Kuba Wolanin
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Getting power outages notifications

By Kuba Wolanin
Published in Home automation
May 19, 2021
2 min read
Getting power outages notifications

Recently in the area we’ve experienced a number of power outages. As it turned out, not all fo them were intermittent failures (due to weather conditions) - some of them were planned ahead.

I live in Kraków, so the electricity is managed by Tauron. If you live in south-west or north Poland, chances are that Tauron is distributing energy for you as well:

2021 05 19 07 14 31
Source: https://www.tauron.pl/tauron/o-tauronie/potencjal-grupy

Fortunately, there’s a dedicated website where after filling in your adress you can get info regarding planned power outages: https://www.tauron-dystrybucja.pl/wylaczenia/

So if there’s a website, there surely should be an API. With API we should be able to scrape the power outages and after processing the data we could detect if any of the areas contains our street address.

Preparing data

In order to collect the data, I needed to find out how it’s prepared. I’ve visited Tauron Wyłączenia, opened up my browser’s DevTools and in the Network tab I started observing sent XHR requests:

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Getting cities

Filling the whole form is required to get the results, but as I observed the sent requests, we only need to provide two things:

  • City name
  • Street address (without a number)

Getting the City ID

Make a GET request to the following URL, providing a city name in partName parameter:

GET
https://www.tauron-dystrybucja.pl/iapi/city/GetCities?partName=%C5%9Awi%C4%85tniki+G%C3%B3rne

In the response we should get something similar to this:

[
  {
    "Name": "Świątniki Górne",
    "Gaid": "104815",
    "ProvinceName": "Małopolskie",
    "DistrictName": "krakowski"
  }
]

From that response we’re going to need the Gaid value - we’ll use it in the next request.

Getting the street ID

In similar fashion, we’ll make a request to get our street ID. Gaid parameter from above should now be passed to ownerGaid parameter. Analogically, partName should be filled with a string value of street name:

GET
https://www.tauron-dystrybucja.pl/iapi/street/GetStreets?ownerGaid=106173&partName=STREET+NAME

This will return a value simimlar to this:

[
  {
    "Name": "Aleja Adama Mickiewicza",
    "Gaid": "903472"
  }
]

Now having a Gaid for our street, we can use it in our final request.

Getting the power outages data

GET https://www.tauron-dystrybucja.pl/iapi/outage/GetOutages?gaid=903472&type=street

Response:

{
  "CurrentOutagePeriods": [
    {
      "Message": "Kraków ulica Balicka od 1 do 25; ul. Wernyhory ; ul. Bronowicka od 117 do 135A i od 136 do 146; Jabłonkowska od 1 do 3 oraz okolice",
      "StartDate": "2021-05-19T07:30:00",
      "EndDate": "2021-05-19T14:00:00",
      "OutageType": 1
    }
  ],
  "FutureOutagePeriods": [
    {
      "Message": "Kraków ulica Słowicza i Fischera – całość, Radzikowskiego od wiaduktu do Fischera oraz okolice",
      "StartDate": "2021-05-20T08:00:00",
      "EndDate": "2021-05-20T10:00:00",
      "OutageType": 1
    },
    {
      "Message": "Kraków ulica Zimorowicza 1a do 19,2a do 22 Zielińska 1, 7, Białoprądnicka 35, 37, 39, oraz okolice",
      "StartDate": "2021-05-21T08:00:00",
      "EndDate": "2021-05-21T15:00:00",
      "OutageType": 1
    },
    {
      "Message": "Kraków ulica Pylna 21 B C",
      "StartDate": "2021-05-24T09:00:00",
      "EndDate": "2021-05-24T15:00:00",
      "OutageType": 1
    }
  ]
}

Awesome! We not only get a data for planned outages in the future, but also currently ongoing outages/power failures somewhere around us. Now it’s a matter of traversing FutureOutagePeriods[].Message and checking if its values contain our street address.

openHAB

I’ve prepared a set of two Items:

Switch ElectricityOutage "Czy jest planowane wyłączenie?"
String ElectricityOutageRange "Kiedy?"

ElectricityOutage is a simple ON/OFF switch that we can use to trigger any action in our home automation rules. ElectricityOutageRange however will contain a combined range of dates in a string form. This formatted value will be passed to my notification service, so I know when exactly should I expect the power outage and be prepared in advance.

Node-RED flow

Let’s create a flow that every day at specific time will make a GET request to GetOutages endpoint from Tauron. Then we’ll process the response using a function node. Using a switch node will allow us to perform different actions when there are any planned outage and when there are none.

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A Node-RED flow collecting and processing the data

Summary

Web scraping can be very useful in home automation. Note that public APIs like this must not be exploited. Always remember to limit number of request in such scenarios to minimum. I think It’s also polite to make these requests at times of lower traffic in general (in the night?).

Hope you find this quick tutorial useful!

Side note

I’ve recently learned about git scraping which is a super convenient method of data collection in a git repository, with all its features (like history). GitHub made it really simple to create such repositories with automated data scraping.


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