Remote power monitoring

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

The Brief

A new power monitoring device required an upgrade to support both Cisco proprietary and industry-standard building services integration protocols. This involved developing a suitable PoE-powered hardware and embedded software solution to enable networking for this technology.

Additionally, the installation process was analogue in nature, hence a secure and user-friendly interface was required for setting up and configuring the device. This interface would be used for both on-site commissioning functions and interacting with various high-level building services management solutions.

As this device was intended to be a volume product, additional software functions needed to be included to support a streamlined manufacturing process.

The Solution

We collaborated with the client’s team to devise a suitable communication protocol and physical interface for the power monitoring unit. This enabled the unit to be connected to the building management system. considerable effort was made to select a low-cost processor and memory solution. The embedded software needed significant optimization to accommodate both the Fen proprietary code and the third-party stack on this limited platform.

To make integration into multiple environments easier, we decided to implement a secure embedded web server accessed through our defined REST API. We designed a PoE adapter unit that allows a maintenance engineer to power and install the unit locally using a laptop before connecting it to the network.

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