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LesF

171 posts

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#237905 23-Jun-2018 13:29
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We cannot find anything on the web showing the peak times when our ripple controlled power is turned off, in Hamilton south with Genesis.

 

I'm wondering if I can connect something up to monitor when it is switched on and off and record it to a computer.

 

The previous house owner had a power socket connected to the controlled supply for some reason, I think he had his clothes drier on it.  I could use this to power a device which signals some software on a computer, but I'm not sure what to use.  Who has done something like this?

 

 

 

 


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Shoes2468
720 posts

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  #2042838 23-Jun-2018 14:19
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Have you got a separate night only meter? Best way to find out about ripple control, if it is that would be to look at your lines company website.

 
 
 
 


Aredwood
3885 posts

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  #2042926 23-Jun-2018 17:41

The lines companies often only use the ripple control when loads get close to the yearly max peaks. As they are only worrying about their own network and the fees that Transpower bill them for using the national grid.

They don't care about the extra load on the generators. Or the extra carbon emissions. So often the ripple controlled loads will remain on. Even during peak times.





richms
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  #2042953 23-Jun-2018 20:02
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You could plug a USB power supply into that outlet and then put a wemos D1 mini or other cheap esp8266 board on it. Then monitor it coming and going from your wifi network.





Richard rich.ms

raytaylor
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  #2042993 23-Jun-2018 23:41
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Ripple control is sent out using a low speed transmission that can pass through roadside transformers. 

 

There are two or three major standards - and basically its a Code or Class, and then an On/Off signal. 

 

So the local power co may have a setup such as this example

 

street lamps on class 1
dump loads on class 2
hot water class 3
hot water class 4
hot water class 5
night store heaters class 6
Clock 10pm-6am class 7
Clock 6am-10pm class 8
Business High Users level 1 class 9
Business High Users level 2 class 10
Various corporate systems on various classes

 

If the local lines company needs to dump some load, they can send out a class 2 on signal which means anything contracted to switch on to use power if the grid needs to dump some energy can do so. 

 

The biggest use for ripple control is load shedding. Normally electricians are required to install a ripple control switch and randomly assign it to a class number. So if the lines company needs to lower power usage, they send out a command to switch off a random hot water class. If that doesnt cut down power consumption enough, they will switch off another class. 
But typically they will guarantee you something like "No more than 8 hours off per day" or "no outage more than 3 hours" depending upon the lines company. 

 

If switching off hot water isnt enough, big industrial / business customers can negotiate or get a discount if they are included in the local lines company load shedding scheme too by putting their high load equipment on to a ripple control. 

 

Then there are other things like street lamp switching, timers for council pumps/gardens and other custom things for corporate users. 

 

Night store heaters are also a more historic use for ripple control though they are becoming less popular as more are in favor of heat pumps. 

 

 

 

You should be able to buy a ripple control relay to install on your fuse board, and then run various devices off of it such as your hot water cylinder (or a power outlet) 





Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




gregmcc
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  #2043041 24-Jun-2018 07:39
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raytaylor:

 

Ripple control is sent out using a low speed transmission that can pass through roadside transformers. 

 

There are two or three major standards - and basically its a Code or Class, and then an On/Off signal. 

 

So the local power co may have a setup such as this example

 

street lamps on class 1
dump loads on class 2
hot water class 3
hot water class 4
hot water class 5
night store heaters class 6
Clock 10pm-6am class 7
Clock 6am-10pm class 8
Business High Users level 1 class 9
Business High Users level 2 class 10
Various corporate systems on various classes

 

If the local lines company needs to dump some load, they can send out a class 2 on signal which means anything contracted to switch on to use power if the grid needs to dump some energy can do so. 

 

The biggest use for ripple control is load shedding. Normally electricians are required to install a ripple control switch and randomly assign it to a class number. So if the lines company needs to lower power usage, they send out a command to switch off a random hot water class. If that doesnt cut down power consumption enough, they will switch off another class. 
But typically they will guarantee you something like "No more than 8 hours off per day" or "no outage more than 3 hours" depending upon the lines company. 

 

If switching off hot water isnt enough, big industrial / business customers can negotiate or get a discount if they are included in the local lines company load shedding scheme too by putting their high load equipment on to a ripple control. 

