A Self-calibrating Approach to Whole-home Contactless Power Consumption Sensing

Md Tanvir Islam Aumi, Sidhant Gupta, Cameron Pickett, Matt Reynolds, Shwetak Patel
The sensor unit consists of four magnetic pickup sensors surrounded by some permanent magnets.


In this paper, we present a significant improvement over past work on non-contact end-user deployable sensor for real time whole home power consumption. The technique allows users to place a single device consisting of magnetic pickups on the outside of a power or breaker panel to infer whole home power consumption without the need for professional installation of current transformers (CTs). The new approach does not require precise placement on the breaker panel, a key requirement in previous approaches. This is enabled through a self-calibration technique using a neural network that dynamically learns the transfer function despite the placement of the sensor and the construction of the breaker panel itself. We also demonstrate the ability to actually infer true power using this technique, unlike past solutions that have only been able to capture apparent power. We have evaluated our technique in six homes and one industrial building, including one seven-day deployment. Our results show we can estimate true power consumption with an average accuracy of 95.0% during naturalistic energy use in the home.