Motivated by high energy costs, people and organizations want to cut back on their energy consumption. However, the only feedback consumers typically receive is a monthly bill listing their total electricity usage (in kWh). Some companies have begun developing systems that allow households and organizations to monitor their energy usage for individual circuits.
Available systems are expensive so a CU engineering senior design team has designed, fabricated, and tested a system for use at Cedarville University. The AC power monitoring system has the ability to measure energy consumption for each individual circuit in the breaker panel, store the data, and then provide the user with visual feedback on energy usage behavior. The basic system provides the proof of concept for future senior design teams.
After more testing is completed, further development of this product will be needed by other senior design teams. Eventually, this energy monitoring system could be expanded to include larger loads such as HVAC systems and refrigeration units. It is also envisioned that future projects might be able to provide the user with suggestions for changing and improving energy usage behavior. Failure prediction of equipment on individual circuits could also stem from this initial project. For this project, it has been clearly shown that the concept is feasible, expandable, and cost-effective.
Source: Cedarville University
Authors: Jared L. Newman | Luke M. Tomlinson | Grayson H. Dearing | Frederick G. Harmon