project is based on the work of
Trystan Lea and Suneil, both from Wales.
"This is a project to develop and build open source energy monitoring and analysis tools for energy efficiency and distributed renewable microgeneration."
The project appears to have been launched in the summer of 2009.
The OpenEnergyMonitor project's
describes the goals, which include:
- Monitoring AC mains for energy analysis purposes.
- Energy prediction for renewable energy feasibility studies (Planned).
- Monitoring energy captured from wind, solar water and photovoltaic sources.
- Storage, analysis and display of energy usage data.
- Development of energy technologies.
- The export of energy usage information to the Internet (Planned).
The OpenEnergyMonitor site lists several example projects:
OpenEnergyMonitor features a simple structure that is built from
a variety of open-source hardware and software components.
The data flow through the system starts with an
Arduino processor and a custom
built I/O shield
for interfacing the analog signal to the Arduino.
The Arduino sends data to the host computer via a USB serial connection.
The project provides several ways to collect and display the power data.
The simpler batch mode works as follows:
The ArduinoComm Java program can be used to copy a batch of recorded
data to a file using a command such as:
$ java ArduinoComm >tmp.dat
Graphing of the captured data can be done with the KDE utility
, see the
Using KST for graphing
document for details.
A more interactive real time display can be achived using
the PowerLogger and PowerSampler Java programs.
A test installation of both programs was performed on an
Ubuntu 9.04 system.
OpenEnergyMonitor java software guide was followed.
Each program requires installation of the
associated Arduino program (sketch) on the Arduino board.
Your author had several Arduino Deicimila boards around from
other projects and an already installed version 17 of the Arduino IDE.
The Arduino Power Logger program (sketch) was retrieved, compiled
and installed on the Deicimila board without any problems.
Java was installed on the machine along with the
serial/parallel communication library.
The Java code was compiled and run with the
java ContinuousPower command.
The ContinuousPower GUI showed up and after clicking on the
Start button, the Arduino status indicated that a
connection was established and an a flow of data was seen from the
Arduino board. The real time graph's X axis changed with advancing time
and the data changed slightly due to noise.
Unfortunately, your author did not have the parts on hand to construct
an input shield board, so monitoring of some real data was not possible.
The PowerSampler program was compiled and installed with similar results.
For more information on the inner workings of the Java software, see the
Power Logger Source Code Guide and the
Program Structure and Data Flow Diagram.
The latter explains both the Power Logger and Power Sampler Java
programs since both share a large percentage of source code.
OpenEnergyMonitor is an interesting project in the early stages of
It comes along at a time when the renewable energy field is seeing a
lot of growth, and efficiency monitoring of non-renewable sources
is becoming more important for both financial and ecological reasons.
Hopefully, future releases of
OpenEnergyMonitor will include a wider variety of supported
sensor devices. A multi-channel temperature monitor would be useful for
characterizing a variety of solar energy sources such as photovoltaic,
hydronic (hot water) and solar-heated air panels.
The OpenEnergyMonitor project could also be useful for providing a base of working
code for a more generic Arduino-based data logger, and the real-time data visualization capabilities are an added bonus.
A thread on the Arduino forum about an
Open Source Data Logger Project Using the Arduino
indicates some potential interest, but that project apparently
never got off the ground.
to post comments)