Author Topic: taking Home Automation to the next level...  (Read 12735 times)

ddamron

  • Alumni
  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • *
  • Posts: 962
    • View Profile
    • My LinuxMCE User Page
taking Home Automation to the next level...
« on: December 30, 2007, 07:37:27 am »
I'm toying around with the idea of designing some hardware to take HA to the next step...
I would like to get people's opinions of some of these ideas...

HA currently has 'controls'... not much in the form of monitoring though...

What I mean are things like GAS FLOW METERS, current monitors (based on the actual circuit breaker), Furnace efficiency monitors, water metering, etc..
Temperature sensors are already here..
Most of these are easily monitored 1wire devices exist for temperature, force, acceleration...
We could use Field Effect Transistors to monitor water flow...
Passive Current monitoring is easy...
possibly alternative energy sources.. Solar, Wind, extreme hot/cold climates..

Any thoughts?  Ideas?  comments?

Dan

The only intuitive interface is the nipple.  After that it's all learned.
My other computer is your windows box.
I'm out of my mind.  Back in 5 minutes.
Q:  What's Red and smells like blue paint?

A:  Red Paint.

bulek

  • Administrator
  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • *****
  • Posts: 890
  • Living with LMCE
    • View Profile
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2007, 09:39:19 am »
I'm toying around with the idea of designing some hardware to take HA to the next step...
I would like to get people's opinions of some of these ideas...

HA currently has 'controls'... not much in the form of monitoring though...

What I mean are things like GAS FLOW METERS, current monitors (based on the actual circuit breaker), Furnace efficiency monitors, water metering, etc..
Temperature sensors are already here..
Most of these are easily monitored 1wire devices exist for temperature, force, acceleration...
We could use Field Effect Transistors to monitor water flow...
Passive Current monitoring is easy...
possibly alternative energy sources.. Solar, Wind, extreme hot/cold climates..

Any thoughts?  Ideas?  comments?

Dan



Currently it's hard to show any other device on floorplan properly beside few that are supported with controls....

See :

http://mantis.linuxmce.org/view.php?id=3456
http://mantis.linuxmce.org/view.php?id=3629
http://mantis.linuxmce.org/view.php?id=3704

HTH,

regards,

Bulek.
Thanks in advance,

regards,

Bulek.

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5501
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2007, 07:22:53 pm »
so... we have the code.... we fix the flaws in the system.

-Thom

cadman97

  • Regular Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2007, 07:40:20 pm »
Square D makes a Panelboard that has motorized C/B's and is controled thru an RJ-45 connection. I will get the model and post it for you.

Amathus

  • Regular Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2008, 08:58:56 am »
Yes - we are doing similar stateside and in Australia - contact me at mpap4699@bigpond.net.au for more information.

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4458
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2008, 10:47:16 am »
so... we have the code.... we fix the flaws in the system.

-Thom


Yep... I agree Thom.
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, inquiries@ellipticalcurve.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.msg100221#msg100221
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4458
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2008, 10:58:05 am »
I'm toying around with the idea of designing some hardware to take HA to the next step...
I would like to get people's opinions of some of these ideas...

HA currently has 'controls'... not much in the form of monitoring though...

What I mean are things like GAS FLOW METERS, current monitors (based on the actual circuit breaker), Furnace efficiency monitors, water metering, etc..
Temperature sensors are already here..
Most of these are easily monitored 1wire devices exist for temperature, force, acceleration...
We could use Field Effect Transistors to monitor water flow...
Passive Current monitoring is easy...
possibly alternative energy sources.. Solar, Wind, extreme hot/cold climates..

Any thoughts?  Ideas?  comments?

Dan



I think being able to add those kinds of sensors would be great... but I think to make that process easier and have longterm value we need to do some foundation work first;

What I think we need is a well thought through stable way to add new home control protocols and therefore their physical interfaces to LinuxMCE. We also need, as Bulek mentions, to support all devices a Floorplan objects so that all devices can be managed/manipulated/displayed in the floorplan.

Once we have that adding any kind of sensor using any kind of technology would be a piece of cake. The current way this is achieved in side LinuxMCE requires to much custom code etc in my opinion. We need to make the implementing a new driver a few hours work because all of the higher level stuff is just already written and working.

We have a bunch of highly motivated and clearly talented people here who are doing great stuff. With some structural changes, better docs about the underlying LinuxMCE mechanisms, API's etc and some collective effort this could be achieved i believe.

Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, inquiries@ellipticalcurve.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.msg100221#msg100221
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

ddamron

  • Alumni
  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • *
  • Posts: 962
    • View Profile
    • My LinuxMCE User Page
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2008, 12:37:27 pm »
Totallymaxed:

Well put! and I totally agree..
Bulek has some VERY VALID points, and I agree with him.

Damn, another reason to learn C++... crap.

lol

Dan
The only intuitive interface is the nipple.  After that it's all learned.
My other computer is your windows box.
I'm out of my mind.  Back in 5 minutes.
Q:  What's Red and smells like blue paint?

A:  Red Paint.

