Plug and Play Home Energy Generation with Secure IoT control

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Sponsors UI Facilities and Prof. Herb Hess
Team Name Sunbeam
Duration Spring 2019 - Fall 2019
Faculty Adviser
Client Prof. Herb Hess
Team Members
  • Derek Mitten
  • Pengfei Chen
  • Zihao Huang

The goal of team SunBeam is to design a system to allow a user plug and play remote access to their personal solar generation system. To do this, we altered an Inergy Kodiak 1100W Solar Generator from within. When unmodified, the Kodiak does provide useful information via an LCD screen attached to the device, but loses all historical data as soon as it stops charging or is powered off. The task of integrating the Kodiak completely is outside the scope of what the time allowed, so we focused mainly on getting information from the Kodiak in a way that could be easily utilised in an IoT application. Using sensors both within and outside of the chassis, we add useful functionality to the generator such as long term statistics, remote access, and real time readings on the state of the system. We hope that our work on this project will lay the foundation for future teams by creating an interface with outside sensors and recording vital information about the voltage and current of the generator.

Problem Definition[edit]

The goal of our project is to add IoT functionality to an existing solar generator, which includes real time monitoring, statistic recording, and remote access. We also aim to accommodate future I/O features.


Small scale solar generation has many benefits, but often it just comes down to two: convenience and money. Our project aims to modify a product designed to be easy to use so that its easier to understand and even more convenient.

Imagine a person with a small solar setup going camping for a few weeks with their RV in the middle of nowhere. If they have a solar setup with a Kodiak generator, there are a few ways IoT integration could be of real use.

For example, when using power during the night, there is no way to know how much charge the battery has left other than to check the system itself. If they were to go for a hike and forgot the lights on, they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. IoT integration could solve these problems. Our system could potentially push a notification to the user’s phone when they only have a few hours of power left, or could allow them to toggle power output on and off. To open this world of opportunities, we needed to get information into a usable state that could be easily integrated with IoT.


1. Design will integrate Custom Circuits with a modern IoT standard

2. Robust IoT Security - Defined and tested after prototype is developed

3. State Reporting - Gather information from environment and securely deliver to user

4. Control Signals - Can securely receive information from end users, such as requesting information from specific dates


Requirements: Connectivity - Must fit ‘plug and play’ description. Should have wireless connectivity without requiring special installation. Security: We will create a threat model and upgrade our design in accordance to that. Micro-controller Specifications.png



Design Considerations[edit]

We will design a system that gives a customer access and control over their home solar energy generation and power. The user will be able to see things such as the current power being generated, the light conditions outside, and the temperature. They will be able to control things such as ...

We will approach this with three goals in mind. Secure remote control Control system Sensors

Project Processing[edit]

                                              Design Process

What we desire to do with Raspberry Pi[edit]

Detect the temperature Show the value of current & voltage

Snapshot 1.jpg
                                    What does the Rasberry PI look like?
Rasberry PI.jpg
                        What does the Solar Panel and Kodiak Solar Generator look like?
Sunbeam solar panel.jpg
                                     The general schematic of the project
Snapshot 5.jpg
                             The specific schematic of the project with the parts
Rasbeery emm.jpg
                             The circuit schematic of the project with the parts
Sunbeam Circuit.jpg
                                               LEM PCB Soldering
PCB LEM 1.jpg
                                          The datasheet of ADC sensor
SUnbeam sensors.jpg
                                                  Design Steps
Snapshot 6.jpg

Final Design[edit]

                                         The general ideal of the project
Sunbeam schematic.jpg


                                               Threat Model


One of the main goals we would like to measure our success in this project is our implementation of security features. To do this we need to define what the most likely exploits to our system are and the many ways we could prevent those exploits from being used. This threat model lists the possible points of interest in our system, how vital they are to the security of our device, and ways me might prevent them.

There are 4 stages to effectively addressing security:

-Model the application

-Enumerate Threats

-Mitigate threats

-Validate the mitigations

                                            Part 1: Physical security

-Safety features

-Power storage

                                            Part 2: Data security

-Vital Data

-Data Storage

                                            Part 3: Network security

-Network Communications

-Third Parties


Team Members[edit]

Derek Mitten

Major: Computer Engineering
Hometown: Boise Idaho
Graduation Date: Dec 2019
Future Goals: After I graduate, I would like to work with data science and machine learning.

Pengfei Chen

Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: NanJing, China
Graduation Date: Dec 2019
Future Goals: I prefer to study on the control and nonlinear system.

Zihao Huang

Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: NanTong, China
Graduation Date: Dec 2019
Future Goals: I aspire to work with hydro power or other forms of renewable energy.

Additional Documentation[edit]

Project Schedule

Project Schedule








Meeting Minutes

Feb 2019 Meeting Minutes

Mar 2019 Meeting Minutes

Apr 2019 Meeting Minutes

Sep 2019 Meeting Minutes

Oct 2019 Meeting Minutes

Nov 2019 Meeting Minutes

Dec 2019 Meeting Minutes



Final Presentation

Design Review

Design Review#1



Final Report

Final Report

Final Poster

Final Poster