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The HomeBots System and Field Tests: A Multi-Commodity Market for Predicitive Load Management


We present a system called HOMEBOTS for agent-based energy management services, realized by networked "smart" industrial and household equipment communicating over the power line and other media. As a consequence of the deregulation of the electricity markets in many countries, energy utilities have started to pay high interest in offering value-added energy customer services rather than merely selling electricity (kWh). We discuss a number of important technical and business issues in launching such services, and describe some advanced solutions.

First, we present a new computational market theory, implemented in the HOMEBOTS system. It shows how large numbers of electrical loads can be automatically managed by autonomous agents, that communicate and negotiate in an electronic multi-commodity market leading to optimal use of electrical power. The advantages of this agent-based approach compared to traditional methods for power load management are described. Second, we demonstrate through simulated business scenarios that significant energy cost savings can thus be achieved. Third, our approach has been tested in a field experiment in an energy distribution area in the South-East of Sweden. The performed field tests show that the real-time requirements for agent communication over the power line in energy services are well met in realistic application settings.

The entire paper in PDF format.

Last edited April 6, 1999 by fredrik.ygge@enersearch.se.