Power Consumption Managing – Extension using Particle Photon Catherine Dianne V

Power Consumption Managing – Extension
using Particle Photon
Catherine Dianne V. Unciano1, Sarah Michelle R. Verdad2, Angelica T. Adriano3, Mike Edison V. Sandig4
1234BSIT-4A, College of Computing and Information Technology
First Asia Institute of the Technology and Humanities
City of Tanauan, Batangas, Philippines 4234 1 E-mail: [email protected] 2 E-mail: [email protected] 3 E-mail: [email protected] 4 E-mail: [email protected]

Abstract— As technology gets a fast-paced evolution,
traditional power strips were remodeled as smart
extensions to save energy wastes, reduce chances of
residential fires due to unplugged devices, and consume
less power consumption to minimize budget allocations to
electric bills. Taking this smart extension in a big leap,
unique features were thought of, which can be found in
the mobile application developed by the proponents.

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The project is focused on controlling the hardware
prototype on the mobile application. The proponents used
RAD prototyping. They integrated the following in the
development of the mobile application: HTML, CSS,
JavaScript, Onsen UI framework, Particle Photon, and
Google Firebase. On the other hand, the hardware
prototype is ensured durable through its wooden house
casing. Precautionary measurements were also met by
installing fuses and having the master switch. Through
this, the user can conveniently depend on this handy tool
to check which sockets are turned on and what appliances
are plugged in, as well as the power consumed over a
certain period of time real-time anywhere as long as you
are connected to the Internet.

Keywords— smart extension; power consumption;
power consumption management; power consumption-
managing extension
I. INTRODUCTION
Traditional power strips are an affordable way to
expand the number of electrical outlets in one’s home. But
their convenience can encourage people to leave
electronics plugged in all the time and many devices keep
drawing power even when these are not in use. This costs
people money, wastes electricity and increases the carbon
output to boot (Chandler, 2017)
Aside from the burdens brought by power drain, it can
also be the start of residential fires. Fires, sometimes don’t
only burn down houses but somewhat take people’s lives.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2014,
electrical fires accounted for 6.3 percent, nearly 24,000
fires, of all residential fires, 11 percent of the fires where
someone died and 7 percent of the fires where someone
was injured. Some electrical fires happen because of
problems in house wiring or appliance failure, but many
occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like
overloading electrical outlets or extension boards
(FireRescuel, 2016).
The will to reduce power usage by shutting down
power to products that go into standby mode and to avoid
the incidents of residential fires to occur due likely to short
circuits or heat buildup became the reason for smart power
strips to emerge. Some smart power strips are web-enabled
that can tell you how much power an appliance is
consuming and lets you turn it on and off remotely.
(Turner, 2010)
Controlling the power strips on the web is satisfactory
but people aim for something handy. Aside from this,
smart power strips can help people reduce electrical
consumption that would also likely result to a reduced
electricity bill. Thus, giving people a chance to recalculate
their budgets allotting less for electric bills.
The proponents specifically aim to:
1) Design a mobile application for the Power
Consumption Managing-Extension Project using
Particle Photon that is capable of the following:
a) Turn on/off each socket over wireless

network.
b) Turn off the sockets of the devices all at once.
c) Display which socket/s is/are turned on/off
which are distinguished using two colors – red,
when it is turned off, and green, when it is turned
on.
d) Measure the power consumption over a
certain period from each socket real-time.
e) Measure the total power consumption of all
the sockets real-time.
f) Convert the kwh consumed real-time to
Philippine Peso.
g) Set the preference rate dependent on which
energy provider a household is subscribed to.
h) Set the budget or consumption limit
dependent to which the household desires.
i) Display the device activity summary.

2) Create a Power Consumption Managing-
Extension prototype that holds the following
descriptions:
a) The sockets must work separately from each
other.
b) For safety purposes, circuit protection must
be installed.
c) Each socket must have indicators whenever it
is turned on or off.
d) The device must have one master switch.

The developers gathered information from those who
had been recently exposed to the new technologies such
as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Particle Photon and to
those who recently conducted such project and used three
modules such as Bluetooth module, Wi-Fi module, and
GSM module all compatible with Arduino. From here, the
proponents gained attainable basic feature information for
the proposed project. The concept of unique feature of the
project had been under the consensus of the adviser and
the proponents. They reached the idea of the two Limit
modes for managing a traditional extension which the
projects published before did not include. They conducted
surveys to the selected residents of Sto. Tomas, Tanauan,
Malvar, and Lipa to have a hunch of the potential client’s
thinking of the proposed project. The participants selected
for the surveys are a variety of students, dormers,
housewives, and homeowners.

