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By Elian Zimmermann
12 April 2024

EskomSePush Ignition Integration: A Vanguard in Home Automation

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In the heart of a world continuously evolving through technological advancements, energy management emerges as a paramount concern. South Africa, in particular, grapples with the challenge of an intermittent power supply, a predicament that directly affects both daily living and the efficient management of technology in homes. Diving into this arena with a novel solution is Dhiren Naidoo, an Engineer at Advansys, who developed an innovative integration.

The Genesis of the Integration

The concept of EskomSePush Ignition Integration was born out of a personal need, a testament to human ingenuity in facing challenges. Naidoo, confronted with the erratic power supply by South Africa’s state-owned utility and the imminent threat it posed to his home server, sought to create an advanced system that would proactively manage the situation.

Levering his expertise and the capabilities of Ignition Maker Edition by Inductive Automation, Naidoo embarked on integrating information from EskomSePush, a service devised by a duo of developers aimed at keeping South Africans abreast of the power utility’s status through push notifications.

Crafting the Solution

At its core, the integration aims to pull data from the EskomSePush API to display the time remaining until the next power outage and initiate an orderly shutdown of the home server ahead of any potential load shedding. This initiative reflects not only a profound understanding of the problem at hand but also a keen insight into leveraging available technology to craft pragmatic solutions.

 Naidoo included a comprehensive package with the integration, featuring User Defined Types (UDT), essential for making API calls with a unique API key, and scripts embedded with common datetime wrangling functions. Additionally, the package also offers Perspective views that aid users in setting area IDs and displaying load-shedding events, thereby enhancing user interaction and understanding of the system.

The Developer’s Vision and Purpose

EskomSePush Ignition Integration goes beyond being a mere technological innovation; it is a reflection of Naidoo’s vision of empowering individuals with a tool that offers both control and customisation in managing their home automation systems.

 Whereas the popular home automation application, Home Assistant, serves as a common solution, Naidoo sought to address the limitations it posed in user interface customisation and ease of configuration. Drawing from his professional experience with Ignition and its inherent flexibility, Naidoo introduced a system that not only promises a higher degree of control over the user interface but also simplifies the process of preempting and managing power outages.

Enhancing Home Automation

The integration’s ability to account for varying degrees of load shedding and the recent implementation of load limiting in Naidoo’s area further exemplifies its adaptability and foresight. By integrating a feature that accommodates the transition to higher stages of load shedding, Naidoo has effectively demonstrated how the EskomSePush Ignition Integration stands as a beacon of innovation in home automation.

Inviting Collaboration

Although this integration is still in its infancy with Naidoo eagerly awaiting feedback, the underlying goal remains to cultivate a community of users and developers who can contribute to its evolution. By sharing the integration on Ignition Exchange, he not only exemplifies the ethos of collaborative development but also invites enhancements, be they in the form of more sophisticated views, bug fixes, or additional features.

The EskomSePush Ignition Integration emerges as a pivotal innovation designed to address the unique challenges of managing home servers amidst the unpredictability of power supply in South Africa. Through Dhiren Naidoo’s keen insight, technical prowess, and visionary approach, this integration not only offers a practical solution but also paves the way for future advancements in home automation.

For those interested, here is a link to EskomSePush API pricing for business use (home use is free).

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