New Measurement System Can Help Navy Conserve Energy

By: Julianne Simpson, SIGNAL Magazine

“Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT), with support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), have developed a portable measurement system to precisely and inexpensively monitor the amount the electricity used by individual household appliances, lighting fixtures and electronic devices.

The system was developed by MIT professor Dr. Steven Leeb and one of his graduate students, Dr. John Donnal, a former U.S. Army captain. Five postage stamp-sized sensors are placed above or near power lines coming into a house and are designed to be self-calibrating—enabling them to automatically pinpoint the strongest electrical signals.

The system can distinguish between each type of light, appliance and device based on unique signatures; which ones turn on and off; and how often and at what times. Users can then view the real-time data on an app and focus on specific time segments—revealing when, for example, a refrigerator goes into its defrost cycle.”

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