House Power Meter

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  #1  
Old 06-15-07, 01:56 PM
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House Power Meter

I live in a complex that has one power meter for 71 different condominium units. We are trying to find an inexpensive method of putting each unit on its own meter. I recently ran across an article about a meter that will read power usage without being wired into the circuit itself. I didn't keep the article. Does anybody know of a power meter that can be istalled in a home unit without breaking into the wiring system itself? Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 06-15-07, 02:36 PM
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You'll need to talk to a power company engineer in the metering department. A project of this magnitude would need to be coordinated by the power company.

Yes, there are meters that can monitor power flow without breaking the wiring, but it is up to the power company to determine if they would be allowed.
 
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Old 06-15-07, 02:56 PM
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You need the power company involved. Go not further yourself. It would be extremely dangerous, and possibly illegal, to do anything without their involvement.
 
  #4  
Old 06-15-07, 03:09 PM
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In the meantime, something to get you started:

http://www.electricsubmeter.com/nationalmeter/cts/tp.htm
 
  #5  
Old 06-15-07, 03:35 PM
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(Wow, when did the edit limit drop to 20 minutes? I can't think that fast!)

I inquired about getting statistics from the local utility's new cellnet metering network, for example so I could plot usage against daily or hourly temperatures, but they said they had no plans to offer that level of accessibility. They told me to look into an electronic meter with current transformers (CTs) that could hook up to my computer.

I checked into that but the cost far outweighed the benefit.

As you probably know, you should seek comparable properties that have done this to figure out how many owners would benefit vs. how many would pay more, and to which group the homeowner's association's leadership belongs. Good luck with that!
 
  #6  
Old 06-17-07, 11:32 PM
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Smile Thanks everybody

I will get the power company involved. Glad to see that the meter is available.
 
  #7  
Old 06-18-07, 10:29 AM
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Arg> They told me to look into an electronic meter with current transformers (CTs) that could hook up to my computer

Where did you find that at? I've seen the CT's with a meter for your main panel, but not any that you can connect to your computer.
 
  #8  
Old 06-18-07, 10:42 AM
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Arg> They told me to look into an electronic meter with current transformers (CTs) that could hook up to my computer

"Where did you find that at? I've seen the CT's with a meter for your main panel, but not any that you can connect to your computer."

Sorry: More clearly, they told me to look into CTs that connect to an electronic meter, which in turn has a serial port that connects to a computer. Once I am spending $50 or more on CTs and a few hundred on the meter, the payback gets pretty long.

But, I suppose somebody with the needed skills could set up an A to D "black box" converter to plug directly into the PC, and write some software to process the resulting signals. Some industrial electric supplier might have such a thing, and they would probably call it a microprocessor-based something or other.

I'd be happier if they billed me daily, but they probably realize if they do that people will get a leg up on reducing usage that much faster.
 
  #9  
Old 06-21-07, 09:14 PM
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I'd be happier if they billed me daily, but they probably realize if they do that people will get a leg up on reducing usage that much faster.

Why do you need all that crap? You know how to lower your bill.....turn things off! Everybody acts like they need some sophisticated procedure to lower their bill. All they need is common sense. Unfortunately, that is something you can't buy.
 
  #10  
Old 06-21-07, 11:16 PM
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Few people realize the effect of their standby loads. The clock in the microwave oven, the standby position of the home entertainment equipment and all the rest.

These standby loads are pulling power 24/7 and while any individual load is probably not that much they do add up.

In my own home the standby loads are a significant part of my entire electrical load when averaged over time.
 
  #11  
Old 06-22-07, 09:12 AM
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I can't find the link right now, but there was a recent study of standby loads which concluded the average household spends $100 per year powering standby loads.
 
  #12  
Old 06-24-07, 10:45 PM
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That would represent about 3.5% of my annual electric bill.

In other words, not a whole lot, and I have what I would consider a large number of standby loads (cable boxes, tv's, computers, etc).
 
  #13  
Old 06-25-07, 11:44 AM
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One ampere at 240 volts running for 24 hours is 5.75kWH. My average daily kWH consumption (as noted on my electric bill) is 9 to 12 kWH. If my standby loads were ony 1/2 ampere at 240 volts it would be between approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of my total consumption.

I think I have enough equipment to actually meter this, I'll have to try it someday.
 
  #14  
Old 06-27-07, 05:28 AM
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My KWH/Day for the previous billing cycle was 79, for last month it was 74, one year ago it was 54.
 
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