Non-intrusive appliance load monitoring system based on a modern kWh-meter: Licentiate thesis

Hannu Pihala

Research output: ThesisLicenciate

15 Citations (Scopus)


Non-intrusive appliance load monitoring (NIALM) is a fairly new method to estimate load profiles of individual electric appliances in a small building, like a household, by monitoring the whole load at a single point with one recording device without sub-meters. Appliances have special electrical characteristics, the positive and negative active and reactive power changes during the time they are switched on or off. These changes are called events and are detected with a monitoring device called an event recorder. Different NIALM-concepts developed in Europe and in the United States are generally discussed. The NIALM-concept developed in this study is based on a 3-phase, power quality monitoring kWh-meter and unique load identification algorithms. This modern kWh-meter with a serial data bus to a laptop personal computer is used as the event recorder. The NIALM-concept of this presentation shows for the first time how a kWh-meter can be used at the same time for billing, power quality and appliance end-use monitoring. An essential part of the developed NIALM-system prototype is the software of load identification algorithms which runs in an off-line personal computer. These algorithms are able to identify, with a certain accuracy, both two-state and multi-state appliances. This prototype requires manual-setup in which the naming of appliances is performed. The results of the prototype NIALMS were verified in a large, single family detached house and they were compared to the results of other prototypes in France and the United States, although this comparison is difficult because of different supply systems, appliance stock and number of tested sites. Different applications of NIALM are discussed. Gathering of load research data, verification of DSM-programs, home automation, failure analysis of appliances and security surveillance of buildings are interesting areas of NIALM. Both utilities and customers can benefit from these applications. It is possible to develop an automatic-setup NIALMS for households but it needs a large data base of signatures of different appliances.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationLicentiate Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Jokinen, Tapani, Supervisor, External person
Place of PublicationEspoo
Print ISBNs951-38-5247-4
Electronic ISBNs951-38-5248-2
Publication statusPublished - 1998
MoE publication typeG3 Licentiate thesis


  • electric loading
  • load control
  • electric measuring instruments
  • watt hour meters
  • wattmeters
  • monitoring
  • load identification algorithms


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-intrusive appliance load monitoring system based on a modern kWh-meter: Licentiate thesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this