SMART Home Introduction

New house… …new project. This one I am going to slowly add various smart technology and monitoring to my home.

Key requirements are that it is low cost, based on open source and does not rely on 3rd party closed systems and servers.

Currently looking at OpenHAB as the main server, running on a Raspberry Pi.

Will slowly add more functionality as money, time and support becomes available, some hardware I would like to add:

  • Energy Monitoring, to have real-time access to Solar PV generation and whole home energy usage, probably based on Open Energy Monitor. Just by adding the appropriate sensors
  • Room Temperature and Humidity sensors for the whole house.
  • Control and monitoring of the Heating and Hot Water
  • Linking to home security sensors, room sensors, door and window switches.
  • Integration into Alexa / Google Home / Phone App.

Temperature and Humidity Sensors

Adding inexpensive sensors to all rooms, is the first step in enabling a much more responsive and efficient heating system.

Thermostatic valves on radiators are okay, but they never seem to work as well as one would hope. Radiators in ‘cool’ rooms (toilets/hall) getting red hot whilst radiators in ‘warm’ rooms (lounge/snug) getting starved of heat. Having the thermostat connected to the thing providing the heat is always going to be a compromise.

Inexpensive, simple battery powered temperature sensors that connect using zigbee or zwave devices are available that can be slowly added to key rooms as required.