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Phase Angle Identification - Micro Controller Project

One of our first serious projects as Toplevel Technologies LLC was to develop embedded software for a device, which measures power utility phase angle over long distances. The embedded application design and programming was ultimately completed for Avistar Inc.

Using patented methods to detect the zero crossing of an AC waveform, this embedded device application measures phase angle in power utility distribution systems. One phase angle reading is taken every second, and only three hardware components are necessary. Phase angle readings can be taken hundreds of miles apart.

This project was micro controller based, and captured interrupt signals and used timers to determine correct phase angle. Embedded design methods were used as a foundation for the phase angle measuring application.

Customer requirements were established early. Data flow and program control diagrams were used to specify the system. We programmed the prototype. After extensive field-testing, unit requirements were reviewed and new requirements added for easier use and faster functionality of the system.

A second software development process was started, again using standard software engineering design processes. After requirements were established, and hardware specified, we designed, tested, and debugged the embedded software system. The software was delivered on time and worked as advertised.

The project was actually developed in Colorado. The development and project management company was a Fort Collins engineering business and a local engineer search found expertise to complete the project. This included project management, software engineering, and hardware design. Testing was performed in a local utility distribution system.

It was very satisfying to watch power line engineers verify their power distribution line designs, something they had never been able to do before!