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Last Updated: 24/Oct/2019

Introducing Electricity CutOff app

Added on 24/Oct/2019



What?

In Lebanon we have regular electricity cut off schedules. It depends on where you're based:

This is a pain to deal with if you don't have alternative power sources. It's one of the main things that the recent protests demand to fix.

We actually have a whole market of private large generators owners that sell you electricity to mitigate this. They add an additional switch to your powersource that gets powered automatically when the electricity is cut out.

Diesel Generators
Fig.1 - Example of a common diesel generator.

Problem

The problem is that the private generator subscription is expensive (x6 grid price) and you subscribe to a limited amperage. If you use more, the breaker will go off. That means you can't have your dryer, dishwasher & iron running at the same time as your fridge, tv & lights.

Do you see the problem? If you want to let's say, turn on your dryer you have to check first if your electricity is running on the grid or on the generators. So you'll have to go to where the breaker is inserted (you can install indicators in your home) and check first then power on your appliance.

Solution

This get annoying over time. Thankfully the cut-off are almost always on schedule. So if you know what's today's schedule you can guess whether or not you're running on the grid.

That's where Electricity CutOff app come. It'll show you the current status: whether the electricity is comming from the grid or from the generators. It'll also send a notification when the status get switched.

You can quickly see the current status based on the icon shown:

App showing that we're running on generators
Fig.2 - The app showing that we're now running on the generators.
App showing that we're running on the grid
App showing that we're running on the grid
Fig.3 - The app showing that we're now running on the grid.

Download

You can download the app from here.

Conclusion

I'm thinking on having a more practical way to get the status right. Maybe I can check the current/voltage that's comming? Or attach an RPI to the breaker in some way and get readings when it's on?

Any way, that's something for another day.




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