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195 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 223035 9-Sep-2017 14:55
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I propose a setup that would facilitate development and support of a true smart home using virtually real time power use data.

 

Reference links for the EDMI advanced power meters including Mk7C and Mk7A and Mk10A Mk10D and Mk10E:

 

http://www.edmi-meters.com/ProdCat.aspx?L0=1&L1=1&L2=1

 

http://www.edmi-meters.com/ProdDetail.aspx?L0=1&PID=22

 

http://www.edmi-meters.com/Image.ashx?F=&MltPDF=RQBEAE0ASQAxADgAMgBFAEQATQBJAA==

 

http://www.camax.co.uk/downloads/EDMI-Atlas-Hardware-Reference-Manual-Revision-M_160801_100921.pdf

 

The software manual really sets out the capabilities of the EDMI meters: http://www.mymeters.net/docs/default-source/ProductPdfs/edmi-atlas-software-reference-manual-revision-m.pdf

 

The meters can be widely configured (Did you electricity retailer tell you all the capabilities, indeed any capabilities?) for example to save use intervals down to every minute, and possibly report real time rolling use.

 

It seems to me that one can have the Cellular modem disconnected (There are apparently known cases where this has happened - unplug and remove it - returning to manual meter reads which the power companies still do) and then connect one's own device to the meter's serial interface and have a wealth of information thus available in real time to the home area network (HAN) over Ethernet.

 

Potential intermediate devices may include: https://www.perle.com/products/iolan-ds-terminal-server.shtml or http://www.bb-elec.com/Products/Ethernet-Serial-Servers-Gateways/Ethernet-Serial-Device-Servers/Vlinx-VESP211-Series-Ethernet-to-Serial-Converters.aspx or http://www.usconverters.com/rs232-ethernet-converter

 

My research suggests a modem cable can be installed into the meter board so long as it is insulated to mains standards. (Any reader qualified to confirm or clarify?)

 

Such a system seems to me to be superior to any optical connection to them meter which only gains (as pointed out earlier) use click data. It also has the benefit of reducing the possibility of remote disconnection in inappropriate circumstances or circumstances the consumer did not agree to.

 

Some three phase meters also have direct Ethernet connectivity e.g. the Mk11 but I am yet to find technical information on those. I understand one does not need to use all three phases of such meters so they could be used for single phase or dual phase (including ripple relays) installs.

 

I look forward to comments.


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  Reply # 1861331 9-Sep-2017 15:25
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I think you should be pretty careful messing with a meter. One, risk, two, it's probably the property of the power company.





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195 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 1861344 9-Sep-2017 15:47
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Hey timmmay, thanks for considering my post. Have you read the links provided that include detailed information? I accept not all technical information is provided. For example the software communication protocols would be nice to have but with a working connection can probably be worked out. I agree care to not flick the relay would be indicated! Your power retailer told you about those, right? The meter readings cannot be changed via the software (as I read the manuals) for example reset. I am not looking to cheat the system, rather to use it in fair and proper ways that we can.

 

timmmay:

 

I think you should be pretty careful messing with a meter. One, risk

 

 

What risks are you thinking of?

 

 

two, it's probably the property of the power company.

 

 

And that is relevant because? The meter is provided for the consumer's and retailer's benefit. As your power fees cover the rental of the meter and your use of it, ownership seems somewhat irrelevant to me. Perhaps you can clarify?


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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1861368 9-Sep-2017 17:07
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Hinko:

 

I propose a setup that would facilitate development and support of a true smart home using virtually real time power use data.

 

 

This would be really interesting - being able to see exactly how much power is being used at any moment, and watching the draw increase as devices are switched on. I'm surprised no electric company has come out with an device and app for this yet.

 

Are there any other ways in NZ currently to archive this without rewiring the meter (other than wiring a heavy duty amp meter across the whole circuit)?

 

 




195 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 1861385 9-Sep-2017 17:21
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eddieddieddie:

 

Are there any other ways in NZ currently to archive this without rewiring the meter....?

