Sunday, March 4, 2012

Knowledge of power, is power

This afternoon I installed a TED5000 system in our home.

TED (The Energy Detective) is a real-time load monitoring system.  In the picture, the TED hardware is on the right hand side of the breaker box. The data is loaded onto the home LAN - and you can see that a switch on the LAN was conveniently located on the same mounting board at the left.  So setting up this installation was a breeze.

TED uses a couple of current transformers which you clip over the main feeds to the distribution board.  You need to be reasonably confident in your abilities here (or hire an electrician) because the feeds are live while you are doing this.  But there is no direct electrical connection to them - the device works in the same way as a clip-on ammeter.

After you have the device set up you can see, in real time, how much power you are using in the house.  Here is the basic monitoring screen.

I hope that the information that we get about energy usage will help us conserve more effectively and be more mindful when we do use a lot of energy.  Plus, it will tell us whether a solar installation is a realistic idea!

1 comment:

John Roe said...

Update - After testing for a while I started to notice that the readings from TED were sometimes a bit erratic. TED uses power-line transmission to send the data from the measuring unit to the interface to your home network, and this system is often prone to interference. After some discussion with TED's tech support people, they sent me an inline filter which I have installed on the circuit supplying the TED unit. This seems to have cleared things up beautifully.