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ITU’s VP of Technology & Research Secures Third Patent for Electrical Energy Management System

PatentPics (3 of 3)ITU’s Vice President of Technology & Research, Dr. Karl Wang, secured a patent in July 2016 on the architecture of an electrical energy measurement, which encompasses two other patents for electrical current and voltage measurement devices issued in April 2015 and June 2016.

According to Dr. Wang: ”We have three US Patents from this research so far: the first is the current sensing, the second is the voltage sensing using an optical isolator instead of a transformer, and the third one [the patent received in July 2016] is an architecture design of the whole Internet of Things system, as applied to electrical energy management.”

A Cloud Platform for IOT

The Internet of Things (IOT) is a growing industry, particularly in Silicon Valley, as it is becoming more apparent that internet connectivity for numerous devices could revolutionize the technology industry. This new patent is part of that research, aiming to increase energy efficiency.

Dr.-Wang“We have developed an Internet of Things platform, specifically applied to an electrical energy management system,” says Dr. Wang. “We use smart meters to measure the current and voltage, and send the data to a coordinator, which in turn relays the data to a server, and the server puts the information in the cloud. You can then monitor electrical power that’s being used with any smart device like your cell phone. In addition, you can perform Big Data analysis to figure out, for example, control of electrical grid system to optimize power distribution.”

The versatile technology is currently being demonstrated as a prototype in ITU campus in the Green Campus project, and has multiple uses in industry: “The starting point is for an electrical energy management system. But it can also be applied to a variety of fields like biometrics, for health monitoring purpose, or monitoring the battery use of an electrical vehicle.”

An Idea Born Out of the Classroom

“We are doing this research first and foremost to train our students. We have had several Master’s theses based on this research,” says Dr. Wang. The basic concept for the device came while teaching his Embedded Systems course in 2013, when he asked his students to do a final project on energy management. One of the key points of this project was the large size of electrical transformers used in sensing the current and voltage, and the fact that these measurements are subject to disturbances by an external magnet placed in the proximity of the transformers.

“We were thinking about all the problems about using transformers for voltage and current sensing, and at the time I was thinking there might be a better way,” concludes Dr. Wang.