With the advent of Smart Metering to be introduced throughout the UK, Production Designs and Taiwan based partners ARW Engineering developed the U-Scope Energy Management system on behalf of clients Irridian UK Ltd intended for UK domestic homes.
The project consisted of design and development of a home energy management system addressing users need to control home energy consumption costs, avoiding utility billing issues and improving utility switching to attain lower tariffs.
The aim of the project was to produce a low cost state of the art monitoring system specifically designed for the non-technical. Cost and size were key concerns to make this a successful development.
In comparison with existing clip-on devices, the U-Scope system is a fiscal system attaining MID approval and offers a high level of measurement accuracy.
To complete the system, environmental monitors are developed to measure the living conditions and to provide warnings where wasteful conditions are encountered.
The system fully complies with various smart metering and carbon reduction legislation.
The core of the system is the smart meter, which is a single phase electricity meter incorporating a local home area network wireless system to connect the various monitoring and control elements and an external communications system using GSM/GPRS automatically linking the home to the utility supplier. The meter is a very compact low cost unit and provides token-less prepayment and credit modes.
The system will read electricity, gas, fuel oil and water consumption.
The user interface consists of a compact 4.3” display running a full colour touch screen LCD. The display provides accurate real time costs for the homes entire energy use, displaying energy consumption in real costs and a series of graphs depicting use profiles and predicting the next utility bill.
The system also provides the means to make secure payments of energy bills through the message and payment centres.
The 8” display features home care functions and medical monitoring for the elderly and those in poor health. Automated responses are generated where the occupants normal energy use or living patterns change. This unit includes WiFi wireless connection compatible for use with a PC
To complete the home monitoring, a range of wireless monitors are available.
These include external and internal room temperatures to ensure the room is maintained at a correct level for its use and warns of wasteful heating or inadequate temperatures and lighting.
Door and window sensors to warn about room heat loss and to supplement security.
Appliance monitors for high load appliances such as washers, tumble dryers, dishwashers and fan heaters provide specific consumption data and include remote control of the appliance.
Lighting control, smoke and carbon monoxide alerts and connection to home PC’s via add-on modules are available.
The display program entails extensive graphic design of a simple user interface to convey energy use in a concise and understandable manner.
Extensive research and user reporting helped develop one of the most comprehensive management tools available. The user can compare their consumption with similar households, predict their next bill and make secure payments on the terminal.