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Thread: Smart meters ...

  1. #11
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    we have tablets about the house, and their core NoticeBoard display includes weather forecast & key temperatures & power consumptions - fairly long list, and all in small print, so have to look to read ...

    we look now & then, and sometimes get a shock - as this morning, after some experiments with Cortex yesterday evening somehow left things so that the heating was going all night ...

  2. #12
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    bigger worry, though, is the price of electricity in this country, and how it's likely to go up & up, thanks to current initiatives (and lack of them in the past) ...

    notice the OVO website gives some comparisons - ie:

    US 12 / UK 20 / Australia 29 / Germany 35c / Denmark 41 - (in US cents/kWh)

    how come we pay twice as much as the US, and how come we're following a route that will take us towards Danish prices ?

  3. #13
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >anecdote you may chuckle at - sometimes too much information is not so good ...

    that's a good one ... also a good illustration of the advantages of the Idratek / Cortex approach - ie: way better than any smart meter, not only in giving actually meaningful information, but easily tailored to suit the situation ...

    PS: Paul - have you abandoned your pulse-counter sensor on your main meter - trying to understand your move to smart meter etc ... especially with Cortex's various attributes & its various extensions allowing it to link with smartphones and tablets at quite modest cost ... ?
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 6th January 2017 at 03:22 PM.

  4. #14
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    >...Paul - have you abandoned your pulse-counter sensor on your main meter - trying to understand your move to smart meter etc ... especially with Cortex's various attributes & its various extensions allowing it to link with smartphones and tablets at quite modest cost ... ?
    Funny you should raise the question of pulse-counter sensors, I have finally arranged for an electrician to replace my old consumer unit with a new*twin bank unit and extra mountings. The upgrade is happening this coming Thursday after a mouse decided to make the CU his home, unfortunately he did a bit too much exploring and chewing, now he is stuck deep in the cabling causing periodic trips as he decays!

    I like Cortex and*Idratek but sometimes I find a third party off the shelf solution better meet my*needs. The Smart Meter seemed appealing at the time with the promise of*apps and such, if I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have bothered. The OpenEnergyMonitor on the other hand is a great addition, the out of the box experience is quick and easy to setup. Recently the guys have added OpenHAB and Node-Red to the image which gives more home automation possibilities. In theory I could use these to extend and bridge the capabilities of Cortex.

    Paul

  5. #15
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Electrician fitted the new twin bank consumer unit with RCBO and sub-meters so that I can now monitor the power consumption of individual circuits in my home. The sub-meters were from a group buy on here some time ago and have pulse output that I will feed into Cortex with a couple of ODI-002

    20170112_193759.jpg PulseMeters.jpg

  6. #16
    Automated Home Guru jpdw's Avatar
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    A few years ago my elec company offered a smart meter. Interested in the idea of being able to improve on the variability of my currentcost with clamp sensor and maybe better opportunity to integrate with other things I agreed. But like most of you others have posted, was disappointed with it. The remote unit that displayed the usage insisted on cycle through various displays so only getting current usage 20% of the time - the others being things like current cost (which required an electricity rate that didn't match my tariff and that I couldn't change - ie useless). But most annoying was that neither the meter or the remote unit had any way of me getting that data "out" and into some other system.

    Of course, with hindsight, this was probably a design *requirement* of the electricity supplier so I'd be hooked into relying on them for anything that used the data. But could I get a feed from them? Of course not. Whilst they told me they got a daily meter reading (great, I was so happy for them), the most they would give me was a website graph that showed *quarterly* usage. i.e just like they'd get with quarterly readings from an analogue meter.

    I while later I moved supplier - the old one warned me that my new supplier couldn't use my "smart" meter -- so what, I said, I wasn't getting any benefit from it at all. So the mobile modem installed in the meter is no longer used and my current supplier relies on sneaker-net readings along with my ad-hoc web readings.

    The sole benefit I got from the whole thing was that in replacing the old analogue meter with something newer, the "smart" meter has a pulse LED, so I upgraded the currentcost and improved the code in the RaspPi that I use to push the data into a DB & rudimentary graphing of usage. The remote unit supplied with the meter is gathering dust somewhere..... I guess the wallwart might be of use but they probably even spec'd that to be something so esoterically bespoke that it's useless...

    As agree with what someone else posted, the whole smart metre narrative is an utter fiasco - expensive electronics being fitted as part of overall systems that are so poorly designed (in terms of features) that they either don't fulfill potential or just become disused. Lack of standards means that my smart meter doesn't even save the leccy companies the shoe leather. And of course, we, electricity consumers, are all paying for it one way or another. At a premium probably. And it gets 'smart'-this and that a bad name....

    Remembering which forum this thread is in, one thing that I've never yet figured out is whether I can integrate my constant stream of electricity usage with Cortex (which actually is smart in a way the leccy meter isn't).

  7. #17
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    > integrate my constant stream of electricity usage with Cortex ...

    we wired our photosensor (placed over the meter's LED) to a convenient digital input, and Cortex has kept track & plotted graphs ever since ...


    PS: http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/vbull...ht=pulse+meter
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 13th January 2017 at 02:17 PM.

  8. #18
    Automated Home Guru jpdw's Avatar
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    Now I need the gas lot to change out my analgue gas meter for something with a pulse LED (or should such exist, a serial out of some sort....)

  9. #19
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Good luck, measuring gas seems to be a lot more difficult than electricity as most gas meters don't have a pulsing LED or pulse output

  10. #20
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Paul - well done - we also participated in the group buy and, like you, also took a while to install them ...

    but not so long & we've had them working faultlessly for some years, now ...

    of course we wished we'd bought more, so had to choose which of many places to install them - we would change a few if starting again ...

    when we were desperate for more, we found prices prohibitive, but eventually did find some almost the same in Germany, with a brand-name of SwissXYZ (the XYZ indicating that I can't for the life of me recall that part of their name), again those have been working fine - but again wish we'd bought more !

    lesson there, somewhere !
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 13th January 2017 at 06:41 PM.

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