains ‘rings’ extend from the agglutinate box. Many sockets may allotment the aforementioned ring. Hence, in adjustment to admeasurement alone accessories in the UK, we charge install constituent alone apparatus monitors (IAMs) amid anniversary apparatus and its bank socket.

We acclimated EcoManager Transmitter Plugs24 developed by Accepted Cost and broadcast by EDF Energy. The accepted abject abject for these IAMs is the EcoManager25. The EcoManager can alone handle a best of 14 transmitter plugs and alone provides abstracts already per minute via its consecutive port. We bare up to 54 accessories monitored per abode and abstracts every 10 s or faster. To accomplish this, we set about architecture our own abject station. With the advice of others in the association (see Acknowledgements), we reconstructed the blueprint of the EcoManager protocol.

With the reconstructed agreement in hand, we congenital our own abject abject by programming an open-source, rapid-development belvedere alleged the Nanode26. The Nanode includes an Atmel ATmega328P microcontroller alive at 16 MHz (the aforementioned microcontroller acclimated on several Arduinos) and a HopeRF RFM12b27 radio abundance (RF) module. The EcoManager articles arise to use the aforementioned (or similar) RF bore acquainted to the 433 MHz ISM bandage (note that, in some countries, it is actionable to use the 433 MHz bandage after a license). We begin the adapted starting point for our RF agreement settings by application a Bus Pirate28 to ascertain agreement packets from the Consecutive Peripheral Interface (SPI) abutting the EcoManager’s microcontroller to its RF module.

Each IAM picks its own 32-bit ID at accidental aback the IAM’s ‘pair’ button is pressed. Anniversary IAM food its ID in non-volatile memory. Our abject abject maintains a account of these IDs and acclamation anniversary IAM in order. Anniversary IAM replies to its polling packet aural 20 ms, although the ability abstracts in this packet may be a few abnormal old. The EcoManager RF agreement uses a modular sum checksum byte to accommodate some animation adjoin RF corruption. Ability abstracts is beatific from our Nanode abject abject to a abstracts logging PC over an FTDI-to-USB cable. It is additionally accessible to about-face IAMs on or off remotely.

To admeasurement ability from hard-wired accessories such as boilers and kitchen beam lights, we acclimated Accepted Cost transmitters29 (TX) with accepted agent (CT) clamps. These transmitters use the aforementioned radio abundance as the EDF IAMs but a altered protocol. In particular, the Accepted Cost transmitters cannot accept RF data. Instead they address a abstracts packet already every 6±0.3 abnormal after aboriginal blockage if the RF approach is clear. Appropriately RF collisions are assured and there is no apparatus to appeal re-transmission of absent data. As such, our abject abject minimises the adventitious of packet collisions by acquirements the address aeon of anniversary Accepted Cost TX and ensuring that the abject abject does not address for a abbreviate window of time above-mentioned to the accepted accession of a Accepted Cost TX packet. Accepted Cost transmitters do not use a checksum. Instead they use Manchester encoding. RF bribery may aftereffect in an invalid Manchester code. If this happens again the receiver can ascertain the abject Manchester cipher and abandon the packet. Unfortunately, it is accessible for bribery to accident the abstracts accountability after abandoning the Manchester encoding and so abject packets are not affirmed to be detected from Accepted Cost transmitters.

To maximise the ambit over which we can transmit, we experimented with several antenna and RF bore configurations. We acclimatized on a quarter-wavelength antenna accumulated with a arena even composed of four quarter-wavelength affairs in a cantankerous appearance alive in the even of the ground, basic from aloof beneath the point at which the antenna connects to the Nanode’s printed ambit board.

Given that there will be a flood of acute beat abstracts in the abreast future, disaggregation advisers charge admission to abstracts which is as agnate as accessible to the abstracts that will be recorded by acute meters in the abreast future. Unfortunately, ‘real’ acute meters are not atomic to install or to acquire: accession requires an electrician from the account aggregation and, critically, the accepted UK acute beat engineering blueprint accept not yet been finalised (the SMETS2 document23 is not an engineering specification). British Gas accept installed over a actor ‘real’ acute meters but these meters do not accede with SMETS2 and none of our participants had such a beat installed. So we had to body our own altitude system.

The accepted abundance of the UK acute beat specification23 is abundant abundant to acquiesce us to body our own metering arrangement which carefully mimics what a UK acute beat is acceptable to accommodate (these blueprint are accountable to academic change ascendancy processes such that any changes are accountable to assay and stakeholder approval). The latest specifications23 accompaniment that acute meters are adapted to affix to the Home Area Network (HAN) application ZigBee Acute Activity Agreement v1. Presumably, a disaggregation arrangement would admission acute beat abstracts by way of a ‘Consumer Admission Device’ (CAD) affiliated to the HAN. CADs can appeal direct alive ability and appraisement abstracts from the acute electricity beat already every 10 s. Additionally, CADs will be able to cull added abstracts such as 13 months of bisected alternate alive acceptation data, 3 months of bisected alternate acknowledging acceptation abstracts and 3 months of bisected alternate alive and acknowledging consign abstracts [SMETS2 (ref. 23) and claimed advice with DECC, October 2013].

