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I'm trying to create a energy grid monitoring system using Arduino

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers, Programming and IoT' started by Haseeb, Jul 11, 2017.

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  1. Haseeb

    Haseeb

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    Jan 14, 2017
    Im attempting to use Arduino connected with a GSM shield connected to power grid.

    The objective is to deploy the unit all over the city so that data can be received in almost real time so that power status can be known.

    I need to understand what chip can I connect with my Arduino so that I can relay the status via gsm.

    I've worked out what programming needs to be done but I'm not sure what should I be using to read logic '0" or on as power status.

    Complete application of the unit is listed here.

    I'm using Arduino Uno 3.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Alec_t

    Alec_t

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    Jul 7, 2015
    Welcome to EP!
    You could use a transformer with a low voltage secondary, e.g. 3VRMS, to monitor the mains presence/absence/voltage/frequency.
    Even if you do monitor the mains, is the power company likely to accept your readings?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  3. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

    4,276
    1,146
    Jun 25, 2010
    No point in re-inventing the wheel. There are domestic metering units available with built-in GSM systems that report directly back to the central control. It's a range of 'Smart Meters' that are being installed across many countries across the world.

    Equally there are domestic 'socket' monitoring devices that advise the user of power consumption of individual equipment that could be 'hacked' to monitor supply availability and voltage.

    Perhaps get one to see how you can use it locally?
     
  4. Haseeb

    Haseeb

    7
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    Jan 14, 2017
  5. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

    4,276
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    Jun 25, 2010
    Detecting the presence or absence of an ac supply is as simple as monitoring the ac side (or even dc side) of the power pack used to run the Arduino/shield - a current limiting resistor and rectifier on the secondary of the PSU (assuming a wall wart kind of supply here).

    If you want 'live' reporting you will need to battery-back the Ardunio/shield to report under blackout conditions so detection of change-over from mains-to-battery would work.

    The Arduino may even have a brown-out monitor circuit (I don't know) to report interruptions.

    If you need a system that cannot be 'rigged' (by simply unplugging the unit) then use a current transformer on the incoming cable in conjuction with ac-coupling via pickup coil.
     
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,363
    2,758
    Jan 21, 2010
    Having been in India several times, my guess is that the power situation is similar.

    Let me guess that @Haseeb has noticed that there seems to be longer and more frequent blackouts where he is than are reported either to or by the government.

    If I were in this situation I might want to distribute a large number of independent monitoring devices to track the location, side, and duration of these rolling blackouts.

    Am I right?
     
  7. Alec_t

    Alec_t

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    Jul 7, 2015
    I think you're right; but whether or not the utility will do anything to overcome public protest is unknown :).
     
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