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Open Power Watch



The idea is to provide a real time Simcity like view of the electricity supply.  With an eagle eye view of the loading, outages and supply quality, the City can be pro-actively manage, respond to outages, shed load and plan capacity expansion. Her residents will known where problems are and see how the City is dealing with this.

Simcity View - showing hotspots

Smart Grid Solution

Smart Grid can be thought of as  “Internet of Things” but for the power grid.  OPW leverage IoT designs and technologies to measure the voltage and temperature and street level substations and mini-substations.  Temperature is the killer for transformers and cables and effective management means longer equipment life.  Voltage levels and outages are the main measure of power quality delivered and needs to adhere to legislated criteria to prevent damage to equipment and / or loss of revenue for the consumer.

Open Hardware and Software

Arduino based open hardware developed by Bushveld Labs allow measurement and GSM communication.  Open source software is used for the data storage, analytics, reporting, open data api and notifications.  This includes Android as primary mobile platform.

Open Data API

Part of the solution is an Open Data API, which could have other spin offs:

  • DownForEveryoneOrJustMe but for electricity
  • Traffic routing around areas with power outages
  • Consumer watch – Who is getting load shedded? How equitable is it?

Current Status

Sensors : Prototype developed by Bushveld Labs (an H4H startup)
Backend : First phase complete, currently receiving data from 6 sensors, including temperature, voltage, power and current
Analytics : Design complete
Visualization : Web and Android prototypes in progress

Next steps – small scale pilot

Using the monies from the competition, we want to execute a small pilot to demonstrate the concept and mature the technology.

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Gauteng Innovation Challenge First Runner Up


Our submission for Open Power Watch to the Gauteng Innovation Challenge was awarded second place in the Mobile category at the award ceremony last night.  Last week all the finalists went for a video shoot at Astral Media Solutions ( in Lone Hill and this video was shown last night:

The winners were SowerTech – well done!

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