Aeon Energy Switch to Alarm if Freezer Loses Power?


(Kyle Bradshaw) #1

I bought the Aeon Labs Z-Wave Smart Energy Switch hoping that I could use it to alarm if the GFCI gets tripped on the outlet my freezer is plugged into. I was hoping there would be a smartapp that would trigger an alarm if power wasn’t detected for maybe 12 hours? Any suggestions?

And if the Aeon can’t do it maybe there is a better device for this application?

Thanks!


(Ray) #2

Don’t think you can do it with that switch but there is this ST motion sensor on this post


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

It is / would be a pretty simple SmartApp, but could be a little dependant on SmartThings’s scheduling which can be flaky. There are ways to write it to keep track of time of last powered time and retrigger, I hope. Does one already exist? I’m too lazy to search!

The other challenge?
Any of the energy reporting appliance modules (the Aeon you link is just as good as the SmartThings Centralite ZigBee version), will cease to report as soon as the power goes out. There is a slim chance it will squeeze out one less message to the Hub before the switch itself dies.

So the SmartApp has to force a poll / refresh … and I’m not sure what will happen when polling the “dead” Switch Device. Easy to experiment and find out.

This solves the problem because the original ST Motion Sensor can be installed with backup batteries, and thus can send the power outage event.

But it would be nice to avoid the need for another device.

So I’d still consider experimenting with just a power measuring outlet Switch.

I can run a test for you … I have that Aeon switch.


(Ray) #4

Forgot to mention that I have a peq door/window with temp sensor in the back of my fridge. When the temp drops below a set limit. Notify me. It’s the cheapest and easiest for me. You just have to figure out the normal operating temp behind or above the fridge.


(Keith Croshaw) #5

We really need “Bad Quality” alarms. Device looses power = Bad Quality.

ST will just keep last state and never notify the user comms have stopped…


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #6

Agreed.

We just had this discussion in another Topic thread (well, probably several times), with @JDRoberts insisting it is inherently inconsistent with ZigBee / Z-Wave to consider “lack of reporting” to be of any consequence.

Surely a “maximum reporting / response timeout” is a reasonable compromise if it can be applied on a device by device basis; considering that a very large number of even low power physical devices do frequently report even if no activity (signal strength, battery, slight fluctuations in power consumption…).

Therefore, it is easy to notice a “stale / stalled” Device.


#7

Peking Duck. :wink:

(But it is only inherently inconsistent with zigbee mesh–zigbee can also be deployed in a star topology, in which case response monitoring is expected.)


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #8

Hmmm… Should be easy enough to do with a SmartApp (like low battery alert SmartApp).

It’s a shame we can’t globally add a new Attribute or Capability to existing Device Types.

Regardless…

Short answer to the OP’s @Kyle_Bradshaw question: I’m pretty sure that a slow polling SmartApp could just repeatedly check for stale energy usage Events in the Switch and thus with some degree of confidence use that as an alert trigger.

Let me know if you would like me to try.


#9

I prefer a temperature-based alert because not only is it cheap and easy to set up, but it’s the real emergency I want to measure.

There are many things that can go wrong with the freezer that will cause it to continue to draw energy, in some cases even more energy than usual, but it will not maintain cold. Also, measuring temperature will normally work even if the freezer is unplugged, because the temperature measurement device is usually independently battery operated. So while drawing current is important, what I’m really concerned about is whether the freezer is staying cold, so I tend to alert based on temperature.

Of course it depends on how sensitive everything is. You may even want to run both types of alerts.

but, yes, the existing method that was mentioned with the original motion sensor (method developed by @scottinpollock ) is the one that I’ve seen mentioned most often. Seems to work very well. Basically you get the notification when the motion sensor switches over from drawing mains current to battery power which tells you that the current stopped being available.