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113 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 242180 15-Oct-2018 09:49
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Hi,

 

I have installed a ripple relay control for my new place and do not have any former experience with it.

 

As I understand - the grid sends the control signal at some time at peak load (at 6pm usually), which is supposed to cut off the power from hot water cylinder.

 

I can confirm it's happening since my dimmable LED light is flickering by about that time.

 

What I find unexpected is that if I let run few liters of hot water - I see the hot water cylinder jumps in and starts consuming power. I confirmed it by overall house power consumption that increases by about 3kW, and if I go to the wardrobe and manually switch it off then I instantly see the house power consumption drop by 3kW. And after I turn it on again - I see the expected raise by the same 3kW.

 

Does it mean the ripple control is faulty or is installed incorrectly? Or something else?

 

Thanks!


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 2107984 15-Oct-2018 10:23
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Where are you?

 

The use of ripple control is not uniform across NZ, some lines companies are more active than others,

 

 




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2107992 15-Oct-2018 10:30
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It's Trentham, Upper Hutt.

 

If they did not - I wouldn't see the lights flickering though would I?


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2107994 15-Oct-2018 10:34
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What model meter is it?

 

There are a few different ways for it to be setup.. when I had setup a new meter they initially had the relay in slot 1 which was peak control only (i.e. on by default), slot 2 was for weekend day/night and slot 3 was night only. In Christchurch I believe it is about 9pm to 7am certainly not as early as 6pm.

 

Unless you've specifically asked for it to be connected as day/night, they will have connected it as peak control only; and you could certainly expect some control periods around 6pm due to cooking/heating loads.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2107995 15-Oct-2018 10:36
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About meter model - just another smart meter (it's a brand new house)

 

It's in the slot 1.

 

And I would say that I see light flickering pretty much every day at 6pm and 11pm.

 

How regularly is slot 1 activated?


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2107996 15-Oct-2018 10:38
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Is there an indicator on the ripple control relay itself? Mine is next to the meter. You should be able to see the state of the ripple control. If it's off then your cylinder can't get power. If it's off and your cylinder is drawing power then something is amiss.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2107999 15-Oct-2018 10:41
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There is an indicator and I believe it's always just blinking and I never seen it doing anything else.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2108007 15-Oct-2018 10:49
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Note, ripple control can cause your LEDs to flicker regardless of whether your house/meter/hot water is setup for it when they are sending different ripple control signals.

 

https://www.lpled.co.nz/ripple-control/

 

No idea how often slot 1 would be activated in Wellington sorry - wouldn't imagine much outside of winter; so most likely your HWC is on 24x7 except for control periods

 

 

 

Pretty comprehensive document here about ripple control in Christchurch, haven't looked for an equivalent for Wellington

 

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

 

 


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2108008 15-Oct-2018 10:49
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Ok. I just took a look. Mine is a separate box, next to the meter, in the meter cabinet It looks like it has three slots inside. There is a module installed in Slot 1. The module has a green tab visible in the centre of a black square. It looks like the tab moves up for "ON" and down for "OFF". I have never seen it move (I generally don't stand outside my house peering at the meter) but if it did it would be obviously in an on or off state.

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  Reply # 2108076 15-Oct-2018 12:01
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Your lines company will send out all sorts of ripple signals, only some of which will be relevant to your setup. The flicker that you see could be to turn on street lights

 

Taking the Christchurch/Orion example, it is a lot more complicated than three slots - there dozens of different signals that your ripple receiver can be programmed to respond to, and then the receiver is set to have a random delay before responding to a signal - turning on every hot water cylinder in the city at once would cause a voltage fluctuation.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2108078 15-Oct-2018 12:12
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nickb800:

 

Your lines company will send out all sorts of ripple signals, only some of which will be relevant to your setup. The flicker that you see could be to turn on street lights

 

 

Yep, it looks like they were sending something different. I'm sure it's not street lights - it totally lasts too long for street lights and looks more like a morse-code.

 

Seems like I just need to care less and spend my time doing something more useful than staring at the power meter every 10 minutes in the evenings :-D


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2108545 15-Oct-2018 22:19
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If you want to have hot water on night rate only you can request that from your retailer, and they’ll have to send someone out to do it
If the flickering is a pain (which it is) sounds like you can buy a ripple filter. I have to say I had no idea ripple control signals could cause the lights to flicker until looking into this today!
You’re not wrong, I imagine it would look like more code!



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2108546 15-Oct-2018 22:22
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jnimmo:
If the flickering is a pain (which it is) sounds like you can buy a ripple filter. I have to say I had no idea ripple control signals could cause the lights to flicker until looking into this today!
You’re not wrong, I imagine it would look like more code!

 

When dimmable LEDs are dimmed - it gets even more obvious, yep.

 

I had somebody from genesis - the level 1 support engineer, who did not even understand my original concerns simply reported "hot water does not work", but the guy thoroughly explained that in fact the hot water cylinders are rarely actually cut off in the region and mostly in winter for couple hours. So what I observe are control signals for something else.

 

To summarise: my ripple control is not faulty, thanks all for participating!


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2108919 16-Oct-2018 15:34
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I have installed a ripple relay control for my new place and do not have any former experience with it.

 

What I find unexpected is that if I let run few liters of hot water - I see the hot water cylinder jumps in and starts consuming power. I confirmed it by overall house power consumption that increases by about 3kW, and if I go to the wardrobe and manually switch it off then I instantly see the house power consumption drop by 3kW. And after I turn it on again - I see the expected raise by the same 3kW.

 

 

 You installed it? Really? Because it's on the power box outside and you are not allowed to mess with that at all, the power companies do.

 

 

 

Also it is not used every day in fact,it may or may not be used at peak load times, not 6pm.

 

 

 

You can also ask for yours to be disabled, however you will then be charged a higher rate for your power....you just ask your current power company.

 


And no HWC heating up shows it is NOT working and nor should running hot water have anything to do with it




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2108946 16-Oct-2018 15:49
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pctek:

 

You installed it? Really? Because it's on the power box outside and you are not allowed to mess with that at all, the power companies do.

 

And no HWC heating up shows it is NOT working and nor should running hot water have anything to do with it

 

 

I think you're being unnecessarily picky.

 

Presumably an electrician had installed it for me - hopefully I don't need to provide their name, zodiac sign, weight, and eyes colour. If you need it to provide an answer here please let me know and I'll ask a power company if they can provide it for you.

 

Running hot water is used to trigger HWC and confirm whether it's powered on or off (I thought it's obvious from the original post, sorry for being not clear enough).


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2109103 16-Oct-2018 20:21
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zerkms:

 

nickb800:

 

Your lines company will send out all sorts of ripple signals, only some of which will be relevant to your setup. The flicker that you see could be to turn on street lights

 

 

Yep, it looks like they were sending something different. I'm sure it's not street lights - it totally lasts too long for street lights and looks more like a morse-code.

 

Seems like I just need to care less and spend my time doing something more useful than staring at the power meter every 10 minutes in the evenings :-D

 

 

It's a digital signal of some kind. I think just presence/absence of the ~1kHz signal.

 

 

 

There are around 20 channels, possibly depending on the system. Slots 1, 2, 3 only refer to the physical spot to put a receiver; they could be on any channel.

 

 

 

Flickering lights simply means the retailer is sending a signal, which could be anything. There's a signal for the 11pm/7am day/night meter switch over. Night store heating. Street lights. Multiple channels for HWC, so they can stage them and not fire up thousands at once. Probably others, too.


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