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Mr Snotty
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# 131152 10-Oct-2013 15:18
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Hi guys,

 

I'm needing to find a way to monitor power use for a flat that my parents have, their power bill was $690 last month, since they're not home most of the time or on the farm it seems very high. There's 1 20a fuse from the fuse board heading into the flat. I was thinking of putting an inductive clamp onto the phase wire heading into the flat and tapping it from that point to see current draw, but wondering if anyone here has a solution that has an easy to read meter, is cheap (ideally) and simple to install and maintain? I'm not worried about my parents power use since it's 1 meter for the house and flat, but I've come to a conclusion that the flat is using quite a bit of electricity.

I've thought about building it around an inductive clamp and an Arduino but really need it to be as simple as possible, so if you know of a decent packaged product designed for this let me know :)




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  # 912150 10-Oct-2013 15:34
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Something like this? Not cheap but once clipped around the phase should do what you want

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  # 912159 10-Oct-2013 15:50
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I used one of these, imported from the UK. I have a script running on my Ubuntu server which reads the values off the USB connection and sends to my home automation software (openHAB) where I can view the current and historical usage. Works very well.

 
 
 
 


Mad Scientist
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  # 912161 10-Oct-2013 15:52
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Where do you clip this to?




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  # 912162 10-Oct-2013 15:53
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My incoming phase wire at the meter box.

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  # 912163 10-Oct-2013 15:57
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You might be better off just installing a seperate meter on that line out to the flat?

I'm guessing its being rented by workers so could offer future proof options of charging for power and having a proper meter they can see might give better support if need to argue the point of high power usage?


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  # 912175 10-Oct-2013 16:23
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If you do decide to go down the DIY path.

http://openenergymonitor.org/emon/

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  # 912177 10-Oct-2013 16:33
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Jaycar seem to have a variety of products that could do all or part of what you want, 

http://www.jaycar.co.nz/productResults.asp?MID=3&CATID=83&SUBCATID=1003&keyform=CAT2#3


 
 
 
 


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  # 912184 10-Oct-2013 16:47
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How real time are online smart meter readings? Are they different d(online tracking) epending on power company? With Genesis




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.




Mr Snotty
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  # 912187 10-Oct-2013 16:56
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Cheers for your solutions, we did look at getting a separate meter installed but it was going to cost around $2000 to get this done, which is far too expensive. I did think of going the Arduino route and have an Arduino shield from my home installation for this which connects into my Ninja Block but for them I'm wanting to keep it as simple as possible so I don't need to provide tonnes of ongoing support ;)

Something which shows the power draw, and history is what we're needing, so they can input their cost per KW in and it spits out an estimation figure, it doesn't have to be exact, just enough so they get a fair idea where their power is going, I do like the look of the Ecomind solution on the first post. Jaycar also have this one which seem to be value for money.




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  # 914208 12-Oct-2013 19:47
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That would be for a seperate meter that is on a seperate energy retailer.

There are very cheap meters with a little LCD that will go in your existing breaker board for not much at most electrical wholesalers - assuming you have a couple of vacant spaces in the board.

I have a couple here I will be getting around to installing on the flatmates bedroom circuits to see if its them doing the damage.

If they are spending it on heating and you are giving them a cold draughty box to live in tho....




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  # 914219 12-Oct-2013 19:58
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If you do go down the path of the Clipsal Ecomind unit, I may be able to get it slightly cheaper for you. I think I have been quoted around $155 for it, was looking at using it at my place.




Mr Snotty
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  # 914306 13-Oct-2013 12:19
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Johnk: If you do go down the path of the Clipsal Ecomind unit, I may be able to get it slightly cheaper for you. I think I have been quoted around $155 for it, was looking at using it at my place.



Cheers for that John, I'll phone them up tonight and talk about the options. I think the Clipsal Ecomind might be the best option due to the fact it's hardwired.




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