Measuring and monitoring system

A system for monitoring power usage of various devices at remote facilities is described. The system employs sensors at each facility to sense the on/off condition of the devices. A processor at each facility, under the control of a host computer at a central location, stores the output data of the sensors in stripped-down form. The host computer specifies to the processor at each facility the time and date at which it should begin polling the sensors, the interval between pollings of the outputs of the sensors, the time and date at which the processor should report to the host computer and transmit the stored data, and the address location to be used when the processor initiates polling of the data. A master clock/calendar at the central location is used to synchronize the clock/calendars at each facility. Thus, only stripped-down data and power outage information are required to be stored by the processor and transmitted to the host computer, without the need to store or transmit any other data such as sensor identification or time and date of polling with each sampling of data. This results in reduction of memory storage requirements and transmission time. Alternatively, rather than storing the on/off condition of the devices, sensors which generate analog currents of voltages representing the amount of power being consumed by the device can be used in conjunction with A to D converters to digitize the information for storage and transmission to the host computer.

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Claims

2. The system of claim 1, wherein said status and command information comprises a specified time and date for said processor to initiate sampling, a specified time interval between samplings and a specified time and date at which the remote site is to communicate with the central location to transmit said data to said central location.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein said status and command information from said central location further comprises time and date information provided by a master clock/calendar at said central location and said processor further comprises a means for updating and synchronizing said clock/calendar with said master clock/calendar.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein said means for storing said data and said means for storing said status and command data comprise a random access memory (RAM).

5. The system of claim 4, wherein said RAM comprises a first RAM for storing said data and a second RAM for storing said status and command data.

6. The system of claim 4, wherein said processor further comprises means to initiate sampling of said data and for directing the storage of the outputs of said sensors into said RAM at said specified time and date for initiating sampling.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein said status and command information further comprises a specified RAM storage address location for the start of said storage of said data and said processor further comprises means for writing said data into said specified RAM storage address location.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein said processor further comprises means for repetitively sampling and storing of said data at the specified time intervals of said status and command information.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein said processor further comprises means for writing said repetitive samplings into successive sequential storage address locations in said RAM.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein said system further comprises a means for detecting the occurrence of a power outage and for providing back-up power to said RAM and to said clock/calendar during said outage.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein said means to provide back-up power comprises a capacitor-resistor network.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein said processor further comprises means for writing into said RAM the time and date of the occurrence of said power outage and the time and date of the restoration of power after a power outage.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein said processor further comprises means to write said time and date of the occurrence of power outage into the next sequential address location in said RAM and to write said time and date of the restoration of power into the address location sequentially following said next sequential address location.

14. The system of claim 13, wherein after a predetermined number of samplings of data have been stored in said RAM, said processor further comprises means to write into the next available address location of said RAM information which indicates whether a power outage has taken place during said predetermined number of samplings and if there has been a power outage, the address location of said time and date of the occurrence of said power outage.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein said means to communicate said data from said remote site to said control location and for communicating said status and command data from said control location to said remote site comprises a modem at said remote site, and a modem at said central location.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein said RAM comprises means for storing said data in eight bit bytes and said system comprises up to thirty-two of said sensors and the means to store each sampling of the outputs of said sensors in four sequentially addressed byte locations.

17. The system of claim 16, wherein said processor further comprises means to write eight samplings (thirty-two bytes) of data at sequential address locations in said RAM and means to write to the next sequential address in said RAM said information indicating whether a power outage has occurred and the address location and the time and date of the occurrence of said power outage.

18. The system of claim 17, wherein said central location further comprises means to request the transmission of said sampled data and power outage information stored in said RAM and said remote site comprises means to transmit said sampled data and said power outage information to said central location.

19. The system of claim 18, wherein said remote site further comprises means to transmit said data and said power outage information to said central location in blocks of one hundred twenty eight, eight bit bytes.

20. The system of claim 19, wherein said remote site further comprises means to transmit to said central location status information for enabling said host computer to interpret said blocks of data and power outage information.

21. The system of claim 20, wherein said status information further comprises the site processor identification number, the current time of its clock/calendar, said specified time and date for the processor to communicate with the host computer to transmit said data, the interval between samplings of the outputs of said sensors, the next available address in said RAM, and said time and date at which the site processor was put into its monitoring mode by the host computer.

