In recent years, Smart Grids have been developing globally. Since smart meters only acquire low-frequency data, non-intrusive load monitoring technology using the signature extracted from high-frequency data needs an additional measurement device to be installed, so it is not suitable for promotion to the smart grid environment. However, methods using low-frequency features are poorly-suited when several appliances are switched on at the same time, or devices with similar power values are used. In response to these problems, this paper proposes a load disaggregation method based on the power consumption patterns of appliances, combining an improved mathematical optimization model and optimized bird swarm algorithm (OBSA) for load disaggregation. Experiments show that the method can effectively identify the operating states of appliances, and deal with situations in which multiple instruments have similar power characteristics or are simultaneously switching. The performance comparison proves that the improved model is more efficient than the traditional active and reactive power (PQ) optimization model in load disaggregation performance and computation time, and also verifies the robustness of the proposed method and the convergence of OBSA. As an inexpensive method without extra measurement hardware installed, the process is suitable for large-scale applications in smart grids.
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