You are on page 1of 4

Energy Monitoring

Claus T. Hansen, Dines Madsen Thomas Christensen, Toke Helle Kristensen D. M. Akbar Hussain
Department of Energy Technology Aalborg University Denmark

Abstract. Energy measurement has become an important aspect of our daily lives since we have learned that energy consumption, is one of the main source of global warming. Measuring instruments varies from a simple watt-meter to more sophisticated microprocessor control devices. The negative effects that fossil fuels induce on our environment has forced us to research renewable energy such as sunlight, wind etc. This new environmental awareness has also helpt us realize the importance of monitoring and controlling our energy use. The main purpose in this research is to introduce a more sophisticated but affordable way to monitor energy consumption of individual or groups of home appliances. By knowing their consumption the utilization can be regulated for more efficient use. A prototype system has been constructed to demonstrate our idea. Keywords: Energy Measurement, Green House, Global Warming, Efficient, Cheaper



There has been a keen debate about whether global warming is the direct result of greenhouse gases for some years now. The world’s climate scientists have no doubt that CO2 emissions must be reduced significantly, if our descendants will be able to live as we do. To combat end-user energy consumption, organizations such as the EU, have introduced policies to phase out low efficient devices, such as the incandescent light bulb by the end of 2012. There has been a rapid development within energy saving bulbs and LEDs as a replacement for incandescent bulb [1]. The need for efficient sources of energy has even led to massive research into renewable energy, solar, wind, waves, biomass etc. Similarly, the increased media coverage has made ordinary consumers increasingly more aware of energy consumption in house-holds. It is common knowledge that units such as TVs, PCs and stereo systems have relatively high energy consumption in standby mode. If we as consumers had the opportunity to know these appliances precise consumption, this could mean that one was better equipped at reducing or completely turn off the unnecessary standby consumption. An example of energy measurement devices is the ”Kill A Watt” power meter from

For consumption measurements simultaneous sampling of both current and voltage is . refrigerators or freezers. 2 Product Use . six wireless modules are intended to transmit recorded data from their connected electrical appliances to a local server.1 Specifications We are using a top down approach and we have formulated the following specifications to develop our proto-type system. that even Fig. It should be noted. as well as real-time multi unit energy consumption reporting. 1. e. one can quickly and efficiently locate household energy sinners [3]. which illustrates the fundamental idea behind the power measurement research based on a fictional layout of a house. Where 1 and 2 respectively symbolizes wirethough the drawing shows the less module and server modules set up measuring in groups of multiple units. This approach could be useful when dealing with more power hungry appliances of the household. The goal of this research is to develop a system in the same style as the ”Kill A Watt”. – A central server application that can receive. the user is free to measure units individually by assigning one module to a single unit. process and store information from measurement units. – A power supply for efficient supply of the devices.1 System Design Measuring Power Consumption The main topic of this research is measurement of power consumption. – Measuring power consumption and power quality at 230VAC installations. but with a more user friendly interface. 1. 3 3. which is connected directly to the desired device and measure its consumption independently of the other energy consumers.g. and output the statistics on power consumption.2 Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Authors’ Instructions the firm Smart Example The research group has constructed an example of use. Therefore. – A communication link that can facilitate communication between a server and power meters independently of existing cable installations. etc. As seen from the house layout.

and a central master is connected to a computer. such as battery driven units. A 250VAC to 9VAC transformer has been selected for the voltage measurement. To be able to sample the AC voltage. requires some additional considerations. The server processes the information. which Fig. and use of the connection is by a simple UART setup. To ease the initial development. a preconfigured module called Xbee was employed. the following desired properties were selected: – – – – Low Power usage Effective range of no less than 30m Support for at least 50 slaves on the network Robust and regenerative The properties above were selected based upon assumptions made with regard to an average Danish household. the choice fell on the Zigbee protocol which provided all the desired properties. Installing new wires incurs both costs in materials and labor. as well as some extra features. a high precision fluxgate current to voltage transducer from LEM has been chosen. Based on the above information. The power consumption of home appliances ranges . a full wave rectifier is used along with a voltage divider and a positive half-wave detector. To achieve this. Xbee module [7] allowed for a faster development where basic wireless communication was available within weeks. The slaves perform their necessary measurements and calculations and encode the data in ASCII before transmitting the data to the master. a simple Master to multi-slave system has been developed where each power meter is equipped with its own slave. Xbee handles most of the actual wireless communication. Tests showed a deviation of 7 3.3 Power Supply Designing a power meter module to measure energy consumption. employing the internal 12-bits ADC. but still allows for transfer of information from different types of sensors. 3.2 Communication Link Integrating a system into an already established household is not without problems. To select a network protocol for the research. The transfer protocol employed is fairly simple. After an analysis of the available options. stores it and makes it accessible to the user. Power consumption and power factor is calculated and transmitted to the master module each second. Zigbee is a multi-hop mesh networking protocol developed for low power system. 2. Using an Microchip PIC33 DSC(Digital Signal Controller). such as effect. A wireless communication provides for a much more flexible and less invasive installation process. the signals are sampled. power factor and other.Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Authors’ Instructions 3 require.

C. C.3V and 5V. Springer.. switch-mode types are generally the most efficient with an efficiencies of 6090%.digi. S.jpg .4 Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Authors’ Instructions from a few watt and up to several hundred. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 1148–1158.: Identification of Common Molecular Subsequences. with a minimum waste of energy. LNCS. The power supply has to regulate the 220VAC coming from the wall-outlet down to both 5V and 3. S. By running several tests and collecting measurements. Technical report. Compared to other types of power supplies. Kesselman.V. T.: The Physiology of the Grid: an Open Grid Services Architecture for Distributed Systems Integration. The DC output is then regulated to 5.. Ehrlich. Therefore the research group concludes the research to be an overall success.nlm. C. For optimal protection of the internal components a 220VAC→9VAC transformer has been chosen along with a full-wave rectifier bridge and a filter to supply a DC output around 12V. The 7.. Waterman. Fitzgerald. W. Walter. Heidelberg (2006) 3. Kesselman. Foster.E. P. W. pp. T. Mol. and in regard to energy optimization.: The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure.. May.3V and 50mA at 5V. 195–197 (1981) 2. In: 10th IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing. Biol. Foster. C. Both wireless communication and the actual energy measurement are in synergy since it has been possible to transmit and receive data over distances up to 30m( 98f t) which also meets the initial requirements regarding transmission distance. I. Morgan Kaufmann. (eds. Lehner.. H.. 181–184. IEEE Press. Nick. Smith. http://www. vol. but an overall low cost on parts used in the prototype indicates great potential. using LDOs (Low-dropout regulators). I.nih. M.. http://www. In: Nagel.5V DC is then regulated to the required 3. prd-xbeemoduleseries1.. Didi International Inc. Kesselman.. Global Grid Forum (2002) 6.: ZIB Structure Prediction Pipeline: Composing a Complex Biological Workflow through Web Services..: Grid Information Services for Distributed Resource Sharing. References 1. I.) Euro-Par 2006. A final product price. 4128. results have proven the prototype to be both user-friendly and reliable. Foster. pp. K. has not been calculated precisely. The power supply is required to deliver a output current up to 350mA at 3. 4 Conclusion Initially the research group set out to realize a power measurement device that was both user friendly and affordable. were it to be mass produced.. Steinke.3V to accommodate module requirements. J..5VDC using a switch-mode step-down converter circuit to maximize efficiency and minimize unnecessary energy waste. J. New York (2001) 5.ncbi. San Francisco (1999) 4. 147. Czajkowski.S. W. the module itself must be powered efficiently.