23. The system of claim 22, wherein said status and command information comprises a specified time and date for said processor to initiate sampling, a specified time interval between samplings and a specified time and date at which each of said plurality of remote sites is to communicate with said central location to transmit said data to said central location.

24. The system of claim 23, wherein said status and command information from said central location further comprises time and date information provided by a master clock/calendar at said central location and said processor further comprises a means for updating and synchronizing said clock/calendar with said master clock/calendar at said central location.

25. The system of claim 24, wherein said means for storing said data and said means for storing said status and command data comprise a random access memory (RAM).

26. The system of claim 25, wherein said RAM comprises a first RAM for storing said data and a second RAM for storing said status and command data.

27. The system of claim 25, wherein said processor comprises means to initiate sampling of said data and for directing the storage of the outputs of said sensors into said RAM at said specified time and date for initiating sampling.

28. The system of claim 27, wherein said status and command information further comprises a specified RAM storage address location for the start of said storage of said data and said processor comprises means for writing said data into said specified RAM storage address location.

29. The system of claim 28, wherein said processor further comprises means for repetitively sampling and storing of said data at the specified time intervals of said status and command information.

30. The system of claim 29, wherein said processor further comprises means for writing said repetitive samplings into successive sequential storage address locations in said RAM.

31. The system of claim 30, wherein said system further comprises a means for detecting the occurrence of a power outage at each of said plurality of remote sites and for providing back-up power to said RAM and to said clock/calendar during said outage.

32. The system of claim 31, wherein said means to provide back-up power comprises a capacitor-resistor network.

33. The system of claim 32, wherein said processor further comprises means for writing into said RAM the time and date of the occurrence of said power outage and the time and date of the restoration of power after a power outage.

34. The system of claim 33, wherein said processor further comprises means to write said time and date of the occurrence of power outage into the next sequential address location in said RAM and to write said time and date of the restoration of power into the address location sequentially following said next sequential address location.

35. The system of claim 34, wherein after a predetermined number of samplings of data have been stored in said RAM, said processor further comprises means to write into the next available address location of said RAM information which indicates whether power outage has taken place during said predetermined number of samplings and if there has been a power outage, the address location of said time and date of the occurrence of said power address.

36. The system of claim 35, wherein said means to communicate said data from each of said plurality of remote sites to said central location and for communicating said status and command data from said control location to each of said remote site comprises a modem at each of said plurality of remote sites, and a modem at said central location.

37. The system of claim 36, wherein said RAM comprises means for storing said data in eight bit bytes and said system comprises up to thirty-two of said sensors and means to store each sampling of the outputs of said sensors in four sequentially addressed byte locations.

38. The system of claim 37, wherein said processor further comprises means to write eight samplings (thirty-two bytes) of data at sequential address locations in said RAM and means to write to the next sequential address in said RAM said information indicating whether a power outage has occurred and the address location and the time and date of the occurrence of said power outage.

39. The system of claim 38, wherein said central location comprises means to request the transmission of said sampled data and power outage information stored in said RAM and each of said plurality of remote sites comprises means to transmit said sampled data and said power outage information to said central location.

40. The system of claim 39, wherein each of said plurality of remote sites comprises means to transmit said data and said power outage information to said central location in blocks of one hundred twenty eight, eight bit bytes.

41. The system of claim 40, wherein each of said plurality of remote sites further comprises means to transmit to said central location status information for enabling said host computer to interpret said blocks of data and power outage information.

42. The system of claim 41, wherein said status information further comprises the site processor identification number, the current time of its clock/calendar, said specified time and date for the processor to communicate with the host computer to transmit said data, the interval between samplings of the outputs of said sensors, the next available address in said RAM, and said time and date at which the site processor was put into its monitoring mode by the host computer.

44. The system of claim 43, wherein said status and command information comprises a specified time and date for said processor to initiate sampling, a specified time interval between samplings and a specified time and date at which said processor is to communicate with the central location to transmit said data to said central location.

45. The system of claim 44, wherein said status and command information from said host further comprises time and date information provided by a master clock/calendar in said host computer and said processor further comprises means for updating and synchronizing said clock/calendar with said master clock/calendar.

46. The system of claim 45, wherein said means for storing said data and said means for storing said status and command data comprise a random access memory (RAM).

47. The system of claim 46, wherein said RAM comprises a first RAM for storing said data and a second RAM for storing said status and command data.

