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Digital Watt Meter Connected To Microcontroller

  1. Nov 19, 2013 #1
    Hello all,

    I am currently working on a project for a client in which my objective is to create an educational light bulb display. The purpose of this display is to demonstrate cost effectiveness between 4 different bulbs (incandescent, high-efficiency incandescent, CFC, and LED). Each lightbulb will be connected to a respective rocker to turn it on or off. Furthermore, each lightbulb has been tied to a single digital watt meter so that as you switch on a rocker, the amount of watts actively being emitted are displayed.

    The next step is my challenge. What I am trying to accomplish is have a separate LCD screen that will display the costs incurred for using the individual bulb chosen at $0.15/kWh at 3.2 hrs (the average price and time bulbs are used in NY state). Ultimately, I need to figure out a way to use the information that the digital watt meter reads and have it interact with a formula (Cost=(kWh)($0.15)) coded into a micro-controller and display the answer on the LCD screen.

    With that being said, is this the correct approach? It is to my understanding that a micro controller must be connected to the LCD screen to display any copy, but is it possible to use the reading from the digital watt meter and input that information into a formula that is coded into a micro controller? and if so, which micro controller and LCD screen combination is required?

    *Please note model number for digital watt meter that I have is DS4-B-W

    Thank you,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

  4. Nov 20, 2013 #3
    Hi Russ,

    Thanks for the response! Yes, if there is a consumer product that will do what I am trying to accomplish then I will happily use it.

    I did a bit of research on this product, it certainly displays exactly what I want but can it be exclusively connected to my 4 light bulbs on rockers?
  5. Nov 20, 2013 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes. It is intended to be installed at an electrical panel, but there is no reason you can't mount it directly on your device board.

    One minor limitation is that the display precision is probably too low for single lamps. But you can get around that by multiplying the energy cost by 10 and calling it a 1/10th scale model.
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