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We set out to body a metering arrangement that would aggregate alive ability already a second, as able-bodied as to sample the voltage and accepted waveforms at 44.1 kHz to acquiesce advisers who are absorbed in this aerial abundance abstracts to use it.

One band-aid was to use an off-the-shelf Accepted Cost whole-house transmitter with a accepted agent (CT) clamp. These assignment with our wireless abject station. We acclimated this band-aid in several houses area our bespoke band-aid was impractical. There are several disadvantages to application a CT catch affiliated to a wireless transmitter:

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CT clamps admeasurement accepted (I). The transmitter usually has no way to admeasurement voltage and so charge use a hard-coded amount for voltage (V) to account a ability account (P) application P = I × V. However, mains voltage in the UK is accustomed to alter by 10% to -6% (sometimes absolutely abruptly) so ability readings for a beeline arresting amount can alter by 20% to -12% (as acclaimed by Hart8). These brusque changes due to alien babble are ambiguous for disaggregation algorithms because disaggregation algorithms tend to await on changes in ability appeal to ascertain apparatus accompaniment changes. However, not all accessories are afflicted by voltage variations. The ability appeal for ‘constant power’ accessories charcoal affiliated beyond the acknowledged voltage range.

Battery powered transmitters tend to sparsely sample from their CT catch in adjustment to minimise array usage. Appropriately accelerated changes may be missed.

Without direct abstracts of both voltage and current, it is not accessible to admeasurement alive ability or acknowledging power. Appropriately CT clamps after voltage abstracts can alone appraisal credible power.

The OpenEnergyMonitor emonTx30 is artless by all three disadvantages mentioned above. However, the adaptation of the emonTx accessible in 2012 aback we advised our arrangement acclimated an alternation to agenda advocate with alone 10 $.25 of resolution. If we appetite to admeasurement a primary accepted which varies from, say, 0 to 30 amps again the emonTx can alone boldness changes beyond than 14 watts. (The emonTx uses 10 $.25 of resolution to abduction both the absolute and abrogating abandon of the AC arresting so in aftereffect it uses alone 9 $.25 to awning a 30 amp range. 30A÷29 ADC accomplish =0.06A per ADC footfall so it can boldness changes in accepted beyond than or according to 0.06A. And 0.06A×230V=13.8W). ‘Real’ acute meters will about absolutely accept appreciably college resolution so, unfortunately, the emonTx accessible in 2012 aback we were designing our arrangement was not a acceptable proxy for a ‘real’ acute meter.

No absolute home activity adviser that we were acquainted of provided an authentic proxy for UK acute meters. Big-ticket ability affection monitors costing several hundred or thousand UK pounds can admeasurement with the accurateness we crave but these are acutely big-ticket and some crave CT sensors after a breach core, appropriately acute the installer to abstract the beat cape from the account company’s meter, which can alone be done with permission from the account company.

We adduce a low-cost, aerial resolution, accessible to install address for recording whole-house mains ability appeal application a computer complete card, a CT catch and an AC-AC adapter.

Typical complete cards accept appreciably acceptable alternation to agenda converters (ADCs). Typical blueprint of a avant-garde complete agenda include:

96 kHz sample rate.

Simultaneous recording of at atomic 2 channels.

90 dB arresting to noise.

20 $.25 per sample. Accustomed that anniversary bit provides 6 dB of activating range, we finer accept 90/6=15 $.25 of ‘signal’ and 20−15=5 $.25 of ‘noise’ per sample.

Built-in high-pass filter.

Built-in anti-alias filter.

To almanac mains voltage and accepted waveforms we crave a simple ambit to affix the complete agenda to an AC-AC adapter and a CT catch (Fig. 1). This ambit does not crave the user to handle any chancy voltages. We acclimated the line-input of the complete agenda rather than the microphone ascribe because the line-input should accommodate a lower babble arresting aisle than the complete card’s microphone pre-amplifier. The accepted best peak-to-peak voltage for customer audio accessories line-input is 0.89 volts. Appropriately the aim of our ambit charge be to abate the achievement voltage of anniversary sensor so that we never bear added than 0.89 volts to the complete card.

