Grainger CEME Seminars

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WATTSWORTH: No Watt Left Behind

Event Type
Grainger CEME
4070 ECEB
Dec 10, 2018   3:00 - 3:50 pm  
John Donnal


The combination of powerful embedded computers, advanced sensor technology, and high-speed wireless networks has the potential to revolutionize how we interact with our physical environment. Sensor networks that provide real-time feedback offer significant value in terms of energy reduction, fault detection, equipment diagnostics, monitoring, security and more. This revolution cannot happen in a positive way without a clear vision of the appropriate application of sensing, network and control technologies to enhance human abilities and improve our lives. Such systems have been frustratingly difficult to implement. An old dilemma is becoming increasingly apparent. Networking provides remote access to information and control inputs. The collection of useful information, however, may require the installation of an expensive and intrusive array of sensors. Absent such an array, networked control provides colorful but minimally useful real information. Technological marvels, such as solid-state or micro-electromechanical sensors, may ultimately reduce the cost of individual sensors through mass production. They need not, however, reduce installation expense. They also do not impact the recovery of waste of resources. Even with the array, it may be difficult for a facilities operator to make informed control and maintenance decisions that intelligently affect mission critical components. Large datasets remain difficult to use.

This talk presents Wattsworth, a cyber physical infrastructure that addresses these challenges to deliver actionable real time feedback. At the core of the system is a suite of non-intrusive sensors that dramatically reduce the cost of data acquisition. All data are processed in-situ and remain on the sensor nodes. The distributed data storage reduces network bandwidth and removes many of the security and privacy concerns that plague conventional sensor networks. A decentralized cloud infrastructure connects end users to sensor nodes to provide real-time feedback through an intuitive web interface. We present demonstrations of a non-intrusive power meter that can measure multi-phase current and voltage without any contact to the power line, and live case studies from Wattsworth installations in commercial, residential and military facilities.

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