You are on page 1of 9

Test Specifications for

Power Meter
Submitted to: Professor Joseph Picone ECE 4512: Senior Design I Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mississippi State University Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762 September 20, 2000*

[5]

Submitted by: Wei-Keat Quek, Matt Hemphill, Scott Fredrick, and James Nixon E-mail: {wq3, mph1, slf1, jtn1} @ece.msstate.edu Faculty Advisor: Professor Raymond S. Winton Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mississippi State University Box 9571 Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762 Tel: (662)325-xxxx, Fax: (662)325-xxxx

* Note: This is the third revision updated on December 4, 2000.

Power Meter

Page 2 of 9

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY At present, an affordable and convenient means for consumers to accurately measure the power consumption of the electrical devices in their homes is not readily available. However, if a consumer is able to measure the AC power drawn from a particular household circuit, then they would be able to calculate the cost of operating that piece of equipment [2]. Comparisons could then be made between similar machines, to see which consumes the most energy. In addition, the meter could facilitate troubleshooting a device that may be causing problems (i.e. frequently tripping a breaker). Therefore, the design must be flexible enough to accommodate measurements over a range of devices found in the average American home [1]. In addition, the power factor must be known in order to accurately calculate the average, or real, power, the kind that the utility companies actually charge you for. The meter should be able to sense va lues up to 120 Vrms and 30 A, respectively, to accommodate a range of typical household devices. An 8-bit Cprogrammable microcontroller will calculate the power from the voltage and current measurements and act as the control device for the meter. In order to accommodate the monitoring of a device through a typical days usage, up to 24 hours, a 9 V alkaline battery will be used as the power source. The output will be a 4-digit LCD to provide the minimum display accuracy needed for the required maximum power measurement of 3600 W and energy measurements up to 86.4 kWhrs [5]. Finally, the design tolerance should be no greater than 3%, and the meter should be an inexpensive and lightweight package, 4 x 8 x 1.5 (W x L x D), that is portable and easy to set up. In order to accommodate non-intrusive power measurements of this sort, the interface will be a direct serial plug-in from the device to be measured to the meter to a standard 120 VAC outlet. The two sensing circuits will take the voltage off the terminals of the plugged-in device. These signals are divided down, sampled at 1 kHz by a flash A/D converter, and then manipulated by software in the microcontroller for power calculation [4]. The microcontroller will use the first zero-point of the voltage signal as a reference to calculate the phase angle, and then subsequently, the power factor and the average or instantaneous power depending upon the function chosen. It seems that the average consumer has little practical knowlegde concerning their own power usage or a means to safely determine it. The cost estimation, power measurement, and power consumption features of this design are especially relevant to those concerned with energy efficiency. Microcontroller-based embedded systems allow fo r accurate and stable measurements in an affordable and flexible design [3]. In the future, the meters flexibility could be expanded to include devices with high start-up power requirements (e.g. motors) or large harmonic distortion or even some industrial applications. Also, adding a standard serial computer interface could allow integration of the measurements with software or modification of the design incircuit with little or no additonal costs. If needed, the meter design could also be altered to accomodate up to 240 VAC inputs or other standards including European standards.

ECE 4512

December 4, 2000

Power Meter

Page 3 of 9

1. INTRODUCTION This project converts a power meter from a technicians tool into a useful aid for the average consumer. The objective of the power meter is to perform quick and costeffective measurements and provide meaningful results that the layman can understand. This will be done by basing the design on a microcontroller that can make the necessary calculations and provide excellent functionality. The meter should aid in lowering the average households electric bill. Also, the meter should aid in troubleshooting problem circuits, in making decisions about which piece of equipment to use and for how long, or even in making decisions about whether or not to upgrade an older device. The design constraints for our proposed power meter are: 1. Voltage: The power meter will sense voltages in the range of 0 to 120 Vrms. The sampling rate will be 1 KHz. 2. Current: The power meter will sense currents in the ranges of 0 to 30 A. The sampling rate will be 1 KHz. 3. Power Factor Calculation: The power meters microcontroller will calculate the power factor in software by using the zero crossings of the input signals. 4. Power: The power meter will be powered by a 9 V alkaline battery. 5. Display: The power meter will use a 4-digit LCD to display the results. 6. Power Measurement Range: The power meter will measure between 0 W and 3600 W of power. 7. Energy Measurement: The power meter will calculate the energy consumed over a period of time for a maximum of 86.4 kWhrs. 8. Tolerance: The power meter will measure power with a tolerance of no more than 3%. 9. Size and Packaging: The power meter will be a lightweight, handheld device with a plastic enclosure measuring 4 x 8 x 1.5 (W x L x D). Utilizing these design constraints, we hope to provide the average consumer with a very powerful and useful tool for power measurement. The power meter will undergo a barrage of tests to ensure the above design constraints are met. In particular, circuit simulations should aid us in designing voltageand current-sensing circuits capable of accurately handling the ranges typical of household circuits. Also, software manipulation should account for differences in phase.

