To make the world greener and safer
What it does
When connecting a tagged electrical plug to a smart(er) socket, the tag is identified and checked against a user maintained list of authorized devices. The socket enables the current flow using an internal switch only if the device is confirmed.
As long as a confirmed device is connected, its power usage is sent to the main application for monitoring its usage. Possible usage of the data:
- Present the power consumption history per device.
- Using the total power consumption reading supplied by Fortum, the total consumption of the non-monitored consumers (e.g. lights) can be calculated and presented as well.
- Detect "hungry" consumers.
- Monitor the activity inside the building. For example, verify that an elder family member is ok by checking its device usage.
- Detect possible failures before it happens: the system can study the consumption of each device and then detect anomalies.
Additional possible feature:
- Parental control (Playstation is available only between 7 to 8 PM).
- Disable usage of damaged devices (for example: power cord with bare wires).
- Postpone low priority tasks when Fortum readings show high power consumption - the level of "high consumption" can be altered according to readings from the whole area (spread consumption from the power plant during peak hours).
- Ensure that electrical devices are operated only via sockets they are supposed to (e.g. bathroom sockets approves only fan and shaving machine).
How we built it
The product consists 3 main parts: 1 Smart(er) electrical socket with integrated RFID reader, WiFi module and a relay.
- Slim RFID tag module which mounts neatly on each electrical plug.
- Main application which monitors, manages and controls the usage of the electrical devices remotely throughout the home/office/facility. For the demonstration the main application was coded on Raspi3.
Challenges we ran into
- We are hardware designers and therefore had trouble with coding the main UI application.
- Integrating the RFID stickers to the plug due to size constraints.
- Setting up network protocol for wireless communication between smart(er) sockets and main application.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Building a well working hardware prototype.
What we learned
- Working with RFID tags.
- Transceive data between components.
What's next for Smart(er) socket
- Improving the UI.
- Integrate Wifi module, RFID reader and relay to a small component to minimize the change in the current socket volume.
- Integrate smaller ID tags which contains minimum data (4 digits are more than enough).