By Joseph Labrecque


March 11, 2010

Benjamin Zenner, a student at the University of Denver, has come up with a project to monitor energy consumption at the campus residence halls and display the information to students using a touchscreen interface.
The electric meters at five University of Denver residence halls are equipped with data collectors that transmit electrical consumption to Northwrite Inc. at 15 minute intervals. This data is then passed back to DU systems through a ColdFusion web service which sorts and stores the data within a local MySQL database. When one of the five residence halls is selected, this Flash-based web application makes queries against the database and plots the energy usage in kilowatt hours (kWh) over time for the residence hall.
My department became involved when the time came to put the pieces together. We needed to work with the energy monitoring company (Northwrite) to provide them with a WSDL to submit metering data to. We set this up in ColdFusion and parse out the data to be submitted rto a MySQL database that the Flash-based energy kiosk feeds from.
You can check it out at
Hear Ben talk about the project at about 1:14: