Oscar Barrios
, Roberto Castán
Juan Mercado
, J. Martín Gómez
and Myrna Franco
Mabe TyP,Acceso B # 406 Zona Industrial Jurica, Querétaro, Querétaro, México
Control, Electronic and Communications Department, Electrical Research Institute, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México
Keywords: Home Energy Management Systems, Efficient Energy Use, Smart Appliances, Smart Meters, In-Home
Abstract: This article describes a home energy management system that estimates household electricity consumption
and costs. The system permits to build a home energy management system by connecting wirelessly smart
appliances and smart meters. The system carries out electric measurement consumption, which enables to
control the operation of smart appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, electric stoves and other
white goods. The system is based on an electronic module capable to communicate with the smart
appliances integrated in the system, in order to obtain their consumption and control their operation
according to the total household energy demand. Additionally, this module is capable to communicate with
an electronic energy meter that supports two-ways communication (electrical utility and consumer) for the
purpose of obtaining information regarding the total consumption, and receiving commands and
notifications from the electricity supplier.
Efficient energy management plays an important role
to lower the energy consumption, helping to close the
gap between supply and demand of electricity;
consequently, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Under smart grid schemes, communication is an
essential process that allows the transfer of
information between the utility company and the end
users, and to achieve this, electronics devices as
smart meters are fundamental parts of the process.
Figure 1 illustrates a typical pattern of electricity
supply in the context of smart grids, where the
power originates at power plants and passes through
the transmission and distribution to residential
electrical installation of the end user and final
consumption in electrical and electronic equipment.
Electricity supplier quantifies the users consumption
via smart meters, which are devices with advanced
metering capabilities (energy received and
delivered) and two-way communication that provide
information related, mainly, to the generation,
transmission, distribution and consumption.
This information is intended to help improve the
efficiency, reliability, availability and security of
electricity supply and efficient use of electricity.
Figure 1: Simplified diagram of the operating environment
of smart appliances in the context of smart grids.
Some studies indicate that 70% of global
electricity consumption is distributed as follows:
industry (31%), data management centers (2%),
buildings (18%), transportation (28%) and homes
(21%) (
EERE, 2006).
In the residential sector, electricity is consumed
mainly by lighting devices, HVAC (Heat Ventilation
Barrios O., Castán R., Mercado J., Gómez J. and Franco M..
DOI: 10.5220/0003954802150220
In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Smart Grids and Green IT Systems (SMARTGREENS-2012), pages 215-220
ISBN: 978-989-8565-09-9
2012 SCITEPRESS (Science and Technology Publications, Lda.)
and Air Conditioned) and appliances. According to
EERE (Energy Efficency and Renewable Energy)
data, energy consumed by appliances represent
approximately 17% of total energy consumption in
the home. Refrigerators, washing machines, clothes
dryers and electric stoves top the list of consumption
as shown in figure 2 (
U.S. Dept. of Energy).
Figure 2: Typical amount of energy consumed annually by
household appliances.
Home appliances are electromechanical
machines commonly used to perform tasks for the
home maintenance; these apparatus are classified by
their color, although that is not a rule. Black or gray
appliances are usually dedicated to the entertainment
(TV, DVD, tape recorder, radio, etc.) and white
appliances are linked to cleaning tasks and food
treatment related functions. Several global studies
show that the appliances contribute with a high
percentage of the total home energy consumption.
Appliances are subject to transformations
originated by technologic innovations resulting in
new devices with more advance functions than
traditional appliances. These new devices contribute
to life quality improvement, giving solutions that
cover some of the domestic needs as comfort
increase, safety and energy saving.
Currently, these devices are provided with
advanced functions such as: communication with
other devices, remote control and monitoring
operation, automatic start and stop operation, among
others. By the above, appliances with these
characteristics are called "smart appliances".
