Laurel Tree Charter School energy use visualization

From Appropedia
Revision as of 12:27, 24 September 2020 by Sophivorus (talk | Contributions) (Text replacement - "language=eng" to "language=English")
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Edit the infobox
Laurel Tree Charter School energy use visualization
Description Provide Laurel Tree Charter School with an energy monitoring system that shows energy consumption in a way that was both interesting and understandable to students of all ages.
Intended use Education, Energy
Keywords visualize energy use, green education, consumption demonstration
Project status Implemented
Project was made? Yes
Project was made independently? No
SDG Sustainable Development Goal 4
Sustainable Development Goal 11
SDG12 Responsible consumption and production
Documentation data
Language English
Manifest data
Language English
Updated 2020-06-04
Author Kathy Nativi
Author affiliation Appropedia
Author email


Illumination of quartz crystal with green LEDs by Josiah Norton of The Lonely Protons.[1]

The Lonely Protons' goal for this project is to provide Laurel Tree Charter School with an energy monitoring system that shows energy consumption in a way that was both interesting and understandable to students of all ages.


The Lonely Protons is a group of two Humboldt State University Environmental Resources Engineering students in the Fall 2012 ENGR 215 design class. Our design project is to create a way for the students and faculty of Laurel Tree Charter School to be able to visually see their energy consumption at the school in a way that is understandable to students of all ages (K-12.) The solution decided upon by the Lonely Protons and Laurel Tree is to use a combination of arduinos and an intuitive optical colored display to express energy usage. Energy usage data will be obtained at the building source (breaker box) and sent to a micro-controller that will then use a color changing light source to illuminate a quartz crystal with colored light, thus indicating energy usage based on color.

Problem Statement and Criteria

The students of Laurel Tree Charter School had no clear means of monitoring their electrical usage.

Criteria Weight Description
Safety 97 The project will be in a school; it is of utmost importance that it is safe, and that malfunctions or general operation not be harmful to students or physical items.
Show Energy in Interesting Way 90 It was determined that the project had to be visually interesting, or it wouldn't be utilized as much as desired.
Understandable By All Ages 83 The project also had to indicate energy usage in a way that anyone of school age could understand.
Achievable Within Allotted Time-frame 77 The alternative solutions developed showed The Lonely Protons that feasibility of the project was also important; if the project was not finish-able in the time frame allotted, the goal would not be met.
Durability and Maintenance 57 The Lonely Protons want the project to last for at least five years, and for any general maintenance to be perform-able by anyone with general knowledge and ability to follow directions given by the Lonely Protons.
Cost 17 Cost was listed as a low priority as The Lonely Protons could not exceed budget even if desired; however, time spent fundraising would distract from time spent on research and construction.

Final Project

Green Crystal Display - Low energy consumption  
Yellow Crystal Display - Moderate energy consumption  
Red Crystal Display - High energy consumption  


Material Cost
Nanode v5 Kit $39.99
emonTx 433Mhz kit $47.00
CT Sensor $23.15
JeeLabs RFM12B Board $21.95
Fiber Optic Line $26.00
BB400T Breadboard $5.50
Electrical Wall Housing $3.99
Miscellaneous Hardware $2.00
Super Glue $6.29
Lamp Housing $8.99
Fishing Wire 8lb Test $2.69
Engraved Plaque Donated
Surge Protector Donated
2 USB Cables Donated
Quartz Crystal Donated
Wood Donated
Lexan Donated
Total $185.69

Discussion and Next Steps

The Lonely Protons

A Google SketchUp visualization of the final product.[2]

Team Members

Josiah Norton | Austin Chester


  1. Norton, Josiah. (2012) “LTCSGreenLightDemo.jpg” Nov. 12, 2012.
  2. Norton, Josiah. (2012) “JosiahNortonACAD4.png” Nov. 12, 2012.