 

Then there are other things like street lamp switching, timers for council pumps/gardens and other custom things for corporate users. 

 

Night store heaters are also a more historic use for ripple control though they are becoming less popular as more are in favor of heat pumps. 

 

 

 

You should be able to buy a ripple control relay to install on your fuse board, and then run various devices off of it such as your hot water cylinder (or a power outlet) 

 

 

As an electrician with 30+ years exp all these different classes don't seem to stack up

 

In the Auckland area they primarily use pilot control for domestic - no way the can tell what is on the end, but fair to assume it's mostly hot water, unless there is a smart meter installed, then that takes care of it, other than that never seen any kind of control on business or industrial.

 

In the Waikato, it's ripple control, they have one fixed frequency on domestic only, again never seen any kind of controllable load shedding on non-domestic.

 

I would struggle to believe any business would let their power company install any kind of controllable load shedding - The impact on business would be not very good.

 

Street lighting, with the shift to LED street lighting, these are been moved from controlled to always on, but with some smarts and a daylight switch on top of each light the failure of ripple control doesn't take out a whole area of street lighting.

 

I would be interested in where you got this information from on the class switching, to me it sounds like pie in the sky wish list, not an actual "as a power company this is what we do"

 

 

 

I will have to point out with the "you should be able to buy a ripple control relay......" you may be able to buy a ripple relay yourself,  but it ends there, ECP 51 allows a home owner to so some electrical work, but specifically excludes *any* work in the switchboard, also keep in mind, any new work that a home  owner does, must be check by an Electrical inspector - not an electrician before been connected.

 

 


raytaylor
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  #2043046 24-Jun-2018 08:57
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Yes of course an electrician would need to install it. 

 

One example of the classes some lines companies use Appendix C page 22

 

http://www.oriongroup.co.nz/assets/Customers/RippleSignalGuide.pdf 

 

 





Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




 
 
 
 


nickb800
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  #2043056 24-Jun-2018 09:05
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Use of ripple control varies considerably by lines companies, Vector is notorious for limited use of ripple control. Orion is probably has the most involved scheme.

No industrial user will be putting conveyer belts etc on ripple control, but things like water heating or walk in coolers that can withstand an hour or two of disruption are good candidates

gregmcc
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  #2043061 24-Jun-2018 09:28
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nickb800: Use of ripple control varies considerably by lines companies, Vector is notorious for limited use of ripple control. Orion is probably has the most involved scheme.

No industrial user will be putting conveyer belts etc on ripple control, but things like water heating or walk in coolers that can withstand an hour or two of disruption are good candidates

 

 

 

Looks like Orion does have a lot of potential to control this that and the other thing on ripple control, Would be interested to get some info on an actual non domestic set up, in actual use.

 

 

 

 

 

It would be unlikely that *any* company would allow any of their systems on ripple control, the liability the power company would have to cover would far exceed their actual insurance cover in the event of ripple failure - which although seems unlikely does actually happen, and in the case of a walk in cooler of such any more than a couple of hours of off time would result in the quality of the goods been chilled affected.

 

How often would ripple control fail... Well in my 2 years working for a contractor to a power distribution company, twice myself and a bunch of guys had to go door to door manually activating the ripple relays in peoples houses so they could have hot water due to the failure of the ripple signalling equipment, there was not 1 non domestic user who had ripple control.

 

 

 

Pilot control is very similar to ripple control, the difference been that the ripple control is done at the street transformer rather that at each house.


LesF

171 posts

Master Geek


  #2043085 24-Jun-2018 10:59
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richms:

 

You could plug a USB power supply into that outlet and then put a wemos D1 mini or other cheap esp8266 board on it. Then monitor it coming and going from your wifi network.

 

 

That was the best idea I have come up with too,  I have a esp board with wifi.  Was also thinking about using a spare wifi router.  Should be simple enough to run a program which checks for the IP address every few minutes and logs change of state.

