Smart Home Energy Management Systems Gaining Popularity

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A Chinese team of researchers has detected that current energy systems overuse power, which not only results in incremented electricity bills, they also shorten the life of batteries and the other devices they power. Instead, the team proposes a new programming solution that can optimize the input and output from the batteries and prove a boon for the development of smart homes in current environmental scenario wherein conservation of energy is paramount. Owing to rapid urbanization in several emerging economies, this method of energy efficiency may just be the answer smart cities have been looking for.

Adaptive Dynamic Programming for Smart Homes

The team, based out of Beijing, involves scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Automation, and the School of Automation and Electrical Engineering. Their joint publication claims that in smart home energy management systems, batteries should be built to ensure power optimization via adaptive dynamic programming, in which the major issue of power consumption is divided into smaller sections. Each section is then dealt with individually, focusing on preserving energy at every section, depending on changing circumstances.

The team is among the first ones to indulge into the constraints pertaining to physical charging and discharging of batteries, and have come up with an algorithm that can identify power demand from individual devices and releases only as much output as required. Not only that, the algorithm is also capable of learning the link between input and output, which helps it to decide when to charge and when to discharge in order to minimize the power consumption from the grid.

Frequent and Excessive Charging Drains Batteries

In order to increase battery-life, the team has noted that charging to maximum and then disconnecting from power source is of utmost value, as unwanted charge can drain the batteries and lead to shortened life. In their smart homes energy management system, the researchers have suggested to meet the demand of power according to real-time electricity rate, avoiding frequent charging and discharging modes.

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