Electricity is the backbone of modern society. We use it for all kinds of aspects in life. In many places however, the demand for power often exceeds the available supply at times. We needed to bring in a system which would report power consumption in real time to get a prediction of electricity shortfalls before they happen. In addition, this solution involves paying for power consumption as it is being used, which is designed to prevent users to be more informed about their bill as they consume energy, and in effect, use less at the same time.
What it does
We have made a model prototype of how such a system would be implemented. There is a model meter represented by the arduino which measures electricity stats such as voltage and current, these reflect the power consumed by a sample load (the motor). Once this data is processed, it is transmitted via serial protocol to the Raspberry Pi board which then makes api calls to the server with the data from the load. From here, communication with Ripple ledger happens to do the micro transactions which represent the user paying for their electricity bill according to the amount of power consumed. This data is then neatly presented in a wix website.
How I built it
We built this using arduino, raspberry pi, the Ripple interledger, Microsoft Azure, and a Wix website.
Challenges I ran into
We ran into numerous challenges due to the broad nature of this project, as we had to integrate a lot of different moving components to this project. A perfect example is the communication between the arduino with the sensor data and the raspberry pi gave a lot of issues as the pi would be receiving data continuously from the arduino, although it would read the data much less often. This caused garbled information, and so we implemented a system of requesting the data from the pi, and only sending it then from the arduino.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Being able to integrate all the different components into one project: the arduino, raspberry pi, Ripple's interledger, Wix's website.
What I learned
We learned a lot of stuff ranging from hardware interfacing to making api requests, as well as how to manage an inter-disciplinary team.
What's next for EcoFlow
Finding a way to make our prototype into an affordable system implemented throughout houses across cities.