Monday, July 18, 2011

Home Circuit Power Monitoring

Ever wonder why your home power bill is so high?   Or just want to know how much power you use in various parts of your house through the whole day? 
  
I have one of the Blue Line Power monitors for Microsoft Hohm (http://www.bluelineinnovations.com/Products/PowerCost-Monitor/).  This product did not allow me to see how much a single room or circuit was using.  It was a start. 

I have the LCD display in my living room near the TV so that I can quickly see how much energy my home is consuming.

Microsoft Hohm Data (Sunday, Got up at ~9am)

For my 30th birthday I got all the parts I need to do per-circuit power monitoring for my whole house. By doing branch circuit monitoring I can answer many questions about my enery usage.

  • What does this mean?  I can tell you things like:
  • Exactly how much does it cost me for it to run
    • How much power does my house use when I turn off all my normal items
  • Leaving things like laptop and cell phone chargers on
    • How much does it cost me to run my AC in the summer?  Is it worth leaving on all day or turning on just when I get home
  • Or in my case thanks to Insteon I can turn it on before I leave work!
  
The Solution:
I got the ECM1240 system from Brultech.com.  Specifically the PP3-200-X (http://www.brultech.com/home/store/product.php?id_product=34)
  
I installed solid core CTs on each breaker on my home circuit panel.  

  

To hold the ECM1240 brains I installed a PVC box just next to my main panel to hold all the low voltage items.  

  
The ECM1240 allows me to view my data in real-time via the my1240.com website, read the data from google powermeter or push it into my own data collection environment.
  
The CONS about the 1240 system are:
  1. The software to manage the 1240 collection devices has more bugs in it than Windows ME. It crashes often and overall is a piece of junk.
  2. The solution by default only supports Google powermeter not www.Microsoft-hohm.com
    • While google powermeter has its ups one thing that is has a serious issue with it is the User interface sucks
    • The ability to export the data into CSV format from google is nice. Not an option on www.Microsoft-hohm.com
    • The ability to share access to my power data from google is nice. Not an option on www.Microsoft-hohm.com
  3. With Google Powermeter and Microsoft-hohm.com being retired I will have to find a new way to view my power data.

Google Power Meter Data





My1240.com Data

Controller 1
Controller 2
Controller 3



2 comments:

Stephen MarLett said...

Mike - are you still using this? or did you upgrade to something else?

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