48. The system of claim 46, wherein said processor comprises means to initiate sampling of said data and for directing the storage of the outputs of said sensors into said RAM at said specified time and date for initiating sampling.

49. The system of claim 48, wherein said status and command information further comprises a specified RAM storage address location for the start of said storage of said data and said processor comprises means for writing said data into said specified RAM storage address location.

50. The system of claim 49, wherein said processor further comprises means for repetitively sampling and storing of said data at the specified time intervals of said status and command information.

51. The system of claim 50, wherein said processor further comprises means for writing said repetitive samplings into successive sequential storage address locations in said RAM.

52. The system of claim 51, wherein said system further comprises a means for detecting the occurrence of a power outage and for providing back-up power to said RAM and to said clock/calendar during said outage.

53. The system of claim 52, wherein said means to provide back-up power comprises a capacitor-resistor network.

54. The system of claim 53, wherein said processor further comprises means for writing into said RAM the time and date of the occurrence of said power outage and the time and date of the restoration of power after a power outage.

55. The system of claim 54, wherein said processor further comprises means to write said time and date of the occurrence of power outage into the next sequential address location in said RAM and to write said time and date of the restoration of power into the address location sequentially following said next sequential address location.

56. The system of claim 55, wherein after a predetermined number of samplings of data have been stored in said RAM, said processor further comprises means to write into the next available address location of said RAM information which indicates whether a power outage has taken place during said predetermined number of samplings and if there has been a power outage, the address location of said time and date of the occurrence of said power address.

57. A method for automatically and repetitively sampling and storing data representing the on/off condition of a plurality of power consuming devices at a remote site with a processor using a random access memory (RAM) located at a remote site, and of communicating said data to a host computer, comprising the steps of:

(a) receiving, at said processor, status and command information from said host computer including data specifying the time and date at which said remote processor should initiate said sampling of said data, the time interval between samples of said data and the time and date at which said remote processor should report to, and communicate said sampled data to, said host computer;
(b) storing said status and command data in said RAM;
(c) sequentially sampling, at said time interval, the outputs of a plurality of power sensing devices, representing said on/off condition, each of said devices being installed at a respective one of said plurality of sensors, and communicating said outputs to said remote processor at said time and date for initiating said sampling;
(d) storing said outputs of said sensors in said RAM;
(e) sequentially storing each of said sequentially sampled outputs in said RAM; and
(g) transmitting such said sampled output data directly from said processor to said host computer, using ordinary public telephone lines only, independent of any power transmission lines or means, at said specified reporting time and date.

58. The method of claim 57 wherein said remote site further comprises a real time clock/calendar, a power supply, and a modem, and said method includes the steps of:

(a) providing power to said processor, clock and modem from said power supply;
(b) charging a capacitor from said power supply;
(c) providing power, to maintain the operation of said clock and to maintain the data stored in said RAM during power outages, from said capacitor; and
(d) resuming providing power to said remote processor RAM, clock and modem from said power supply upon termination of said power outage.

59. The method of claim 58 including the additional steps of:

(a) maintaining an accurate time and date in a clock/calendar at said host computer;
(b) transmitting from said host computer to said processor said accurate time and date; and
(c) updating a clock/calendar at said remote site to correspond to said accurate time and date so that said remote site clock/calendar is synchronized with said host computer clock/calendar.

60. The method of claim 57 including the additional step of sequentially storing said sampled outputs in said RAM beginning at the storage address specified by said host computer in said status and command data.

61. The method of claim 60 including the additional steps of:

(a) storing in said RAM the time and date of each power outage and each power resumption; and
(b) transmitting said time and date of each power outage and each power resumption from said processor to said host computer with said sampled outputs.

62. The method of claim 59 including the additional steps of:

(a) detecting the start of the occurrence of a power outage;
(b) storing in said RAM, at the next sequential storage address, said power outage time and date;
(c) detecting the resumption of power after such power outage;
(d) storing in said RAM, at the next sequential storage address, said time and date of said power resumption; and
(e) storing in said RAM information as to whether a power outage at said remote site has occurred during a predetermined number of said samplings and the storage address location of said power outage time and date.

