AutomationTech@AT: #Power

"You've got a Higher Power..." is the chorus of a song by the band Coldplay and it seems to fit the times pretty well. As electrical engineers, we of course mean electrical power. :-)

Kidding aside, you don't need artificial intelligence to realize that saving electrical energy doesn't only make sense when electricity cost shrink people's budget or make the finance departments of companies' brains smoke. The responsible use of energy in general and the thousands of resulting solutions that natural intelligence - namely evolution - has come up with can really be seen by anyone who takes their eyes off the glass of their permanent electronic companion.

A sunflower, for example, orients itself according to the position of the sun over the course of the day. In electrical engineering, we call this a solar tree with astronomical or calendar tracking.

One of the project tasks in the Automation Technology module was to develop a human-machine interface (HMI) using a development environment for programmable logic controllers (PLCs). The user interface of a controllable mains plug and the energy consumption display visible there may only resemble a sunflower, but it is certainly nice and colorful.

As part of this project, Henry W. and Lorenz A. have shown very impressively that teaching content from different domains such as alternating current (AC) theory, energy technology and computer science can be meaningfully combined in a specialization module - in this case Automation Technology. They emulated the HMI design of a smartphone app using automation technology tools and showed that it is definitely possible, albeit laborious. But with some creativity, it turned out great. Keep responsive design and similar delicacies aside.

Or in other words: "I got my hands up shaking just to let you know...".

Author: Prof. Dr.-Ing. E. Engels

Illustrations: Lorenz A. | Henry W. | E. Engels