 

 

 

My proposed method respects and completely leaves the mains wiring alone, it only uses the low tension serial communication facilities designed in by the manufacturer, all be it with the apparent intention of assisting electricity retailers - with little regard for consumers, yet unwittingly it seems detailed functionality is there for consumers to use should they take the initiative....

 

Having said that I think the remote disconnect relays should be removed or permanently deactivated (wiring across the terminals or removing the coil would probably achieve that) as certainly in my case the relay was covertly installed outside the T&C and my knowledge or approval. I doubt I am alone in that.


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  Reply # 1861394 9-Sep-2017 17:32
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I own an EDMI Mk7c meter that I bought brand new off Ebay. It is currently wired into a short extension cord, so I can use it as a plug in power meter. But I can easily get a sparkie to wire it into my switchboard after the billing meter. (My billing meter is an Elster Grex meter).

 

@Hinko Do you have access to any software that interfaces to the EDMI meters? As Im keen to put my meter to better use. Don't want to pay for the sparkie until Im able to fully access that meter.








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Master Geek


  Reply # 1861405 9-Sep-2017 17:54
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Aredwood:

 

I own an EDMI Mk7c meter that I bought brand new off Ebay. It is currently wired into a short extension cord, so I can use it as a plug in power meter. But I can easily get a sparkie to wire it into my switchboard after the billing meter. (My billing meter is an Elster Grex meter).

 

@Hinko Do you have access to any software that interfaces to the EDMI meters? As Im keen to put my meter to better use. Don't want to pay for the sparkie until Im able to fully access that meter.

 

 

I don't have the official EDMI software referred to in the above links. I expect any respectable communications software will connect (once you setup the correct parameters as stated therein) for example Linux will almost certainly have something. Other listers will be more familiar with comms software than I am and may be more specific. You could use your existing setup with a comm cable connected to a spare laptop and see what you get. You don't need the meter wired in to mains to test it, just to have mains running through it - as you have! The manuals include some password information that I think I recall related to the serial number no doubt on the front of your meter. Once the comms commands are worked out I expect a home server would be able to download, store, present and utilise the data..... Shame this has to be done the back door route.....


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  Reply # 1861466 9-Sep-2017 18:36
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I have downloaded the manual you linked to but haven't read it yet. Im definitely going to have a play around with it.

 

Also if anyone else will also be doing the above - I have not checked if the EDMI meter's internal modem port is electrically isolated from the mains or not. (It probably isn't, as the modem normally lives underneath the terminal cover.) So for my initial testing, I will power the meter via an isolating transformer. And If I do end up permanently installing it, I will run the RS232 via opto isolators. Or use a wireless link (probably via 433MHz transceiver modules) This is important both for safety and to avoid data errors. As you would otherwise run the risk of mains current flowing in your signal ground cables.








195 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 1861505 9-Sep-2017 19:26
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Aredwood:

 

I have downloaded the manual you linked to but haven't read it yet. Im definitely going to have a play around with it.

 

Cool. Please do let us know how you get on!

 

 

Also if anyone else will also be doing the above - I have not checked if the EDMI meter's internal modem port is electrically isolated from the mains or not. (It probably isn't, as the modem normally lives underneath the terminal cover.)

 

There is a detailed youtube breakdown of an EDMI meter's innards,  I recall there are optical couplers inbuilt, from memory not sure which interfaces they apply.

 

So for my initial testing, I will power the meter via an isolating transformer.

 

 

An RCD extension cable might work as well or better too?

 

 

And If I do end up permanently installing it, I will run the RS232 via opto isolators. Or use a wireless link (probably via 433MHz transceiver modules) This is important both for safety and to avoid data errors. As you would otherwise run the risk of mains current flowing in your signal ground cables.

 

 

Sounds fair enough. I note many references in the hardware manual along the lines of "The isolation between these groups and line (neutral) and TB4 is 4kV." which suggests to me the manufacturer may have already attempted to cover this obvious issue off. No doubt using a cellular modem / zigbee interface provides a high level of protection from wandering mains connections. A zigbee or cellular device might also be used to connect - that might be safer and more complicated.


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