63. The method of claim 60 including the additional step of transmitting from said processor to said host computer, using standard public telephone lines only, independent of any power transmission lines or means, on command from host computer, status information representing said time and date of initial sampling, said time interval between samplings, said reporting time and date, the next available storage address location in said RAM, and a flag storage address which is the address of a predetermined percentage of the total available storage addresses.

64. The method of claim 63 including the additional steps of:

(a) comparing the next available address in said RAM with said flag storage address in said remote processor; and
(b) transmitting said sample data from said processor to said host computer when said next available storage address equals said flag address.

65. The method of claim 64 including the additional steps of:

(a) storing in said RAM the time and date of each power outage and each power resumption; and
(b) transmitting said time and date of each power outage and each power resumption from said processor to said host computer with said sampled output.

66. The method of claim 65 including the additional steps of:

(a) detecting the start of the occurrence of a power outage;
(b) storing in said RAM, in the next sequential storage address, said power outage time and date;
(c) detecting the resumption of power after such power outage;
(d) storing in said RAM, in the next sequential storage address, said time and date of said power outage; and
(e) storing in said RAM information as to whether a power outage has occurred after a predetermined number of said samplings and the storage address location of said power outage time and date.

67. The method of claim 62 including the additional step of transmitting from said remote processor to said host computer, using standard, public telephone lines only, independent of any power transmission lines or means, on command from host computer, status information representing said time and date of initial sampling, said time interval between samplings, said reporting time and date, the next available storage address location in said RAM, and a flag storage address which represents a predetermined percentage of the total available storage addresses.

68. The method of claim 67 wherein said remote site further comprises a real time clock/calendar, a power supply, and a modem, and said method includes the additional steps of:

(a) providing power to said processor, clock and modem from said power supply;
(b) charging a capacitor from said power supply;
(c) providing power to maintain the operation of said clock/calendar and to maintain the data stored in said RAM during power outages from said capacitor; and
(d) resuming providing power to said remote processor, RAM, clock/calendar and modem from said power supply upon termination of said power outage.

70. The system of claim 69, wherein said status and command information comprises a specified time and date for said processor to initiate sampling, a specified time interval between samplings and a specified time and date at which the remote site is to communicate with the central location to transmit said data to said central location.

71. The system of claim 70, wherein said status and command information from said central location further comprises time and date information provided by a master clock/calendar at said central location and said processor further comprises a means for updating and synchronizing said clock/calendar with said master clock/calendar.

72. The system of claim 71, wherein said means for storing said data and said means for storing said status and command data comprise a random access memory (RAM).

73. The system of claim 72, wherein said RAM comprises a first RAM for storing said data and a second RAM for storing said status and command data.

74. The system of claim 73, wherein said processor further comprises means to initiate sampling of said data and for directing the storage of the outputs of said sensors into said RAM at said specified time and date for initiating sampling.

75. The system of claim 74, wherein said status and command information further comprises a specified RAM storage address location for the start of said storage of said data and said processor further comprises means for writing said data into said specified RAM storage address location.

76. The system of claim 75, wherein said processor further comprises means for repetitively sampling and storing of said data at the specified time intervals of said status and command information.

77. The system of claim 76, wherein said processor further comprises means for writing said repetitive samplings into successive sequential storage address locations in said RAM.

78. The system of claim 77, wherein said system further comprises a means for detecting the occurrence of a power outage and for providing back-up power to said RAM and to said clock/calendar during said outage.

79. The system of claim 78, wherein said means to provide back-up power comprises a capacitor-resistor network.

80. The system of claim 79, wherein said processor further comprises means for writing into said RAM the time and date of the occurrence of said power outage and the time and date of the restoration of power after a power outage.

81. The system of claim 80, wherein said processor further comprises means to write said time and date of the occurrence of power outage into the next sequential address location in said RAM and to write said time and date of the restoration of power into the address location sequentially following said next sequential address location.

82. The system of claim 81, wherein after a predetermined number of samplings of data have been stored in said RAM, said processor further comprises means to write into the next available address location of said RAM information which indicates whether a power outage has taken place during said predetermined number of samplings and if there has been a power outage, the address location of said time and date of the occurrence of said power outage.

83. The system of claim 82, wherein said means to communicate said data from said remote site to said central location and for communicating said status and command data from said control location to said remote site comprises a modem at said remote site, and a modem at said central location.

84. The system of claim 83, wherein said system comprises up to thirty-two of said sensors.

85. The system of claim 84, wherein said means to convert said analogue output into digital signals comprises an A to D converter.

