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School Automation Project

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Summary: Electrical Troubleshooting Question about Home Automation:
Hello I am a senior in high school and I am working with a group on an Economics Business plan project.

School Automation Project

School Automation Project
Hello I am a senior in high school and I am working with a group on an Economics Business plan project.

Our product idea is a device which monitors the electrical usage in your home, including appliances, AC, lights,fans, and anything plugged into a circuit.

The device will be a wall mounted touch screen, and our primary concern is being able to link the screen and its monitoring components up to each individual circuit.

Do you think that an idea like this would even be possible in a house that is already built and finished, or only in a new house where the drywall has not been finished?

Also do you think that the concept of plugging into each individual circuit is even feasible? I was think maybe if you could find a source wire group entering each room you could in concept tap into it at that point and from there determine which wire goes to what device and save time wiring the system in. Your response and time is greatly appreciated, and you will be cited in our research and sources section as an important link to the overall success of this idea. Thank you again, Sincerely Kevin Z.

Hi Kevin - Great Electrical Repair Question!
I once work on a similar idea a few years ago. Let me see if I can dig up my notes on it, and I'd love to see what your group puts together. Your question about being able to install such a system in an existing home?, well the answer is yes. Due to more and more sensors and monitoring devices available today it is possible do this and a lot more. here is an example: I worked on a project at a hospital where I installed several digital energy monitoring devices which were wired with cat5e cable to a central building automation system, the Johnson Control MetaSys, where we created identifiers for these devices which were in turn read through display screens that were created displaying real-time information. These devices were also assigned addresses which were monitored by anyone whom had access.

In a more simple installation I have installed a similar device to a home which had a rental unit where the power was fed to a 100 amp sub-panel from the main home panel. The owner did not want to pay for the renters energy usage so a energy monitor was installed which used a set of C-T's or Current Transformers. These CT's are devices that clamp around the power conductors and produce an analog value based upon the current flowing through these devices. As they are called, they basically work off the same principle as a transformer. This energy monitoring device produce a digital reading that the home owner would record and produce an energy bill from.

From: Kevin Z.
Thank you so much for your quick reply it is much appreciated because I understand that you have a very busy schedule. I had thought about such a device that used the right hand rule of monitoring current flow through a clamp on type device and I was only hoping that such a device existed. I will continue to do research on this and my only other question would be an estimate of wire required and possible the type of wire. I am looking to just use the outputs on the circuit breaker to keep is simple.

Thank you again and i will cite you as a major resource in my project.
Kevin Z.

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