|Publication number||USRE35793 E|
|Application number||US 08/317,251|
|Publication date||May 12, 1998|
|Filing date||Oct 3, 1994|
|Priority date||Feb 12, 1992|
|Also published as||CA2089315A1, CA2089315C, US5301122|
|Publication number||08317251, 317251, US RE35793 E, US RE35793E, US-E-RE35793, USRE35793 E, USRE35793E|
|Inventors||B. James Halpern|
|Original Assignee||Measuring & Monitoring Services, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (17), Referenced by (92), Classifications (19), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to monitoring and measurement systems, and more particularly to a monitoring and measurement system which measures and records the power usage of various devices installed at facilities, over a predetermined time period.
In recent years, with the advent of safety problems and environmental problems associated with nuclear power plants and with power plants which burn fossil fuels, electrical power utilities have opted for encouraging power conservation by their users. Thus, these utilities offer incentives such as savings on rate charges to those users who agree to change their devices for devices of greater efficiency. This not only reduces capital costs involved in the building of new power facilities, but in addition, it avoids the legal and environmental problems caused by the construction and operation of additional power facilities.
Existing devices include photoelectric or current transformers which include real time clocks and processing so that on a periodic basis, the consumption of power by the device, i.e., the amount of time the device is on and off, can be observed manually and recorded. This is troublesome because the metering devices are often in ceiling fixtures, or at other locations which are not readily accessible. Other systems contain monitoring devices which are part of complex control systems for controlling the power of a facility or a building. These existing devices and systems do not allow for the automatic sampling of the energy consuming devices and the processing and display of the information at a central point handling a large number of remote facilities with the sampling parameters such as sampling rate, sampling time period, reporting time, storage location of stored data, etc., under the control of a central host computer. Further, they do not utilize a data storage format and a protocol which result in substantial savings in equipment and communications time as does the instant system.
Accordingly, it is the general object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system which overcomes the limitations of the prior art.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system which automatically polls the on or off status of power consuming devices at a predetermined time interval as commanded by a central host computer.
It is yet a further object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system which has a real time clock calendar updated by a central host computer for determining polling times.
It is still yet a further object of the instant invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system with a power fail-safe system which provides power to maintain the stored sampled information and the operation of the real time clock/calendar and status information, during power outages.
It is another object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system with photocell and current transformer sensors which are self powered and which require no power source to determine whether the power consuming devices are on or off.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system which electrically isolates the output of power sensors from the remainder of the system equipment.
It is still yet another object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system which stores data received from the sensors for a predetermined time period as determined by the central host computer.
It is an additional object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system with remote site storage and processing equipment which stores the polled information obtained at each remote facility at storage locations determined by the central host computer.
It is yet an additional object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system with remote site storage and processing equipment which can communicate with and pass information to and from a central facility with a host computer.
It is still yet an additional object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system with a host computer which receives the information stored in remote storage and processing equipment at a predetermined time and date as directed by a host computer.
It is another additional object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system which has a host computer with a real time clock/calendar whose output is communicated to a remote site storage and processing equipment to synchronize the real time clock of the remote site equipment.
It is a further additional object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system with a host computer which is capable of storing utility rates and sub-rates and providing formatted reports which give the energy usage and costs of each power consumption device at remote facilities over a predetermined time period.
It is yet a further additional object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system which calculates and stores the amount of money saved over a specified amount of time by higher efficiency devices installed at a remote site location.
It is still yet a further additional object of this invention to provide a measuring and monitoring system which utilizes analog sensors whose outputs represent the actual power comsumption of devices at a facility and analog to digital convertors to digitize the information for storage and processing.
These and other objects of this invention are achieved by providing a measuring and monitoring system with sensors, which do not require internal or external power to operate, installed at energy consuming devices in use at remote facilities. These sensors determine whether the devices are on or off. The output of these sensors are sampled by a processor at a predetermined time interval which can be set from one minute to 99 minutes. A real time clock/calendar is used to initiate each polling of the sensors.
A unique protocol and data storage format is used which results in substantial savings in equipment and communications time.
