Team Istos set out to create a device that incorporated the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is the implementation of internet connectivity into everyday electronics by using sensors to gather data, processing that data, and displaying it to a user interface. Team Istos created a device which will easily be able to monitor power consumption throughout a residence. The data recorded through this device is then securely transmitted over Wi-Fi connection to a user interface which can then be viewed by the user.
Energy meters like those shown in Figure 1 only show the amount of energy being consumed by the entire home. The amount of energy being used by a washing machine, oven, lighting, or television are not given by this meter. If a user wishes to optimize their energy usage, they would need external sensors to monitor the energy consumption. Measuring power consumption from outlets would require many sensors and in addition will not record power consumption of larger appliances. Team Istos devised a universal method to monitor energy by utilizing the circuit breaker box that all residencies have.
The core elements of team Istos’ product are multiple clamp ammeters, real-time data acquisition system, and user interface, which work together to record power consumption data. Clamp ammeters record analog data based on the current from the hot wires inside of a circuit breaker. All American households run off of a continuous 120V alternating current power supply. Team Istos has developed a transfer function which converts the analog signal into current values. The power usage can be calculated using Root Mean Squared current and energy consumption can be determined by summing the energy consumption multiplied by the time step.
Team Istos established an accurate transfer function by comparing the measured values to a known current generated by an oscilloscope. Initial testing of the accuracy and performance was done with a box fan as well as a home circuit breaker.
The team uses a TCP connection between their product and a host machine to communicate the data. Once the data is collected on the host machine, it can be accessed by the user via secure web services.
The product is meant to act in a small subsection of the ever growing Internet of Things market. The product is expandable to up to 16 sensors.