SCU Energy Graphs.

back to portfolio

project summary


Santa Clara University


Energy Monitoring System


Custom graphing system to monitor building energy usage



Santa Clara University’s sustainability department is doing their part to reduce energy consumption with the help of a web-based energy graphing system created by Internet Simplicity.

In early-2009, if you walk into many of the buildings on the SCU campus, you may see an LCD screen placed in the lobby. The LCD screen will contain detailed statistical information about the energy consumption of that particular building. In student dormitories, a competitive graph may be shown the displays the current winner of an “energy savings competition” that are held between different buildings.

By the use of this system, the SCU Sustainability department will be able to create an awareness of energy consumption with the students, faculty and staff.

The development of this system first consisted of making a lower-level data communication layer that would allow the web application to pull data directly from an energy database based off the building, date range and interval. An API was created for this database to account for the highest level of flexibility possible with future graphs and visual displays.

A graphing system was then developed in PHP by combining relevant 3rd party tools and custom developed code to aesthetically present the data as needed for each building.

Each building’s LCD screen is equipped with a miniature computer which pulls the appropriate graph from a central server. Using Adobe Flash’s full-screen technology, the graphing system is able to appear as a full-screen application for a fully immerse application.

The system launched initially in July, 2008 and is currently undergoing enhancements as the system is rolled out to additional buildings over the next several months.