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Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) will play a key role in the extension of the smart grid towards residential premises, and enable various demand and energy management applications. Efficient demand-supply balance and reducing electricity expenses and carbon emissions will be the immediate benefits of these applications. In this paper, we evaluate the performance of an in-home energy management (iHEM) application. The performance of iHEM is compared with an optimization-based residential energy management (OREM) scheme whose objective is to minimize the energy expenses of the consumers. We show that iHEM decreases energy expenses, reduces the contribution of the consumers to the peak load, reduces the carbon emissions of the household, and its savings are close to OREM. On the other hand, iHEM application is more flexible as it allows communication between the controller and the consumer utilizing the wireless sensor home area network (WSHAN). We evaluate the performance of iHEM under the presence of local energy generation capability, prioritized appliances, and for real-time pricing. We show that iHEM reduces the expenses of the consumers for each case. Furthermore, we show that packet delivery ratio, delay, and jitter of the WSHAN improve as the packet size of the monitoring applications, that also utilize the WSHAN, decreases.
Date of Publication: June 2011