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This paper describes a wireless sensor-actuator network to monitor and manage thermostatically controlled loads, mainly heating and cooling loads, which accounts for around 50% of the residential electricity consumption. A decentralized system is proposed to modify the electrical power demand according to a target demand profile and a set of prefixed constraints, maintaining minimum comfort levels and minimizing the infrastructure requirements. This solution offers the residential customers a flexible, powerful and low-cost tool to modify their power demand profile, avoiding any additional wiring and extending the wireless sensor-actuator networks technology towards small customers, with around 30% share of the global electricity consumption. The proposed system has been implemented and assessed in a university environment, where heating and cooling loads have been monitored and controlled. Acquired data are also included in this paper as well as an example of the forced switching-off time periods applied on the controlled loads, leading to approximately 15% reduction of the peak power demand.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012