Telegea is being developed as an Open Source platform, mainly focused on thermal energy monitoring and control. It provides the underlying technology for building applications and products for sustainable thermal energy management.
The idea for this platform was born from the experience gathered in the field of geothermal heating/cooling plants and customer requests for a system, which would be able to add monitoring functionality for the main parameter values and remote control of the plant. Such a platform should also be independent from vendor specific equipment and be able to manage different kind of brands of thermal appliances.
Moreover improving the energy efficiency in our buildings has become one of the key aspects as well as the CO2 and cost reduction. The usage of renewable resources in thermal energy, like high efficiency heat pumps, and the integration of different systems for heating, cooling, heat recovery ventilation, dehumidification and so on, requires platforms which are able to manage complex systems for small and medium sized buildings.
With the Telegea platform we are developing an open system to meet all the above requirements and to face the challenges of today's demand for environment friendly thermal energy management.
Telegea provides interfaces to sensors and actuators in order to interact with the environment and equipment. It implements a single user interface for the plant management. Based on the raw sensor data it calculates and visualizes the actual thermal and electrical energy consumption. It is able to optimize the comfort and increases the efficiency of heating/cooling systems.
The platform is designed to provide a system at low cost and at the same time offering great flexibility. Cost is kept to a minimum by avoiding any additional hardware components and implement all functionality using only the components provided by the Smartbox device. Flexibility is achieved by providing the possibility of different combinations and configurations of the platforms main building blocks. This allows for a wide range of possible applications.
Open source technology
The Telegea software was designed from the start to be an open platform. It is based entirely on free, open source software projects, first of all the Linux operating system and the tools and libraries provided for it from a worldwide community.
Many open systems have proven to be ahead of their proprietary competitors and we are convinced that the open source development model is a better way of doing things. Most important of all, sharing knowledge is the key aspect that enables innovation and highly improves efficiency. Open source enforces transparency and trust, there are no hidden "features" or backdoors. And Open source enables you to build on others work, no need to "reinvent the weel".
Therefore, the Telegea source code and documentation is freely available under the GNU General Public License, version 3. The project is available on the Github collaboration platform. Anyone interested in the project can view the code, comment on it, try it and modify it. We are very curious to receive any feedback. The goal is to develop Telegea into an active, steadily growing community project that helps all of us to learn from each other and improve the platform
Telegea Smart Hub
The Telegea Smart Hub is the gateway from the physical world of sensors and actuators to the network and cloud services. Typically it acquires data from temperature and humidity sensors, utility meters and status signals. This allows for real time monitoring of the environment conditions and the status of the plants equipment. It can control relays which switch on or off loads, send on/off commands to the heat pump or boiler and change the position of motorized valves. It also communicates with external devices over common industry standard protocols, e.g. Modbus, M-Bus.
The Telegea Smart Hub is completely user configurable, so different numbers of sensors, actuators or external equipment can be combined with each other. This flexibility allows for many different deployment scenarios which can also go beyond thermal plant management solutions.
It is the specific application software loaded on the Smart Hub, which runs on top of the Telegea platform, that defines the actual purpose of the Smart Hub in the system. It can turn dumb equipment into a smart thermostat, a smart humidifier or a remote control for appliances from different vendors.
The central Telegea server receives the data from the remote sites via the Smartbox devices, stores and processes the data and hosts the public web server. The web server provides the web based graphical user interface and a Restful HTTP API which can be used by the Smartphone app or other third party applications. The server is reachable on the public Internet and this permits the access to the personal plant and community shared data from anywhere in the world.
The communication with the server module happens exclusively over secure, encrypted network connections to ensure the data security.
User Interface module
An intuitive graphical user interface helps to manage easily the plant data directly from a Web browser. It is possible to access the interface from any computer, smartphone or tablet connected to the Internet.
The user interface provides a number of useful information about the current status, the stored data and the performance aspects of the thermal plant.
An overview page shows the most important data at a glance. The data is constantly updated with the information received from the Smartbox. Real time temperature and humidity data can be seen as well as performance related figures.
To display saved sensor data graphically, trend charts are provided. This allows to easily detect anomalies or to learn more details about the behaviour of the plant and its parameters. Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly charts can be generated. It is also possible to select only the desired parameters and to dynamically zoom in or out of the chart.
The raw sensor data is periodically being elaborated by specific calculator algorithms. After the appropriate data processing, energy and performance charts can be shown to the user. These charts provide details about the contribution of different kind of thermal and electrical energy to the overall energy consumption.
If you are interested in testing Telegea to see if it can manage your thermal plant, or you are a developer and you want to start implementing an application based on this platform, you can start right away. Everything you need is freely available.
Follow these four steps to start with your very first Telegea experience:
- Get a Telegea Smart Hub device and sensors
Start with the documentation on setting up the Smart Hub hardware
- Get the Smart Hub software
Download an SD card image and install it to your Smart Hub
- Get a Telegea user account
Create a Telegea user account from the user login web page
- Configure your Smart Hub
Read the documentation on how to configure the Smart Hub
Now you are ready to go. The Smart Hub will start acquiring data from your plant and send it to the Server module. Once you log into your Telegea user account the data will start showing up in the user interface.