Status and command information transmitted from a host computer at a central facility is stored in a "notepad" random access memory (RAM) at the processor at the remote facility. This status and command information is used to control the operation of the remote processor. It consists of updated real time clock calendar information, the required polling or sampling interval, and the time and date for communicating to the host computer the sampled data stored in the remote processor during the time period. In addition, the host computer commands the remote processing facility to begin storing sampled information in sequence at a specific storage location within the remote processing facility. This enables the storage of raw, stripped-down, sampled data from each of the sensors to be stored without additional information, such as identification of sensors and time, and results in considerable savings in storage requirement and in communications time.
The sensors may be photo-electric cells which determine whether lighting fixtures are on or off, or current transformers which determine whether air conditioners, heaters, electrical machinery, blowers, and the like, are on or off. Isolating circuitry is used to electrically isolate the output of sensors from the remainder of the processing equipment.
At each remote site processor facility, a modem is used to communicate with the host computer at a central location and to pass the stored information to the host computer. Each time the information is transmitted to the host computer, for example, once per week or once per two weeks, the host computer transmits real time information for updating the remote clock, the sampling rate for polling the sensors, and the time and date for the next transmission. At the designated time, the remote processor communicates with the host, transmits updated status information and passes its monitored information to the host computer.
In the preferred embodiment as presently configured, the remote equipment can provide up to thirty-two sensors at each location. The number is expandable if required. The host computer is capable of handling a large number of remote facilities. Alternatively, a small computer can be installed at a remote facility as a host computer which allows for stand-alone operation at the remote facility.
The host computer formats and processes the information received from the remote processor for display and/or printout. Thus, power consumption of each device or set of devices at each remote facility over a specified amount of time, the rate charged by the facility for usage including sub-rates for prime and nonprime time periods and seasons, and the total cost of power consumption for each device at each remote facility is determined and made available at the central facility. The system also includes a fail-safe circuit at the remote location which enables the real time clock calendar to continue to operate and which maintains the storage of the information taken from sampling of the sensors and the status information in the notepad RAM for up to twenty-four hours during power outages. As will be described below, the power outage information is stored and transmitted along with the sampled information so that the host computer may determine the amount and frequency of power outages, and keep track of the particular sensors providing the data and the time when the sampling took place. In an alternate embodiment, the on/off sensors may be replaced by analog sensors and analog-to-digital (A to D) convertors used to digitize the information representing the actual level of power usage of the device, for storage and processing by the system.
Other objects and many of the intended advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated when the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when considered in connection with accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is an overall block diagram of the measuring and monitoring system.
FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a stand-alone system for single site operation.
FIG. 3 is a detailed block diagram of the equipment at each remote site.
FIG. 4 is a schematic of a portion of the isolation networks which isolate the sensors from the remainder of the site equipment.
Referring now in greater detail to the various figures of the drawing wherein like references and characters refer to like parts, the measuring and monitoring system 2 of the instant invention is shown is FIG. 1. At each individual remote site, a series of sensors S1 through SX are installed at power consumption devices at the remote site. For lighting fixtures or electric devices, photoelectric sensors, which require no external or internal power, are used to indicate whether the light is on or off. For a series of lights which are powered by a single power switch, a single sensor can be used to detect the on/off condition of the bank of lights.
For other types of electrically operated devices, such as air-conditioners, blowers, motors, heaters and the like, current transformers, which are clipped around the input power leads of the devices, determine when the device is drawing power.
As can be seen in FIG. 1, the system 2 is capable of handling a plurality of sites, through N. The sensors S1 through SX are connected, via lines 102a through 102x, respectively, to isolation networks I, which isolate the sensors from the remainder of the electronic equipment at the site. The output of the isolation networks are sampled by the processor at each site. A predetermined time interval for sampling, between 1 and 99 minutes, is transmitted from the host computer to the site processor.
The power supply system PS1 provides regulated 5 volts DC (P5) to the equipment at the site. The output of the site processor is sent to a modem M1 which outputs the information on a communications line 106 to the host computer C1 at a remote location. The host computer processes and formats the incoming monitoring data and prints out reports relating to power consumption for each sensor or group of sensors over a specified period of time. The host computer is capable of handling the outputs of a large number of sites from 1 to N, as can be seen in FIG. 1. A printer PR1 is used to produce reports which will be described in detail later.
FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an alternative stand-alone system at a site. As in the multi-site systems, the outputs of sensors S1-SX are connected to isolation networks I1 and from there to the site processor via lines 104. The site also has a processor P1 with a power supply system PS1. However in the case with the stand-alone system, a PC computer SC1 is located at the site to process and format the monitoring information from the site processor P1. A printer PR1 is used to generate reports at the site. The power supply system, besides providing regulated 5 volt DC power to the equipment on site, has fail-safe circuitry which maintains the sampled monitoring data and a real time clock calendar in the event of a power failure, for up to 24 hours.
FIG. 3 is a detailed block diagram of the site equipment. The power and power supervisory system will now be explained. AC power at the site from the power line is connected to a wall transformer 10 via line 108. The output of the wall transformer on line 110 provides 10 volts AC and earthground to the power supply unit 12. The output of the power supply 12, on line 112, is filtered and regulated 5 volt DC power which is supplied to all the circuits. It comprises ferrite bead inductances, a diode bridge, capacitors and a voltage regulator. The Power On condition is indicated by a light emitting diode (not shown) on the equipment.
Power supply unit 12 is connected to a primary power fail circuit 14 by line 116. If AC power is interrupted, a supervisory circuit 16 receives a power fail signal on line 118 from the primary power fail circuit 14. The primary power fail circuit 14 comprises a pair of diodes and a capacitor-resistance network which produces a DC voltage. When the power is interrupted, the voltage begins to decrease which indicates to the supervisory circuit 16 that a failure is occurring.
The supervisory circuit 16, upon receipt of the signal from the power fail circuit, begins an orderly shutdown of the equipment before the DC power becomes too low by producing a reset signal on lines 122 and 124 to the micro-controller 24, on lines 122 and 128 to the modem 30 and to the clock calendar 28 on lines 122 and 156.
The supervisory circuit 16 also receives a signal from a micro-controller 24 on line 150 which indicates that the micro-controller is properly executing the program. If the signal is not supplied within a required time, the supervisory circuit sends a reset signal to the micro-controller 24 and to the modem 30 on lines 126 and 128, respectively. The supervisory circuit 16 also sends a memory enable signal to the random access memory 26 on line 126 to ensure that the memory is protected during a power failure event.
The power fail circuit path is shown in dashed lines in FIG. 3. The power supply output P5 (5 volts D.C.) is sent to the supervisory circuit via line 114. Connected to the supervisory circuit is a capacitor back-up circuit 18 via line 120. The capacitor back-up circuit 18 comprises capacitors which are charged through a resistor to provide input power to the supervisory circuit 16. When a primary power fail indication occurs on line 118, the supervisory circuit accepts the output of the capacitor back-up circuit and routes the back-up DC voltage to the random access memory, RAM 26 and the clock calendar 28 to maintain their operation during a power outage, on lines 130, 132 and 134, respectively.
In summary, the power supply system, PS1, detects the start of a power failure and alerts the RAM 26 and the clock/calendar 28 to accept back-up power and sends reset signals to the micro-controller 24 and the modem 30 to provide an orderly shutdown before the voltage P5 becomes too low.
When the voltage output of the power supply 12 begins to drop at the onset of a power failure, the micro-controller 24 writes the time and date of the failure into the RAM 26. During the outage, only the clock/calendar 28 and the RAM 26 will be powered. The system will maintain the clock operation and information in the RAM 26 for 24 hours. When the power comes back up, the micro-controller writes the time again into the RAM 26.
The site processor P1 and associated equipment will now be described. As can be seen in FIG. 3, the on/off indication voltage from each of the sensors is transmitted on lines 102 to the isolation networks I1. The output of the isolation networks on lines 136 are sent to input buffers 20 and from there on lines 138 to the address/data bus 104. The other units of the processor P1, an address latch 22, the micro-controller 24, the random access memory RAM 26, the clock calendar 28, and the modem M1 communicate with each other on lines 140, 142, 144, 146, and 148 respectively, via the address/data bus 104.
