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  • AALTO-UNIVERSITY

    SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

    Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Automation Department of Electronics Lighting Unit Mukul M. Joshi Design of a Graphical User Interface for Home Energy monitoring system Thesis for the degree of Master of Science Espoo 13.12.2010 Supervisor: Dr. Liisa Halonen Instructor: Professor Jouko Pakanen

  • AALTO-UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Abstract of the Masters Thesis

    Author: Mukul M. Joshi

    Name of the thesis: Design of a Graphical User Interface for Home Energy monitoring system Date: 13.12.2010

    Number of pages: 57

    Faculty: Department of Electronics, Lighting unit Professorship: S-118

    Supervisor: Dr. Liisa Halonen Instructor: Prof. Jouko Pakanen

    Abstract: Excellent graphics are the instruments used for representing quantitative information. Graphics help people to understand complex things easily. Hence the user interfaces developed should be clear, illustrative and designed from the user point of view with respect to their applications. The thesis work deals with the design of a graphical user interface (GUI) developed for a home energy monitoring system. Design methodologies like user centric design and empathic design are followed while creating the user interface and also the effect of various colors on human perception is studied. Hence the final design of user interface provides the end-users a visualization of the energy produced and consumed in a monitored environment. The monitoring devices are connected to ThereGate system (data logger) via the M-Bus communication protocol. The ThereGate platform uses an Open Source Linux system as the operating language. The other communication platform used over the ThereGate platform is an oBIX bridge, a web based service interface rich in XML support for transferring the data. The interface has been programmed by using Visual basics 2008 and VB.NET, developed by Microsoft. The work progresses with an initial explanation on the availability of various home energy monitoring systems on the market and their comparison. The other units discuss the architecture of the ThereGate system, give a brief overview of the M-bus system, and discuss the development of graphical user interface (GUI) from a user centric design perspective using Microsofts Visual Basics and VB.NET and configuration of M-Bus. The last unit contains a discussion of the goals achieved at the end of the design and the future developments that can be made to have more user interactions with the user interface.

    Keywords: Energy monitoring, M-bus, Visual basics, User interface, ThereGate, PadPuls M2C, Micromaster, OBiX, ZigBee, Z-wave

  • Preface

    I am thankful to our Head of Department Dr. Liisa Halonen for believing in me and giving a chance to work in the field of home automation system. Also I thank Prof. Jouko Pakanen for guiding me during the thesis period and giving me valuable feedback related to the report. I am also thankful to Mr. Andrey Litvinov and Mr. Antti Karjalainen for helping me with oBIX server and M-Bus ThereGate installation. Also I am very much thankful to Mr. William Martin for proofreading the report and suggesting the necessary grammatical modifications. Last but not least I thank my family members, friends for standing by my side and motivating me during the work.

    Espoo, Finland, 13.12.2010

    Mukul M.Joshi

  • Table of Contents

    1 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 7 1.1 Background ..................................................................................................... 7 1.2 Motivation and Objective ................................................................................. 8 1.3 Thesis Structure ............................................................................................... 9

    2 Technologies on the market ................................................................................. 10

    2.1 X-10 .............................................................................................................. 10 2.2 Z-Wave ......................................................................................................... 11 2.3 ZigBee ........................................................................................................... 11 2.4 OSGi ............................................................................................................. 12 2.5 KNX .............................................................................................................. 13 2.6 Comparison of Technologies ......................................................................... 14

    3 ThereGate system ................................................................................................ 16

    3.1 Basic Architecture ......................................................................................... 16 3.1.1 Software ............................................................................................... 17 3.1.2 Benefits of HAS Framework ................................................................. 17

    3.2 Requirements of a BUS ................................................................................. 17 4 Overview of Meter Bus (M-Bus) ......................................................................... 19

    4.1 M-Bus in OSI Model ..................................................................................... 19 4.2 Operating Principle ........................................................................................ 20

    4.2.1 Bus Specifications ................................................................................ 22 4.3 Slave Design .................................................................................................. 22 4.4 Data Link Layer ............................................................................................. 22

    4.4.1 Transmission Parameters ...................................................................... 22 4.4.2 Telegram Format .................................................................................. 23

    5 oBIX ................................................................................................................... 24

    5.1 Architecture ................................................................................................... 25 6 User Interface Development ................................................................................ 28

    6.1 Factors Considered Before Layout Design ..................................................... 28 6.1.1 Elements of User Centric Design .......................................................... 28

    6.2 Selection of Colors and Shapes ...................................................................... 29 6.2.1 Use of Colors Related to UI Design ...................................................... 29 6.2.2 Use of Shapes Related to UI Design ..................................................... 30 6.2.3 Components of UI design ..................................................................... 30

    6.3 Use of Visual Basics and VB.Net ................................................................... 31 6.4 User Experience............................................................................................. 32

    7 Configuring Measurement system ........................................................................ 35

    7.1 Configuring M-BUS ...................................................................................... 35 7.2 Data Logging ................................................................................................. 36 7.3 Data Extraction .............................................................................................. 36 7.4 System Operation .......................................................................................... 36

    7.4.1 System Flowchart ................................................................................. 37 7.4.2 oBIX Programs ..................................................................................... 38 7.4.3 UI Program ........................................................................................... 43

  • 8 Discussion ........................................................................................................... 44 9 Summary ............................................................................................................. 46 References ................................................................................................................... 47 Appendix A ................................................................................................................. 49 Appendix B ................................................................................................................. 50 Appendix C ................................................................................................................. 53 Appendix D ................................................................................................................. 54

  • List of symbols and abbreviations

    ANSI American National Standards Institute

    APS Application Support Sub-layer

    ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange code

    BCD Binary Coded Decimal

    CPU Central Processing Unit

    DFC Data Flow Counter

    DIB Data Information Block

    DIF Data Information Flow

    DIFE Data Information Flow Extension

    DLNA Digital Living Network Alliance

    DRH Data Record Header

    EBCDIC Extended Binary Coded