Current Projects

Marcraft General

Some Past Project Summaries

Professor Fleeman’s Presentation at Rockford’s TED x

April 2016


 Village Green Project – This project includes the design of a park bench with a pergola that provides a local weather station and air quality monitoring (ozone and 2.5 um particulates). The project includes a (FFRE-donated) 230-watt solar module, battery and charger, a cellular modem, and a cell-phone charging station. The data will be used by the Environmental Science student that will supplement the Water Quality Monitoring Station completed last summer.

This is a collaborative student project that includes two Electronic Engineering Technology (EET) students, two Building Construction Management (BCM) students, two Manufacturing Engineering Technology student, and two students from the Environmental Studies program.



The WeMo Insight Switch sends notifications to your smart device showing how much energy your electronics are using. You also have the ability to turn your electronics on and off and monitor their behavior, all you’ll need is a Wi-Fi or 3/4G connection.Part of the WeMo family of connected home products that make life easier, simpler, and better, the WeMo Insight Switch lets you monitor the energy consumption of your electronics with ease.

Adapting Wemos- for 220 VAC operation. At FFRE we use a number of internet-controlled wireless switches Belcam Wemos. The commercially-available units provide an important tool for residential and small-business energy management.


Inverter 3

Inverter Test Stand This project was designed by Dave Martindale. A transformer is used to convert one phase of the available power to form the 220 VAC, 4-wire system faced by many grid-tied inverters. A ganged auto transformer has been included to raise and lower the 220 VAC voltage “seen” by the inverter. This allows the verification voltages for inverter start-up and shut-down.

Currently, one string of the solar modules mounted of the roof of FFRE is used to provide the DC input power to the inverter. The relatively large DC voltage (about 400 V) allows a carefully-supervised arc flash demonstration. A zero-to-600 VDC Keysight N5772A/861power supply is included. This power supply does not require our testing to rely on the available solar resource and permits lower (30-35 VDC) voltages to be set which extends the test stand capability to include micro inverters. The adjustment of the inverter DC input allows the inverter start-up voltage to be measured and a moderate demonstration of maximum power point tracking. This project includes two EET students and one MET students. The students are documenting the operation with safety aspects.


Some of the following Major Projects are already in place

Solar Assisted Electric Vehicle

Students SAEV

Most of the systems at FFRE were installed using Student Interns.

This work provides valuable hands on experience for training technical students.

We are a believer in the “Living Lab Concept” of Learning