Project Idea, Domestic Energy monitor

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#1
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Hello ladies and gents,

So I had this idea of creating a monitoring system for the power usage of each room in the house.

The system would ideally monitor the power usage of all devices, so everything connected to the mains sockets as well as the lights.

The problem is how to create a system which is very low power, and since I can't have cables all of the place it would need to be wireless.

So then all the data could be accessed for instance from a PC to display the data in a orderly manner.

Has anyone tried this before, it has to be low power otherwise it's pointless.

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Quote:

Has anyone tried this before, it has to be low power otherwise it's pointless.

Sorry but if it's monitoring the power of mains powered devices why is that an issue? It can be powered from the mains can't it?

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You will need a voltage and current sensor of some type to monitor power for each device or at least each branch circuit. The typical or traditional current sensor has always been a Toroid as the turns ration is easily manipulated.

I have several Kill-A-Watt monitoring devices http://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4400-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU and have often considered tapping into the LCD display for data collection. At worst, the Kill-A-Watt monitor will provide an example of what you need to do to measure power using total solid-state technology and once it is understood, move the concepts over to an AVR with your RF as the communications median.

EDIT TO ADD:
It seem that your wish has been granted with a Kill-A-Watt product.http://www.p3international.com/products/p4200.html

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

Last Edited: Tue. Sep 24, 2013 - 06:49 PM
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clawson wrote:
Quote:

Has anyone tried this before, it has to be low power otherwise it's pointless.

Sorry but if it's monitoring the power of mains powered devices why is that an issue? It can be powered from the mains can't it?

I was not against it being powered by the mains, what I was against is if it uses too much energy, since several monitors would have to be connected in each room.

Also how would you measure the power consumption of light bulbs. I was thinking of some kind of extension like this which holds the monitor circuit .

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* I I understand, you want to measure each and every electical equipment (not a global consumption)?
* there is a issue with light bulbs : traditional ones (tungstene) are linear and non inductive : formulas are easy; modern ones (fluorescent mercury bulbs in Europ, I fear) are very non linear (peak current is huge, but does not last a long time)....

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There is a product called TED (The Energy Detective). I think you need to put a current sensor around the hot wire from ea breaker in the box. This gives you the amps in ea breaker.

Imagecraft compiler user

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Not sure how houses are wired where you are but, here are some things I see in my house:

1) Some circuits serve several rooms. So, you cannot do a room analysis based on circuit currents at the distribution box.

2) Some rooms have several circuits. For example, living room has one circuit for outlets and another for lights. And both circuits serve several rooms.

3) Our house has a number of built-in electric heaters. Each is on its own circuit. So, these could be monitored at the distribution panel OR at the point of use.

4) Some loads, like electric stove or clothes dryer, run from 230V while most run from 115V. Electric stove has some parts of the load that take power from one side of the "split phase 230" but most of the load is across the full 230V.

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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You have a utility meter in every house, a precise and calibrated device. If you were paranoid you could install a bunch of those in every room.
I do not understand the purpose of your experiment. Apart from "being cool". Do you expect savings, based on that energy information?

bobgardner wrote:
There is a product called TED (The Energy Detective).

TED faq wrote:
How can I monitor an individual appliance?

No RSTDISBL, no fun!

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Quote:

Do you expect savings, based on that energy information?

A major UK energy supplier seems to think this kind of thing is a good idea...

http://www.britishgas.co.uk/prod...

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The energy usage monitor is only half of a load control program. If you have tiered pricing, that raises prices if you are using too much juice, the load control program thinks "hmmm... he just pushed the button to turn on the microwoave... need another 1000 watts.... that'll put me over the limit.... have to shut off the water heater or the pool pump or something temporarily..."

Imagecraft compiler user

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The Energy Smart from British Gas is a device that copies/mimics most of the functions of the utility meter. However it has a more convenient GUI with remote readout, bells and whistles, some statistics, less accuracy, etc..

I do understand that if someone wants to decrease the waste then the measurement is essential.
But on the other hand measuring the power of a kettle or the energy consumed by the dish-washer during single cycle is easily made with a regular, electromechanical utility dumbmeter. Once you measure it - that does not change much, even if you measured it every minute of 7/24.

Besides, there are cheap, convenient, off the shelf plug-able power meters available on the market. I use one of those to monitor consumption of appliances at home. Fridge, freezer, dish-washer, washing machine, microwave, laptop etc.. I note the dates, times, energies and switch to a next appliance every 2 months or so, round-robin..

Currently I am targeting my freezer.
According to my recent measurements the traitor consumes 576kWh/year! Considering it is only 120dm3 volume - I feel I am being ripped off.

No RSTDISBL, no fun!