This project has its limitations due to lack of finances,
time constraint and the integration of new technology
against the old-phased technologies. The hardware
prototype has its maximum power generation capacity
which is 1672W. Appliances consuming power higher
than 1672W cannot be supported by the prototype. In line
with using the mobile application to control the extension,
people who do not own smart phone or tablets won’t be
able to make use of the project. Also, only Android users
can install the mobile application.

The finished project can be beneficial to everyone in
terms of conservation. By having the capability to turn
on/off the sockets anywhere anytime, and limiting the use
of electricity through Budget Limit or Power
Consumption Limit on the mobile app, people would be
able to save electricity wastes, and decrease chances of
residential fires caused by heat buildup or a short circuit
because of the forgotten unplugged devices.

With this, the proponents aim to create a Power
Consumption Managing-Extension using Particle Photon
that can be turned on/off in a mobile application.

Literature Review
The literature review deals with Internet of Things
(IoT), home automation, microcontroller, and, cloud
computing. These different technological features are used
by the proponents to employ the proposed solution to
actual development.
Internet of Things. This refers to the connection of
devices (other than typical fare such as computers and
smartphones) to the Internet. Cars, kitchen appliances, and
even heart monitors can all be connected through the IoT
(Meola, 2016).
Home Automation. From flicking a light switch to
opening the garage door with a remote control, homes
have been automated for decades. The concept goes as far
back as the 1934 World’s Fair in Chicago where the “home
of the future” was unveiled. In the last 80 years, however,
the automated home has morphed into the smart home,
courtesy of the Internet, sensors and connectivity (Tuohy,
2015).
It is not just about giving you control over one specific
aspect of home, like the lights or televisions. It’s about
many of the devices in the home being programmed to
work in unison to create events (or scenes) that work to fit
your specific lifestyle. For example, maybe you leave the

house for work in a rush each morning and often forget
that pesky closet light, to adjust the temperature, or to arm
the security system. Automation allows—with the press of
one button—for all those things to happen simultaneously
(Watts, 2014).
Microcontroller. The microcontroller is the electronic
device that has processing unit along with fixed sized
ROM, RAM, and other required peripheral components.
These all components are embedded on the single chip. As
it has all the components required to process and store
data, it is also called minicomputer or computer on the
single chip (Chaudhari, 2015).
These are designed to perform specific tasks. Specific
means applications where the relationship of input and
output is defined. Depending on the input, some
processing needs to be done and output is delivered.
(Choudhary, 2012).
Cloud Computing. This means that instead of all the
computer hardware and software used on a desktop, or
somewhere inside company’s network, it’s provided as a
service by another company and accessed over the
Internet, usually in a completely seamless way. Exactly
where the hardware and software is located and how it all
works doesn’t matter, the user—it’s just somewhere up in
the nebulous “cloud” that the Internet represents
(Woodford, 2017).
The cloud’s main appeal is to reduce the time to market
applications that need to scale dynamically. Increasingly,
however, developers are drawn to the cloud by the
abundance of advanced new services that can be
incorporated into applications, from machine learning to
internet-of-things connectivity (Knorr, 2017).
The review of literature and the application of the
concepts of Internet of Things (IoT), home automation,
microcontroller, and cloud computing are utilized for the
inputs in the design and development of the project.
Internet of Things is now widely used in technology field.
Home automation is also related to Internet of Things, in
which, IoT is the foundation of developing and
implementing home automation. Microcontroller is the
brain of an IoT project while, cloud computing is a virtual
storage that is used to store data and can be accessed over
the Internet.
Conceptual Framework
The developers applied their knowledge in HTML,
CSS, and JavaScript in developing the mobile application.
Particle Photon is used as microcontroller. To fully
understand how to work with Particle Photon, they read
and studied the Particle Photon Documentation. To setup
the microcontroller, the Particle App is used. For the
development of the mobile application, Google Firebase
and Onsen UI are used. To turn the developed mobile
application into .apk extension, Phone Gap and Cordova
are utilized for software requirements.

