Date of Award

6-2010

Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

James Harris

Abstract

With an expected lifetime of 20 years and an expected cost of $500, the Cal Poly Sustainable Power for Electrical Resources (SuPER) project needed a strong central design. This thesis looks at the work completed by students over the previous 5 years, with an eye on the future, to create the phase 2 design. Part of this new structure focuses on a distributed communication bus for monitoring system health and status. Instead of complex and costly computer or FPGA systems, the new system will run solely with microcontrollers. This reduces costs and will hopefully still be used within 5, 10, and 20 years as the number of embedded devices continues to grow globally. The new system design was created using many systems engineering tools and benchmarks, including: requirements breakdown, hardware interfacing, software interfacing, safety, reliability, maintainability, and cost. Major components have been broken down into subsystems with well-defined requirements for implementation. These smaller projects can be completed by future team members as senior projects, independent work, or even Master’s theses. Upon test and integration, these subsystems will come together into a field-ready model to help bring power to the two billion people on Earth lacking it.

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