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Edward Arens, Paul Wright, P.I.'s
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The overarching goal is to identify technology that will enable domestic electricity users to make more efficient use of electric power. Elements will include inexpensive wireless revenue metering, plus electricity use and thermal/humidity monitoring and control inside houses based on knowledge of present and short-range future weather predictions and electric power prices. The term "demand response" (DR) refers to the ability of electricity users to respond automatically to time- and location-dependent price and contingency signals to reduce/shift loads.

This project, sponsored by the California Energy Commission, grew out of the well-publicized electric power supply problems and consequent high energy costs experienced by California consumers, and by the appearance of new technologies that can be applied in sensing, control and communications. The multi-participant project is based at U. C. Berkeley because the campus houses several research organizations that can contribute: BSAC (sensors, Smart Dust), Berkeley Wireless Research Center (wireless low-power communications including some MEMS components), Computer Science Division (TinyOS and related software), Mechanical Engineering (scavenging ambient energy to power sensors and their communication networks) and the Center for the Built Environment in the Architecture Department (see illustration below).

BSAC Project Components

The sensing tasks include passive proximity sensing of AC voltage and current, and wireless reporting of the sensed values for both revenue metering and for control purposes within an individual dwelling. Transformerless compact means for powering Smart Dust or other wireless sensor platforms from the AC line, wireless control of AC power outlets, the use of MEMS in passive proximity AC current sensing, and the use of MEMS for direct A/D conversion of sensor outputs at radio frequencies are additional components of the BSAC work.
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Electric Power Sensing for Demand Response

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