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Topic # 85627 22-Jun-2011 19:24
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Hi all,

I am interested to get the power cost monitor on First in today since I really want to track my house power usage. However, after reading the description I don't understand hows it actually work.

http://www.firstin.co.nz/products/watts-clever-digital-wireless-power-meter-5453/

Anyone got the similar product? How is the unit read the power usage without hardwired to fuse box?


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  Reply # 484600 22-Jun-2011 19:45
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It's simply a clamp meter. You clamp it around the cable to be measured as the picture shows.


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  Reply # 484602 22-Jun-2011 19:45
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It uses EMF (Electro Magnetic Field induced by current) running in your fuse box. The clamp around your power cable coming into the house measures the current via the EMF and then calculates how much electricity you are using. Quite clever really.




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  Reply # 484604 22-Jun-2011 19:52
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That's a good deal. Similar (almost identical) to the Current Cost Classic. Also available from Jaycar.

Works by using induction to measure current passing through the wire going into your meter. No direct connection required. Fairly accurate for most people.

But, the one on Firstin is not the most advanced version. This is the most advanced version, geekzone reviewed the advanced version in detail not so long ago.

Edit: There is also an active independent developer community built up around the Current Cost architecture, 3rd party software etc.




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  Reply # 484638 22-Jun-2011 20:38
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Thanks all~~ I think I will get this unit and start tracking my power usage~

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  Reply # 484818 23-Jun-2011 09:34
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The thing about CurrentCost is the integration with Google PowerMeter... Other devices don't have it, and your data is as good as your PC is ok.




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  Reply # 484822 23-Jun-2011 09:36
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Or you could switch to a good power company (like powershop), and ask nicely if they will put in a smart meter. They read mine daily.

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  Reply # 484823 23-Jun-2011 09:37
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The Powershop smartmeter is read daily, but the data is only sent by the reading company as an aggregate once a week.





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  Reply # 484832 23-Jun-2011 09:48
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Mine gets read at four minutes after midnight (looks like it doesn't get posted till later in the day), so checking now I know my usage the day before yesterday was:

(21 Jun) 003677.22 - (20 Jun) 003650.25

~ 26.97

I really like this, would love an even shorter measurement period, but the cost for powershop would be intense as I believe the data cost is astronomical.

Therefore it would be good if I could buy a wireless connection box from my router to the smart meter....

Jon

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  Reply # 484836 23-Jun-2011 09:51
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Oh, I see. Indeed they now show a daily reading. It used to be a Thursday aggregation before. Good stuff.

The CurrentCost is great though (as this other unit) because you see instant power usage when things are turned on and off. The Google PowerMeter is great for reporting too.





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  Reply # 484857 23-Jun-2011 10:18
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I bought a similar unit (The CurrentCost one) and while it's great for comparative usage details (The heat pump doubles household utilisation when it's on... a shower causes 45 minutes of heating form the HWC etc), at an absolute level, my unit reads 25-30% lwoer than actual.

I contacted the company a few times and while they were generally nice and responsive the only outcome was that they didn't really know what might be wrong. They did offer to send another unit but I couldn't be bothered really - I just liked seeing the graph change :-)

Generally though, even an inaccurate one makes you think about your power consumption and definitely helps.

Cheers - N

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  Reply # 484975 23-Jun-2011 13:00
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I'm with Genesis and I can get data down to the hourly level (although it's a few days behind, I can only access up to 19th at the moment).

Pretty interesting seeing the little spikes in the morning/evenings.

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  Reply # 485041 23-Jun-2011 14:33
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jonherries: Or you could switch to a good power company (like powershop), and ask nicely if they will put in a smart meter. They read mine daily.


Will power companies generally put in a new meter on request? Mine's quite old, i'd like a smart meter that can do night rate and controlled hot water, right now i'm on one rate all the time - the highest rate of course.




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  Reply # 485057 23-Jun-2011 15:05
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iDear: Hi all,

I am interested to get the power cost monitor on First in today since I really want to track my house power usage. However, after reading the description I don't understand hows it actually work.

http://www.firstin.co.nz/products/watts-clever-digital-wireless-power-meter-5453/

Anyone got the similar product? How is the unit read the power usage without hardwired to fuse box?



I've got a cent-a-meter which is a bit similar.


I find it an excellent product. I'm just unsure of the accuracy, as I've never bothered to measure the thing against actual usage. 

But, it is certainly good for showing relative changes in power usage - switch on the microwave, heater, stove top, watch your usage skyrocket. 





 

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  Reply # 485093 23-Jun-2011 16:15
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timmmay:
jonherries: Or you could switch to a good power company (like powershop), and ask nicely if they will put in a smart meter. They read mine daily.


Will power companies generally put in a new meter on request? Mine's quite old, i'd like a smart meter that can do night rate and controlled hot water, right now i'm on one rate all the time - the highest rate of course.


I asked Powershop about installing a Smart Meter and they said yes they can do it at a cost of $165. I already have dual meters though.

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  Reply # 485095 23-Jun-2011 16:23
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Oh ok maybe i'll call a power company once I decide what i'm doing with my power :)




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