Energy Monitor Design, 2013

Background Information

To create a sustainable community, Nova Scotia needs to rapidly transition away from the over-reliance on oil and coal for energy.  Our province currently has some of the highest levels of per capita pollution, which contributes to global climate change, acid rain, and smog. Since NS Power provides us inexpensive and plenty of energy, mostly we don’t care about where and how we use the power. In addition, even people already know how to save power by changing their lifestyle, there’re always power losses in some unknown reason such as outage household appliances, unreasonable circuit system and so on (Tassel, 2014). It is time for us to harness the potential for sustainable, appropriate development that will benefit our communities in the long-term.


Nowadays, there are so many so-called energy saving products is coming on the market. People want to live a green life and buy these green products. But they still lack of visual awareness of their electricity consumption. In another hand, some appliances, such as refrigerators, can cost a small fortune to run if they’re a bit worse for wear, so it’s very important to check such items every so often to ensure that they’re not pouring energy and money down the drain. My idea is make a product which can let people know how much power they use visually. And people can use the figures from it to encourage their co-workers or family to be more careful about switching things off when they’re not needed.

Final Outcome

This idea is bring an energy monitor indoor. The monitor can be installed in the electric brake box.  The product is a process for analyzing changes in the voltage and current going into a house and deducing what appliances are used in the house as well as their individual energy consumption. After it measures the energy used by different appliances, the product will display the energy consumption on LED screen. And the most important function is that this product can figure out some abnormal electricity consumption and give advice

Target User

Residences or workplaces that have discrete electricity meters installed.

How can we calculate electricity fee

NS Power. (n. d. ). Energy Calculator. Nova Scotia Power. Retrieved from:

Tassel. A, personal communication, February 9, 2014

Home power monitors that already on the market

P3. (n. d. ). Kill A Watt. P3 International. Retrieved from:

Kill A Watt. (n. d. ). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from:

The Kill A Watt is an electricity usage monitor marketed by P3 International. It features a large LCD display and it enables cost forecasting. It measures the energy used by individual appliances plugged into the meter, as opposed to in-home energy use displays, which display the energy used by an entire household. The name is a play on the word kilowatt. The device can give an indication of the standby power used by appliances.

One shortcoming of the Kill-a-Watt range of devices is that they do not have the ability to store, transmit or transfer the readings, thus limiting their usage for any ongoing monitoring purposes. To counter this shortcoming, a couple of openly available modifications have been published on the Web, to enable these devices send data wirelessly to a receiver.

Amazon. (n. d. ). Blue Line Innovations BLI 28000 PowerCost Monitor. Amazon. Retrieved from:

This monitor monitors the total usage of your home and does so at the electrical panel. Some can be installed by the homeowner while others should be installed by a licensed electrician. While your power bill or our Home Energy Report provide a single data point for a 2-month period, these monitors provide more detailed information, either on a daily, hourly or even real-time basis. This can allow you to watch your usage and quickly link any increases or decreases to specific appliances or devices that may have turned on or off during that time.

Quote from J. Good’s comment in Amazon:” Our house is all-electric, so the real-time number varies substantially, particularly in the winter. When several baseboard heaters, the dryer and the water heater are on, we could be seeing over 10 kW. Or, moments later, it could be under 1 kW. Without knowing what the breakdown of that number is, the real-time indication is of limited value unless you find an energy hog that can be replaced or upgraded. (We did not find low-hanging fruit.) So, it’s the cumulative number that has been most helpful to me. That allows me to gauge how we’re doing during the course of the month, rather than waiting for the bill (or running out to look at the utility meter). Our billing cycle begins the same date every month, but the PCM can’t be configured to reset the cumulative number automatically to match. For the cumulative number to have any meaning, I have to remember to reset the display unit monthly. (And, as mentioned above, with the sensor connection problems, we’re not getting terribly accurate totals as compared to our bill.) Also, the PCM doesn’t have daylight saving time capability, so it’s another clock to change. If you have tiered electricity rates, that clock is essential to getting accurate dollar estimates.”

Functions should contain

1.      Electricity consumption (individual appliance, amount)

2.      Electricity fee (individual appliance, amount)

3.      Time (digital clock, set, reset)

4.      Abnormal consumption

5.      Advice

Design Outcome




Material selection

PVC insulation material or rubber.

These two kinds of material are always used in electric products. They are all materials that can prevent electric current passes through, that is they have higher electrical resistivity and conductivity. In another hand, they are easy dyeing.

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