Design of the Study
The figure below shows the core of the project. The
user will plug the device and will use the application to
control the device. They can also register an account. The
application will send data to Firebase. The data includes
the user account, the time turned on and off and the
appliance plugged in. Also, the application will retrieve
data that the application sends to cloud to show the device
activity. The application will send data to Particle Cloud.
It will send to the Particle Cloud that the socket will
turned on or off. Also, the application will get the unique
ID and access token of the device in Particle Cloud. The
device will send the current status if it is online or
connected to the cloud. If the device is online, Particle
Cloud will send data to the device if the socket will be
turned on or off.
POWER CONSUMPTION MANAGING-EXTENSION USING PARTICLE PHOTON
RAD Prototyping 1. Requirements Planning 2. User Design 3. Construction 4. Cutover
Knowledge Requirements HTML, CSS, JavaScript languages Onsen UI framework Particle Docs Hardware Requirements Particle Photon LLC 8-Ch Relay Outlets Wires Software Requirements Particle Desktop IDE Particle App Google Firebase Phone Gap Cordova

II. METHODOLOGY
The proponents used the Rapid Application
Development (RAD) Approach. It adjusts the Systems
Development Life Cycle (SDLC) phases to get some part
of the system developed quickly and into the hands of the
users. What lies beneath this approach is to get the users
better understanding of the system through interactive and
simultaneous revisions, which bring the system closer to
what is needed.
Two common methodologies of RAD are phased
development and prototyping. The group used RAD
prototyping. The prototyping methodology performs the
analysis, design, and implementation phases concurrently,
and all three phases are performed repeatedly in a cycle
until the needed outcome is completed.

The first phase is the Requirement Planning. In this
stage, the proponents identified the project requirements
and the scope has been defined here.

Aside from these, the proponents also did researches on
which microcontrollers should they use for the project in
which it meets the objectives stated above. The figure
below shows the specifications of each known
microcontrollers.

The next phase is the User Design. In this stage, the
proponents completed the analysis by creating the
blueprint of the hardware prototype and the hierarchical
structure of the mobile application. The blueprint shows
how the actual prototype should look like while the
hierarchical structure gives the proponents a traceable link
when coding. Following the analysis, the design of the
software is outlines. Preliminary layouts of the pages of
the mobile application are developed.
Figure 4
Most Common Appliances – Results from the Survey

Table 1
Microcontrollers Chart

Plug appliance

Control device

Retrieve data

Send data

Retrieve data

Send data

In the Construction phase, the proponents completed
buying the materials and started building the hardware
prototype. They also revised the documentation of the
project and the user’s manual in operating the project.
Figures and tables below supports the construction phase.

Material Cost
Printing Documents ? 349. 00
Particle Photon 1, 425. 00
Logic Level Converter 350. 00
10A 8-Channel Mechanical Relay 650. 00
PCB 25. 00
Female Headers 35. 00
Terminal Block 15. 00
Jumper Wires 25. 00
2-Gang Convenience Outlet (4) 340. 00
Fuse 40. 00
Fuse Holder 144. 00
Plywood 180. 00
Wood Glue 50. 00
Cord Connector 25. 00
Solid Wire 30. 00
Flat Cord 66. 00
Total ? 3, 749. 00

Other Cost
Transportation ? 67. 00
Total ? 67. 00

Cost Amount
Material Cost
Other Cost
? 3, 749. 00
? 67. 00
Total ? 3, 816. 00

The final phase, the cutover phase, basically entails the
training and testing. In the first testing, 8-Channel Solid
State Relay, due to a short circuit, needed to be replaced.
The second testing frustrated the proponents by looking
for errors in the circuit and it was discovered that the
ground came loose. The third testing delighted the
proponents when the mobile application developed works
perfectly fine controlling the hardware prototype.
The proponents also imposed precautionary
measurements by making sure the 0.75mm2 cable used is
taken care of. The table below shows recommendations
maximum current for each cable.

