Household electricity and water monitor and control with cellular communications and web interface
Please cite as follow:
Muller, R. I. & Booysen, M. J. 2014. Household electricity and water monitor and control with cellular communications and web interface. South African Universities Power Engineering Conference (SAUPEC), 30-31 January 2014, Durban, South Africa.
The availability and depletion of natural resources is increasingly punted as the limiting factor for sustainability. A lot of focus is currently placed on the role and effect of fossil fuels as well as water conservation. One way to affect prudence with these scarce resources is to generally create timely awareness of consumption thereof, and also the related cost for the consumers. Existing metering solutions for electrical energy and water are often manually read by officials, and the information difficult to digest. Moreover, billing information, which serves as feedback, lags consumption by several weeks. Smart meters address many of these challenges by enabling electronic and real-time metering, but are still prohibitively expensive. In this paper, a low-cost power meter is discussed and also a novel low-cost water flow meter is developed to integrate into a household smart metering system. Electricity supply to appliances as well as the main water supply is controlled through relays and a valve. The whole system is connected to the Trintel SMART web platform by means of cellular communications from where end-users can manage their own energy and water usage. The results demonstrate that the smart metering system provides a functional, accurate and less expensive alternative to household metering. Further improvements on the system are also suggested.