ECE 4512

December 4, 2000

Power Meter

Page 4 of 9

2. TEST SPECIFICATION Most of the tests used will be simulation-based to ensure the designers of proper operation under varying conditions before the prototype is built. Our tests will consist of PSpice circuit simulations because of its ubiquity, capability, and flexibility. Despite this however, PSpice cannot test everything, so some small software programs will be written to test such things as the proper calculation of the power factor by the microcontroller. In other cases, special test equipment will have to be used, and this equipment will either be borrowed from MSU or industry or purchased for the project. Table 1.1 summarizes the tests that will be conducted on the design constraints.
Requirement Voltage Current Power Factor Calculation Power Display Power Measurement Range Energy Measurement Tolerance Size and Packaging O O O O O O Circuit Simulation O O O O O Firmware Tests Software Testing Physical Packaging Oscilloscope O O

O O

Table 1.1. The above table is a summary of the tests that will be conducted on the design requirements to ensure proper operation. 2.1 Voltage The voltage-sensing circuit will be simulated using PSpice. Various inputs taken from the ratings of specific household products will be tested. A reference voltage, 120 Vrms, will be used to check the accuracy of the measurement. In addition, an oscilloscope will be used to verify the prototype.

ECE 4512

December 4, 2000

Power Meter

Page 5 of 9

2.2 Current The current-sensing circuit will be simulated using PSpice. Various inputs taken from the ratings of specific household products will be tested. A reference voltage, 120 Vrms, will be used to check the accuracy of the measurement. In addition, an oscilloscope will be used to verify the prototype. 2.3 Power Factor Calculation A C program will be written to simulate the operation of the microcontroller as is calculates the displacement, if any, between the voltage and current signals, and then uses the displacement to subsequently calculate the phase angle and the power factor. The accuracy of the measurements will be checked against an HP calculator. In addition, a simulator/emulator will be used to program the microcontroller. Also, the microcontroller prototype will use EEPROM firmware to facilitate troubleshooting and optimizing the code and will be tested using known waveforms with differing phase angle differences. 2.4 Power The power meter will be able to run on a standard 9 V alkaline battery for an extended period of time. In order to ensure that a proper power source has been chosen, an overall analysis of the average power requirements of the individual components will be conducted. Analyses over differing amounts of time and under different loads will also be attempted with the prototype. In addition, comparisons will be made to other battery-operated devices that consume similar amounts of power and run over similar amounts of time. 2.5 Display The power meters display will be a 4-digit, low-power consumption, one-line LCD display. The display will toggle through different modes to show one -word messages, elapsed time, and measurements (either instantaneous or average power) and their units (W or kWhrs). Various inputs to a software simulation of the LCD circuit will be used to validate the proper display of the corresponding output (message, time, etc.). In addition, tests on the LCD component itself under various circumstances will be carried out with the prototype. 2.6 Power Measurement Range The power meters range will be tested through PSpice simulation of the voltageand current-sensing circuits as a unit. Specific household products with known voltage and current ratings will be simulated as interfacing with the meter. For brand-name products, the company, including its website and documentation, may be cons ulted to aid the accuracy of the tests. In addition, other peripheral circuits to the sensing circuits

ECE 4512

December 4, 2000

Power Meter

Page 6 of 9

including the A/D converter will be simulated under the same conditions. These peripheral circuits will be checked independently and then as part of the larger unit. 2.7 Energy Measurement The energy measurement of the design includes the continuing calculation of power over time and the sampling rate. Similar PSpice simulation tests will be run as in section 2.6 (Power Measurement Range) above to allow the design to be checked for the proper power calculation and the proper sampling rate. To further aid this check, MATLAB calculations using some of the typical voltage and current values, including variations, from the simulated devices will be performed at the sampling rate and compared with the simulated results. 2.8 Tolerance Proper tolerance will also be checked through PSpice circuit simulation. In particular, Monte Carlo analysis will be used to measure the output of a supplied test signal similar to those in the two previous sections. The tolerance will be calculated as the percent difference of the known input vs. the simulated output. Also, once a prototype is complete, a simple test such as measuring the instantaneous power of a light bulb can be used to calculate tolerance. 2.9 Size and Packaging The packaging will, in large part, determine how flexible our design will be. It will be kept at a size comparable to that of a digital multimeter (i.e. a lightweight, handheld device that is easy to transport and setup). The total plastic enclosure should measure 4 x 8 x 1.5 (W x L x D) and should be durable but will not be designed to withstand extreme conditions including violent force and extreme temperatures. The meter will act as an interface between the typical household device and a standard 120 VAC outlet taking both grounded and ungrounded plugs. 3. RESOURCES Below is a list of the testing equipment, test sites, availability, etc. corresponding to the design constraints of the previous section. This list is compiled to guarantee that the tests necessary to meet these design constraints can be performed and that the equipment necessary to carry out those tests is available. 3.1 Voltage PSpice is available in the Mississippi State University ECE departments PC Lab in Simrall Hall as well as on the teams personal computers. Access is available to this software 24 hours a day. Also, the Electronics Lab in room 403 Simrall Hall can be used to test the prototype. The Electronics Lab is usually available after 5 pm, is

