mySmartGrid

A few months ago we were contacted by Mathias Dalheimer a.k.a. gonium of Fraunhofer ITWM in Kaiserslautern. He told us they were planning to implement and trial a demand-side management platform. Unlike other initiatives in this domain, they want this platform to be based on open-source components to facilitate a bottom-up movement in energy management. Hence the mySmartGrid project name. People attending the Flukso talk at FOSDEM X have already received an introduction to mySmartGrid by Mathias. Here's a summary of what was said during the talk:

Flukso at FOSDEM 10

Our Flukso talk at FOSDEM '10 was very well received. We got tons of questions after the presentation. This constitutes a clear proof that the topic of energy and resource efficiency is a very live and pressing one. In case we weren't able to answer your specific question on Saturday, please feel free to contact us via mail or in the comments. The slides of the Flukso presentation can be downloaded here.

A New Year - A New Server

Last night we migrated the Flukso platform to a Linode VPS. The change should have rippled through the DNS hierarchy by now. Should you experience any connection problems with the Fluksometer then try to resolve it by resetting your broadband router first.

The site should be a lot snappier because of the new hardware. We've also taken the opportunity to change some of the platform's components. As can be seen in the architecture slide, Apache and mod_php have been substituted by Nginx and PHP-FPM. Our first experiences with Nginx have been very positive. It's stable, uses RAM sparingly and serves static content blindingly fast. We're also using it as a reverse-proxy to our Webmachine-based JSON/REST API. More about that in a later post.

Jon Gilkison's post on Nginx and PHP-FPM has been a great help for setting up the new server. Thanks!

Flukso's digest

Along with the setup of our forum, users with a Flukso account can now track the conversations on the site. Just surf to the 'my account' page, select the 'subscriptions' tag and unfold the 'settings' form. There's a plethora of settings made available allowing you to auto-subscribe, to subscribe to new forum content and comments, to aggregate the content into a digest, to set the digest's interval. Furthermore, each blog post or forum topic contains a 'subscribe' button near the bottom of the entry.

Happy reading!

Credits: The original picture is CC-BY-NC Tyla'75 on Flickr

Testing the new sensor board

We're now shipping our Fluksometers with v1.1 of the sensor board. This board is a daughterboard that snaps onto a PCB containing an Atheros 2317 wifi chipset.

Fluksometer internalsFluksometer internals

The boards communicate via the UART TXO and RXI lines. GND and VCC offer a 3.3V power supply to the sensor board. The board layout image below contains annotations detailing the sensor board's most important functions. More information can be found in the Eagle schematic and board layout files in the Flukso repository. A pdf of the schematic is attached to this blog post.

Flukso sensor board v1.1Flukso sensor board v1.1