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Power Capture (PowCap) Board for Non Intrusive Load Monitoring and Power Line Communication Exploration and Development


Mains electrical lines in buildings and houses contain a wealth of information about devices that can potentially be exploited through research. However, accessing information through the circuit breaker can be quite difficult due to dangerous high voltages and lack of infrastructure for data logging. The Power Capture Board (PowCap) system was created to solve this problem of end-to-end access. It stores high quality analog signals from a circuit breaker to an open centralized database. It is composed of a customized high power tolerant analog front-end block connected to a digitizer that is an Ettus Research software defined radio board (USRP). The USRP has the ability to collect high-resolution analog voltages with a 24-bit ADC and generates 1 Terabyte of high-resolution data a day. These rich datasets are downloadable through the web and can now be generated on a daily basis to provide signal processing opportunities that did not exist before.

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