Remote Power Monitoring

Provision of a utilities monitoring function to integrate into a complete building services system

The Skills Required

Comms and interface protocol knowledge were used to translate monitoring and control functions between the proprietary customer hardware and both a Cisco- specific solution and a generic SNMP interface.
With the addition of an embedded web-server and REST API command set, and provision of production programming functions, Fen's code optimisation skills were utilised to pack a lot of capability into a low cost hardware platform.

Significant mechanical constraints required careful component choices and 3D multi-PCB modelling to allow the product to fit a confined space.
To minimise cabling and cost a USB derived PoE scheme was implemented.

Fen worked with the client to define and implement a series of embedded functions and commands to optimise the manufacturing and test process.
Careful selection and positioning of components on the PCB ensured both DFM and significant space constraint requirements could be met.

The Brief

A novel power monitoring device needed upgrading to allow it to support both Cisco proprietary and industry standard building services integration protocols. This required the architecting and development of a suitable PoE – powered hardware and embedded software solution to network enable this technology.

In addition the analogue nature of the installation process required a secure user friendly setup and configuration interface that could be used to service both the on-site commissioning function and the interaction with a number of different high level building services management solutions.

As a volume product additional software functions needed to be included to support a streamlined manufacturing process.

 

The Solution

Fen worked with the client’s team to define a suitable comm’s protocol and physical interface to the power monitoring unit, which enabled its connection to the building management system.

Considerable effort was made to select a low cost processor & memory solution. Significant optimisation of the embedded software was required to accommodate both the Fen proprietary code and the third party stack on this limited platform.

For ease of integration into multiple environments Fen chose to implement a secure embedded web server accessed through a Fen defined REST API.

Fen designed a PoE adapter unit to allow powering and installation to be done locally by a maintenance engineer’s laptop prior to connection to the network.

 

 

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