The micro-controller 24 is the main controlling element for the processor P1 and controls all the programmable functions of the other circuits. It executes the program instructions utilizing a program read-only memory (PROM) with the control instructions for operating the micro-processor. The micro-controller 24 comprise an internal random access memory (RAM) which is available for temporary storage of data, a timer and counters for general timing and counting use, an oscillator to provide a clock frequency using a crystal capacitor, input/output and controls which provide paths for communication and control external to the micro-controller 24, and a direct user input control in the form of a pushbutton.
The address latch 22 provides the address bits for the random access memory RAM 26.
The RAM 26 stores the monitored sensor data which will be ultimately transferred to the host computer C1. The clock/calendar 28 provides time of day, power fail time, alarm functions and date information. The circuit uses an internal crystal oscillator with capacitors which may be trimmed to precision accuracy. It contains a small amount of internal random access memory 29 (notepad RAM) which stores status and command information sent from the host computer.
The modem M1 provides for the exchange of information between the site processor, P1 and the host computer, C1. A 1200 band, full duplex modem is used with timing generated by a crystal and capacitors.
FIG. 4 shows a portion of the isolation networks I1. The inputs from 8 sensors are shown. Four such circuits are used, so that the site processor P1 is capable of handling a remote monitoring system with up to thirty-two sensor inputs. The isolation couplers can be standard available optically coupled isolators such as unit PS2506-4 or its equivalent. Two such units comprise an individual network of eight opto-isolators. The isolators are provided power from P5 through resistors R1. The outputs of the isolators are then sent to the input buffer 20 on lines 136, and from the input buffer 20 on lines 138 to the address/data bus 104.
The other equipment at the site, the site processor P1, the power supply system PS1 and the modem M1 can also be produced using standard off-the-shelf components and chips. For example, the micro-controller 24 may comprise an 8748H chip or equivalent manufactured by Intel. It has a 1K×8 embedded read-only memory (EPROM) with a 64×8 random access memory (RAM). The random access memory can comprise an integrated chip, MCM60L25A, produced by Motorola, or its equivalent produced by Itachi, an HM62256LP chip which has a 32,746×8-bit random access memory. The modem 30 can comprise a 73K222UIP chip produced by Silicom Systems or its equivalent.
In an alternate embodiment, analog sensors are installed to provide actual power consumption of each of the devices. Analog to digital (A to D) converters are used to digitize the output of each sensor for storage and processing.
Referring to FIG. 1-3, in the alternate embodiment, the outputs of the analog sensors appear on lines 102, with the isolation network I1 replaced by A-D converters (not shown).
The protocol for the communication data transmitted between the site equipment and the host computer C1 will now be described:
The system protocol, hereinafter referred to as the "protocol", is a communications protocol that transmits data over an asynchronous interface (COM port) on an IBM compatible PC. The system protocol is designed to communicate information between the host computer C1 and an IBM compatible 286 or 386 site processor P1.
To understand the protocol, a brief description of the communications that take place between the site processor and the host computer must be reviewed. The following sequence of events takes place between the site processor and the host computer running.
1. The site processor calls and the unit establishes communication with the host computer.
2. The site processor uploads status information to the host. The host uses this information to determine which actions to take.
3. The host verifies the status information, requests the actual monitoring data, and receives the monitoring data from the site processor.
4. The host then creates and sends a new updated file of status and command information to the site processor telling it when to call in next.
5. The host verifies the information it sent to the site processor.
6. The site processor is put back in computer mode and the units disconnect.
7. The host software translates all data received into the databases.
8. The host then waits for the next site equipment to call in.
All the transfers described in the previous section take place using a special protocol. The use of a protocol is necessary so that either end can understand the information that is being received. The protocol operates over an asynchronous interface that operates at 1200 baud with 8 data bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit.
The three basic formats used by the protocol are as follows:
One of these modes must be used for any communications between the site processor and the host computer to take place. All information is sent in either Hexidecimal or Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) notation.
