Center for Environmental Building & Design

  • Block Chain Network

    Block Chain Network

  • Rasberry pi sensors

    Rasberry pi sensors

  • Current Transformers

    Current Transformers

  • System architecture

    System architecture


Energy and environmental monitoring across the campus

BlockPenn: Distributed Energy Monitoring and Environmental Sensing Network Using Blockchain/IoT Infrastructure

Dorit Aviv, Co-PI

William W. Braham, Co-PI

Max Hakkarainen, PhD student

Nancy Ma, PhD student

Alex Waegel, Research Associate

Neil Kapoor, Research Assistant

CEBD, Weitzman School of Design, Architecture

In collaboration with blockchain expert Lior Glass


Project Description

The BlockPenn project deploys a distributed ledger network to connect IoT sensors for energy and environmental monitoring across the Penn campus. The network allows for individual-level monitoring of energy consumption and environmental performance for opt-in users. Residents of dormitory rooms and office users across the campus will be able to participate in the network and accrue points through the “PennCoin” rewards system based on their performance over time.

Infrastructure: BlockPenn includes blockchain/IoT infrastructure, designed to be easily expandable and scalable to include additional use cases and capabilities in the future. 

Sensors: Low-cost single-board computers (Raspberry Pis) are used as the BlockPenn endpoints, connected to a local network of IoT sensors. In addition to energy monitoring, the current pilot includes air quality sensors, artificial light usage monitoring, temperature and temperature and humidity sensors.

Reward systems: In order to incentivize participants to improve their performance, the BlockPennnetwork uses smart contracts to issue “PennCoins”- a points system which rewards participants for improvement in energy and environmental performance over time.

Dashboard: the system includes a dashboard which monitors and visualizes the individual user’s performance based on the sensor data.

Current project status: starting in summer 2020, the BlockPenn team has been working on the development of blockchain network and sensor infrastructure for deployment in the coming year.


Funding: Wharton-Ripple Research Fund