Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Reference Design For Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug

By Nidhi Agarwal

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Reference design for Internet of Things (IoT) enabled Smart Plug with remote connect/disconnect capability and Wi-Fi.

TI smart plug

WiFi-enabled energy measurement and control are becoming more necessary for applications, including smart plugs, receptacles, home appliances, smart grids, and building automation. To facilitate the design process, Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced a reference design for a smart plug with Remote Disconnect and Wi-Fi Connectivity, suitable for various industrial applications like air conditioner indoor units, air purifiers, coffee machines and many more. Designers can efficiently utilize this reference design to create networked load control devices for industrial and home automation applications.

The reference design is based on the MSP430i2040 Microcontroller Unit (MCU) to which all the peripherals, including a Wi-Fi enabled SoC via Serial peripheral interface (SPI) bus, power supply unit (PSU), relay, are connected. The smart plug uses SimpleLink Wi-Fi to connect from any smartphone, tablet, or computer through a standard web browser. The reference design comes with Single-phase energy measurement to calculate the root mean square (RMS) current, RMS voltage, active and reactive power, energies, power factor, and frequency. The smart Plug also consists of a Solid-state relay that provides remote connect and disconnect capabilities to the design. Overall low power consumption as low power components plus efficient power supply is used. The physical design is compact with a minimum Bill of Material (BOM). The smart Plug reference design also enables the Internet of Things (IoT) with Wi-Fi capabilities.

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Smart Plug Block Diagram
Smart Plug Block Diagram

The smart Plug design features male and female NEMA 15 connections for measuring power consumption. An enclosure is also included to protect users from high voltages, and the electronics support global voltage with only mechanical modifications required. The mains voltage is 230 V or 120 V and must be scaled down to 928 mV. The circuit design of the reference design includes voltage input circuit, current input circuit and design considerations of Wi-Fi System on Chip (SoC).

TIDC-SMARTPLUG-WIFI from TI is a smart plug remotely connected or disconnected with Wi-Fi connectivity. The smart plug uses a CC3200 SoC to embed Wi-Fi capabilities. The SoC offers designers various power options, such as wide input voltage ranges and battery power support. However, due to the smart slug’s sole 3.3V power rail, the power management system requires customization from the standard design. When powered on, the Smart Plug erases old profiles to establish a new connection with an Android device. It then searches for existing connection configurations and connects to them if they exist. Once connected to a Wi-Fi network and obtaining a valid  Internet Protocol (IP) address, the device sends status messages to the host device via a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) channel at regular intervals.

TI has tested this reference design. It comes with BOM, schematics, Gerber file, Printed circuit board (PCB) layout, etc. You can find additional data about the reference design on the company’s website. To read more about this reference design, click here.

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