Electrical and Computer Engineering

 

Western Michigan University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering student teams are entered the following projects in the 2021 Senior Design Conference.

  • Microgrid Controller for Real-Time Emulation

    With the increased use of new energy sources in the power grid, there is a growing demand for self-sustaining microgrids. The ability to connect and disconnect from the grid automatically is a key challenge when designing microgrids. Having this feature will keep consumers connected to power - whether being fed from the microgrid or main grid. This project is to design a Raspberry Pi-based microcontroller that can control the operation of a Typhoon-HIL emulated microgrid in real time under different scenarios involving varying generation and load conditions.

    Team Members:
    Austin Krawczak
    Chris Niersbach
    John Van Den Hombergh
    Sponsors:
    Consumers Energy 
    WMU Power Lab
    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Pablo Gomez
  • IoT Greenhouse monitoring system

    An Internet of Things greenhouse monitoring system (IoT GMS) capable of providing wireless monitoring and control of greenhouse environments has been designed and implemented. The sensors were designed with the capability of reading temperature, humidity, soil acidity, and soil moisture. A Wi-Fi module was fitted to each sensor design to read and publish data to an Amazon Web Server (AWS) server. A user interface was also included for viewing data while in remote areas. These sensors are low-cost to accommodate mass data reading.

    Team Members:
    Raj Basnet
    Wesley Erby
    Bradley Heydel
    Sponsor:
    Erby Innovations
    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Dean Johnson
  • Particle Accelerator Magnet Monitoring System

    A modular instrumentation system to monitor the status of analyzing and switching magnets was designed and implemented. Temperature measurements are used to verify coolant flow and voltage measurements enable observation of magnet operation. These instruments also allow the operator to quickly ascertain the status of the magnet subsystems and enable malfunction alerts. The system stores measurements for later analysis and is readily expandable.

    Team Members:
    Peter Hamann
    Derrick Oldenkamp
    Alessandro Rizzoni
    Sponsor:
    Allen Kern, WMU Particle Accelerator Laboratory
    Department of Physics
    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Damon Miller
  • Synchronous Drones

    The goal of this project is to create a system of synchronous drones that deliver a load over a small distance. It is a continuation of the Synchronous Drones project completed by a previous Senior Design team. Fixes for issues with the previous drone design and new features were implemented. The new drones are more efficient at accomplishing movement-based tasks with the designated load. Additionally, the new code is written in C/C++ instead of Python. It aims to generalize the procedure used to generate the flight path, thus making it possible for more than two drones to cooperate while also allowing the flight path to be updated dynamically.

    Team Members:
    Cameron D’Antonio
    Ryan Kruegel
    Nick Williams
    Sponsor:
    Dr. Tarun Gupta, Professor
    Department of Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems
    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Ralph Tanner
  • Solar Module I-V Curve Tracer

    This project provides Western Michigan University's Sunseeker solar car team with the ability to test and characterize solar cells, panels, and arrays with a small portable measurement system. The Solar Module I-V Curve Tracer uses a computer-controlled active load to measure the current (I) and voltage (V) relationships of solar modules in direct sunshine or artificial light. The measurements include open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current, maximum power point, and efficiency. The data collected is wirelessly transmitted to a cell phone or tablet for immediate storage and display. The stored data can later be used for solar cell and panel “matching” for building an optimal solar array or for comparison to previous measurements for signs of degradation due to use.

    Team Members:
    Kayla Haines 
    Callum Hume
    Sponsor:
    Sunseeker, Western Michigan University’s Solar Car Project
    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Bradley Bazuin
  • Loss-On-Ignition Test System

    Determining the weight of volatile compounds and moisture in foundry sand is an essential quality control metric in metal casting. The current test is time-consuming and expensive. A system was developed to automate heating sand samples to prescribed temperatures and measuring the weight change caused by evaporation of impurities. The design includes a microcontroller and use of MATLAB® software. Multiple tests are performed simultaneously to reduce processing time. This is a continuation of a Fall 2020 senior design project.

    Team Members:
    Nathan Bartz
    Sponsor:
    Dr. Sam Ramrattan, Professor 
    Department of Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems
    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Damon Miller