Energy monitoring receptacles or plug-in modules

Looking for Z-wave receptacles or plug-in modules that can measure the load for an appliance like a fridge or washer. Should be able to expose the current load value in Vera so one can execute PLEG conditions or scenes based on how much the appliance is drawing in watts.

The only one I am aware of so far is the Aeon Labs DSC24-ZWUS and the DSC06106-ZWUS.

Are there any other devices I should be looking at? Which one(s) are better in your opinion?

Thanks,

-TC

The various Aeon Labs units are the only ones that I know of on the U.S. market, at this time, that offer energy monitoring.

I am curious what action you plan to take based on the fridge running.

I used one of those ‘Kill A Watt’ devices to try to tweak the thermostat on my garage fridge (the local library actually lends it out).

I messed around for a few days trying to see if I could save some electricity by adjusting the thermostat a little warmer (and still have it cold enough to keep milk, etc).

Because of the ambient temperature fluctuation in the garage (it gets really hot after two cars pull in) I didn’t get anywhere. I imagine you could try that inside a lot easier because of the more stable ambient temperature.

@Z-waver, two different use cases come to mind.

Washer - while we have a brand new LG washer and dryer, we couldn’t fit the top of the line Internet enabled ones :frowning: The idea is to look for the right changes in the electrical load (idle, power draw for a specific amount of time, then idle again for a specific time) in order to trigger a laundry done alert. The state logic to get an accurate trigger should be doable in a PLEG.

Fridge/in general - the actual use case here is power outage. My Vera and core network equipment are on a UPS. Even when the house loses power, I still have Internet access. So the idea here is if no current draw at all, send an alert.

-TC

If you plan to add a lot of devices/outlets, and they’re mostly the bigger ones (Fridge, Laundry, AirCond, Microwave) it may pay to use a multichannel device in the Main/SubPanel instead…

They’re fiddly to setup initially, but you can find all sorts of stuff when you measure all the circuits.

So far, no automation based upon it, but I’m graphing the critical stuff and you find interesting stuff like:

[ul][li]I left the fridge door slightly ajar the other day, and the fridge aggressively corrects for that[/li]
[li]My Onkyo Receiver consumes 50W in standby mode.[/li]
[li]The forced-air fan in the attic takes 800W+ when it’s running (over and above the AirCond unit itself)[/li]
[li]The overhead lights on the Fan above the stove chew up 100W (we used to leave them on as background lights)[/li][/ul]

I use a Brultech GEM on my SubPanel (27 loads), plus temperature in the Garage[sup]*[/sup]. I previously used Brultech’s ECM-1240 (7 loads ea), which I’m about to repurpose to measure the Main Panel loads, since I’m about to add a 100A circuit to it (but the main panel also has AirCond, Oven directly on it)

Anyhow, might be worth considering a panel monitor, esp when some of the loads are 220, or when the loads are connected to hard-to-reach outlets/wiring.

[sup]*[/sup] Bulldoglowell is right on with garage temps, they jump significantly/quickly when you bring your cars in.

See this post. Seems a newer version of the GE dimmer mod is doing this. Not sure, but would figure the appliance mod would as well.

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,24423.0.html

@Guessed - that Brultech GEM is sweet. Not sure I could justify the $500 cost (with the wifi module added) and they don’t seem to sell at a discount anywhere else?

Yeah, that’s why I mention it only once someone indicates they’re planning to monitor a bunch of channels and/or they want accuracy. For one-off requests, just go with a Monitoring outlet, but once you have a few channels going, you end up with something like this (there are other monitors that are multi-channel as well). It also helps with the fiddly cases like 220v circuits, hardwired stuff (etc)

The ECM-1240’s were great also, and somewhat cheaper, albeit for 7 channels. I had 2 of them on the SubPanel, but outgrew that as I got further into tuning the loads within the house… It becomes somewhat addictive after a while, similar to installing light switches all over the house.

For reference, my original electrical base-load was about 400w (24x7), it’s now under 200w. It spikes for things like the fridge, etc, but it’s really helped keep the electrical costs down. If I use PG&E’s base rate (~13c/KWh) for the calculation, that’s about $10/mo in savings, so it pays for itself fairly quickly, and keeps me from jumping to the ~32c/KWh tier.

I bought the base-model GEM, which at the time had a socket onboard which I plugged my own RovingNetworks WiFi Module into, but I’m not sure they socket that on the newer boards. The CT’s certainly bump that cost up quite a lot, as I just ordered a bunch more for the main panel where I need a new set of the split CT’s (much more expensive than the donuts).

[quote=“tomgru, post:6, topic:180568”]See this post. Seems a newer version of the GE dimmer mod is doing this. Not sure, but would figure the appliance mod would as well.

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,24423.0.html[/quote]

Tom, you have only 0 watts. This is not an energy sensing device. It just has the variable added for whatever reason for manual use. The variable present (and showing 0 watts) does not mean that that dimmer is energy sensing.

I’m using the Aeon Appliance modules for:

  • HVAC (not compressor which is 220v)
  • Washer (not dryer is 200v)
  • Media Rack (all XBox, Russound, Vera, HTPC, etc)
  • Air Filters and Fans (they vary speed)
  • Refrigerator
  • All TV’s

PS - If anyone knows of a discreet method for 220v monitoring, would love to know:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,24003.0.html

PSS - I wrote a PLEG condition to power these devices anytime they have been turned off for more than 10 seconds…just in case someone turns the fridge off by accident in the WebUI