CSIRO to fast-track WA energy metering technology

CSIRO senior research scientist Sam West (left) with Ecocentric founder Paul Lyons.
CSIRO senior research scientist Sam West (left) with Ecocentric founder Paul Lyons.

A new technology promises to measure the energy consumption of individual machines and appliances, in a breakthrough for energy efficiency.

Western Australian start-up Ecocentric will see its Numen energy efficiency technology fast-tracked, thanks to a new licensing and research agreement with CSIRO.

The system, which has been developed collaboratively with CSIRO, analyses a building’s total “energy signal” and then separates out the unique “electrical fingerprint” of each appliance being used. This enables the collection of appliance-specific consumption data without appliances having to be separately metered, which is delivered in real-time over the cloud.

CSIRO energy director Karl Rodrigues said the system could improve “energy intelligence” and lead to efficiency benefits in residential, commercial and industrial settings, as well as help with maintenance and fault detection.

“The energy domain is experiencing an increased focus in the megatrend ‘digital immersion’, affecting both domestic and commercial energy consumers,” Mr Rodrigues said.

“Our research is helping drive the next wave of productivity and efficiency in energy consumption.”

Ecocentric chief executive Tim Bray said he was excited by the technology’s commercial prospects, as well as its ability to reduce built environment emissions.

“Numen will be a part of Australia’s contribution to a more energy efficient future,” Mr Bray said.

The agreement will see Ecocentric license CSIRO’s “cognitive metering technology”, and work with the body for six years to further refine the system.

International expansion next

Ecocentric founder Paul Lyons said the agreement paved the way for a commercial roll-out in national and international markets.

“Existing metering-based technologies are designed to support billing, and while some are smarter than others, fundamentally that is their role,” he said.

“Numen has been designed from the ground up for a different purpose – to support end users to become as efficient in using energy as possible. With Numen, the ability to become a net zero user of energy is now real.”

According to an Ecocentric statement, the Numen device is attracting strong interest from a range of companies in Australia and overseas, including energy retailers, large-scale mining and waste management organisations.

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