Bussiness Idea regarding Nodered


I had an interesting idea for business opportunity that i could perhaps sell to a town In Africa.

The payment methods for electricity and water usage is that the componies send workers to each house so that, they could read the amount of water usage and the electrical bill. Im newly graduated automation engineer, so i thought instead of sending somebody every month to each house, perphaps i could install and set up a logo PLC to every house that coud read the smart reader live, to send somebody there would not be needed, they could instead via SCADA read those information from wherever, thus creating a wonderfull luxirous passive income for myself.
A PLC could cost somewhere around 100 $ times that with 100,000 houses each that would be expensive,

Perhaps Nodered with Respery PI could be an option, Any idea how i would set that up? Is there any other cheaper way for both installation and programming. PLS help

My limited experience with new technology in less-developed parts of the world (admittedly in the government and military sectors) is that the barriers to deployment are mainly social and organizational, not technical or economic. The current ways of doing things tend to be trusted, and vested interests have grown up around them. If any doubts arise, those who benefit from the status quo will exploit them. When there is a widely perceived need, there may be a genuine opportunity.

Ok, not helpful but sure preach

No offence intended. I hope you're thick-skinned enough to succeed in your project.

Well your first thing would be to confirm that they have in fact deployed meters that are smart - many countries go for the cheapest option.

Your next issue would be the value of labour - how much do the meter readers get paid ?

If both of those fall into your business case parameters then there are many ways to do what you - firstly you would have to find out what protocol the meters use to communicate externally (there are a number of them) - your best bet in terrms of cost effectiveness would be something like an ESP32 and an associated radio module - most probably LORA would make the most sense.

Your next challenge would be how to power the module and how to secure it so it was not stolen


Energy meters is usually something a grid company provides to its customers. I dont think you will be allowed to sell energy metering for a grid company where you live, unlesss you work for them.

Its important to use certified energy meters which assures reliability and correct measurement. Carlo gavazzi which is a brand im familiar with have many affordable energy meters, which measures everything from hz to reactive energy. I like them alot, especially combined with the IIoT gateway UWP 3.0. I have used these meters for load control and monitoring of equipment, and they are excelennt.

Carlo gavazzi meters has modbus interface mostly. To send data from the meters to a centralized server you would need a gateway in between, which could be a raspberry pi or a 4g router with modbus interface. If there is no internet access in the houses lora transmitters connected to the energy meters is a good idea. Energy data can be transmitted from meter to a lora gateway which then is connected to a centralized server on the internet where billing processing can take place.

Well they dont have a smart meter, just analogs.
They have about 30-40 employees that visit each house to check on those meter, that is just for the electric company
The water compony is has its own employees, it is seperate i would assume they have little over same amount of employees as the electric company.

So the idea is to take advantage for those both companies I.E water and electrics, and do the work of 40 people, setting up some sort of PLC or hardware with the LORA, and do the job, mind you that is just one City. Why not the whole country, it could be a large project
Wanna do some collab?

I like it, i actually got the approval from the Grid Company usually the knowledge is not there, i am a freelancer, interested in collabration?

I am also looking at the bussiness of home automation, if the customer want some ventillation system or other comfort systems, whilst having those companies in my pocket the electic CO and water CO, it would be sensible to use some sort of PLC, would you agree?

How do you propose that your device reads the meter?

simple, parameterization. There is function Block with Calculation made for analog reader that come With the Logo PLC for Siemens. So it would be parallel reading with the already existing Analog meter.
And if i could make a deal with the water Company, i could install a flow meter sensor thanks to the already installed PLC, all it requires is to wire the damn thing and wallah. So it would be killing 2 birds with one stone and take the hefty commission

What sort of analog reader is that? What does it actually measure?

well it is custom made, the data base would REAL or FLOAT, you would SCALE it.

No, I mean what hardware do you plan to use to measure the electricity consumption?

ow that is what im figuring it out, i dont know, that is why i came here, the plan was to use LOGO PLC with MQQT as 4G network and that is too expensive for 100,000 houses. I need less expensive way, and beside the logo PLC siemens i dont know what else is vaible. Once again this way above my pay grade, i lack the competence that why im need of help

You still have not understood the point I am making. To measure power consumption, taking voltage, current, and power factor into account needs hardware designed for that. So you would need to buy something for that. That is not a node-red issue. Also, your whole system (hardware, software and comms) will have to be tamper proof somehow, which is not easy. Otherwise users will work around it in various ways.

1 Like

Theres not much you can use node-red for in your scenario. Id say only for the automatic processing of billing information. To be clear i dont have a formal education in this field of energy metering. But i have alittle experience with energy metering and how to make use of energy data produced only at a small scale.

Your application is at a large scale, and its tremendously important that whatever you sell will work for a long time. I dont think you will be able to make your own energy meters cheaper or better/reliable than energy meters which you can buy. Also these meters need to be installed somehow, and they must be installed safley by electricians in proper cabinets.

Having a plc which you suggest in every house would be very expensive as you yourself said.
Where i live many energy meters use the 400 mhz band to transmit energy data to local gateways/concentrators on its own IOT network. And if i were in your shoes, i would opt for a similar solution, so that if something goes wrong, then you know whos to blame.. If i really were in your shoes, then i would use a carlo gavazzi energy metering system for minimum hassle and maximum reliability
(i find them reliable, but do your research. also i do not work for carlo gavazzi, i just use their equipment at work), and transfer all energy data on lorawan comms or 4g. Carlo gavazzi has a fairly ready made solution for this.

You said smart home, also carlo gavazzi has a simple solution for this with the UWP 3.0 IIoT gateway/smarthome system. That has some smart house functionality. Easily combined with nearly all types of energy meters. Not as advanced as most other solutions out there, but again its extremley important that things is working reliable when you sell such systems to anyone. You can do heating and cooling control, blinds control, and burglar alarm with such a system.

Again very little about this has anything to do with node red.

wow that is fantastic news, is there any way you could direkt me to some one in sales department, please if you could forward your email info, that would be nice.
The only reason i chose forum is because of the info, and now you have given me one.

Who to contact in carlo gavazzi i dont know. See first if they exist in your country.
There are other vendors as well. I would personally spend some time figuring out what solutions exists out there, but looking at what carlo gavazzi offers is definetley a good start.

I can help you with this. Send me an email so we can discuss.. henjoe@obxhistorian.com