1audio

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 552
    • View Profile
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 08:33:23 am »
Two major modules need to be added to LMCE. They are both significant holes in the product. The first is an energy monitoring and management module. Something that can monitor energy use with a gadget like this http://www.save-electricity.ca/faqs.html or this http://www.theenergydetective.com/index.html and give meaningful reports of energy usage patterns, relate to events possibly and show costs of energy. And has a great green aspect.
The second is home health monitoring and maintenance. Everything from keeping track of grandma's activitys (to alert the kids if something unusual has happened) to reminders to take the daily medicine to remote monitoring of health items ranging from environmental to linked blood pressure and heart rate monitors for either exercise or the fragile in health.

Both would benefit from some careful planning on the integration and structure in advance. And LMCE's integrated structure makes these both more powerful and really easier since a lot of the necessary stuff is already there.

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4458
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2008, 02:06:39 pm »
Two major modules need to be added to LMCE. They are both significant holes in the product. The first is an energy monitoring and management module. Something that can monitor energy use with a gadget like this http://www.save-electricity.ca/faqs.html or this http://www.theenergydetective.com/index.html and give meaningful reports of energy usage patterns, relate to events possibly and show costs of energy. And has a great green aspect.
The second is home health monitoring and maintenance. Everything from keeping track of grandma's activitys (to alert the kids if something unusual has happened) to reminders to take the daily medicine to remote monitoring of health items ranging from environmental to linked blood pressure and heart rate monitors for either exercise or the fragile in health.

Both would benefit from some careful planning on the integration and structure in advance. And LMCE's integrated structure makes these both more powerful and really easier since a lot of the necessary stuff is already there.

I totally agree with both your suggestions... home energy consumption is an enormously important issue and integrating this into LinuxMCE would be a great capability;

Here are some great products for monitoring energy around the home (They have Euro, UK and Australian variants) and use Bluetooth and Zigbee to interconnect the meters to a PC. http://www.plogginternational.com/index.html



I also agree that being able to do health monitoring for any individual in a home would be another very compelling capability.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 02:21:01 pm by totallymaxed »
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, inquiries@ellipticalcurve.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.msg100221#msg100221
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

Matthew

  • Douchebag
  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 567
    • View Profile
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2008, 06:55:46 pm »
Two major modules need to be added to LMCE. They are both significant holes in the product. The first is an energy monitoring and management module. Something that can monitor energy use with a gadget like this http://www.save-electricity.ca/faqs.html or this http://www.theenergydetective.com/index.html and give meaningful reports of energy usage patterns, relate to events possibly and show costs of energy. And has a great green aspect.

I totally agree with both your suggestions... home energy consumption is an enormously important issue and integrating this into LinuxMCE would be a great capability;

Energy monitoring would be a compelling feature of LMCE, and a perfect fit to its other features. Partly because one inhibition to using a system like LMCE is that it encourages increased energy use. But if LMCE could offer reduced energy use from before, then that feature alone might attract many people, and completely mitigate the fears of extra consumption with the new features. In fact, LMCE might be recommended by utilities and governments that are currently working to increase conservation, and at least increase consumer awareness of consumption patterns and waste. Even if not recommended by name, various new conservation specs (like the One Watt Initiative) that follow the successful US DoE Energy Star program would make LMCE a "design win" in filling those specs. And of course it's morally responsible to include conservation (or at least reporting) services in a system that can increase consumption (and waste, if abused).


Here are some great products for monitoring energy around the home (They have Euro, UK and Australian variants) and use Bluetooth and Zigbee to interconnect the meters to a PC. http://www.plogginternational.com/index.html

Know of any US voltage/plug equivalents? Also, it seems such a monitor would best transceive data across the powerline network itself. Or even directly connect to a LMCE node PC, and monitor its outlet, rather than a remote one (if it doesn't need to be inline at the site's incoming power source). In fact, power monitoring of controlled devices seems like a natural feature of a "deluxe" appliance controller module (Insteon/X10/Z-Wave/etc). Is there such a class of device?

It also strikes me that LMCE could deliver a crude approximation of power metering in SW only, for devices it controls. If each device's consumption profile data is known, then LMCE can tabulate the states of the device against those data over time, to report the expected consumption. Is there existing SW that could be just integrated into LMCE to deliver those features? Maybe one with an existing open community that could be invited to use their expertise in their package to integrate it into LMCE?

1audio

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 552
    • View Profile
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2008, 07:01:40 pm »
The Lonworks powerline modules are supposedly capable of reporting back power usage. Although it isn't always in the product. And they communicate via powerline. And the energy detective uses the powerline for communications. But its designed for installation in the breaker box.
Since green technology is a very important issue today perhaps we can convince someone to make the monitors available if there is a system that can exploit them.

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4458
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2008, 08:16:05 pm »
Two major modules need to be added to LMCE. They are both significant holes in the product. The first is an energy monitoring and management module. Something that can monitor energy use with a gadget like this http://www.save-electricity.ca/faqs.html or this http://www.theenergydetective.com/index.html and give meaningful reports of energy usage patterns, relate to events possibly and show costs of energy. And has a great green aspect.

