Confused by CurrentCost

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jives11

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Jun 29, 2011, 1:32:24 AM6/29/11
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Hello,

My name is Jonathan Ives, I've been intererested in household energy
monitoring for some tiome, and got one of the first CC128 units from
Current Cost. I used Dale Lanes code to download data from it, and
it's been running fine for a number of years now.

I decided to revisit this area having recently got some Solar PV
panels installed. Dale suggested this forum as a possible source of
answers to questions I'm pondering

1) I'm somewhat bewildered by CurrentCost. they seem to have lots of
models, which on the face of it are all very similar. Different shaps
and colours but not significantly different functionality ?

2) Productised Monitoring other utilities i.e gas, oil, water seems
to be as far off as ever. I assumed they would develop an opto-coupler
or reed-switch-based probe to stick on the gas meter dial smallest
units wheel and count the silver dot. Ditto Water. Measuring the
external temperature would be an obvious feature, that way you can
start to chart the relationship between consumption and temperature

3) PV confuses things. Whilst the CC device and all other similar
units monitor energy, they cannot detect direction. hence whether I am
net importing or exporting the CC device displays the value with no
indication of direction, positive or negative. i guess this is
inevitable given the induction process used to monitor the cable. I
could get a second clamp and attach it to the PV input, but as I
understand when used with multiple clamps the CC128 sums the different
inputs. In the case of PV it should actually subtract the PV output
from the total consumption to figure out the real total

I'd be interested in input from users of CC devices ? CC have not
replied to any Q's

Ken Boak

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Jun 29, 2011, 3:27:47 AM6/29/11
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Jonathan,

The CurrentCost functionality has remained fairly standard across all models, with no real major improvements.

Might I suggest an open source energy monitor from openenergymonitor.org

http://openenergymonitor.org/emon/

This can be tailored for a mix of sensors, both current transformer and pulse counter and has wireless and internet interfaces.

It is based on Arduino and Jeenodes technology, with all source code available so that you can make a custom version which can be expanded as your needs increase.

BTW - I'm using an Arduino (Mega) to monitor room temperatures, gas consumption, control the heating, solar water heater and monitor outside temperatures. So there are people doing this stuff already.



Ken

 




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yellowpark

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Jun 29, 2011, 5:22:18 AM6/29/11
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Hi Jonathan, I work for Current Cost, sorry to hear you haven't had
your questions answered. Did you email?

1. Like Ken says, the Envi and EnviR are virtually the same in
functionality, size and colours are the main differences.

2. Optismart sensors have been developed and are in test mode at the
moment. This is for meter reading by counting led pulses or via a
reed switch. They are being tweaked at the moment, but should be
available soon. An external temperature sensor has also been
developed and this will also be available soon.

3. PV is a tricky one, like you say regarding the direction of energy
flow. We are building PV features into the dashboard at
my.currentcost.com which will work with the bridge.

If you have vfurther questions, then let me know: chris dot dalby at
currentcost .com

Paul Tanner

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Jun 29, 2011, 4:47:16 AM6/29/11
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Hi Jonathan,

CurrentCost is a great packaged solution for people who want to monitor a conventional whole-house electrical setup. They are also adding IAMs to monitor individual appliances and will support these on their "bridge" interface to a web-based control panel.

A lot of us have broader requirements better suited to our own solutions or the one Ken mentions below (which looks extremely good although I have not tested it).  If you want a comprehensive solution including PV, gas etc there is, as yet, no off-the-shelf product to do it.  If you have the (basic software and electronics) skills then by all means join us on our journey.

BTW. for PV you should monitor DC anyway, so you would be better off with a shunt rather than current clamp.  This with a clamp for the overall AC current flow should give you the complete picture.

Paul

jives11

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Jun 30, 2011, 2:37:07 AM6/30/11
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Thanks for the answers guys, some things to ponder.

Chris - I did email CC some months ago. It's fine you gave full
answers. , I guess I had assumed that gas and water monitoring would
come out pretty quickly after the CC128 emerged.

