House Automation and Alarm Environment

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1 Scope

This is a master project that combines a number of smaller projects and creates the overall context.

The background is that I want to have an integrated house monitoring infrastructure that addresses the following aspects:

  • Creating a model of a house
  • Placing sensors for a wide number of aspects across all the house. This array of sensors includes measurement devices:
    • Radio frequency installations such as WIFI, BLE, ZigBee, Z-Wave
    • Accoustic infrastructure including Amazon Echo
    • Sensors for water, oil, electricity, fumes and gas
    • Cameras where they apply in order to monitor key aspects
    • Door sensors
    • Movement of persons in the house using infrared sensors
    • Heating and fire detection, including uncontrolled fire incidents
    • Light sensors (forgot to switch off)
    • Air pressure and humidity sensors (not only good to detect weather changes but also opened doors)
    • Temperature of various devices (rooftop solar water heating system)
  • Operating a central monitoring and logic hub
    • Sensor sink: Big networked infrastructures include dozens of networked devices. There is one place where everything comes together, where all APIs have a sink.
    • Logic platform: This is where logic rules are executed.
    • Electrically independent: This centralized hub requires enhanced durability, so it has it's own electric support. It is also the main electrical support for the entire network and sensor infrastructure. In my case it is implemented with a pair of Raspberry Pis (one main device, one fallback).
    • Historical logging: This centralized hub also keeps an alarm log and allows the analysis of past sensor events.
    • Historical charting: Since the hub also collects numeric values, it also does a charting over physical values such as temperature, gas measurements etc.
  • Operating a number of actors
    • The main alarm device is a SMS gateway that allows out of band alarms
    • Accoustic and optical alarms allow to notify residents.
    • Depending on logic, electrical switches can be toggled.
  • Operating an alarm and acknoledgement console panel
    • This is a low power device that displays the type and state of an alarm.
    • It indicates the overall alarm condition with LEDs (red, yellow, green) and allows to react to warnings, as opposed to alarms.
    • It allows to acknowledge alarms with a physical pushbutton.
    • This alarm console is detached from accoustic alarms to keep stress levels low and allow for clear thoughts.
    • It is in the end only an interface to the central logic hub, which offers the same functionality through a website.

2 Projects and Implementations