 

 


LesF

171 posts

Master Geek


  #2043097 24-Jun-2018 11:15
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raytaylor:

 

... You should be able to buy a ripple control relay to install on your fuse board, and then run various devices off of it such as your hot water cylinder (or a power outlet) 

 

 

 

 

We have the controlled circuit already, we have a heating system connected to it. I'm looking for things I can do on the safe consumer side of the electrical system, just to monitor when it is on or off and collect some data on the times.  The reason behind this is, the heating setup is a bit of a mystery to us;

 

  • it has a temperature sensor (in the garage and unrelated to the temperature inside the house)
  • there is a Hager time control which the previous owner had set to switch on and off at various times of day (finally found instructions that aren't in German, primitive gear but we can reconfigure it)
  • the controlled power goes off at night, I assume when most people are using heating, and we want a better idea of the times it is on

So the combination of the three factors make it difficult to predict when the heating will be active, also complicated by the fact that it takes a few hours to warm up the unit and it would therefore be more sensible to switch it on and store some heat BEFORE the temperature sensor in the garage reaches a trigger point.  Long term I would prefer to replace the temp and time controllers with a smart control unit, but for now we are just going to monitor things and try to tweak this setup for better use.

 

 


Aredwood
3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #2043098 24-Jun-2018 11:18

LesF:

richms:


You could plug a USB power supply into that outlet and then put a wemos D1 mini or other cheap esp8266 board on it. Then monitor it coming and going from your wifi network.



That was the best idea I have come up with too,  I have a esp board with wifi.  Was also thinking about using a spare wifi router.  Should be simple enough to run a program which checks for the IP address every few minutes and logs change of state.


 



Or even simpler, if you only want to know how many hours per day the ripple control has disconnected the power for. Just plug in one of those mechanical timers with the slowly rotating wheel and moveable pins. Then simply check how much time it looses compared to the actual time.

Or get an old AC output wall wart transformer, interface it to an Arduino. Which can then decode the ripple signals and send the data to a computer for logging. The ripple signals use a very simple protocol due to the age of the system. This would also allow you to log all of the different ripple control codes being sent. And could also be fed into a home automation or other control system. Although main use case would be for people who are on day / night plans. And who want to make sure that their appliances are controlled in sync with what the lines company defines as day / night.

There is zero point in trying to install your own ripple relay. As unless your lines company installs it. You won't be able to access the cheaper controlled pricing plans. And the lines company is unlikely to allow power points to be connected to ripple controlled circuits. As they would have no way of preventing you from bypassing the ripple control just by plugging things into different power points.





Aredwood
3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #2043102 24-Jun-2018 11:25

LesF:

raytaylor:


... You should be able to buy a ripple control relay to install on your fuse board, and then run various devices off of it such as your hot water cylinder (or a power outlet) 



 


We have the controlled circuit already, we have a heating system connected to it. I'm looking for things I can do on the safe consumer side of the electrical system, just to monitor when it is on or off and collect some data on the times.  The reason behind this is, the heating setup is a bit of a mystery to us;



  • it has a temperature sensor (in the garage and unrelated to the temperature inside the house)

  • there is a Hager time control which the previous owner had set to switch on and off at various times of day (finally found instructions that aren't in German, primitive gear but we can reconfigure it)

  • the controlled power goes off at night, I assume when most people are using heating, and we want a better idea of the times it is on


So the combination of the three factors make it difficult to predict when the heating will be active, also complicated by the fact that it takes a few hours to warm up the unit and it would therefore be more sensible to switch it on and store some heat BEFORE the temperature sensor in the garage reaches a trigger point.  Long term I would prefer to replace the temp and time controllers with a smart control unit, but for now we are just going to monitor things and try to tweak this setup for better use.


 



Your power bill will tell you what controlled pricing plan you are on. You can then lookup the available pricing plans from your lines company to see if it is peak load management only. Or if it is say a controlled night rate plan, which would be on a timer type control program.

Try leaving a small light plugged into that power point. You should soon get a general idea of when the ripple controlled power is available.





pctek
809 posts

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  #2043115 24-Jun-2018 12:11
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https://www.thelinescompany.co.nz/your-bill/load-control

 

 

 

You can ask to not have it, but then your rate goes up a bit.


LesF

171 posts

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  #2047396 2-Jul-2018 12:16
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Solved; I put a spare wifi router on the wall plug that is on the controlled supply.
On my Linux PC I wrote a process that checks for the wifi signal every few minutes, if the state has changed it writes a timestamp to a database.
A simple web page lists the power up and down times.
And I got to use mono, C# and asp.net web pages on my Linux box. Fun and useful :)

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