WUT students created a smart energy meter overlay

Photo of the bulb

fot. pixabay

Students from the Power Engineers Research Association have created a smart energy meter overlay. The device will facilitate responsible and economical consumption of electrical energy.

In order to rationally use electrical energy, it is necessary to know one’s habits, so when, what for and how much energy we consume. All the data will be conveniently provided by the device created by the members of the Power Engineers Research Association, operating at the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering.

– Everyone has an energy meter at home and its readings are read from time to time. Our overlay uses this module. The pulsed diode, which is located on the housing of the energy meter, is characterized by a constant called the meter constant, i.e. the number of pulses per the number of kilowatt hours (kWh) used. Our shield has a photoresistor, the resistance of which changes depending on the intensity of the light falling on it. Thanks to the fact that we know the constant of the meter, and we measure with a photoresistor, how many times the LED flashed in a given period of time, we are able to calculate, using the Arduino microcomputer built into the shield, how much energy we used in a given period – explains Paulina Kucharczyk, member of the Association. – This is written down in a special file. Another option is to send messages on the current electricity consumption to the phone – she says.

Photo of the smart overlay

The smart overlay follows the trend of solutions such as smart home and smart grid. It uses the idea of the Internet of Things

For now it is a text message with information about the amount of energy used within a time limit defined by the user. Work is currently being done on a module that would allow to send additional messages when a certain level of consumption is exceeded, which the user could define by himself. The program performs operations based on the input data that is entered by the user: meter diode constant, telephone number and the time interval from which the user want to know the average energy consumption.

Photo of the smart overlay

When the device is working, information is sent to the user via text messages from a GSM module, with a SIM card like the ones used in phones

– I think this device will make the user aware of the amount of energy consumed every day. We do not check that often – Paulina Kucharczyk stressed.

The smart overlay is installed without the need to interfere with the already installed meter or to replace it. It is enough to attach the overlay to the existing energy meter.