Adding Rivalrous Hardware Scheduling to the First Generation FREEDM Systems Communication Platform

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Title: Adding Rivalrous Hardware Scheduling to the First Generation FREEDM Systems Communication Platform
Author: Sachidananda, Subash Ghattadahalli
Advisors: Dr. Alexander Dean, Committee Chair
Dr. Frank Mueller, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Eric Rotenberg, Committee Member
Abstract: Existing power management systems are hard-wired, slow, unreliable and insecure. By improving the communication framework for power management systems, using Internet and modern communication protocols like IEC61850, Zigbee (IEEE 802.15.4), etc., not only can energy be managed better, but also, the system as a whole can be made faster, secure and reliable. Any communication network has certain important characteristics like delay, range, scalability, network topology, etc., that dictate its effectiveness and usefulness in a particular environment. Delays in various parts of the network is one of the important characteristics that needs to be studied carefully. Network delays can be reduced by not only faster hardware but also better software. Importance also needs to be placed on monitoring power consumption of the devices, and ways to improve power efficiency of the system. In conjunction with that, a first generation communication framework for renewable energy distribution and management system, was set up using a network of embedded boards and personal computers. Various communication protocols and interfaces were tried to prove the versatility and reliability of the entire system. Experiments were conducted to test the range and delays in various parts of the communication network. Having established a platform for the nodes to communicate, investigation was done to implement techniques that could make the nodes more power efficient. One of the ways to stretch the battery life is through addition of an SMPS. However, addition of an SMPS introduces power instability to the system and interferes with normal functioning of sensitive devices like ADC, compass, etc. A processor controlled SMPS was added to the communication platform and its interference with normal functioning of the system was studied. Possible hardware and software approaches to counter this interference are also presented.
Date: 2010-02-22
Degree: MS
Discipline: Computer Engineering

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