Smartbox is the Telegea remote device which connects to a number of sensors and appliances to collect the data for monitoring a heating/cooling system. Furthermore it receives commands from the Telegea server to control connected actuators. It is based on a modular architecture and new sensor, actuator or communication modules can easily be added if necessary. All software modules provide a well defined interface which can be accessed via the Modbus TCP protocol. This allows for communication with modules running on different Smartboxes from a single client. Therefore multiple Smartboxes can be installed in the same network, making the system easily scalable.
The main features provided by the Smartbox are:
- Sensor module for digital temperature and humidity sensors
- Pulse count module to count (low frequency) pulses from SO outputs, e.g. energy meter, flow meter
- Status module to report status on/off from external switches, e.g. valve position
- Control module to switch on/off relays and connected loads
- Modbus module to communicate with devices via Modbus RTU protocol
- Modbus TCP client to communicate with all above modules
- Register scanner for periodic reading and logging of selected data from above modules
- Communication of selected data to Telegea server via HTTP API (real time) and backup file (daily)
- Remote debug and maintenance facilities
- Support for LAN, Wifi and GPRS remote connection
Furthermore the Smartbox provides the possibility to implement autonomous algorithms to automatically control the actuator based on the sensors input. This opens the door to a wide range of applications for building automation and smart home scenarios.
It is also planned to enable the Smartbox to provide its data via a message queue protocol like MQTT. This will allow to deploy it as proxy between the supported peripheral devices and a message broker and make it easy to integrate it into existing Internet Of Things applications.
The prototype of the device is based on the RaspberryPi Single Board Computer running Linux and other “off the shelf” components.
Here is a snapshot of the prototype with a relay board in the opened DIN rail enclosure.