The "Command Mode" format is used by the site processor and the host computer to tell the receiving end to perform a certain operation. There are five commands used in this mode:
______________________________________Test Mode (T) tests the site equipmentTransmit Status (S) request the site equipment status information (described later)Transmit Data (D) request the site processor to send sensor dataSetup (U) send update or setup information to the site processorMonitor Mode (M) puts the site processor back into monitoring mode.______________________________________
The "Command Mode" format is comprised of a header (ESC or 1B-hex), line number and the line number compliment (used for error detection), a command (T,S,D,U, or M), six data bytes (hex), and a checksum. The checksum character is used to detect communication errors.
Transmit Status (S) information sent by the site processor tells the host computer several things about the site equipment:
______________________________________Unique System ID Site processor identification number that tells the host which unit is transmitting. This number is unique for each unit.Current time Current time of the site processor's internal clock.Alarm time! Time the site processor was programmed to call the host computer.Status/control Special information about the site processor including: Error codes (if any) Type of phone system (Tone or Pulse) Leap year informationPrimary phone Main phone number that thenumber (P1) site processor unit dials to transfer data.Service phone Service phone number that thenumber (P2) site processor dials in case of emergencies or after all retries on P1 were unsuccessful.Checksum on phone Data transfer checksum code.numbers. This number is the summation (in hex) of all the digits in the two telephone numbers with the carry thrown away. It is checked by the site processor and the host computer to determine if an error occurred in a transmission.Sample rate for Polling interval that the sitethe site processor processor uses to "grab". information from its 32 sensors.Next address This is the next memory address that the site processor with write to (max = 8000-hex). Its is mainly used to tell the host computer how many records of sensor data to read in.Flag address This memory address tells the site processor to call the host when memory gets to this address. It is used to prevent the site processor from running out of memory.Start time The time that the site processor was updated last and put into monitoring mode by the host computer.______________________________________
This information results in 11 "Command Mode" format lines of status information that the site processor sends to the host computer.
The "Command Mode" format is also the format used by the host computer to send the site processor "Update" (U) or status and command information. Status and command information is very similar to the Status information described previously, with the exception of one line; the omission of the line that has the site processor ID information. Consequently, only 10 "Command Mode" format lines are sent to the site processor from the host with the update command.
The host changes the site processor's current time with its own clock time. This is done so that the PC's and site processor's clocks are in sync. The host also resets the next address for recording sensor data in the RAM 26 to 0000 (hex). This is because all the data has already been transferred an the site processor should start storing new monitoring data at the beginning of its memory. The host re-programs the site processor with a new alarm (call in) and start times. This is generated by the host computer program and is based on the parameters set by the user.
All update information can be changed at any time by the host computer.
The "Block Mode" format is strictly used to send "Transmit Data" (D) information from the site processor to the host PC. After the site processor has been sent the "Transmit Data" command, sensor point power usage data is sent in a special format, along with any power outage information. The special data format includes special control codes that identify which bytes of data are actual power usage data, and which are recorded power usage down and up times.
In the block mode, each block of data sent is comprised of a header (SOH or 01-hex), the block number and its compliment, 128 bytes of sensor and any power outage data, followed by a Checksum. Here again, the checksum is used to detect any errors that ma have occurred during the transmission. When all blocks are sent, the site processor sends an "EOT" (or 04-hex) character. The site processor pads the 128 bytes with 0's if needed.
The command and block mode formats are usually followed by a special code sent in the "Control Mode" format. The site processor is then placed into "Monitoring Mode" using the M command.
The "Control Mode" is a single ASCII code sent in hexidecimal format. Control mode codes are as follows:
______________________________________CODE HEXABBREV CODE MEANING______________________________________ACK 06 Acknowledge a Command or Block Mode transfer (successful transfer)NAK 15 Not acknowledge a Block Mode transfer (unsuccessful transfer)EOT 04 Identify the end of a block of sensor data.CAN 18 Cancel an operation______________________________________
The site processor has certain control parameters that determine how communications should operate.
