Solar Decathlon Europe is an international competition created through an agreement signed between the Ministry of Housing of the Government of Spain and the United States Government, co-organized by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in which universities from all over the world meet to design, build and operate an energetically self-sufficient house, grid-connected, using solar energy as the only energy source and equipped with all of the technologies that permit maximum energy efficiency.
In order universities to compete, several variables of the houses under competition must be monitored in order to punctuate them. These variables can be grouped in three different sets:
- Electrical Energy Balance: Energy production and consumption.
- Comfort Conditions: Humidity, Indoor Air Quality, Temperature, Lighting and Acoustic
- House Functioning: Temperatures or consumptions of different electrical appliances.
Robolabo was assigned the task of designing, implementing and installing the monitoring system in charge of logging these variables, process them and show them in the monitoring web of the competition. The following requirements of the system were identified for the purposes of the contest:
- Real time operation
- High number of web queries
Given this requirements the system was composed of an embedded Linux system connected to a PLC for each house, in charge of reading the different sensors and counters. These read variables, monitored every minute from each house, were synchronized from each embedded Linux system with an external linux server. This server processed the variables and created the related punctuation, that was stored in a mySQL database in a second machine. The web page used this database to show the necessary information.