Mini power meters

Since Sunday I’ve been working in earnest (apart from tonight when I took some time off to drink beer and play softball) on the development of an arduino based plug level energy meter. Obviously this is the one thing that the whole world has been waiting for before deciding to become green, save energy and not destroy the planet (I wish..). So far I’ve surprised myself by the progress which I’ve made.

The project started a couple of years ago (in a different guise), as part of an Arup research project into wireless networks for buildings. The aim of my project then was to build a plug level meter, integrated into a wireless mote – enabling realtime monitoring of desktop energy use (just like a Plogg, or an Efergy, or a Wattson or a..). Unfortunately the platform was only half finished and the programming language was a little odd (very advanced, just not really my cup of tea.. ). So despite copious amounts of blood, sweat and unpaid overtime, it didn’t do the business and has been consigned to my draw.

This time around it’s all going to be different! I’m doing it myself in my spare time and plan to release it under the Creative Commons license. It will do the following:

1) Plug into an Arduino (I’m using the Duemilanove model I’ve got on my desk as a basis)

2) Measure all kinds of power related things (Active, reactive, voltage, current, frequency, sag, power factor) using a very nice ADE7553 IC from Analogue Devices

3) Work.

Stay tuned for more info…


6 thoughts on “Mini power meters

  1. Diego says:

    I am also trying to use an ADE7753 but I’m having problems communicating with the chip and reading the correct data.
    Can you help?

  2. pingu98 says:

    Hi Diego, sorry for the delay! I’ve had comms to the ADE7753 on my prototype for a while, when I first hand soldered it there were a few dry joints causing comms issues – once I’d fixed these the SPI libraries on the arduino worked fine for 8 bit comms. To step it up to 16+ bit registers I needed to write some more code, I’ll post it up here for you to see how I did it. Probably it’ll be quite useful for lots of people doing similar not necessarily related stuff.

    The other thing I’d say is to make sure the clock to your chip is okay. I’ve got a separate crystal as part of my design to generate the 4MHz (off the top of my head.. it might actually be a different value) to the chip – I wanted to be sure this wasn’t the source of any sampling inaccuracies.

    Best of luck!

  3. diego says:

    Thanks James,
    waiting for the code.

  4. akisha says:

    hey …
    where is d code??

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