Smart Home Energy Management System (SHEMS) is a Platform that consists of devices and services aimed at achieving energy savings while ensuring user comfort. The devices of this platform are connected to either a central service located in the cloud or on the edge. It enables energy and cost savings through various methods like remote controlling, load scheduling, demand response actions and occupancy based optimization.
This platform is designed to facilitate Utilities and VPP operators gain access to real-time information about consumption and generation from individual households and commercial establishments. This information can help take necessary actions to optimize energy consumption to the end users and save operating costs to the Utilities during peak demand. This platform is based on the “Energy Star SHEMS version 1.0” specification released by EPA and supports VPP operators and Utilities in their demand management programs.
Key Features of SHEMS
Plug load management
SHEMS uses smart sockets, power strips and relays to monitor energy consumption of the connected loads and control them automatically via schedules based on real-time tariffs. The platform provides user interface through mobile applications, voice assistants and web dashboards that allows end users to control all the devices remotely.
Energy Monitoring and Budgeting
Raycon energy meter is an integral part of the SHEMS offering. Raycon helps homeowners and commercial establishments monitor energy flow from the grid, solar, batteries and electrical vehicles. It allows you to see where the most energy is being consumed and how much it is costing you in real-time. It also helps you identify the standby loads. This platform, using Raycon energy meters and other third party meters, allows users to set budgets and monitor the percentage of the budget they have consumed at any point. It also gives you comprehensive Daily, Weekly and Monthly reports that are sent to your email directly. Web dashboards with fleet management are available for comprehensive visualization of energy flow from various sources.
Occupancy based Optimization
One of the most important ways to achieve energy savings using this platform is reducing the number of energy consuming loads when the location is unoccupied. Turning OFF high energy consuming devices, adjusting the HVAC set point temperatures when users are not at the location or completely turning them off. Similarly another way is to reduce unnecessary consumption in specific unused areas.
Demand Response Actions
This platform has the ability to control devices based on spot pricing or time of use energy prices. This is determined either through user input or by integrations with Utility programs. It also helps users manage energy usage in the home or commercial establishment to minimize energy costs by using loads at the right time. The built-in rules framework of the mobile applications is capable of implementing a demand response action for various devices included in the platform. These actions not only help the user cut costs but also help Utilities reduce load during peak hours.
Virtual Power Plants (VPP)
A virtual power plant (VPP) is a cloud-based network of distributed energy resources such as homes and commercial buildings with solar, battery systems and electric vehicles, all working together as a single power plant. The objective of a VPP is to relieve the load on the grid by smartly distributing the power generated by the individual units during periods of peak load. It also helps users save money by trading energy during periods with peak load. Our platform can provide VPP operators insights into energy generation, consumption, storage levels of the battery banks and electric vehicles. It will automatically or via preset rules, reduce grid dependency by turning off non-essential loads and/or trade energy stored in the batteries and electric vehicles during peak demand periods.
Weather based Smart Actions
We use weather forecasts to make smart decisions to save energy without compromising the user's comfort. Based on the forecasted external temperature and ideal temperature, the platform can pre-heat/cool rooms to provide comfort during non-peak tariffs. Substituting energy consuming devices with alternate free options will help save energy. When daylight is available in the room, the platform system suggests to open curtains and turn off lights wherever applicable. Similarly, if the external temperature is close to thermal comfort levels of the occupants, the system suggests turning off the Air Conditioner or adjusting the thermostat for optimal use of energy. Turning off water heaters when the external temperature is high will also effectively reduce the energy consumption.
Components of SHEMS
The SHEMS components are divided into devices, services and platforms.
Devices are physical components that are used by SHEMS to achieve energy savings. This include
Hubs are dedicated devices which provide network connectivity, protocol translation and in some cases as edge computing infrastructure additional instruction between products included in the SHEMS package.
Smart Socket or Plug
A device that is connected to a plug point or connected behind switchboards which can be used to monitor as well as control devices remotely.
Smart Energy Meter
A device that is installed at the main circuit breaker panel and is used to monitor energy consumption of the home. Smart energy meters can also be used to monitor energy flow from other sources such as solar, battery and electric vehicles.
A device that controls heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment to regulate the temperature of the room or the house as a whole. The thermostat will be able to communicate/be controlled by the SHEMS system.
Transient Occupancy Detection Devices
A device that detects room, space or dwelling level occupancy that is not always present in home. This could be a sensor integrated into a portable product (such as a smart phone using geo fencing) or a standalone device like a garage door remote.
Persistent Occupancy Detection Devices
These devices are present in the home and collect occupancy data. Wired and wireless motion sensors and door sensors fall into this category of sensors.
Service is a combination of software, algorithms (AI/ML), and user interfaces that is useful to the users and any other parties involved. This could include actions, tips or suggestions to the users about the impact of various actions on energy savings.
Occupancy based actions
The SHEMS platform includes at least one persistent occupancy device with constant wired power or at least two battery powered persistent occupancy devices. SHEMS uses the data from these devices to reduce energy usage in unoccupied areas of the house.
Weather based Tips and Actions
This platform helps users make smart decisions based on external weather conditions. It also takes into account user preferences and patterns while suggesting tips. Examples include turning off HVAC systems when external temperature is close to internal temperature. Tips to turn off light in the house and open curtains during hours when daylight is available.
Demand Response Actions
In countries with variable energy cost systems like Spot pricing or Time of Use, our platform helps users take advantage of low costs during off-peak periods. Users can either automate actions that can be performed during periods with low cost or can also receive notifications in case they want to manually take the required actions. Users can also set the actions to be performed when the demand response signal is sent.
Integrations with third party devices
Our platform is equipped with integrations to smart third party devices like inverters, battery banks and electric vehicles.
Devices like door locks, smoke detectors, gas leak sensors, motion detectors etc are all part of the SHEMS package. Using these devices users can always be notified regarding any issues related to security.
Our SHEMS platform is available on both Android and iOS mobile applications. Using these apps, the users can install, monitor and control a wide range of devices included in theplatform. The user can also configure rules (also known as Actions) and receive alert notifications, tips on energy saving on their mobile applications.
The user can also use the web dashboard to monitor and control devices. They can further get the insights into data from the devices and also compare performance between various locations.
Savings using SHEMS
SHEMS uses device control actions through hard, soft, and suggested triggers to save energy, specifically by (at least one action in each type).
Actions based on a set of established rules set by the user such as a schedule.
Control Actions that automatically modify the operation of the devices in the platform to save energy while maintaining positive user experience based on occupancy information and possibly machine learning of user behavior(patterns, preferences and user input). The soft triggers have an override option, a notification is sent to the user when the action takes place and the user has an option to override it.
Identifying and suggesting energy savings events or actions to promote energy savings while maintaining positive user experience based on occupancy information and possibly machine learning of user behavior(patterns, preferences and user input). Unlike soft triggers the actions are not automated, the user has to approve the action for it to proceed.
Our platform users receive real-time tips and impact of various actions on their energy savings. These tips are generated via machine learning models that consider user preferences, occupancy information and ambient weather conditions.
Platform owners can get access to various data collected in the field. The can be used to help identify any issues in the system.
SHEMS can provide details related to the amount of power being generated by a home, amount of charge left in the battery,etc. This data is otherwise not available to VPP operators.
Platform End Users
This platform helps users save energy and cut costs through various actions and suggestions. Users can also gain remote access to various devices present in a home.
The demand response actions in the platform helps reduce burden on the grid during peak hours, this helps keep the grid running smoothly.