86. The system of claim 85, wherein said central location further comprises means to request the transmission of said sampled data and power outage information stored in said RAM and said at least one remote site comprises means to transmit said sampled data and said power outage information to said central location.

87. The system of claim 86, wherein said remote site further comprises means to transmit said data and said power outage information to said central location in bytes.

89. The system of claim 88, wherein said status information further comprises the site processor identification number, the current time of its clock/calendar, said specified time and date for the processor to communicate with the host computer to transmit said data, the interval between samplings of the outputs of said sensors, the next available address in said RAM, and said time and date at which the site processor was put into its monitoring mode by the host computer.

90. A method for automatically and repetitively sampling and storing data representing the power usage of a plurality of power consuming devices at a remote site, with a processor using a random access memory (RAM) located at said remote site, and of communicating said data to a host computer, comprising the steps of:

(a) receiving, at said processor, status and command information from said host computer including data specifying the time and date at which said remote processor should initiate said sampling of said data, the time interval between samples of said data and the time and date at which said remote processor should report to, and communicating said sampled data directly to said host computer, using ordinary public telephone lines only, independent of any power transmission means;
(b) storing said status and command data in said RAM;
(c) sampling, at said time interval, the outputs of a plurality of power sensing devices, each of said sensors installed at a respective one of said plurality of devices and having an analogue output representing the power conservation of a respective one of said devices, converting said analogue output into digital form, and connecting said converted outputs to said remote processor at said time and date for initiating said sampling;
(d) storing said outputs in said RAM;
(f) sequentially storing each of said sequentially sampled outputs in said RAM: and
(g) transmitting such said sampled output data from said processor to said host computer using ordinary public telephone lines only, independent of any power lines or means, at said specified reporting time and date.

91. The method of claim 90 including the additional steps of sequentially storing said sampled outputs in said RAM beginning at the storage address specified by said host computer in said status and command data.

92. The method of claim 91 including the additional steps of:

(a) storing in said RAM the time and date of each power outage and each power resumption at said remote site; and
(b) transmitting said time and date of each power outage and each power resumption from said processor to said host computer with said sampled outputs.

93. The method of claim 92 including the additional steps of:

(a) detecting the start of the occurrence of a power outage;
(b) storing in said RAM, at the next sequential storage address, said power outage time and date;
(c) detecting said resumption of power after said power outage;
(d) storing in said RAM, at the next sequential storage address, said time and date of said power resumption; and
(e) storing in said RAM information as to whether a power outage at said remote site has occurred during a predetermined number of said samplings and the storage address location of said power outage time and date.

94. The method of claim 91 including the additional step of transmitting from said processor directly to said host computer, using ordinary public telephone lines only, independent of any power transmission lines or means, on command from host computer, status information representing said time and date of initial sampling, said time interval between samplings, said reporting time and date, the next available storage address location in said RAM, and a flag storage address which is the address of a predetermined percentage of the total available storage addresses.

95. The method of claim 94 including the additional steps of:

(a) comparing the next available address in said RAM with said flag storage address in said remote processor; and
(b) transmitting said sample data from said processor to said host computer when said next available storage address equals said flag address.

96. The method of claim 95 including the additional steps of:

(a) storing in said RAM the time and date of each power outage and each power resumption at said remote site; and
(b) transmitting said time and date of each power outage and each power resumption from said processor to said host computer with said sampled output.

97. The method of claim 96 including the additional steps of:

(a) detecting the start of the occurrence of a power outage;
(b) storing in said RAM, in the next sequential storage address, said power outage time and date;
(c) detecting said resumption of power after said power outage;
(d) storing in said RAM, in the next sequential storage address, said time and date of said power outage; and
(e) storing in said RAM information as to whether a power outage was occurred after a predetermined number of said samplings and the storage address location of said power outage time and date.

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Patent History

Patent number: RE35793
Type: Grant
Filed: Oct 3, 1994
Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
Assignee: Measuring & Monitoring Services, Inc. (Tinton Falls, NJ)
Inventor: B. James Halpern (Shrewsbury, NJ)
Primary Examiner: Edward R. Cosimano
Law Firm: Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd.
Application Number: 8/317,251

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: 364/483; 340/87002; 364/46422; Recording (324/113)
International Classification: G01R 2100; G06F 1740; G08C 1506;