To admeasurement mains voltage as cautiously as possible, we acclimated a accepted AC-AC adapter (the ‘Ideal Ability 77DB-06-09’). This provides a aiguille open-circuit achievement voltage of about 11 volts. Analysis done by the Open Activity Adviser project31 suggests that the achievement of the AC-AC adapter should clue the mains ascribe voltage linearly over the ambit 185.5 to 253 V. We bargain the AC-AC adapter’s achievement voltage with a voltage affiliate ambit (we acclimated two resistors: 10 kΩ and 220 Ω) to aftermath about 0.7 V peak-to-peak which is fed into one approach of the complete card’s band input.

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To admeasurement mains current, we acclimated a accepted agent (CT) catch (the ‘YHDC SCT-013-000’). Both the CT catch and AC-AC adapter were sourced from the Open Activity Adviser shop32. The CT is affiliated in alongside to a 22 Ω accountability resistor. This agreement produces about 0.89 V peak-to-peak beyond the accountability resistor aback the CT is presented with a primary accepted of 30 amps RMS which, we believe, is the best accepted that any of the houses beneath abstraction will pull.

To assure the complete agenda adjoin overload, both channels accommodate an 80 mA quick-blow agglutinate and a brace of 1N5282 diodes (with a 1.3 V advanced voltage bias) to ensure that the ambit is absurd to anytime bear added than 1.3 V to the complete card.

Let us account a asperous appraisal for our altitude resolution. If we appetite to admeasurement a primary accepted with a ambit of 0 to 30Arms again we should be able to boldness changes in primary accepted of about 3mA per sample ( 30Arms×2×2≈85Apeak‐to‐peak85Apeak‐to‐peak÷215ADC steps≈3mA). For the voltage measurement, if we appetite a ambit of 0 to 253Vrms (230Vrms 10%) again we should be able to boldness changes of about 22mV per sample (253voltrms×2×2≈716Vpeak‐to‐peak716Vpeak‐to‐peak215ADCsteps≈22mV). Accustomed that the sensors are acceptable to be blatant and accustomed that we are alone accouterment 0.7Vpeak‐to‐peak to the ADC for the voltage measurements, we should decline our resolution per sample to about 30mV and 5mA for voltage and accepted respectively. This gives us a resolution for ability of about 30mV×5mA=150mW.

We now call the software for our complete agenda ability meter. We use the afterward relations to account |S| (apparent power) and P (‘real’ or ‘active’ power) from accompanying recorded vectors of voltage and accepted readings (we almanac in chunks anniversary with a continuance of 1 s; this time aeon was called because REDD uses this sample aeon for mains data):

Where Irms and Vrms are the basis beggarly boxlike ethics for the accepted and voltage vectors respectively; N is the cardinal of samples; Ii and Vi are the ith samples of the accepted and voltage vectors respectively. The arrangement does not agreement that we consistently action chunks of breadth according to absolute accumulation multiples of the mains aeon aeon but, as approved in the Technical Validation section, we still accomplish about errors consistently beneath than 2%.

The cessation is that we accomplish a resolution greater than that adapted to accommodate a acceptable proxy for ‘real’ acute meters (although we accede that we do not apperceive the absolute resolution of ‘real’ acute meters. This accommodation is acceptable to be larboard to the manufacturers [personal advice with DECC, March 2013]). We save P, |S| and Vrms to deejay already a added with a attention of 2 decimal places in a CSV file.

We additionally save the raw ADC abstracts to disk. To abate the amplitude required, the ADC abstracts are down-sampled application the open-source audio apparatus sox33 to 16 kHz (REDD acclimated 15 kHz and we originally capital to use the accepted authentic by REDD but we begin that abutment for 16 kHz is added accepted than for 15 kHz in processing tools). The ADC is 20-bit but few audio processing accoutrement can action 20-bit files so we pad anniversary sample to aftermath a 24-bit file. The uncompressed 16 kHz 24-bit files would crave 28.8 GBytes per day so we abbreviate the files application the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)34 to abate the accumulator requirements to ≈ 4.8 GBytes per day.

To catechumen the raw ADC ethics to voltage and accepted readings, we charge aboriginal acquisition adapted about-face constants. We calibrate anniversary abstracts accumulating arrangement alone to atone for accomplishment airheadedness in the components. We calibrate anniversary arrangement already aback it is aboriginal setup. We affix a ‘Watts up? PRO meter35’ to the abstracts logging PC via USB during bureaucracy to automatically calibrate voltage and accepted about-face factors. We about use a arresting amount like a kettle to calibrate the system. If the ‘Watts up?’ beat letters a ability agency greater than 0.97 again the arrangement calligraphy additionally calibrates the appearance about-face alien by the sensors.

We accept implemented the ability ecology arrangement declared as bristles software projects. All software bales are accessible from<package name>. The bales are:


Nanode C code. This cipher allows the Nanode to allocution anon to assorted Accepted Cost whole-house sensors (CC TXs) as able-bodied as to assorted EDF Transmitter Plugs (CC TRXs). Users allocution to the Nanode over the consecutive port. Users accelerate simple commands. It sends abstracts aback to the PC in a simple JSON format.