______________________________________Call out parameters______________________________________Dial Tone Wait Time that the site processor(10 seconds) will wait for a Dial Tone before hanging up.Blind Dial Wait This is the number of seconds(2 seconds) that the site processor waits to dial after the site processor manual transmit button has been pressed.Wait for Answer Time that the site processor(60 seconds) will wait for the host computer to answer the call.Retries (10) The number of times that the site processor will try to call the host.Retry Interval The interval between each (5 minuter) retry.Retry Wait (next The next time that the sitenight same time) processor will try and call after the first 10 retries fail.Response Timeout This is the maximum time that(15 seconds) the site processor waits to get a response from the host before sending a NAK to the hostCarrier Dropout This is the maximum time (2 seconds) allowed for small carrier dropouts before the site processor will hang up.Allowed connection This is the total amount ofTime (10 min.) time that the site processor will stay connnected to the host with no activity. Then it hangs up.______________________________________
As described previously, the preferred embodiment allows for the monitoring of up to thirty-two power consuming devices. For each sampling, the outputs of the thirty-two sensors are stored in four 8-bit bytes of the RAM 26 memory. If less than thirty-two sensors are used, the unused bits are padded with "zeros". The output of each sensor S1 to SX is directed by the micro-controller 24 sequentially into the RAM 26. The RAM 26 comprises approximately 32,768 8-bit bytes of memory. Each four bytes of sampled data is referred to as one sampling or one data record. The output of sensors 1 through 8 is stored at the first available address location in the RAM, the output of sensors 9-16 is stored in the next available address location in the RAM with the output of sensors 17-24 and 25-32 stored in turn in the next two available address locations. Thus, the results of a sampling are stored as ones or zeroes in 4 bytes of memory in sequence.
At each sampling interval the outputs of the sensors are again sampled and stored in the next four sequential storage addresses. Eight data records are stored in sequence utilizing 32 bytes of storage. The 33rd byte is used to indicate whether a power outage has occurred in any of the previous eight data records.
Should a power outage occur, the voltage on line 112 begins to drop. At a predetermined point, for example, if the 5 volt D.C. output of the power supply 12 has dropped to 4.2 volts, the supervisory circuit 16 alerts the micro-controller 24 which places the time and date into the next available storage location in the RAM 26. The clock calendar 28, the notepad RAM 29 and the RAM 26 are maintained in operation during the power outage with power provided by the capacitor backup circuit 18. When the power comes back up, the micro-controller will insert into the next available address in RAM 26 the time and date at which power was restored.
After 32 bytes have been filled in the RAM 26, the 33rd byte, which is indicative of whether a power outage has occurred, is written by the processor into the next address of RAM. That byte will identify whether a power outage has occurred, and if so, it will identify the address in which the time and date of the occurrence of the power outage is stored. Both the micro-controller at the remote site and the host computer know that the byte following the byte which identifies the time and place of the occurrence of the power outage will contain the information as to the time and date at which power was restored.
As described in the protocol, after the site processor has uploaded the status information to the host, the host requests the monitored data from the site processor. At this time, the data stored in RAM 26, which is stripped-down, on/off data from the sensors and power outage information is sequentially transmitted to the host computer in blocks of 128 bytes. The host computer keeps track of the time and the identification of each sensor because it knows the time of the initial sampling, the sampling rate, and the fact that the outputs of the sensors are placed into the RAM 26 sequentially.
Of course, a power outage breaks the sequence. Therefore, the host computer, upon receiving the information in the 33rd byte, after eight records, knows the time that the outage occurred, and also can maintain the sequence to identify each of the sensor outputs after a break in the sequence due to the power outage. Thus, the protocol provides a compressed and very efficient means for storing and transmitting stripped-down data and it eliminates the necessity for identifying sensors and time and date with the sampled data each time the sampled data is stored.
The site processors P1-N are all under the command and control of the host computer C1. At the conclusion of the transmittal of the monitored data, the host computer C1 transmits to the site processor the time and date to initiate new samplings, the sampling interval, the time and date for the next reporting of monitored data by the site processor, the time and date of its own clock/calendar so that the site processors P1-PN can update and synchronize their clock/calendars 28 with the host computer's clock/calendar and a flag address to warn the site processor that it is nearing the end of its RAM 26 memory capacity. The site processors are also directed to start at the first RAM storage address. Thus, the new information is written over existing information in the RAM.