ECE 4512

December 4, 2000

Power Meter

Page 7 of 9

available for students to use, and provides access to multimeters, oscilloscopes, signal generators, breadboards, etc. 3.2 Current For PSpice and testing equipment availability, refer to Section 3.1 (Voltage). 3.3 Power Factor Calculation Visual C++ is available 24 hours a day at the library. Also, C compilers are available online for download 24 hours a day, and at least two of the team members have HP calculators. Also, once the prototype is ready to be built, the Microprocessors Lab in Simrall has the necessary memory test equipment and is available with permission from the ECE department. Some of this equipment includes Alteras MAX+PLUS II software, an EEPROM programmer and UV eraser, an HP Logic Analyzer, oscilloscopes, etc. Access will be available upon request; however, at least two of the team members have 24-hour access to personal versions of the Altera software. 3.4 Power For PSpice and testing equipment availability, refer to Section 3.1 (Voltage). In addition, specific similarly powered products and information from these products, including labels, manuals or users guides, etc., will be selected from the teams own households as much as is possible. Also, online access to company and product information is available 24 hours a day from the PC Lab in Simrall and from each of the team members home computers. 3.5 Display For PSpice and testing equipment availability, refer to Section 3.1 (Voltage). Also, software simulators for the LCD are available online 24 hours a day and can be downloaded to any of the teams home computers. 3.6 Power Measurement Range For PSpice and testing equipment availability, refer to Section 3.1 (Voltage). In addition, specific products and information from these products, including labels, manuals or users guides, etc., will be selected from the teams own households as much as is possible. Also, online access to company and product information is available 24 hours a day from the PC Lab in Simrall and from each of the team members home computers.

ECE 4512

December 4, 2000

Power Meter

Page 8 of 9

3.7 Energy Measurement For PSpice availability, refer to Section 3.1 (Voltage). Also, MATLAB is available 24 hours a day in the PC Lab in Simrall and on some of the team members home computers. 3.8 Tolerance For PSpice and testing equipment availability, refer to Section 3.1 (Voltage). 3.9 Size and Packaging Manufacturer information regarding packaging is available online 24 hours a day from the PC Lab in Simrall and each of the team members personal computers. 4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We wish to acknowledge our gratitude to Professor Raymond S. Winton for acting as our faculty advisor for this endeavor and for his guidance and technical support regarding our design. We would also like to thank Professor Mark Halpin for his insight into the calculation of the power factor. Finally, we would like to thank Professor Joe Picone for expedient access to design resources via his e-mails and suggestions, the Entrepreneurship Seminar (http://www.engr.msstate.edu/courses/entrepreneurship/fall_2000.htm), and the documentation guidelines and examples and the design information available through the class website (http://www.isip.msstate.edu/publications/courses/ece_4512/ ). 5. REFERENCES [1] Fisher, G. J., An Enhanced Power Meter for SPICE2 Circuit Simulation, IEEE Transactions On Computer-Aided Design, Harris Semiconductor, Melbourne, FL, May, 1998. [2] Garverick, S. L., McGrath, D. T., Baetsch, R. D., and Fujino, K., A Programmable Mixed-Signal ASIC for Power Metering, IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference, GE Corporate Research and Development, Schenectady, NY, January, 1991. [3] Lamego, M. M., Sousa, G. C. D., and Vierira, J. L. F., A Single Phase Microcontroller Based Energy Meter, IEEE Instrum. And Meas. Tech. Conf. Proc., Electrical Engineering Dept., Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo, May, 1998.

ECE 4512

December 4, 2000

Power Meter

Page 9 of 9

[4] Lapuh, R., Visocnik, I., and Arnsek, A., Single DVM Sampling Power Meter For Low Frequencies, IEEE Instrum. And Meas. Tech. Conf. Proc., Slovenian Institute of Quality and Metrology, Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 2000. [5] May, R., A PIC Based AC Power Meter, www.edtn.com/embapps/emba027.htm, July, 1998. [6] Neamen, Donald A., Electronic Circuit Analysis and Design, Boston, MA: WCB McGraw-Hill, 1996. [7] Predko, Myke, Handbook of Microcontrollers, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999. [8] Tuinenga, Paul W., Spice: A Guide to Circuit Simulation & Analysis Using PSpice, 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995. [9] Voland, Gerald, Engineering by Design, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1999. [10] Woodward, W. S., Optical isolator computes watts, Electronic Design, 102-103, October 14, 1994.

ECE 4512

December 4, 2000