Efficient energy use is a very topical issue for the
international community interested in promoting the
implementation of energy saving concepts originated
by the urgent need to reduce carbon dioxide
emissions in the atmosphere. Energy efficiency
refers to the optimization of energy consumption to
reduce energy usage without reducing the quality of
services with the least possible impact on the
environment. Operating costs of the appliance are
paid regularly by the user in energy bills throughout
its lifetime. In this context, it is important that the
end user implements a plan for energy efficiency at
home in order to make a rational and efficient use of
energy, it implies the generation of an energy saving
culture; equally important are the technological
capabilities of the appliances that are used at home,
to make easier the implementation of these actions
by changing present consumption habits.
Smart appliances incorporate technologies friendly
with the environment and the mechanisms to save
energy that promote energy efficiency and
incorporate communications capabilities that allow
the exchange of information with other electronic
devices inside the home and with external systems.
Communication with the first ones allows giving
structure to intelligent control systems inside the
home, and communication with the second ones,
permits the remote programming of the operating
modes of the smart appliances, the monitoring of its
states of operation and the measurement of the
energy consumption either individual or collective.
Communication with external devices, in
particular with the utility company, allows the smart
appliance the opportunity to exchange information
related to energy use, the control of peak demand,
control of emergency on the electrical system, inside
and outside the home (voltage variations and power
outages), and in general can contribute to the
implementation of ways to promote the active
management on the demand side.
The trend in the design of smart appliances is
oriented to integrate electronic devices that allow
continuous monitoring of energy consumption and
some parameters of the grid. The voltage, current or
frequency of the line, are examples of such
monitoring making it possible to detect the most
common problems in electricity supply. The system
acts accordingly, for example, inhibiting some of its
functions until the power supply stabilizes again.
This action helps extend the life of the appliance by
not subjecting it to extreme operating conditions and
helps to oversee the operation of the electrical grid,
benefiting the user and the supplier of electric
Another trend is directed to the registration of
individual consumption of each smart appliance to
transfer it to the Energy Management Systems
(EMS). The record of electricity consumption can be
done in two alternative ways: 1) applying algorithms
for analysis of power signals or, 2) calculating the
energy consumed from measurements of voltage and
current signals. Current electronics measuring
technologies are in favor of the latter method.
The EMS refers to a computer system which is
designed specifically for the automated control and
monitoring of the heating, ventilation and lighting
needs of a home, a building or group of buildings
such as university campuses, office buildings or
factories. Most of these energy management systems
also provide facilities for the reading of electricity,
gas and water meters.
Energy Management Systems are classified
according to their application into three main
groups, Home Energy Management Systems
(HEMS), Building Energy Management Systems
(BEMS) and Factory Energy Management Systems
Home Energy Management Systems consist in
applications that provide information about
electricity consumption into a home and its cost in
real time o in defined time intervals. These systems
also include functions that enabled the consumer
increase efficiency in electricity consumption, as
well as reduce the energy usage by basing on local
information (neighborhood) or demographic
(particular area of a city).
These systems may include some specific
hardware to enable the information exchange and/or
the appliances control, thermal switches and other
devices in the house that are powered with
electricity. Functions like energy micro generation
management, energy storage and smart charge may
also be included. Applications for the electricity
supplier include de Demand Response DR and
energy efficiency programs.
The HEMS usually include a home device to
deploy information called In-Home Display or IHD,
which is designed to operate as a human machine
interface inside the home. The IHD generally
presents information related to energy consumption,
electricity rates, and alarms of operating states of
system elements. It integrates functions of data
deployment, communication and remote control of
electrical loads and lighting devices. It also
integrates standardized communication interfaces
with the intelligent power meter to exchange
information with it or with systems outside of the
home through the electricity smart meter.
