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Old 11-18-10, 01:56 PM   #1
Daox
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Default Calculating base electric load

For the past few weeks I've been trying to get an accurate base load analysis done on my house. To do this, I've basically gone through every single thing that has a plug on it and have measured it with a kill a watt. I log its power usage and plug it into my attached spreadsheet. For some things, I have logged the actual power consumption of devices like my fridge. When I enter that information in, it overrides the constant load for the calculations on the right side.

I have yet to finish logging power usage for the water softener, so I've colored those cells grey. I could probably do so with other items that probably have a fairly average power draw over time. I just haven't gotten that far yet. The items that say 1W are 1W or less since the kill a watt doesn't read any lower than 1W.

This spreadsheet now gives me an alright idea of where a lot of my power usage is going while I'm not at home or sleeping (which is by far the majority of the time). With it I can find ways of reducing this power usage with timers for instance. Its also a great way of finding phantom loads which many of you probably know. I found that I had some speakers that my wife only very occasionally uses drew 8W constantly. They are no longer wasting almost 6 kWh a month.

Of course, this doesn't figure in the things you can't plug in. The ceiling fans, the furnace, the well and other things. Anyone have any ideas for measuring these things?


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Old 11-18-10, 03:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Of course, this doesn't figure in the things you can't plug in. The ceiling fans, the furnace, the well and other things. Anyone have any ideas for measuring these things?
Make a plug and socket for each of the circuit breakers (after the breaker, of course!). Then you can put the Kill-a-watt in there as long as it can handle the current. Now you can measure each device or each room/floor
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Old 11-18-10, 03:52 PM   #3
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Good idea. I like it!

The only problem is some of those devices are 240V and the kill a watt only does 120V.
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Old 11-18-10, 05:40 PM   #4
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You could use an inductive ammeter, with or without T.E.D. attached. Downside: The price.

I've also used a shunt resistor to measure A/C loads, but it misses out on reactive power. You also have to be careful not to throw more load at a shunt than it can handle.
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Old 11-18-10, 11:41 PM   #5
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You can always use your breakers to select the loads, and read your electric meter.. (If you have a modern meter).

Just have to get the appliance to cooperate and turn on..

Here's how I do it.. http://ecorenovator.org/forum/conser...-yourself.html
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Old 11-19-10, 02:10 AM   #6
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I've been wanting to get an arduino and current transformers to monitor my hotwater tank/furnace/... similar to how this guy does it.
Home Monitoring System Details

It's a bunch more work but realtime logging of power usage is just cool
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Old 11-19-10, 11:43 AM   #7
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last night I was thinking about this and came across this company
Linear BiPolar Hall Effect Current Sensor +/- 80 Amps

I'm thinking about getting enough to measure my hot water heater, dryer, stove/oven, and possibly some of the larger ones to measure my heat pump/electric furnace.

They aren't as easy/safe to install as the clamp on ones but I had no issue turning the breaker off and slipping the wire through these. Whole house monitoring I'd use a clamp on but my utility is moving to smart meters next year and will provide some way of getting that data in real time I'm told, do that's not on my list of things to setup.

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