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Fujitsu Commences Development of Home Energy Management System

Fujitsu Research Institute,Fujitsu Limited

Tokyo, July 10, 2013

Fujitsu Research Institute today announced that it was recently commissioned by Japan's Ministry of the Environment for a 2013 pilot project of demand-side carbon reduction support systems that match household lifestyles. Putting the findings of this project to use, Fujitsu Research Institute, together with Fujitsu Limited, is starting development of a Home Energy Management System (HEMS)(1).

This project is being conducted using ordinary PCs as opposed to purpose-built equipment for HEMS. This technology will use My Cloud(2), Fujitsu's consumer-oriented cloud service, at its core to centralize and automatically control multiple home appliances and equipment. Sensors installed in the homes of study participants acquire electricity usage statistics and behavioral patterns of residents as the basis for energy-saving controls customized for each home.

Background

The energy-saving features in existing HEMS focus mainly on visualizing the electricity usage of home appliances and providing general energy-saving advice. But in order for HEMS, which holds the key to realizing energy saving within households, to increase in popularity, it will need to predict and suggest energy-saving measures in line with a wide range of different lifestyles, and to apply control measures automatically.

In 2012, Fujitsu Research Institute was commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment for a project to survey CO2-reduction results gained through the control of HEMS. Together with Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Research Institute developed and tested an equipment-control system intended to impose a minimal burden on residents while achieving great energy-saving results. A variety of sensors measuring electricity, human presence, temperature, humidity, light level, and sleep, were installed in the homes of study participants. Infrared remote controls were distributed to participants, and My Cloud was used for data collection and equipment control. A test system was constructed from this that enabled real-time energy-saving control to be carried out by confirming collected electricity-usage data by the minute. Knowledge was accumulated from this process which was collected in order to better improve automation in HEMS. In participating households the results illustrated the possibility to reduce electricity consumption by more than 10 percent(3) during the wintertime.

Building on these test results, this fiscal year Fujitsu aims to develop a system that will automatically control multiple home appliances and equipment in a way that is responsive to the needs of the residents.

Features of the Automatic Control System

  • Combined control of multiple appliances
    This control entails networking together multiple appliances in a house and operating them even if they are made by different manufacturers to achieve the best result overall. For example, when a room reaches an optimum temperature, the system would not only turn of the air conditioner but would also turn on a fan.
  • Control responsive to individual preferences and habits
    Sensors can recognize distinctive patterns of electricity consumption by a person or household—such as frequently using a computer late at night, or leaving a TV on all day—and use that information to control appliances.
    Appliances can also be controlled based on individual traits such as being overly sensitive to heat or cold. Alternatively, whether a person perceives tasks as bothersome or whether they quickly attend to things that need to get done. Life-stages and temporary living patterns are also considered, such as households with small children, seniors, or even students in the middle of exam periods. Lifestyle patterns for people who get up early, people who go to bed late, and also people who are usually outside during the daytime are also taken into account.
  • Monitors receptivity
    Before applying automated control, the system sends the user an e-mail message to ask permission, and only proceeds if it is granted. This lets the system apply control in a way that takes into account people's lifestyles.

Future Plans

The expertise accumulated through this project will gradually be incorporated into features of Fujitsu's My Cloud that can be used to build HEMS environments. Fujitsu will also look for ways that this expertise can be applied to the company's Smart City business.


  • [1] Home Energy Management System (HEMS)

    Connects devices in the home that consume or generate electricity, along with sensors that measure electricity, using a network to enable monitoring, remote control, and automation.

  • [2] My Cloud

    A consumer-oriented cloud service announced in May 2012 as a new concept in personal computing. Centralizes and automatically organizes all of the photos and videos people shoot in their everyday lives and makes it available for viewing outside the home via mobile devices. Also provides services that enrich people's lives, such as enabling remote control of air conditioners and other appliances when people are outside their homes. The service is only available in Japan.

  • [3] Ten percent reduction

    Theoretical value calculated based on results of this study, from reducing standby power on certain appliances over a fixed period of time.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.4 trillion yen (US$47 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

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All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: 10 July, 2013
City: Tokyo
Company: Fujitsu Research Institute, , Fujitsu Limited, , , , , , , , , , ,

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