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Whole home energy monitoring

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by pgiralt, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Hoping this topic is okay for this forum. If not, mods, please move to Off Topic.

    I've been looking at the Time of Use rates here in NC and they could end up saving me some money, but I'm not sure because I'm not exactly sure how much of my energy I'm using during peak hours. I'd like to put together a whole-home power monitoring system to graph the energy usage throughout the day and ideally be able to plug in the Kwh values for various times and have it tell me what my bill would be with those values.

    The only semi-mainstream product I've found is The Energy Detective. I've also found some more that require a bit of tweaking to get them to work. At first I think I'd like to just monitor the mains coming into the house (2 x 200A service) and then maybe later branch out to monitoring some of the sub-loads to get a better idea of what is actually using power at certain times.

    I figured folks on this forum have probably dabbled in this, especially those who have Solar at home. Does anyone have suggestions? I don't mind tweaking, scripting, or programming to get it to work, but I'd rather have something that gets me most of the way out of the box with enough programability to be able to extend it if I need to.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Peter_M

    Peter_M Member

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    Got one of these Electricity Power Cost Monitor free from my power company as part of a promotion. It has a sensor that attaches to the meter (optically with battery power, so no actual connection to the power lines). The sensor transmits wirelessly to the display unit. It works well, but only updates every 15s or so, which makes it a bit tedious to check the incremental draw of a device. It also tends to lose the connection from time to time, but hitting the reset buttons on both units usually recovers.
     
  3. rbergquist

    rbergquist S946 - VIN 1017

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    I use a TED 5000 with 4 sensors to monitor 2 main panels (2 x 200A service), solar generation & Tesla charging. TED 5000 is a pick finicky to set up. Once set up it has run consistently for several years.

    TOU works well for me as I generate at high prices & consume at low periods. TED didn't proide this data but was more useful in finding high loads to conserve/replace.

    If I were doing it today, I'd consider a Brultech Green Eye which can monitor more circuits. I'd have to investigate it's reporting capabilities.


    See these threads for more discussions:

    Intelligent Power Monitoring Systems
    Monitoring Power Consumption of Charging Outlet
    Has Anyone Metered Their EV Outlet?
     
  4. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Those are offered as part of Ontario's peaksaverPLUS program. Each utility may have a different display device depending on which vendor they choose. My utility is currently using a similar device from a different vendor, but our end game is to fully integrate with the Smart Meter eliminating the need for the piece on the meter.
     
  5. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice so far. I had also found the Brultech Green Eye and it seems very nice, but I can't seem to find anyone who has actually used it :) Any recommendations for the Brultech?
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I use a TED system with multiple CTs on various circuits. It uses powerline carrier to connect the CTs in the electrical panel to a receiver that connects to your internet router. That was the finicky part. I had to filter that circuit because I was getting interference from my Insteon Home Automation system (also powerline carrier). If I had it to do again, I would seriously consider the Brultech product, but since my TED is set up and running, I'll stick with that for now.
     
  7. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    #7 David_Cary, Nov 25, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
    I use Egauge - and I have 2x200 panels with multiple CTs.

    I have been on TOU-D rates with Duke Progress for about 6 months - I think I have only 4 bills that made sense.

    Last month I used 850 kwh (after solar) and paid $78 total. My monthly base charge is $15. My demand was 4.3kwh*3.80. 90% of my net used kwh were off peak at $.05. My charge before would have been $85.

    It has been said that the TOU rates are not helpful but the TOU-D rates are. Every month I have saved money despite much higher monthly base charges but those savings have been small ($10 or $15).

    I have a Leaf. 5000 sqft with Heat pumps with NG backup; solar hot water with electric backup. And I live in Cary in case you missed that. The more electricity you use the more TOU-D makes sense. Having an EV also helps it make sense. Duke/Progress makes you do TOU-D rates to get their solar rebate.
     
  8. wormhole

    wormhole Banned

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    I too have an Insteon system throughout my house, and have held off on TED up till now but really want to get a better handle on my homes electrical usage. May I ask for a bit more clarity on how you set it up and which circuits you filtered?
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    #9 mknox, Nov 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    What I did was isolate the circuit between my panel (where the TED MTU is) and where the TED Gateway goes with a filter. This, of course means that no Insteon signals will operate on that circuit but at least it's a clear path for the TED.

    This video explains how:

     
  10. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    Just following up on my own thread. Shortly after posting this, I discovered a Kickstarter project for Neurio (Neurio Home Intelligence) and like most Kickstarter projects, the release was about a year behind schedule, but finally got my Neurio this week and it looks very promising. The current release only shows you total utilization with graphs and a little bit of analysis to tell you what your "always on" power usage is, but in the coming months, they will have software updates that will be able to appliance detection based on the signature of the device's power usage. This will be able to break out usage per appliance without having to install CT's on each breaker.

    The installation was quick and easy and it connects back to the cloud via WiFi. The nice thing is there are no monthly fees for the cloud functionality which turned me off from some other competitive solutions. They also have API access if you want to write your own app and will soon have integration with IFTTT and smartthings.

    They sent me a promo code for friends to order with 20% off, so if anyone is interested, PM me and I'll send it to you. Expires on March 31.
     
  11. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    This is called appliance disaggregation, and I have played around with a couple of vendors (Bidgely and PlotWatt). Unfortunately, I haven't had much success with their ability to distinguish appliances in my home, even theoretically easy ones to detect like my hot water heater, a/c and electric vehicle. I'll be very interested to hear how well Neurio's algorithms work for you.
     
  12. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    I've played with Bidgely and a few other, but between the solar panels and having a highly variable speed Heat Pump/AC system they a really hard time with my house.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I had to do something similar for my Enphase solar panels monitoring, since it is also powerline based. The installer moved one electrical circuit to the subpanel with the Solar panels. The subpanel has a filter to block the signals before they reach the main panel and the rest of the house, and the solar panel monitor is plugged into an outlet on the one circuit that is in the sub panel.
     
  13. brkaus

    brkaus Member

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    I have insteon switches so stayed away from a monitor that uses power line.

    I use the Ecm-1240 from brultech with the data sent to smartenergygroups.com.

    Looking into greeneye as I need more channels. emoncms was recommended for the data store. Haven't looked at it yet.
     

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