I want to have something to measure and show my energy consumption. A number of power companies in the Netherlands are offering gadgets for this purpose. Eneco offers Toon, Nuon offers the E-Manager and Essent offers the E-Thermostat.
But there is a catch, you are required to purchase a 3,5 euro software update plan. I don’t want to do this so I looked further and stubled uppon http://blog.hekkers.com and http://www.bwired.nl. These are websites belonging to domotica enthousiasts showing that there are good alternatives to the commercial products. These guys do have ‘gadgets’ in their house that monitor really everything 🙂
Monitoring the gas and electricity consumption is easy, an Arduino and 2 CNY70 sensors will do the trick. This is documented by a number of people so building this should be easy. As for the CNY70, I guess that Eneco uses the same principle.
Monitoring how much gas is required for heating and how much for hot water is another thing. A number of posts on the blog at hekkers.net indicated that it is not difficult to get diagnostics data from a Remeha Avanta heater. Well, I am lucky since I own a Remeha Avanta heater. I went out and bought a Nokia CA42 cable and modified it to be able to connect it to the heater. This was a 15-minute job because it is documented very well. The cable will be connected to my SynologyDS210j NAS to fetch the diagnostics data from the heater. Go to synohacks to learn how to install the drivers for the USB2Serial adapters on the DS210j. This is the hardware part of the project, cheap and rock solid 🙂
Now, I am writing 2 applications, this first one is a C application that run on the Synology DS210j. This application reads the diagnostics data from the heater and stores it in a MySQL database. This data can then be used to split the gas consumption into 2 categories namely DHW and heating. The second application will be an HTML5 based front-end getting the data from the database and display it using a number of nices meters. Since I am not that familiar with HTML5, i looked around on the internet and found SteelSeries on http://harmoniccode.blogspot.com/. Exactly what I was looking for, a number of very nice looking widgets, work of an artist. I take my hat for what has been delivered there. I also want to use some charts to show historical data, http://chrisvalleskey.com/html5-graph/ should help me with that.
So, I started a number of small projects to find out if I can make something similar to Toon. My approach is very simple, I could use an opentherm interface and control the heater setpoint but that is something for the future. I will follow up on this post as soon as I have something working. If you are into domotica and if you own a heater that uses the opentherm protocol to communicate with the thermostat, then please take a look at the following entry:
Before I forget, if you want to write C applications for your Synology, you need to cross compile the source code on your development system. I am using an Ubuntu 10.04LTS VMWare image and followed the instructions given at this link.
Talk to you later.