I totally agree with both your suggestions... home energy consumption is an enormously important issue and integrating this into LinuxMCE would be a great capability;

Energy monitoring would be a compelling feature of LMCE, and a perfect fit to its other features. Partly because one inhibition to using a system like LMCE is that it encourages increased energy use. But if LMCE could offer reduced energy use from before, then that feature alone might attract many people, and completely mitigate the fears of extra consumption with the new features. In fact, LMCE might be recommended by utilities and governments that are currently working to increase conservation, and at least increase consumer awareness of consumption patterns and waste. Even if not recommended by name, various new conservation specs (like the One Watt Initiative) that follow the successful US DoE Energy Star program would make LMCE a "design win" in filling those specs. And of course it's morally responsible to include conservation (or at least reporting) services in a system that can increase consumption (and waste, if abused).


Here are some great products for monitoring energy around the home (They have Euro, UK and Australian variants) and use Bluetooth and Zigbee to interconnect the meters to a PC. http://www.plogginternational.com/index.html

Know of any US voltage/plug equivalents? Also, it seems such a monitor would best transceive data across the powerline network itself. Or even directly connect to a LMCE node PC, and monitor its outlet, rather than a remote one (if it doesn't need to be inline at the site's incoming power source). In fact, power monitoring of controlled devices seems like a natural feature of a "deluxe" appliance controller module (Insteon/X10/Z-Wave/etc). Is there such a class of device?

It also strikes me that LMCE could deliver a crude approximation of power metering in SW only, for devices it controls. If each device's consumption profile data is known, then LMCE can tabulate the states of the device against those data over time, to report the expected consumption. Is there existing SW that could be just integrated into LMCE to deliver those features? Maybe one with an existing open community that could be invited to use their expertise in their package to integrate it into LMCE?

I totally agree Mathew that energy monitoring and management are going to be a killer application for LinuxMCE and also that its important to have this capability for the reasons you outline.

I am sure there must be equivalent energy metering hardware for the US market. The Plogg units are well designed and have a simple interface and protocol to get the data into the Core's DB. The Plogg units are designed to do spot metering of specific devices or rings (there are other metering devices that measure the whole-house usage from the domestic side of the electricity supply meter supplied by your energy supplier). I agree a powerline based plugin unit would make a hell of a lot of sense. I think we need to implement an open architecture for adding these types of energy metering devices so that we can support devices that have right interfaces/protocols in the future.

Any software only solution would I think be far too inaccurate for real use... whole house metering can be done for about £90 UKP so it really is not an expensive add on... especially when you consider the payback possible through lower energy usage.
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, inquiries@ellipticalcurve.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.msg100221#msg100221
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

bulek

  • Administrator
  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • *****
  • Posts: 890
  • Living with LMCE
    • View Profile
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2008, 08:31:19 pm »
Hi,

I agree - a lot of various features seem to be important for each of us. But we have one strong common point - we need to implement generic support for possibility of showing state of any device on floorplans and that would solve all those problems. This is basic framework - on top of that, alot of new features can be added - but we need to solve basic problems (in my view "generic state changed" event or something similar can solve this)... Also a lot of stuff is currently hardcoded in plugins, so in majority it's not enough if you add certain device to certain category that it will be shown on floorplan... Behaviour is currently not consistent.

I have talked to Chris and Eugene some time ago, and we agreed that such support will be experimentally added for lighting and climate plugin, but currently I'm not sure if this has happened.... Will check that with Chris tomorrow.

Regarding energy consumption :
1. I agree, energy metering is important, but when you'll see numbers with your core and MDs running + other amplifiers, devices etc... :-(   ...
I currently have this already implemented in home automation level, and I can see current consumption. And I'm a bit sad, we need to do a lot of work to bring such consumption down - one of the most important features of smart home platforms is also lowering energy consumption, but with system like LMCE it currently rises too much....

2. regarding measuring power consumption: I have implemented it in pretty simple way. In our country (Slovenia), we must buy household electric meters that already have pulsing output (in my case I get 500 pulses per 1kWh). My electricity provider has let me connect to that output (it's described in one of IEC standards) and I just measure time between pulses and estimate current consumption. So I'm measuring exactly same thing as I'm paying for... Nice feature, I bet a lot of you have same or similar possibility... I also had some smaller meters in consideration, but this was by far cheapest and really exact solution...

HTH,

regards,

Bulek.
Thanks in advance,

regards,

Bulek.

ddamron

  • Alumni
  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • *
  • Posts: 962
    • View Profile
    • My LinuxMCE User Page
Re: taking Home Automation to the next level...
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2008, 08:44:25 pm »
There's a lot of municipalities that won't let you connect to their meters..  I would bet that most won't.  If you can, all the power to you! (pun intended)
The only intuitive interface is the nipple.  After that it's all learned.
My other computer is your windows box.
I'm out of my mind.  Back in 5 minutes.
Q:  What's Red and smells like blue paint?

A:  Red Paint.