In this workshop we will build a electricity meter monitor from the very inexpensive NodeMCU WIFI module and a phototransistor. Many electricity meters have an LED that flashes each time a certain amount of energy has been used. If you use the metaphor of water it would be like having a lamp flashing each time that you have used a liter of water. If you are pouring water slowly there will a long period of time between each flash and if you open the tap upp fully it will be flashing with short intervalls.
The theory of the monitor is that the phototransistor detects the flashing light on the electricity meter and the NodeMCU module then sends it over your WIFI to the "cloud" and makes it available on for example your mobile phone. There are several commercial solutions that does this but in this workshop we will create our own monitor based on a €2.5 WIFI chip and open source software.
We believe that in order to rearrange our current waste of resources we need to develop really good and smart energy services. To make them smart, they need to be built by people who understand what kinds of things that would be smart in your life. And who is better to understand those things than ourselves. Our goal is to make it dead simple to experiment with new concepts and ideas in this area, to allow for people to get first hand experience of how smart energy applications could be designed or to change the applications to fit with their ordinary life.
In future workshops we will also explore how to use existing open source software or widgets to analyze and visualize energy data. Further on, we will also show how to analyze the data and write your own visualizations and also connect the data to emerging platforms such as the Apple homekit. This could for example make it possible to talk to SIRI about your energy consumption.