HEMS Default Interface

Now that we have some of our Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) out in the wild as part of the PowerShaper service, I would like to see how the functionality of the device can be improved for our members.

The HEMS user interface is the Home Assistant system. Anyone familiar with this system will know that there are a huge number of integrations available, and infinite ways to configure the user interfaces and dashboards.

I’d like to keep the default system as simple and standardised as possible, while allowing “power users” to do what they want to extend the HEMS so it can become their main home automation and monitoring tool.

Some ideas we have here:

  • Include a scheduler integration, so immersion switches or heaters can be programmed
  • Include the Octopus Agile integration so systems can be automated to run when electricity is cheap

I am very interested to hear what our members and PowerShaper participants think about the HEMS, and in particular what integrations you would like to be made available.


Thanks Peter, I have added this to the #home-energy-systems category.

For anyone who is not participating in in our PowerShaper Service this is short description of the service:

PowerShaper is a service which enables you to get paid for allowing us to turn your electrical appliances on and off remotely. The idea is that this will support the flexible operation of the electricity grid and enable more of your energy to be supplied by renewable sources

The service is currently being run in a pilot phase for people with electric vehicles and/or immersion heaters. At the core of this is our HEMS which @peter mentions is based on Home Assistant, currently this is only really used to allow for the control of certain appliances to support grid flexibility although as noted it allows for a lot more possibilities.

The default interface for the HEMS looks something like this:

But we can change it to display different information and offer different functionalities!

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I’d like to work out how to intergrate with the data from my Solar Panels - I have an SNA solar inverter that sends live data to a website that I can access, but it would be good to be able to access that feed in real time and therefore do some logic on it - i.e. more than 1kW solar generating = switch on immersion heater to use it!

Thanks @epickering - it doesn’t look like there is an SNA integration yet:

You don’t mean SMA by any chance do you?

These 2 are excellent ideas.
I am getting on well with the HEMS and have implemented a simple scheduler automation for our Sunamp (similar in this context to an immersion). This could be improved if an Octopus Agile integration was also available as it would allow a boost to the Sunamp (or immersion) to be scheduled automatically when a certain price point was available.

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Sounds great Dom. Our new Carbon Coop colleague Jess is looking into the Octopus Agile integration at the moment, and I have a scheduler integration nearly ready to go.
I’ll get in touch soon to ask you to test it out for us.

Excellent stuff - looking forward to it. The last could of days have been colder and fairly wind-still that means relatively high carbon electricity and quite high Octopus Agile electricity prices. There is bound to be a windier spell in the next few days and weekends tend to have lower overall demand and associated lower prices. It is this kind of pattern that an Agile integration for the HEMS will be really well suited for.

Having just got my HEMS set up remotely with Ben’s help last week connected to the Immersion Heater Relay and the Open EV Battery charger, I’m now also keen keen to set them up with Octopus Agile that I have now been using for over a year. How can I set about doing this?

I’m a person that knows what I need to get done, but less of a technical expert on how to do it. Although I was using BBC Basic computer programming language in the early 1980s!!

I also have been using Octopus Agile Outgoing my Home Solar battery (not my EV battery) for the last year and have been manually adding the setting to “force charge” and “force discharge” this Home battery. This has involved having to manually download the Agile and the Outgoing half-hour readings, select the best half-hour slots and then manually add these to an APP (Solaro App). Solaro is the name of my battery system (from Australia).

Obviously, I have the Octopus Energy API (for my Eastern Region - Ely, Cambridgeshire) as a a first stage it would be great to be able use the API and the HEMS weather integration to intelligently select the number and the number of time slots I need to fill up my battery at the cheapest rate - but only enough so that I don’t overfill it - thus taking advantage of any surplus Solar PV fill to the top by 16:00 hrs so I can then export any electricity - when National Grid demand is high.

A 2nd stage will be to findl a way of automating the process so it can tell the Battery Manager System (BMS) what to do without do with me having to mannually do it through the Solaro App.

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I think this is a really interesting idea, and definitely ties into some ideas we have around giving members access to solar forecasting data. @Peter has already mentioned that we are looking to develop an Agile integration and it seems quite possible that down the line we would be able to add something which factors in solar forecasts.

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There are devices that automate this for you, Solar iBoost for example, which kicks in when there is additional generation above that currently in use, which then diverts the energy to the immersion and heats the water. More expensive than doing it manually, but it’s worth every penny.

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Is it possible to set the HEMS dashboard to automatically refresh when it is showing dynamic readings?

Also is it possible to incorporate the HEMS dashboard or individual cards into a website? And also have the reading automatically refreshed?

The dashboard will automatically update the readings if they change - you don’t need to refresh the page.

It’s not possible to embed cards etc on a website - the system is only designed for local access.
If you let me know what use case you are thinking of I might have an alternative idea.

OK Thanks @peter , I did not think it was updating until I refresh the browser. But I will monitor it.

It’s not possible to embed cards etc on a website - the system is only designed for local access.
If you let me know what use case you are thinking of I might have an alternative idea.

@peter I will be useful to show people the real time graphs without having to ask them to log into the HA dasboard.

Depending on the source for the sensor, if you want to share graphs with other people over the internet, home assistant probably isn’t the way to do it.
For example octopus agile prices are already available here - Octopus Agile - Energy Stats UK

@peter Yes, I use this everyday to get the Agile and Outgoing figures . But I’m thinking of other sensors like solar PC consumption and comparing with daylight hours and so on. Also perhaps daily outdoor temperature - where within HEMS they are used as tools - but also nice to display for other interested people to encourage take-up.

I wonder if anyone e.g.@mattfranklin can diagnose my issue, giving the following symptoms (although I appreciate that Powershaper events have finished at present):

  1. Immersion relay switch is in the Auto position
  2. With my mobile device connected to the HEMS/ Home Assistant interface, when in my browser I type the IP address I was given originally I get “This site can’t be reached - (IP address) took too long to respond.” If I type instead shellyem-******.local (with my unique code at ****** it just gives me various google results for Shelly EM.
  3. Meanwhile the ShellyEM network is nowhere to be seen on my available networks list.
    Any thoughts? Is my relay defunct somehow?

All was working well until I disconnected the HEMS a few weeks ago and re-connected it (via a Powerline extender).

Hi @peter and @epickering - did you have any luck with this? The house we bought has a SAJ inverter which I’ve connected over ethernet. There is no integration for this either, but it can be added as a sensor (SAJ Solar Inverter - Home Assistant). HEMS doesn’t have the supervisor tab, so I can’t see a way to add the file editor… any ideas gratefully received.

So I have an older (2017) SMA (typo previously!) inverter that only sends data to SMA, which you can then view on their SunnyPortal website. The newer SMA model have SMAConnect, which there is a Home Assistant intergration for, but short of installing a packet sniffer I can’t do a lot with it…

Hi @john.d - @Jess_Fairbairn and @ben have been working on a way to edit the configuration files to add integrations that can not be added through the user interface. I’ll check with them to see where we are with that