Monjolo: An Energy-Harvesting Energy Meter Architecture
Samuel DeBruin, Brad Campbell, Prabal Dutta

Citation
Samuel DeBruin, Brad Campbell, Prabal Dutta. "Monjolo: An Energy-Harvesting Energy Meter Architecture". Sensys'13: The ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, November, 2013.

Abstract
Conventional AC power meters perform at least two distinct functions: power conversion, to supply the meter itself, and energy metering, to measure the load consumption. This paper presents Monjolo, a new energy-metering architecture that combines these two functions to yield a new design point in the metering space. The key insight underlying this work is that the output of a current transformer – nominally used to measure a load current – can be harvested and used to intermittently power a wireless sensor node. The hypothesis is that the node’s activation frequency increases monotonically with the primary load’s draw, making it possible to estimate load power from the interval between activations, assuming the node consumes a fixed energy quanta during each activation. This paper explores this thesis by designing, implementing, and evaluating the Monjolo metering architecture. The results demonstrate that it is possible to build a meter that draws zero-power under zero-load conditions, offers high accuracy for near-unity power factor loads, works with non-unity power factor loads in combination with a whole-house meter, wirelessly reports readings to a data aggregator, is resilient to communication failures, and is parsimonious with the radio channel, even under heavy loads. Monjolo eliminates the high-voltage AC-DC power supply and AC metering circuitry present in earlier designs, enabling a smaller, simpler, safer, and lower-cost design point that supports novel deployment scenarios like non-intrusive circuit-level metering.

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Citation formats  
  • HTML
    Samuel DeBruin, Brad Campbell, Prabal Dutta. <a
    href="http://www.terraswarm.org/pubs/108.html"
    >Monjolo: An Energy-Harvesting Energy Meter
    Architecture</a>, Sensys'13: The ACM Conference on
    Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, November, 2013.
  • Plain text
    Samuel DeBruin, Brad Campbell, Prabal Dutta. "Monjolo:
    An Energy-Harvesting Energy Meter Architecture".
    Sensys'13: The ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor
    Systems, November, 2013.
  • BibTeX
    @inproceedings{DeBruinCampbellDutta13_MonjoloEnergyHarvestingEnergyMeterArchitecture,
        author = {Samuel DeBruin and Brad Campbell and Prabal Dutta},
        title = {Monjolo: An Energy-Harvesting Energy Meter
                  Architecture},
        booktitle = {Sensys'13: The ACM Conference on Embedded
                  Networked Sensor Systems},
        month = {November},
        year = {2013},
        abstract = {Conventional AC power meters perform at least two
                  distinct functions: power conversion, to supply
                  the meter itself, and energy metering, to measure
                  the load consumption. This paper presents Monjolo,
                  a new energy-metering architecture that combines
                  these two functions to yield a new design point in
                  the metering space. The key insight underlying
                  this work is that the output of a current
                  transformer â nominally used to measure a load
                  current â can be harvested and used to
                  intermittently power a wireless sensor node. The
                  hypothesis is that the nodeâs activation
                  frequency increases monotonically with the primary
                  loadâs draw, making it possible to estimate load
                  power from the interval between activations,
                  assuming the node consumes a fixed energy quanta
                  during each activation. This paper explores this
                  thesis by designing, implementing, and evaluating
                  the Monjolo metering architecture. The results
                  demonstrate that it is possible to build a meter
                  that draws zero-power under zero-load conditions,
                  offers high accuracy for near-unity power factor
                  loads, works with non-unity power factor loads in
                  combination with a whole-house meter, wirelessly
                  reports readings to a data aggregator, is
                  resilient to communication failures, and is
                  parsimonious with the radio channel, even under
                  heavy loads. Monjolo eliminates the high-voltage
                  AC-DC power supply and AC metering circuitry
                  present in earlier designs, enabling a smaller,
                  simpler, safer, and lower-cost design point that
                  supports novel deployment scenarios like
                  non-intrusive circuit-level metering.},
        URL = {http://terraswarm.org/pubs/108.html}
    }
    

Posted by Mila MacBain on 19 Sep 2013.

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