Review: SmartPi – smart meter extension for Raspberry Pi

July 17, 2017 | 08:44
Review: SmartPi – smart meter extension for Raspberry Pi
Review: SmartPi – smart meter extension for Raspberry Pi

What is the SmartPi?

The SmartPi is an extension board to turn a Raspberry Pi into a smart energy meter. All the parts, including the enclosure, are available separately but it is also possible to buy a fully assembled device (discussed here). The assembled version is built on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B. (An UMTS stick is proposed too, but nowhere is it mentioned what to do with it.)

The SmartPi can measure current (up to 100 A, with a hardware modification up to 300 A is possible), voltage (up to 400 V) and frequency on three phases plus neutral and calculate several flavors of power (active, reactive & apparent) and consumption.

The software is open source and available from GitHub.

SmartPi documentation?

The manual is very succinct, more or less obliging you to go to the website. Unfortunately, things are not much better here. Clicking the ‘Installation’ link will take you to the software installation page where you will find all kinds of Linux commands to install the SmartPi image on a Raspberry Pi. Nothing here however on how to install the SmartPi in your home.

The ‘Use’ link leads to a page with a connection drawing, but nothing is said on how to wire the device to the network or how to power it. We might expect it to be powered from one of the voltage inputs, but it isn’t; it must be powered with a power adapter (not provided). How much power the SmartPi requires is not indicated anywhere either. The access to the RPi micro USB power connector is too small, making it hard to get a good connection. I had to widen the hole to fix this.

 
The SmartPi (left) "professionally" installed in my home.
 
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