Load bank and automated equipment testing
This project wrapped up a wide variety of sensing and control technologies. Shown here is
one of two control panels for monitoring and control of this system. The end-use application
The LabVIEW interface was a built executable that completed an extended,
complex testing sequence with adjustable alarms and fault criteria for every variable
recorded to data logs. The results of the testing were used for acceptance criteria for an
external customer for the product.
A few details:
- Remote VFD control over Modbus TCP/IP with custom frame formats
- Nine RTDs read through custom driver board with filtering into analog inputs
- Three accelerometers read into analog inputs
- Two vibration sensors read into analog inputs
- Chiller flow rate sensors read into analog input
- Chiller/heater setpoint and monitoring over RS232
- Power supply monitoring over TCP raw socket
- Load bank control via control panel pictured, through PLC over Modbus TCP/IP
Remote temperature sensing and logging
This project involved monitoring solar modules out in the wild. The temperature was
logged continuously at six points per node, with the deployment here comprising six nodes
for a total of 48 sensors. These were all on a single bus, utilizing the 1Wire protocol to
transmit temperature data over three wires over a distance in excess of 100m.
The sensor gateway was connected via VPN for web-enabled view and access of data from
anywhere in the world. On top of this, Interface Innovations is able to continuously update,
monitor and troubleshoot system performance on-call. Feature requests and additions were
addressed in real-time.
Anemometer and pyranometer were later added with a DAQ for read inputs. Standard
cupidweblibs were used for
A few details:
- 100% Web interface
- Built-in power management board with backup Lipoly battery for backup in power
outages and graceful shutdown when necessary
- Bus extendable (nearly infinitely)
- Individually addressable temperature sensors with unique ROM identifiers
- LED indicator status lights for field service
- Waterproof sensors accurate to within 0.5C, precision selectable 9-12 bits
- RF communication is an easy optional add-on for remote sensors in this configuration
Automated Chemical Synthesis System
This project was a complete hardware and software solution for chemical synthesis of
The control panel shown controls three synthesis control stations, each with four pneumatic
valves, an SSR-powered heater with relay interlocks, monitored with four thermocouples.
are read by a PLC, with heaters controlled by custom PID.
High-level control is handled by a scalable, object-oriented Python API that communicates
with the PLC over Modbus TCP/IP. The API has
hooks for a web interface, which was also provided, allowing for monitoring, logging and
control of the synthesis tool from anywhere with a web browser.
Simple OEM Kegwasher Controllers
This project began as a custom request and has turned into a regular production project
for Practical Fusion LLC.
Simple Stuff: Pump Output (contactor with overload), heating element output (contactor),
with RTD temperature sensors and level float interlock on everything. All in a IP65 enclosure
with a clean interface.