The flag address is a address which tells the site processor to call the host when the memory gets to the address to prevent the site processor from running out of memory. If the site processor detects the fact that the next address is the flag address it will call the host computer and send the host computer the contents of the RAM 26 memory so that the site processor can begin placing monitored data at the first address in the RAM again before it runs out of storage locations.
The host computer processes and formats the power usage data that it receives from the remote site. It manages the data transfer between the remote sites and the central location and schedules the operation and communications flow between the remote sites and the central location. It includes various data bases including data bases for the actual power usage of each of the remote sites. It generates reports and graphs based on monitored and calculated data. It provides various utility functions such as system configurations, assigning of passwords, archiving of data and functions which allow the user to modify the data bases in different ways.
The host computer has various data bases as follows:
(1) a utility/rate data base which contains information about the utilities rate structure which is used for reports and billing;
(2) a site data base which contains information about the remote site location as well as the scheduling information for the remote sites;
(3) a sensor data base which identifies the various sensor points at each remote site and contains information about the sensor points;
(4) a sensor data base which contains power usage data for each sensor point at each remote site;
(5) a call-in history data base which maintains a log of each data transfer that has occurred; and
(6) auxiliary data bases which define terms such as codes that utility companies use for their rate structure and which contain other special information relating to the utilities.
The host computer communicates and transfers power usage data between the remote sites and the central location via a modem connected to COM ports of an IBM compatible PC. The host monitors the PC's port for incoming calls from the remote sites. The host computer is capable of managing multiple remote sites and automatically returns to the monitoring mode after a data transfer has taken place.
After the data has been placed into the various data bases, the host computer prints messages on a printer as well as to a disk-based text file so that data transfer information can be viewed at a later time.
The information received by the host computer, in addition to the information stored in the host computer relating to the sensors at the remote sites, enables the host computer to provide print-outs on site usage over periods of time. These sensor points may be placed into groupings such as lighting for offices, computer room power, warehouse power consumption and so forth and summaries of the loads and hours of use and the kilowatt hours consumed over various periods of time and during peak or off-peak periods can be made available. In addition, if the user installs power-saving devices or equipment, the amount of savings can be calculated. Thus, a series of remote sites can be monitored on a continuous basis to determine where, when and how the power is being used, and the rates and costs of the uses of the power.
A system for monitoring and measuring power usage of various devices installed at facilities has been described. The system uses sensors installed at the power usage devices which sense whether the device is drawing power. The output of the sensors are connected to a processor at each facility which is under the control of a host computer at a central location. The host computer directs the processor to begin polling the sensor at specified time intervals and to report and transmit the data back to the host processor at a specific time and date.
The system uses a protocol which enables storage of stripped down usage data only without the need for recording other information at each sampling or polling. This not only results in substantial savings and memory storage capacity but also reduces communication time, since raw polled data and power outage time periods only are transmitted and received by the host computer. The host computer also provides the initial storage location of the data in the processor so that, with the transmission of data and the power outage information, it can keep track of the correspondence between the data and each of the power sensors, and the time and date of each sampling or polling.
In an alternate embodiment, instead of using one bit of data to indicate the on or off status of power consuming devices, a sensor which generates a current or voltage proportional to the amount of power being used by each device is installed at the device. A to D converters are then employed to digitize the analog information so that it may be stored in the RAM of the processor. In this case, one byte of storage (8-bits of data) is used to store the output of each analog sensor. The byte indicates the amount of power being consumed by the device.
Without further elaboration, the foregoing will so fully illustrate my invention that others may, by applying current or future knowledge, readily adapt the same for use under the various conditions of service.
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|U.S. Classification||702/62, 702/187, 705/412, 324/113, 340/870.02|
|International Classification||G01R21/133, H02J13/00, G06F17/40|
|Cooperative Classification||Y02E60/7838, H02J13/0062, G01R21/133, Y04S40/124, G06Q50/06, Y04S10/30, Y02E60/74|
|European Classification||G01R21/133, G06Q50/06, H02J13/00F4B4, G06F17/40|
|Jun 12, 2001||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Mar 23, 2006||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|Mar 23, 2006||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
Year of fee payment: 11