Low Cost kWh data logger for developing countries

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 19, 2017
Hi Everyone,

I am a renewables engineer who is starting to do some small projects in Ghana,

I want a simple a robust kWh meter and data logger to do energy assessments of buildings and villages so renewable energy systems can be properly designed.

Unfortunately the solutions I have used in the past, and the ones I can find online are very expensive and have loads of unnecessary features for this application.

I want something off the shelf ideally and definitely not an Arduino or R Pi solution that requires user knowledge on IT ( this kit will be used by people with little / no IT skills)

anyone got any advise?


Joined Feb 1, 2021
Hi There,
Can you give a little more detail on what you're doing. Don't forget... the term low cost is relative to where you're situated.
Are you looking at installing multiple kWh meters within a building and wiring back to a device to collect the data.
Maybe multiple meters within a village, would they then be wired back to a common data collector ?
Would the data be periodically read locally, possibly downloaded to a laptop ?
Or connected via internet for remote download ?

I'm in South Africa, I recently bought a digital kWh meter for a cottage I rent, it cost R425 ( approx US$30).
It has a display of the totalised reading plus a pulse output of 880 pulses / kW.
Would you be able to leave a PC at the site to log data ?
An old PC, slow PC would be quite able to capture the data.

Then you'd need an interface for the pulses into the PC.

Hope this helps


Joined Feb 1, 2021
Hi Dick,
I'm assuming he wants to log how many kW are consumed per day, possibly per hour with time and date.
Then they'll be able get a profile of use without relying on people.
He says its for energy assessments.

I've done this sort of thing in a previous life where we used transducers with pulse outputs monitored by a PLC and logged by a SCADA system.