node-red-contrib-heatweb is a set of freely availale nodes for use in Node-RED, the open-source logic platform from IBM.
The nodes are designed to simplify the process of routing and performing calculations on data from devices, basing all architecture around a 5 level MQTT topic structure and unified dictionary.
networkId / nodeId / deviceId / dataType / dataKey
Features provided by the nodes include:
- Runs on both edge devices connected to equipment, or on cloud platforms for asset management
- Express server providing both http and https ports
- Automatically generated self signed certificated when not using provided ones
- User login and password protection
- REST API providing access to filtered data, for posting data, and uploading files
- Remote access through firewalls using ngrok triggered by MQTT
- On start-up, downloads standard dictionary from Github
- Conditions data topics fed into nodes to match the standard 5 level protocol
- Seperated network topics for internal and external MQTT networks
- Adustable deadbands on data fed to external servers to limit data use
- In-line standard and custom calculations
- Persistent settings for devices
- Standard MQTT commands allow for request based (master/slave) MQTT operation to further limit data transfer
- Libraries for generating graphs of various types
- Generation of real-time dashboards, linking SVG gauges and UI elements to MQTT data
- SVG editor for creating graphical dashboards
- Data tables to list devices and readings
- Alarm handling and status field generation
- Data attributes, such as units, title, numer of data points to store in memory, and alarms
- Topics to handle syncing of all device data, including attributes
- Wildcards can be used on graphs and dashboards to display hundreds of device readings side by side in real-time
- Node-RED allows system to be completely customised to suit the task in hand, with example flows provided
There is no better way to understand something than to have a go yourself. While on the face of it, suggesting the reader just ‘has a go’ at working with a new network management technology may sound far-fetched, it is the purpose of this page to demonstrate that it does indeed take less time than reading this document.
- Install Node.js and Node-RED on your computer. See https://nodered.org/docs/getting-started/windows. First it will ask you to go to the Node-js site and install Node-js. Then you will need to run a command prompt - this is done in Windows by pressing the Start key and typing “cmd” to bring it up in the menu. From here you install node-red as instructed.
- Run Node-RED by typing “node-red” in the command prompt (as per the instructions) then with this left running, navigate to http://localhost:1880 in a browser. It may take up to a minute to start.
- Click manage palette , in the top right menu, click the install tab, search for “heatweb”, and then click install next to the node-red-contrib-heatweb result. It may take a minute, and will popup a confirmation once installed.
- Still in the palette manager search for “dashboard”. Install the result node-red-dashboard. You can close the palette manager when done.
- Import the example flow: Import > examples > node-red-contrib-heatweb > Diversity Demo > Import
- Click Deploy. Ignore any warnings and continue.
- Navigate to http://localhost:1880/ui in a browser to view the output.
What you will have is a dashboard displaying real-time domestic hot water use (in litres/minute) from HIUs in the field. Press START. You may have to wait a moment for a tap to run.
On the face of it this is a simple demo. This however is the simple demo that proved that the average tap duration is under 10 seconds, and mains water supplies do not run long enough to go cold enough to make test results repeatable in the real world. It is also the raw data required to establish a revised diversity methodology rather than the Danish Standard DS439, and with DHW use being the main driver behind spikes in load, it is also one of the key data feeds used in predictive algorithms around load shifting and calculating energy vectors. All that was needed was a simple mechanism to collate the data - and that is one area where our systems excel. This Node-RED demo will provide you with a live feed from roughly 200 HIUs, as well as the full Node-RED software that allows you to start playing with the data. A new example will soon be added where the peaks will be stored and compared to DS439 predictions, and the volumes will be calculated so water consumption can be compared to CIBSE and CIPHE predictions. There are further examples - please be aware that deploying them will enable other features such as remote access to the computer’s external ports as well as the network it sits on, even behind a firewall. This is a key support feature in the field, but may require permission from your IT department before running on a work computer.