Open source monitoring

Open source hardware and software components for home energy monitoring.

This is the only page on this site not focused on New Zealand. Devices on this page may not be available in New Zealand. Some devices may require modification for use with NZ electrical systems.

Open Source Energy Monitoring

Chasing 'trons

An open source Zigbee wireless device based on a Propeller MCU. Cocoa UI for Apple Mac OSX.

Features: ZigBee Wireless, True RMS voltage and current measurements for accurate readings with noisy loads, Power factor calculated with Fast Fourier Transform with possibility of using FFT for Total Harmonic Distortion calculation, Propeller 8 core microcontroller running at 80 MHz allows for lots of number crunching, Line powered.

Downloads available include: Schematic, Eagle CAD files, Design summary, Propeller code


Flukso is an open source web-based community metering application. 
GPL2. Installation and set up does not require specialist knowledge. A WiFi network is required for communication.

Fluksometer uses the CT clamp method. - NZ and Australian distribution

Knowledge Is Power project (KiP)

An Ethernet enabled low cost open source energy monitoring board. Java software released under GNU GPL3. Software calculates volts/watts/amps with data displayed in real time and storage available. 10A and 100A sensor input. Based on ATMEGA328-AU-ND microcontroller and ENC28J60-I/SS-ND ethernet. Future plans include a realtime database and WattDepot service integration.

Anthony Christe, Sergey Negrashov, Nathan Muramatsu. With thanks to Guido Socher, Pascal Stang,  Professor Johnson, Instrument Development Lab at UH Manoa Physics Department.

Open Energy Monitor

"This is a project to develop and build open source energy monitoring, control and analysis tools for energy efficiency and distributed renewable microgeneration"

Hardware is open source and designs are available for download and manufacture by commercial entities. 
Based on ATmega 328, Arduino Uno. Modules are currently supplied in kit form and require soldering skills and firmware loading to complete.

The Open Energy Monitor blog is updated with the project and discusses monitoring topics like - heat pump performance analysis and heat loss / heat flux in hot water systems.
Links to other monitoring projects -


Modification of the kill-a-watt appliance power meter sends usage data to a twitter account over ZigBee wireless.


SquidBee is an open hardware and open source wireless sensor device. The goal of SquidBee is "open motes" creating wireless sensor networks. Arduino based. Intended as a hobby, research, and education platform. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

Each module can be a sensor node or gateway. GPS module available. 12 digital and 6 analog I/O. Subnet grouping. Bidirectional communication. ZigBee module with AES-128.

A commercial product (Waspmote) is available with full support + FCC and CE certification.

SEGMeter (Smart Energy Groups) 

"Our objective is to provide a low cost, open source energy measurement platform in kit form to allow the makers and hobbyists to follow a step by step guides to build, commission an energy measurement and efficiency solution that is internet connect-able to the website, allowing the analysis of energy usage data and the ability to smart control devices based on rules and schedules"

The specification includes:
  • 6 Analog inputs with 6 low pass filter circuits, note, a non populated low pass filter will allow alternate analog inputs.
  • Digital input for a one wire temperature sensor on pin 5
  • Digital outputs
  • A single channel onboard reed relay to enable the switching of low power circuits from the Arduino on pin 7
  • 4 Pin interface for serial connection breakout to enable direct connection to an Asus Router, with pinout on the shield being, 5V – RX – TX – GND.
  • 4 Pin serial daisy-chain interface with pinout being, Pin 0 Rx – Pin 1 Tx – Pin 2 Rx – Pin 3 Tx
  • This will enable downstream arduino's to send and receive on pins 2 and 3.
  • Enable direct plug in of a MaxStream 20 pin type Zigbee directly onto the shield.  This will includes level shifting of logic signals to 3.3V
The SEGMeter project leader is based in Australia.

An online shop is now operating.

Optical / IRdA reader projects

Simple optical detector for smart meters

Simple optical/infrared smart meter LED pulse detector with COM port interface and source for FreeBSD. Poul-Henning Kamp. This could be combined with a usb to serial adaptor.

Simple optical detector with Zigbee interface for smart meters

AT90S2313S + XBEE optical detector + python

Elster IRdA reader

Arduino based. Reads accumulated total watt-hour data from Elster A100C electricity meters. USB powered. Arduino and Python code provided. This author links to many similar and related projects and resources.

Open Energy Monitor Optical Sensor

A fully realised smart meter optical sensor paired to the rasberry pi based open energy monitor. 

Academic projects

ACme (Berkeley)

"ACme is an open source hardware and software platform that enables wireless energy/power measurement and control of AC devices"

Cambridge Sensor Kit (CSK) Energy (Cambridge)

"Pervasive platform for energy management, research & development. Fine-grained energy monitoring (across housing/university) consumption modeling and energy feedback/advice for users energy control, cooperation, and consumption strategies"

PowerBox (Cornell)

Cliff Jao, Xi Guo. Based on Mega32 ADC sampling at 1Khz.

"Our device calculates and reports the following parameters in real time: Real power, Apparent power, Power factor, RMS Voltage, RMS Current, Frequency, Energy usage (Kilowatt-Hours). In addition to measurements, our device also has a remote switch that allows the computer to turn the power on or off and set wattage limits for auto shutdown"

Grid Monitor (Waikato University)

This project is not a usage monitor and it is not advertised as open source - but it does have nice visualisation!

Site links to related Informed Demand-Side Load Management (IDSL) projects.

Zigbee standards and energy monitoring

Zigbee is an open standard for wireless communication between electrical devices in Home Area Networks (HAN). The Zigbee standard is currently incompatible with the GPL.

Even so - there are many open source projects which implement or interface the Zigbee standard:

FreakZ - Freaklabs leads the early stage development of an open source Zigbee stack for micro-controllers. This has been ported to Arduino. ChibiArduino - a Zigbee enabled arduino kitset is now available. Freaklabs frequently blogs on Zigbee related topics.

OpenMAC is MeshNetics' implementation of IEEE 802.15.4 MAC layer (background)

Open-ZB - "The open-ZB web site provides open source tools for IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee, the most widespread technologies for Wireless Sensor Networks"

Zigbuzz - "The main goal of this project is to make an implementation of the ZigBee(tm) standard specifications for the Linux kernel" - "The goal of this project is to create an implementation of this standard and several protocols running on the top of IEEE 802.15.4 (like ZigBee) for Linux"

This home hobby HAN  incorporates several Zigbee enabled devices (blog).

Many electronic retailers and hobby shops provide Zigbee components.


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