WireSpy Home Electricity Auditing Helper

Student: Ethan Goldman (Making Things Interact Fall 2008)


The Wire Spy system consists of a hand-held device (hereafter called simply “Wire Spy”) coupled with a whole-house electricity meter. The whole-house system measures the voltage and current of the mains at a high frequency (10-100kHz) and calculates the average power, expressed in watts, every 50ms. The hand-held device has a cable clamp for attaching onto the cord of the appliance to be metered, some buttons and lights for configuring the Wire Spy for that appliance, and a display for reporting the power consumption to the user. The whole-house meter is capable of accurately measuring power consumption, but cannot easily determine what appliances are consuming power, while the hand-held device can accurately report the behavior of an appliance but cannot by itself measure the actual power consumption of that appliance. Together they can assemble a complete profile of the power consumption of the house by individual appliances.

paper: Learning Systems for Electric Consumption of Buildings Mario Berges, Ethan Goldman, H. Scott Matthews, Lucio Soibelman [pdf]