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Undergraduate Research And Innovation: Inexpensive Remote Campus Power Monitoring Via Student Designed And Manufactured System

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Electrical & Computer Engineering Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1336.1 - 9.1336.6

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Paper Authors

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Will Kim

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Jeffrey Tisa

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Peter Jansson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Undergraduate Research and Innovation: Inexpensive Remote Campus Power Monitoring via Student Designed and Manufactured System

Peter Mark Jansson, Jeffrey Tisa, William Kim

Rowan University


Rowan University consists of nearly forty buildings spread out over a large suburban campus. While some of the perimeter buildings are served directly from the local power company, many of the core buildings receive their electrical power from the University's 4kV grid. This grid is fed by both the local utility and an on-site cogeneration system. A recent energy study of the campus1 revealed that the University compares poorly with peer institutions of comparable size in terms of energy efficiency because of very high electricity usage. University officials sought to sub-meter buildings with no electricity data available and found that metering equipment and installation costs were quite prohibitive. Students of the engineering department's Sustainable Design course undertook a project to develop a low cost, small, portable, easily installed solution to the problem so that the efficiency of each building could be estimated cost-effectively. The low-cost power monitoring device they designed and manufactured can store several electrical line parameters over time that will collect important energy and power characteristics of a building. The core of the device is the ADE7753 power IC from Analog Devices. It is capable of measuring instantaneous voltage and current, VRMS, IRMS, and apparent, real, and reactive energy. The interface to the mains of a site is accomplished with a non-intrusive flexible Rogowski Coil current sensor and voltage probe. A programmable microcontroller (PIC18F242) from Microchip communicates with the ADE7753 and retrieves the power data. Then, the data is processed by the microcontroller and saved in non-volatile memory, specifically a 64 kb EEPROM (25LC640) from Microchip. The microcontroller then reads the data from the EEPROM and transmits it to the RS232 transceiver. Once the power-monitor detects a device that is ready to receive via 9-pin RS232, it transmits the data requested from the user. Once the data is collected, it can be taken back to a computer in the Engineering Department and seen on the HyperTerminal application on a Windows platform. This significant innovation they developed with their professor is estimated to be valued at approximately $100 per unit and will likely cost significantly less in quantity. The overall market for this device are single and three- phase commercial and industrial facilities that desire energy and power quality measurements to aid them in cutting costs related to wasted electricity.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Kim, W., & Tisa, J., & Jansson, P. (2004, June), Undergraduate Research And Innovation: Inexpensive Remote Campus Power Monitoring Via Student Designed And Manufactured System Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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