I've received a reply from TED. And Good news... TED is on sale!! Bad news is TED won't have a computer interface till summer... Good news, maybe, is they're looking at Zigby for their wireless.
Blueline's product is already wireless, but just for the display - as far as I know. They have yet to reply to my questions...
Yesterday I asked an engineer at the local power company for advise. I also asked him to look at TED, and he said "Certainly, the price is right, if it works."
The power company uses electronic meters in some homes. When I inquired about those he went on to say, (on this subject):
"It depends on the purpose of monitoring. The PGE meter collects the consumption without regard to instantaneous usages, since there are no demand charges in residential. Individual end-use monitoring is used to check the usage of a specific load. Seeing the total meter instantaneous kW is an accumulation of everything that is on in the house at that instant. Since you are billed by consumption, it's kW times time, so it's all those instantaneous kW's and all those instantaneous times."
He gave me the number of their residential metering expert, but I have yet to find the time to call...
I also received TED's manual. I need to look at the current transformer's hookup instructions to see how I feel about hooking this up myself.
The Blueline method is one that has been used in DIY setups for a few years (although not wirelessly). It has the advantage of reading the power company's meter disc revolutions so it will agree with their readings. It also has the advantage that it does not require an electrician to install.
The other one requires an electrician to install it. Without additional technical details I would be leery of its accuracy.
It was easy to install, I'm a DIYer. 1 clamps around each phase and hook up to a breaker. Install the Display box on the same side as the breaker. I installed it on the other phase and it didn't work correctly. Easy enough but an electrican shouldn't cost that much for this.
This is a nice product to have, but given that you already know your monthly and daily power consumption (the figures on your electric bill), I question how much value in knowing the hourly and precise to-the-minute cost of energy could their be (for most consumers)?
Also for appliances, you can get a good estimate of the cost per hour's use simply from the wattage rating of the appliance, divide by
1000 and multiply by what your electric company charges per kWh.
Just how much discretion or lifestyle change is going to result in significant energy change for most households? OK, you can dial down the thermostat or take fewer baths if you have an electric hot water heater, but the fridge is still going cycle on and off every hour of the month... Assume you've already maxed out the savings in switching your lighting to compact fluourescents, etc.
IIRC, there was someone got a real-time kilowatt meter set up who posted a while back here in CHA. He said that once his kids were involved in reaching certain target levels of consumption (i.e. - a minibike if they saved X$) they became absolute energy misers, turning off lights religiously. YMMV.
on 1/22/2006 11:12 PM Jack Edin carved the following into a picnic table:
Or, you could just convert your system over to a newer technology, like Insteon. Not quite closed loop, but _much_ more reliable with ACK/NACK responses (with retries on NACK) and message repeating by all devices.
BTW, I think this monitoring thing is a pretty neat idea from the standpoint of being a data junkie. Just seems an overly complex solution to your problem when better ones already exist.