Copper cable
diameter
Power
distribution
Equipment
cables
0.5 mm2 – 3A
0.75 mm2 7.6A 6A
1.0 mm2 10.4A 10A
1.5 mm2 13.5A 16A
2.5 mm2 18.3A
4 mm2 25A
6 mm2 32A

Figure 5: Blueprint of the Power Consumption
Managing-Extension using Particle Photon prototype

Figure 6: Pictorial Diagram of Parton Case

Table 2
Material Cost
Table 3
Other Cost
Table 4
Total Development Cost of the Project
Table 5
Maximum Current Recommendations

III. RESULTS
Based on the conducted data gathering procedures,
testing operations, the study yielded the following
results:

1.) Development of the Power Consumption Managing-
Extension using Particle Photon prototype.
a.) Mobile Application Development
The built prototype provided the end users with its
efficient and useful features included in the mobile
application. All of the objectives set have been met.
The following are the screenshots of the mobile
application with the data from the testing periods.

Table 6
Recommended Current Rating each Socket
Figure 5: Turn on/off the
socket through the mobile
app

Figure 6: Turn on/off the
sockets all at once

Figure 7: Display on the
mobile app which socket/s
are turned on/off

Figure 8: Compute on the mobile app the power consumed each socket real-time
Figure 9: Compute on the mobile app the total power consumed of the entire device real-time

Figure 10: Shows the power consumed converted to Philippine Peso

Figure 11: Shows the options of energy providers a household prefers through the app

Figure 12: Shows the options for saving mode through the mobile app

b.) The Hardware Prototype
The Power Consumption Managing-Extension
prototype also has underlying qualities to suffice.
First, the sockets must work separately from each
other or distinct from each other. Then, to avoid
combustion of electrical supplies, heat buildup or
short circuits, circuit protection must be installed.
Finally, indicators that a certain socket has been turned
on or off must also be considered.
The sockets must be distinct from each other to
work separately. Inside the housing case of the
prototype, one can see after disassembling it that wires
connected from each channel of the relay to each of
the sockets are named accordingly to avoid
mismatches.

For safety purposes, circuit protection must be
installed. The prototype uses fuse with lower current
rating than the current rating the relay can support. A
fuse with 0.5A current rating can charge a mobile
phone over an hour or more without breaking the relay
as observed during the testing stage of the project.

Each socket must have indicators whenever it is
turned on or off. The prototype includes LED
indicators with a ratio of one-to-one for each socket.
Since the relay uses negative logic, for the LED
indicator to work accordingly with the socket, LEDs
has also been lit up using the negative logic.

The device must have one master switch. Even
after the device is plugged, the switch must be toggled
on to close the circuit and generate electricity needed
to power the entire device. On the contrary, if the
device needs to undergo force shut down, toggling off
the switch will open the circuit and stop the flow of
electricity all throughout the device.

2.) Evaluation of the quality of the prototype and the
software based on the ISO 9126 Standards
The survey held by the proponents not only answers
the design and development of the system but it also
measures the quality of the system. Each of the survey
questionnaire’s sections corresponds to a characteristic
tested in the ISO 9126 standards, which are the
following: functionality, reliability, usability,
efficiency, maintainability, and portability.

The table above shows the results of the survey
questionnaire using the computation, the rating average
formula. There were 50 respondents, a variety of students,
dormers, housewives, and homeowners. The part where
the functionality and efficiency of the device is rated,
showed a result of 3.9 and 3.98 out of a perfect rating of 4.
This means, the prototype works properly as intended. For
the accessibility/portability, it gained 3.9 and 3.88 for both
questions, delighting the users with the knowledge that it
can be turned on/off without physically interacting with it.
In the third criteria which is the usefulness of the device,
the results from the questions were surprisingly both 3.9.
It can be considered that the developed device grants the
user, the ease of access, familiar, performance according
to its function and durability. Overall, the objectives set
were met and the survey results proved them.

Figure 13: Shows the device activity summary through
the mobile app

Table 7
Results of the Survey of the Device
Table 8
Results of the Survey of the Mobile Application

