And the team is now supplying nearly 1.5MWh per year of free ‘Green electricity’ to the University, helping to reduce its carbon footprint.
The team, based within the Electronic Systems Design Centre, implemented their prototype Smart Meter to highlight the potential of electricity metering technologies in the near future.
The Smart Meter is to be the focal point for a consumer’s personal energy queries. It monitors their energy consumption, giving information not just through a traditional power reading, but in a user-friendly way by displaying animated graphics of money on a large clear screen on the meter.
It also goes one step further than most other potential Smart Meters in that it monitors individual power circuits in the home, including upstairs lighting, downstairs lighting and kitchen sockets.
The team believes there is also the possibility to monitor individual appliances when the technology is adopted further.
The presentation of consumption information is complemented by the ability to show power generated from micro-renewable technologies in a ‘plug and play’ manner, similar to the wind turbine currently commercially available, and generic solar panels.
This is an effort to provide a simple, easy to set up method for people with no expertise in Power Electronics.
The Smart Meter is linked to a number of solar panels on the roof of the University’s Engineering building through a power converter.
The power delivered from the solar panels is monitored within the meter to allow the ‘Green energy’ produced to be reviewed in an easy to understand way.
This allows clear indications whether the renewable technology has been a beneficial purchase and the likely financial performance from the initial investment.
The meter also has communication abilities, allowing the readings of power consumption and generation to be instantly available to the supplier and to the consumer via web pages, wireless in-home displays, or potentially even a television channel.
Richard Lewis, a leading researcher on the Swansea Smart Meter team, said: “The time for complacency is over! Swansea University, through its team and initiatives, is leading the effort in making energy awareness a top priority and is working to provide the tools to do it.
“We are currently looking to create a fully functional prototype from the current demonstration unit and plan to begin residential trials within the next 18 months.”
Interest in Smart Metering technologies has been sparked by a number of television commercials highlighting the availability of Smart Meters to business, but the residential sector still has some way to go.
Small scale trials are still underway and the adoption of Smart Metering in the residential sector could be a few years away.
The Swansea team are looking to be the UK pioneers, by offering metering technologies to those who wish to be early adopters.
Dr Petar Igic, who is leading the Energy and Power Electronics research within the University’s School of Engineering, said: “The project is one of a number of Welsh Assembly Government Knowledge Exploitation Fund research projects being undertaken in Wales and facilitated by the Welsh Energy Research Centre (WERC) to ensure Wales is at the forefront of current energy technologies.
“Smart Electricity Metering is a key part of the Energy Efficiency research theme, since making more efficient and more responsible use of the electric power generated is as important as finding renewable energy sources.”
Mark Durdin, Energy and Environmental Engineer in Estates Services at Swansea University, added: “This is an important development in metering. Each one of us needs to do our bit to reduce consumption and costs, but we can only do this if we know what is consuming the energy.”
Bethan Evans | alfa
Energy hybrid: Battery meets super capacitor
01.12.2016 | Technische Universität Graz
Tailor-Made Membranes for the Environment
30.11.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy