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Cabin Power Management System

A Computer Engineering Senior Project

Team Members

Jonathan Walker

Project Date

Fall 2016

Project Description

The topic of research for this paper is a hybrid power management system. Specifically, a system that is designed to monitor and control the ow of electricity in a power system that uses both a solar powered battery bank and a propane generator to meets its power requirements. The prototype for this research is designed to be installed in an o_-the-grid cabin that uses these two types of energy sources.

At this time, renewable energy is a hot topic in the field of power production. With current technologies, sometimes it is not feasible to power an entire system with a single renewable energy source. This often leads to "hybrid power systems" that use a combination of different energy sources, both renewable and non-renewable, to meet their power needs. Along with hybrid power systems, there is a need to monitor and manage how power flows through the system. There are existing solutions for managing this type of system, but the associated costs for these professionally designed systems are prohibitive to the general public. Such systems typically fall in the $3,000 to $7000 range for consumer-grade products.

This is where the Cabin Power Management System comes into play. In order to address the cost issues associated with these systems, I designed a cheaper solution for managing a hybrid power system. My project covers the transition from an existing manual hybrid power system (propane and solar) to an automatically-controlled hybrid power system. Specifically, the focus of this project was the research into the design modifications, additional components, and software development required to make such a transition while keeping costs low. With this focus, I hope to provide an ideological foundation for the future of avoidable hybrid power system management.