The table above shows the results of the survey of the
Mobile application using the same computation. The part
where the functionality and efficiency of the mobile
application is rated showed a result of 3.9 and 3.78 out of
a perfect rating of 4 which means that it can control the
device properly as intended. For the
accessibility/portability, it gained 3.88, 3.96, and 3.88 for
the questions. In the third criteria which is the usefulness
of the mobile application, the results from the questions
held 3.96 both on each question. Graphics, user interface
and all over design is the last criteria on the survey. It
gained 4, 3.94, 3.88, and 3.84, which means the mobile
applications developed passed the taste of the users.
IV. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter discusses the summary and recommendations
based on the results of the study.
Summary
The Power Consumption Managing-Extension using
Particle Photon aimed to save energy wastes, avoid likely
occurrences of residential fires, and reduce power
consumptions.
Specifically, the project aims the following:
1) Design a mobile application for the Power
Consumption Managing-Extension Project using
Particle Photon that is capable of the following:
a) Turn on/off each socket over wireless
network.
b) Turn off the sockets of the devices all at once.
c) Display which socket/s is/are turned on/off
which are distinguished using two colors – red,
when it is turned off, and green, when it is turned
on.
d) Measure the power consumption over a
certain period from each socket real-time.
e) Measure the total power consumption of all
the sockets real-time.
f) Convert the kwh consumed real-time to
Philippine Peso.
g) Set the preference rate dependent on which
energy provider a household is subscribed to.
h) Set the budget or consumption limit
dependent to which the household desires.
i) Display the device activity summary.

2) Create a Power Consumption Managing-
Extension prototype that holds the following
descriptions:
a) The sockets must work separately from each
other.
b) For safety purposes, circuit protection must
be installed.
c) Each socket must have indicators whenever it
is turned on or off.
d) The device must have one master switch.

Referring to the development of the project on the
software side, the proponents used RAD Prototyping. In
developing the mobile application, Parton Case App, the
framework used was the Onsen UI. The languages used
were HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. JQuery, a JavaScript
library was also used. The mobile application developed
has integrated the Google Firebase as its database.
In developing the hardware prototype, the proponents
used wood for it can easily be molded to the created
blueprint. They used two-gang convenience outlet,
one each on the four faces; 8A fuses, reserved to each
socket alone; and LEDs, connected to each socket.
Aside from flat cords, solid wires, and cord connector
used, other electrical related materials were the Terminal
Block, 8-Channel Mechanical Relay and the Logic Level
Converter.

The proponents initiated testing to evaluate the
prototype’s performance in terms of current capacity of the
sockets. They found out that appliances consuming 7.6A
(1672W at 220V) and higher are cannot be supported by
the prototype. However, the convenience, safety and
delight it brings to the users certainly proves that the
objectives were met.
Recommendations
The proponents made the following recommendations
for the study:
1. The Power Consumption Managing-Extension
prototype may be modified by replacing the 10A 8-
Channel Mechanical Relay with a higher current rating to
accommodate appliances consuming higher wattages than
the installed relay can support.
2. The Power Consumption Managing-Extension
prototype can be made more compact or intact. It is also
advisable to make the housing of the prototype out of
acrylic plastic. In this way, the prototype may weigh less
for acrylic plastic is lightweight while wood is sturdy and
heavy.
3. The mobile application developed, Parton Case, can
be more improved by adding other beneficial features
which the proponents have not been able to do so.
4. The Power Consumption Managing-Extension
prototype, as stated in the objectives, was to be controlled
by a mobile application for each user. It is recommended
to develop a web-based system of the project wherein the
admin can see and monitor the status of each prototype of
the registered users.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
We would like to say some words of gratification
on behalf of all the persons who helped us in making this
capstone project successful. At the time we are in most
need of their knowledge and encouragements, their
reaching hands overwhelmed us. We wish to express our
gratitude from the bottom of our hearts to them.
We are grateful to our research adviser, Mr.
Jerwin P. Cruz, MSCS, for his guidance and assistance
throughout the duration of our capstone project;
We are hugely indebted to Engr. Jesus H.
Gamayon, MM-ITM, for being ever so kind to show
interest in our project, constant encouragement, and
teachings about IoT and electronics;
We give our sincerest thanks to Brainsparks and
Bitspace, for allowing us to use their resources as we learn
Internet of Things and welcoming us to their co-working
space;
We are beholden to our family, for cherishing us,
giving us moral and financial support, believing in us and
never failing to trust our capabilities, and loving us
unconditionally.
We give our greatest appreciation to our friends,
for their appreciative and comforting words and for their
solicitude.
We give You our highest praise, our Almighty
God, for listening to our prayers, giving us strength in
everything we do, and making us feel Your presence all
throughout our days.
Indeed, no endeavor is too hard nor a goal
unattainable with all of you by our side. We feel so
blessed.
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