Energie Visible: Live and Free!

After being asked by several members of WoT the community and beyond to release the Energie Visible prototype, we finally managed to find the time to package it and now give it for free on the Web! To recap: the Energie Visible project aims at making the your energy consumption … visible!

We created a page to host the application, you’ll find the latest version and additional info there.

Note that it currently only works with the Bluetooth Ploggs and on Windows (XP or later).

The bundle you download there basically contains two applications. First is contains a Web of Things Gateway for the Ploggs (written in C++) which is discovering the Ploggs and making them available through a RESTful interface. Then, it contains a Web UI and datastore based on the great Google Web Toolkit and on the wonderful RESTlet.

The bundle contains the binaries but not the source code. If you are interested in getting the source code please contact us.

We hope you’ll enjoy the software! Note that it is provided “as is” without support. However, you are very welcome to use this blog entry to post your comments, bugs reports or feature requests.

EnergieVisible screenshot

Dominique Guinard

  • http://www.guinard.org Dominique Guinard

    As mentioned in the post let’s use the comments of this entry to post comments, feedback (positive and negative ;-)) as well as ideas, feature requests or whatever is related to this software…

  • http://www.guinard.org Dominique Guinard

    Today, a researcher from SAP Research in Sofia Antipolis using our software reported having some problems with the Bluetooth dongles he is using, here is my reply:

    Well actually the current version supports bluetooth only. We tested it with several BT dongles and it tends to work better with non-low end dongles. I’ve got a 20$ dongle which works quite well.

    You just need to be sure you are using the right DLL. When downloading the app from http://www.webofthings.com/energievisible/ and first starting it the system asks you whether you have new or old Ploggs. If you select “new” it will load the ASCII DLL if you select “old” it will load the BINARY DLL.

    If one does not work try the other. You can also find both DLLs in the gateway/ folder of the application.

    Hope that will help!

  • http://noelportugal.blogspot.com/ Noel Portugal

    I think the Energie Visible project is a good start. But in my own opinion seems to be a very pricey project (£97.00 for each appliance!! ). Also having the Win PC as an always on server defeats the purpose of saving energy. A better approach would be to have a dedicated low energy device like ioBridge, Arduino or even using a SheevaPlug to handle the data collection. Check the following Instructable http://www.instructables.com/id/Real_time_Web_Based_Household_Power_Usage_Monitor for more ideas!

    Regards!

  • http://www.guinard.org Dominique Guinard

    Hi Noel,

    Totally agree with you! However, I don’t think having everyone building their own energy sensors is a good idea… I mean you might be skilled enough to do so but it’s a rather dangerous enterprise for those without strong electrical engineering skills (anything happening in that context would probably not be insured!)

    I think this partially explains the rather high price of the Ploggs: they have to do a lot of testing to comply with the safety regulations (e.g. CE). However, let’s hope these kind of remarks will convince them to lower the price!

    As for the Win PC I totally agree with you on that one. I’m a big fan of Linux and thus we are currently porting the whole thing to Linux. It’s just that the Plogg DLL is a DLL, i.e. works on Win only…

  • Stephane

    I’m experiencing troubles with my USB dongle, it simply do not manages to find the Ploggs, neither using the Energy Optimizer Software nor using the Energie Visible Smart Gateway.

    Can you provide me with the references of the dongle you are using (model, driver version, etc.)

    • http://www.guinard.org Dominique Guinard

      Dear Stephane,

      Actually this type of problem is strongly related to the Ploggs themselves and should better be reported here: http://www.plogginternational.com/support.html. However since I experienced similar problems yesterday at an Energie Visible deployment I might still be able to help.

      I did most of the testing using the BT module embedded in my Lenovo T61 but more generally, it seems like the best working dongles are those not requiring any specific Bluetooth driver. That is: those automatically recognized and managed by the Microsoft Bluetooth stack. However it seems like it is working with other drivers as well.

      Yesterday we were trying to make it work with this BT dongle: http://www.stegcomputer.ch/shop.asp?prodid=EDI-EBMDC1. At first it did not get recognized by the Energie Visible Smart Gateway but then getting the latest driver from the manufacturer website did the trick and this dongle is actually performing quite well (both in terms of speed and range). Thus, if your dongle does not run on a standard Microsoft driver then be sure you do have the latest version of the driver.

      I can’t give you a general driver version that works since there are many drivers working with the Ploggs but more generally I would say, again that a dongle working on the Microsoft Bluetooth driver is more likely to work. In my case it is running on the RFCOMM Protocol TDI Driver from Microsoft version 6.0.6001.18000.

      But, again, I never experienced a dongle which did not work after trying with several version of its shipped driver. If you still don’t manage to connect then I would really try to contact the support of Energy Optimizers.

  • Ross Wilkins

    Hi,

    I’m impressed with this application, does exactly what I need. I’m currently looking into modeling homes with the passivehaus concept, analysing their comfort levels, energy efficiency and the occupants behavior within the home.

    I would be interested in seeing the source code for this application if possible? to see if i could integrate or extend the application with the work that I do.

    Many Thanks

    Ross