The Home Energy Management system presented in
this paper were developed in order to obtain the
adequate technology to be incorporated in new
appliances, so the development consisted in design
the hardware and firmware required; also carry out
laboratory test under controlled environment of the
Electronics modules with advanced capabilities
as electric parameters measurement (voltage, current
and energy), communications and appliance
operation control were designed and manufactured
as part of development. These modules were
incorporated inside appliances equipped with
electronic controls, in order to convert them in
“smart appliances”.
According to an evaluation of actual
technologies applied in this theme, the method
selected to manage energy consumption within the
home in this system, is based on measuring and
recording the electrical parameters in each of the
apparatus, in order to find how each appliance
contributes to total home consumption and thus
manage efficiently use of energy.
Likewise, other device was designed and
developed to control and link with the modules
mentioned above, this device is known as “In-Home
Display”. This device has capabilities to
communicate with each “smart appliances” in order
to obtain information about their energy
consumption and status, as well as send commands
to start or stop their operation.
By the above, the Home Energy Management
system was composed of “smart appliances” as
washing machines, refrigerators and electric stoves,
as well as devices similar to AC power plugs with
capacity to measure and register electric
consumption of no-smart appliances (TV, micro-
oven, etcetera), an In-Home Display and a smart
The energy management system presented is set
according to the scheme shown in Figure 3 and is
comprised of the following devices and equipment:
smart appliances, an In-Home Display, smart power
outlet contact with measurement capability and
remote control, and a HMI (Human Interface
machine) running in personal computer and a smart
meter. The management system has the ability to
communicate with smart electronic meter to monitor
global household consumption and transfer
information related to consumption, energy use and
electrical parameters of the electric utility, if this
function is available.
Figure 3: Home Energy Management System Scheme.
To communicate the In-Home Display with the
smart appliances, the smart power outlet and smart
meter, a Home Area Network (HAN) was
implemented using two technologies wireless
(protocol ZigBee) and the power line of the home
(PLC in low voltage).
The In-Home Display is one of the central
elements of the management system, integrates
storage and display of data, communication,
monitoring and control of all electronic and
electrical devices in the system. It has the hardware
and software interfaces to communicate with the
smart meter, and get from it the total household
consumption to show it to the user when required. It
can also link with the control center of the electric
utility through the smart meter (F. Casellas, 2010)
and its Advanced Metering Infrastructure system
(AMI) (Nancy Brockway, 2008) as illustrated in
figure 4.
The appliances or electrical loads such as
microwave ovens, televisions, computers, among
other that have no advanced functions such as
communication, measurement or control have been
called "non-smart appliances". For these was
developed a smart outlet contact with measurement
and reporting capabilities, which connect these
devices to measure and record their consumption
and thus integrate them to the power management
With the information obtained from the
appliances and the smart meter, the management
system via the In-Home Display presents to the user
information related to the total electricity
consumption pattern of the home and the
contribution of each appliance. These data allow the
user to know the consumption of their electrical
charges and what devices consume the most, in
order to make decisions on appropriate use, for
example in times of lower demand or lower price of
electricity. This in order to foster a culture of energy
Figure 4: HEM system operating environment.
Residential users of electrical service can
manage the energy consumption information
provided by the system manually, scheduling the
operation and use of appliances at times of lower
demand or lower electricity prices.
If the power company has its electrical
infrastructure operating in the smart grid concept
and considers the implementation of programs for
Demand Response, the system of home energy
management described has the ability to receive
commands from the offices of the utility to stop,
postpone or schedule the operation of some
appliances and thereby help control the demand
curve, diminishing during peak hours and
incrementing the rest of the day via the remote
control the home electrical loads.
The energy management system includes a
software tool that lets you check the consumption
information stored in the In-Home Display. This
software runs on a laptop that connects to the USB
port of the In-Home Display. With this tool the
consumer can create your own consumption record
for future reference or analysis in order to minimize
your energy consumption.
4.1 System Implementation and
Laboratory Test
As previously mentioned, the Home Energy
Management System consists of the following
A module In-Home Display.
