Intelligent electric circuit system for buildings

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What is an intelligent electric circuit system for buildings such that

  • it can be built with small amount of material
  • it is safe
  • each outlet can be individually monitored and controlled for useful properties.



  • All outlets can be individually controlled.
  • The switches of outlets can be anywhere, and there can be several of them.
  • The amount of wire needed is much less than nowadays.
  • The system collects information about itself, and it can be used for intelligent controlling.
  • All pieces are individually replaceable.


The whole circuit system consists of five kinds of elements:

  • cables (with a ground, a zero, and a potential wire)
  • intelligent fuses,
  • outlets,
  • switches, and
  • a control unit.

A basic idea is to abandon the idea of the central board of electricity (sähköpäätaulu). All controlling and monitoring happens at intelligent fuses that are located decentrally at all outlets and at important branches of the network. All cables are equal consisting of three wires (ground, zero, and potential). An intelligent fuse is located between the potential wire and the outlet, so that the current and potential can always be individually switched on and off at every outlet. An intelligent fuse switches off automatically, if the current through it grows beyond the limit that has been set into the fuse.

Each outlet has a respective switch. The switch is not physically connected to the outlet, nor it is positioned between the electricity source and the outlet. Switching on and off happens by using radio frequency signals that are sent via the zero wire from a switch to the respective intelligent fuse. Each intelligent fuse and switch has a unique identifier. Therefore, any outlet and any switch can be positioned at any cable irrespective of which switch controls witch outlet. The nearest cable can always be used, and the shortest possible wire network can be built.

A computer called the control unit is used to make the electricity network a clever system. The control unit monitors signals sent by intelligent fuses and switches. Based on the signals, it makes adjustements by telling the intelligent fuses to switch on or off. It can be any standard computer as long as it is capable of receiving and sending signals, and it is attached to the electricity network. The sofware for optimising the system is, ideally, open source and freely available.

An intelligent fuse may detect several things, including but not limited to:

  • whether it is on or off (always),
  • what is the current current (typically),
  • movement in the room (optional),
  • temperature of e.g. a freezer attached to its outlet (optional).

The control unit can say (using the radio frequency signals) to an intelligent fuse:

  • IF #234, tell your status (#, whether on of off, what is the current through the fuse, whether there is movement in the room etc.).
  • IF #1-300, tell your status (this is for finding out the identifiers of all intelligent fuses in the system).
  • IF #234, turn on (off).

A switch can say:

  • IF#234, turn on/off/switch to the other state.

The control unit can also talk to a switch, for example:

  • Switch #123, tell the # of IF that you control,
  • Switch #123, start controlling IF #234.

With this very simple control language, the control unit can do all kinds of optimising things. Of course, the control unit has Internet connection, where it can get additional information such as the market price of electricity. It can be set to turn on lights automatically at specific times, or off if the peak electricity price goes up. It regurlarly sends status requests to all intelligent fuses in the circuit system, and it collects information such as total electricity consumption.

See also