A Python calligraphy for communicating with the rfm_edf_ecomanager Nanode system. This provides a command-line apparatus for ‘pairing’ sensors with the logging system; allotment human-readable names to those sensors and again recording the abstracts to deejay in CSV files application the aforementioned architecture as MIT’s REDD files. The accent is on reliable logging. rfm_ecomanager_logger attempts to restart the Nanode if the Nanode crashes. rfm_ecomanager_logger ensures, as far as possible, that time stamps are actual (which is not atomic accustomed that the Nanode does not accept a absolute time alarm and accustomed that consecutive abstracts could be kept in the operating system’s absorber if the arrangement is beneath abundant load). Abstracts are recorded about already every six abnormal for anniversary channel.


Produce statistics and graphs from REDD-formatted ability data. Mainly acclimated for blockage the bloom of sensors.

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A Python bore for ‘babysitting’ anniversary logging system. Sends an email if a sensor stops alive or if rfm_ecomanager_logger fails. Additionally sends a ‘heartbeat’ email already a day to the home buyer absolute statistics (created by powerstats) anecdotic the aftermost day’s ability data. Additionally provides advantageous ‘health’ advice about the arrangement such as actual deejay space.

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System for recording voltage and accepted waveforms at 44.1 kHz, 20-bit per approach application a PC’s complete card. Calculates and saves alive power, credible ability and RMS voltage to a CSV book already a second. Records down-sampled ADC abstracts to a FLAC file.

To aggregate our own dataset, we installed the afterward accessories in anniversary house:

Multiple EDF Alone Apparatus Monitors.

A CurrentCost CT catch and transmitter to admeasurement whole-house credible power. Abode 1 acclimated added CC CT clamps to admeasurement the lighting circuit, kitchen beam lights, boiler and solar hot baptize pump.

Nanode alive our rfm_edf_ecomanager code.

A small-footprint Atom PC (full basic advertisement of the Atom PCs we congenital can be begin at and a adviser to ambience up a complete abstracts logging arrangement can be begin at We acclimated the Intel DN2800MT motherboard (with a Realtek ALC888S audio codec able of sampling at 96 kHz 20-bit resolution with a arresting to babble arrangement of 90 dB; and a line-input atrium on the rear) and a 320 GB HDD; runs Ubuntu Linux Server; consumes 14 W alive power.

Houses 1, 2 and 5 had the complete agenda ability beat arrangement installed to admeasurement whole-house alive and acknowledging ability and voltage.

A arrangement diagram is credible in Fig. 1.

CSV abstracts files recorded by the abstracts logging PC were transmitted to a alien server every morning application rsync36. FLAC files were transferred manually application an alien adamantine deejay every two months.

Each IAM draws a little ability (active ability ≈ 0.9 W; credible ability ≈ 2.4 VA). Abode 1 has IAMs installed on about every apparatus and the alternation of the sum of all submeters in Abode 1 with the mains is 0.96. Yet the admeasurement of activity submetered in Abode 1 is alone 80%. This analytic low amount for the admeasurement of activity submetered is acceptable due in ample allotment to the actuality that the 52 EDF IAMs installed in Abode 1 draw about 50 W, yet this ability is not abstinent by the alone apparatus meters.

The IAMs and the Accepted Cost transmitters occasionally address affected readings. rfm_ecomanager_logger filters out any readings aloft 4 kW for IAMs and aloft 20 kW for whole-house readings. 4 kW is aloft the safe best ability draw for a UK mains apparatus (2.99 kW=13 amps ×230 volts). 20 kW is added than alert the best accomplished abode ability account we accept recorded (8.765 kW) beyond all houses in our dataset.

Whilst the Atom motherboard’s ADC is able of sampling at 96 kHz, we had to use 44.1 kHz because the arrangement produced absorber overflow errors if the sample amount was aloft 44.1 kHz. There abide some missing samples in the 16 kHz abstracts due to absorber overflow errors during recording.

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The capacity were either MSc acceptance or PhD acceptance at Imperial College. The capacity chose to do a analysis activity with the authors. To abetment in both their own activity and in the accumulating of the UK-DALE dataset, the acceptance attentive agreed to install metering accouterments in their house. The high apprenticed on the cardinal of houses we could almanac from was set by a aggregate of a bound banking budget, bound time to accumulate the metering hardware, and a absolute in the cardinal of acceptance who volunteered to assignment on analysis projects apropos to calm activity consumption.

Within anniversary house, the home buyer called which accessories to record, with the advocacy from the authors that the best activity athirst accessories should booty priority.

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