Appliances as washer machine, refrigerator and
electric stove, each one equipped with an
electronic module to convert it in “smart
appliances” (M1).
A smart power outlet (M3) for measure
consumption and control of no-smart appliances.
A HMI to monitor the management system for
the user, executable on a computer and interface
to the In-Home Display.
A smart meter with two-way communication
With these elements two systems were
implemented in laboratory in order to test the
functionality and validate data obtained from each
appliance. Also compare the information related to
energy consumption provide by the smart meter and
the appliances.
A communication network to intercommunicate
the elements of the management systems will be
held in each one using two different media; first one
based on the Zigbee wireless communication
protocol and second one using the electric grid as a
means of communication with power line
communication, PLC as shown in figures 5 and 6.
The laboratory tests consisted in evaluates
electric parameters measurement, the
communication between each element (ZigBee and
PLC), control the appliances operation remotely and
carry out an energy balance between the meter and
the appliances.
Figure 5: ZigBee communications network.
4.2 Test Results
To validate the measurement and register of voltage,
current and energy in the appliances, several data
were obtained from the electronic modules installed
inside the appliances and were compared with reads
obtained from a voltmeter, an ampere meter and a
watt-hour meter. The results were the expected due
to the accuracy calculated was lower 1%, as was
Control and status commands have been defined
previously to control and monitoring the appliances,
hence to validate them, some commands were sent
to the appliances from the In-Home Display. The
results obtained were successful.
With respect the communications, both
technologies ZigBee and PLC were tested, thus
obtaining correct results.
Figure 6: PLC communications network.
Should be noted that to evaluate in a more
comprehensive, test field must be applied to the
Energy Management System describe in this paper.
A HEMS is a tool for consumers in residential
sectors that provide the ability to control their
energy consumption. It can also help reducing the
energy demand and therefore the amount of
resources to generate it, thus reducing emissions of
pollutants to the environment created from the
power plants.
Key elements of the HEMS are the smart
appliances. In this work, it has been mentioned the
main features and benefits to end-user in aspects
such as comfort, safety, energy saving and energy
Smart appliances integrate cutting-edge
electronic modules that allow them to perform
functions such as measurement, control and
communication, through which they can
continuously monitor their energy consumption in
order to generate information with which the user
can make decisions on a more dynamic and efficient
use of energy. The benefit of savings is achieved in
the household economy as well as that of the
electrical infrastructure of the company supplying
the service, and better yet, the benefit of the
The measurement functions of electrical
parameters of smart appliances, enable real-time
information of the voltage variations on power
supply network and thus contribute to electronics
appliance to carry out preventive control actions
such as blocking the firing of certain functions that
may jeopardize the integrity of the user or the
machine itself, or in extreme cases can disconnect
the appliance from the network until the conditions
of supply of the service is fully restored.
The communication functions are of great
importance for the smart appliance, which allows
communicating remotely with the In Home Display
to read some data or to control the operational status
of equipment, knowing information consumption
and energy costs, to get alarms in case of operational
disturbances or appliances failures or at the electrical
grid. It also serves to allow remote programming of
the operating modes of the appliance.
The management system of electricity being
reported is prepared to transfer information from
smart appliances to systems outside of the home
through the In Home Display. For example, data can
be transferred to the utility’s control center through
the AMI communication network of the smart grid,
sending and receiving messages such as scheduled
outages, billing notifications, warnings of low or
high voltage grid, and so on. This ability to
communicate outside of energy management system
also enables the implementation of active control
concepts on the demand side.
Results obtained in laboratory test indicated that
the information recorded by each appliance, could
be helpful for the consumer to save energy and
money, as they will know which appliance
consumes more energy at home.
With respect to future works, the next stage is
test the system in a real environment, i.e. install
multiple systems in homes to assess their behavior,
so as to verify if it helps to reduce consumption in a
home. For that, a pilot project will carry out.
The authors wish to thank the CONACYT for their
financial support for this project.
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