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Zigbee-powered meter plug reads electrical usage

Posted: 20 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Zigbee? meter plug? data logger?

Energy Optimizers Ltd has developed a Zigbee "plogg" device, which is a combination smart meter plug and data logger. It stores the measured electricity data and wirelessly communicates the information to a PC, cellphone or building management system anywhere in the world via the Internet.

Zigbee uses the IEEE 802.15.4-2003 wireless standard and is a low-cost, low-power wireless control and monitoring technology. The plogg can be attached to any electrical appliance or device that uses a standard U.K. 13A or European 16A plug. A plogg for the North American market is under evaluation.

Plogg meters support a range of other wireless-based energy saving devices as well, such as temperature and light level sensors, allowing enterprises to automate functions that consume more electricity than necessary.

According to recent research from the British government and the Carbon Trust, people can reduce as much as 15 percent of the electricity they use by employing smart meters to manage energy demands.

The plogg combines Ember's Zigbee-based SoC transceiver and wireless mesh networking software on a Telegesis module. The plogg can act as an end device, a router or Zigbee coordinator. A network of ploggs can monitor a home or entire building.

In addition to measuring power consumption, the plogg's real-time clock function allows time-of-use metering information for multi-rate applications. Data logging intervals can be set from one minute to one month. The meter samples voltage and current signals 50 times per AC cycle, at a sampling rate of 2520Hz.

- Terry Sweeney
InformationWeek





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