A novel method to construct taxonomy electrical appliances based on load signatures

H. Y. Lam, G. S.K. Fung, W. K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


A load signature is an electrical expression that a load device or appliance distinctly possesses. Load signatures can be applied to produce many useful services and products, such as, determining the energy usage of individual appliances, monitoring the health of critical equipment, monitoring power quality, and developing facility management tools. Load signatures of typical yet extensive loads are needed to be collected before applying them to different services and products. As there are an enormous number of electrical appliances, it is beneficial to classify the appliances for building a well-organized load signature database. The objective of this study is to develop an effective method to classify the loads. A 2-dimensional form of load signatures, voltage-current (V-I) trajectory, is suggested for characterizing the typical household appliances. Hierarchical clustering method was employed to classify the appliances and construct the taxonomy of the appliances. The taxonomy based on V-I trajectory was compared to the taxonomies based on traditional power metrics and eigenvectors in the previous studies. It was found that the groups of appliances in the taxonomy based on V-I trajectory were well-separated and had engineering meanings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-660
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Classification
  • Load signatures
  • Taxonomy
  • Voltage-current trajectory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Media Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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