PV is tricky. CC128 does work with PV in that I can clamp the AC
output from the PV and get reasonably accurate readings ( I do have a
remote display from my invertor and they are within 10% of each other)
The requirement is for the monitor to figure out and display if the
output from PV is exceeding the input from the grid. At present I can
do this by some mental arithmetic and a "gut" feeling for whats on in
the household.

What I need is a red light/green light type system that tells me when
I'm producing more than I'm consuming. If I could chart this over time
(and weather conditions) I could plan my usage better. With PV systems
in the UK it's more economic to use the excess yourself (charged 13p
per unit) than sell it to the grid (paid 3p per unit), in other words
treat it as a kind of shifting economy tariff

The trouble is that when I measure my houshold consumption it cannot
figure out wether I am net exporting or importing. Clearly if the
output of the PV is a lower figure than the household I',m not net
exporti
On Jun 29, 9:47 am, Paul Tanner <p...@virtual-techno.com> wrote:
> Hi Jonathan,
>
> CurrentCost is a great packaged solution for people who want to
> monitor a conventional whole-house electrical setup. They are also
> adding IAMs to monitor individual appliances and will support these
> on their "bridge" interface to a web-based control panel.
>
> A lot of us have broader requirements better suited to our own
> solutions or the one Ken mentions below (which looks extremely good
> although I have not tested it).  If you want a comprehensive solution
> including PV, gas etc there is, as yet, no off-the-shelf product to
> do it.  If you have the (basic software and electronics) skills then
> by all means join us on our journey.
>
> BTW. for PV you should monitor DC anyway, so you would be better off
> with a shunt rather than current clamp.  This with a clamp for the
> overall AC current flow should give you the complete picture.
>
> Paul
>
> At 08:27 AM 6/29/2011, Ken wrote:
>
>
>
> >Jonathan,
>
> >The CurrentCost functionality has remained fairly standard across
> >all models, with no real major improvements.
>
> >Might I suggest an open source energy monitor from
> ><http://openenergymonitor.org>openenergymonitor.org
>
> >http://openenergymonitor.org/emon/
>
> >This can be tailored for a mix of sensors, both current transformer
> >and pulse counter and has wireless and internet interfaces.
>
> >It is based on Arduino and Jeenodes technology, with all source code
> >available so that you can make a custom version which can be
> >expanded as your needs increase.
>
> >BTW - I'm using an Arduino (Mega) to monitor room temperatures, gas
> >consumption, control the heating, solar water heater and monitor
> >outside temperatures. So there are people doing this stuff already.
>
> >Ken
>
> >On 29 June 2011 06:32, jives11
> ><mailto:home...@googlegroups.com>home...@googlegroups.com.
> >To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> ><mailto:homecamp%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>homecamp+u...@googlegroups.com.
>
> >For more options, visit this group at
> ><http://groups.google.com/group/homecamp?hl=en-GB>http://groups.google.com/group/homecamp?hl=en-GB.
>
> >--
> >You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
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> >To post to this group, send an email to home...@googlegroups.com.
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> >For more options, visit this group at
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>
> Paul Tanner - Virtual Technologies -http://www.virtual-techno.com
> Tel: +44 1494 581979 Mob: +44 7973 223239 mailto:p...@virtual-techno.com  

Ken Boak

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Jul 1, 2011, 4:32:13 AM7/1/11
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Jonathan,

The emontx from openenergymonitor would certainly be capable of measuring your imported power and your PV generated power and performing a subtraction. It could also be programmed with your import and FIT prices and display your consumption in £ and also net profits etc.  That is the advantace of using a truly open design which can be tailored to your application in software.

It could then output this figure to a local display or push the data up to the internet for graphing or analysis.

I think you will struggle to find any other energy monitor with that sort of flexibility - mainly as they are usually intended for the mass market, and not customisable.

I'd contact Trystan Lea at o.e.m. - he may even subscribe to this list, as he has attended Homecamp in the past, and see if he can assist you.



Ken
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