In Lebanon we have regular electricity cut off schedules. It depends on where you're based:
- Beirut: every three hours.
- Other regions: alternate between 4 hours cut off then 6 hours of power
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.
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.
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:
- The lightning bolt means that it's on the grid
- The generator means that ... you guessed, it's running on the generator
DownloadYou can download the app from here.
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.