There is undoubtedly a pressing need to measure and monitor electricity consumption at the level of households and small/medium businesses (bigger organisations are doing it for decades already). Electricity is getting more and more expensive, and every kWh saved is a kWh earned.
See-a-Watt is our answer to this need, and our contribution to the open source movement. It is based on the Open Energy Monitor project (an open source project itself). The hardware and the software will be released under Open Source licenses, and the entire project will be at the heart of a community ecosystem, much like DIY Drones or Makerbot (at least that’s what we hope).
See-a-Watt will be the cornerstone of a three components system:
1. See-a-Watt sensing electronics
2. A server that could be your own or the cloud
3. A web connected visualization client (smartphone, tablet, computer, TV, some weird graphing bot, etc)
In this post I will just present the See-a-Watt electricity sensing hardware, other posts will follow with more details about the software and the uses.
The picture below presents it all in an easy way:
You put the See-a-Watt box in your electric distribution box and connect to it up to three non-invasive current sensors. Clip those sensors around the wires you want to monitor (for example one for the kitchen, one for the living room and one for the bedroom, or one for each phase). Plug the voltage sensor in an electricity socket and connect it to your See-a-Watt box. One or two minutes of setting up your cloud account or server, and that is all. Your electricity is being monitored in real-time and logged into a database in the cloud or on your server.
You can see detailed graphs of your power consumption, and act upon them to cut your electricity bill.
See-a-Watt will be sold as a kit to tinkerers and DIYers.