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Thread: Sub-Meter Electricity Monitoring

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Default Sub-Meter Electricity Monitoring

    I have tested in principle the monitoring of each individual ring main from the consumer unit using a 1-DIN meter with pulse output. The pulse is then fed into an Idratek ODI where the Cortex can be configured to count pulses and display KWh usage.

    I want to move this to a permanent solution which will require a new CU. I am thinking about the following 2 - Bank Split load unit from Crabtree:

    http://www.alertelectrical.com/Consu...-18LC220SL.asp

    Anyone found a similar solution? I guess I will need to replace all the MCB's in the existing CU for new Crabtree units?

    I originally tested the principle with a unit from Meter Manager:

    http://www.metermanager.co.uk/Infofiles/drm100.pdf

    However, I found another supplier offering similar units and who would offer a sizable discount on purchases of 10+ units:

    http://www.shmcomms.co.uk/images/PDFs/Br_SHM_ADM1TE.pdf

    Paul

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    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Dunno about the CU you mention, but since it's a Part P job, you may want to consider getting a sparky to do it and consulting with them. When my CU was redone with various "unusual" items - X10 filters, noise filters, computer ring without RCD etc the sparky just bought an empty CU enclosure, reused some of the bits and cut up bits of bus bar to suit.

    I was surveying 1 DIN power meters last night and found some others, it would be interesting to compare the various units, sample interest and consider a bulk buy, I would be up for a handful.

    Carlo Gavazzi EM10 http://www.productsonline.info/POL/s...=1199760718843
    Inepro ADM1TE:http://www.dmmetering.com/
    DRM1005 http://www.pjwmeters.co.uk/product_detail.php?id=28

    I think the latter 2 might be the same as the ones you have.

    Also found this: http://hepol.manufacturer.globalsour...-KWh-Meter.htm
    but looks a bit like a cheapo Chinese clone so can't be sure of quality etc.

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    I wasn't going to do the CU upgrade myself as you point out this would contarvine Part P. But I do like to know what is available and at what price before getting in the "professionals" who then make lots of sucking air noise!

    As for the actual 1 DIN units I have been in touch with a supplier of the ADM1TE units and they would offer a 40% discount for 10 or more units (I need seven) so a bulk buy maybe an excellent idea.

    Paul

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Received a quote today from another supplier selling the ADM1TE at 25 unit price. This is without any bulk discount.

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    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_B View Post
    I wasn't going to do the CU upgrade myself as you point out this would contarvine Part P.
    Under Part P you could do it yourself, but you'd have to notify Building Control and most likely pay for an inspection of the work - at which point most people say what the hell and get a P-ified sparky in. :-)

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default Sub-Meter Electricity Monitoring

    Interesting ... could I check I understand what's going on here, please - ie: each 1-DIN meter would be connected to one input of the Idratek Octal Digital Input module, which would count the pulses & keep track of the time without involving / tying-up Cortex, but be always-ready to send the information to Cortex on-request ... ... is that right ?

    Not sure how the costs pan-out, presumably these meters are cheap enough to have many of them, rather than a few that are switched about (by Idratek) at intervals ?

    Will you be using them to not only track power-usage, but also to provide feedback on how things are working (eg: might be able to use one to track progress of a dishwasher cycle, or immersion heater, etc) ... to improve system reliability ?

    'find myself again wishing Idratek had a Serial I/O module ... for added options & versatility !

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    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    These power meters have the current fed through them, they are in the mains path, so you wouldn't be moving them about. The max rating is 32A, typical ring main rating, so you have a meter module per ring (effectively one alongside every MCB) for each circuit you want to monitor.

    I believe that Cortex now supports the pulse counting capability on any digital input, so doesn't have to be an ODI, eg if you have some DIN rail modules in a sub-junction box you could monitor there.

    Cortex can then present the result (ie translated into kWh etc) in the usual fashion.

    I guess if there is sufficient power discrimination it might be possible to track a large user, but might be difficult to separate washing machine from oven or toaster, for example. It would be an interesting experiment!

    Rather than a serial IO module I'd prefer some kind of logic object in Cortex that attaches to an IP port and can be configured to interpret protocol and parse values out. Since there are many Ethernet serial IO devices out I think this would have more flexibility. This was actually how I was hoping the xPL integration would work.

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default Sub-Meter Electricity Monitoring

    Thanks ... rather than moving them about, 'was thinking of using relays, and choosing times of low-current to switch ... probably unnecessarily complicated !

    'like the idea of a logic object on an IP network port ... must make sure we put-in enough Cat-5e - experience on other things tells me to treble my current estimate of what we need, I might just double it ...

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Chris,

    I think what you are after is a current sensor?

    I haven't found one yet that is small enough and would interface into Idratek. I have thought about making one myself to at least detect when say the washing machine finishes its cycle and the current drops to near zero. Idea being that Cortex could then send a message that the washing machine needs emptying or the extractor fan shuts off 5 minutes after the tumble-dryer cycle ends.

    To monitor actual energy usage is more complicated because you have to measure current and voltage at the same time to accurately calculate watts (things like transformers and motors)

    Paul

  10. #10
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    David,

    Funny you should say that about Part P inspection as I came across a local company today that just do inspections rather than installs. However, as you point out it maybe just as easy to get a sparky in to do it. I'm going to ring round a few local ones and see if any are intrested.

    Paul

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