Business Case for Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring

Business Case for Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring

Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) is the practice of putting power measuring sensors on a facility’s electrical hookup to collect information relating to the power consumption of the facility’s major loads. This power consumption data can then be examined to extract information related to the performance of specific devices to inform future investment decisions or maintenance needs. For example, energy use data such as that gained from NILM was used when renovating a building at the Naval Postgraduate School to determine that a building originally designed with three HVAC chiller units for a data center only required two, thus lowering the cost of the renovation.
NILM can be an attractive option for decision support in facilities with a small number of large loads that significantly impact facility design or power consumption. It can be used to assess the health or performance of large systems by determining when certain devices with characteristic power profiles are turning on and off. Installing these NILM systems at the circuit level can be preferable to installing power monitors directly on the devices in question because NILM allows one sensor to collect data on all components sharing a circuit. However, this comes at the cost of a more difficult data analysis. For circuits used by only a few high power devices such as HVAC circuits, it may be sufficient for a knowledgeable operator to draw meaningful conclusions from the data, but circuits shared by more devices will require expensive software packages to extract meaningful information.
Email Brandon Naylor at or call 831-656-1986

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