Device helps reduce monthly home electricity bill

Newly developed system tells you how much electricity every plug in your house uses.

By ALONA VOLINSKY/NO CAMELS
July 27, 2011 12:58
2 minute read.
electricity plug

electricity plug. (photo credit: Rennett Stowe)

 
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Alona Volinsky writes for No Camels.

It doesn’t matter which country you live in, the price of electricity is high. So let’s say you want to reduce the monthly electricity bill for your home, or your office — how do you know where to start? Does a fridge consume more electricity than a dishwasher? A dishwasher more than a television? Does it cost anything to leave a device plugged in overnight?

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These are all questions most of us don’t know the answer to, because our electricity bills don’t break down electricity consumption for the various devices.

That is why Dr. David Almagor, co-founder of Panoramic Power, says he has created a mechanism whereby it is possible to measure the consumption of electricity from each and every plug or switch inside a building.

Almagor explains: “Today, when a company or a private consumer gets their electricity bill, they just see the final sum. There is no way for them to measure the segmentation of energy. When people get a telephone or water bill, they can know exactly how they got to the final sum. The lack of detailed description in electricity bills leads to unnecessary waste of expensive energy.”

Panoramic Power's system, still in its pilot stage, is relatively cheap, simple to install and does not interrupt routine activity inside the building, according to Almagor. “The purpose of this detailed data is to diminish wasted energy usage and expenses, to optimize and regulate operations, and to maintain responsible environmental citizenship,” Almagor told NoCamels.

The company developed a computer-based system which relies on cheap wireless sensors monitoring the electricity consumption inside commercial or private buildings. The system is able to recognize the exact consumption of every electrical device separately. Panoramic Power’s system constantly keeps track of the energy consumption and sends reports and warnings about over-usage and possible dangers, such as fire or electric faults, via text message. The system’s inventors says they hope to enable reduction of up to 20 percent electricity.

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“In times when most of the resources are invested in developing solar systems for producing energy, we tend to forget that it is cheaper and simpler to economize the energy we have, instead of always trying to produce a new one,” said Almagor.

Panoramic Power’s system requires installation of sensors that have to be connected to a wire inside each automatic plug. Once connected, they measure the electric flow and transmit the information to a central server. The central server works on a cloud system, collecting the information and analyzing it through a special computer program. The program then prepares live reports based on the collected information and sends them through the web to all client. The reports also include suggestions for reducing the usage of electricity.

Currently the system is being tested in several companies in Israel and the United States--the number of installations is expected to grow significantly in the coming year.

Panomoramic Power grew from a partnership between Adi Shamir, a physicist with over 12 years of experience in the high-tech industry high tech executive Almagor , also a high-tech executive with over 25 years experience in managing complex R&Ds.

In November 2009 Panoramic Power was awarded 1st place in the Qualcomm Ventures QPrize™ business plan competition. In November 2010 Panoramic Power won the IBM Israel Smartcamp startup competition. Investors in Panomoramic Power include Israel Electric corporation, Qualcomm Ventures, Israel CleanTech Ventures and Clal Energy.

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