Author Topic: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation  (Read 18160 times)

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Offline Someone

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2016, 01:59:10 am »
Its 230v over there so I guess that's 2x the power at the outlet as here.

I just think of a 1500w microwave and the wife's hair dryer... that's a blown circuit there.  Table saw, air compressor, shop vac, fridge, freezer, etc.  @ 120v not too many of these can share a circuit.
Yep, lived in houses like that and the complaints when someone uses their hairdryer at full power while a heater is running somewhere else on the circuit.
 

Offline larrybl

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2016, 02:35:07 am »
I find it interesting at how "Mains" wiring is done in other places. Here are pictures of a 100A panel I installed for my work shop.
 

Offline orion242

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2016, 02:42:22 am »
That looks more like a normal US panel.

Got a ground mixed up with your neutrals though..
 

Offline dmmt40

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2016, 02:57:56 am »
That looks like a very professional system Dave installed but if you don't live in Australia I can highly recommend the "Eyedro" monitoring system
I bought it here: http://www.amazon.com/Eyedro-EHEM1-Home-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00EP774LM/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

They're a Canadian company I think, we've used their "myeyedro" monitor for nearly a year and it's super reliable.
The best part about it though is the software, after looking at the Solar Analytics interface I can definitely say that Eyedro is on par if not better, you get all the things Dave complained that were missing, like user level monitoring of individual phases in real time (with 3 second or less intervals), much more flexible graph scaling and ranges, it can also give predictions and savings and it can be integrated with solar systems too but I haven't tried that since I don't have one.

The only real downside is that it doesn't actually measure the line voltage, the user has to input that value and it assumes it stays constant all the time (which of course it doesn't), so the overall accuracy is nowhere near as the one shown in the video, but hey for a one time payment of 130$ I can't complain much!
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 03:01:17 am by dmmt40 »
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2016, 03:42:24 am »
From what I understand, a lot of electricians don't often think too much about future board use.  They just see a spot where they can mount their gear quickly and easily - and that's where it goes.  Shuffling stuff around to make something new fit will be the next guy's problem.
Electricians wont touch circuits that are not directly related to the current job, as they would have to test and sign off on the whole circuit even if they just moved the breakers. This is why you end with such a hotch potch of switchgear and metering. Daves place has probably had 10 different sparkies working on it over the years, each one adding stuff but reluctant to change/update any existing stuff.

That said I think that RCD should be giving a proper test or even just changed.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2016, 03:57:32 am »

Got a ground mixed up with your neutrals though..

Standard earth ground bond to neutral at the main service panel I assume.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 03:59:15 am by mtdoc »
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2016, 04:10:04 am »

Got a ground mixed up with your neutrals though..

Standard earth ground bond to neutral at the main service panel I assume.

Yep


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthing_system
Quote
In Australia, the Multiple Earthed Neutral (MEN) earthing system is used and is described in Section 5 of AS 3000. For an LV customer, it is a TN-C system from the transformer in the street to the premises, (the neutral is earthed multiple times along this segment), and a TN-S system inside the installation, from the Main Switchboard downwards. Looked at as a whole, it is a TN-C-S system.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2016, 04:28:00 am »
On their Web data table the first 3 column headings are

Power, Current, Reactive Power.  ( I would have put voltage next to current and reactive power next to power. )


IMO because it is 4 quadrant I think the negative sign on the Reactive power is not specific enough.
It could say Leading or Lagging on the VARs and Producing or Consuming for the Watts. 
 

Offline forrestc

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2016, 04:37:12 am »
What is shonky about it?

I admit it doesn't present any industrial neatness, but there's nothing exposed - and it gets protected when the board is secured.  Never seen or touched in normal activity.

I have not seen inside many of these - but there are worse.

I too, was amazed at the distribution panel.   Nothing like this has been installed in the US for at least 50 years.  Make that more like 75 years.  I honestly expected something more like is described on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_board , which is pretty much how the main panel for the US has been for the last 50 years or so.   

As a side note:  You can often get a discount on your insurance in the US if the main distribution panel is newer than a certain date, based on the expected lifetime of the breakers in the panel.

I'm curious, is Dave's setup common in Australia?  If a house is wired new today, what does the equivalent panel look like?   When did it change?



 

Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2016, 05:36:25 am »
I'm curious, is Dave's setup common in Australia?
I would call it pretty typical of the majority.

Quote
If a house is wired new today, what does the equivalent panel look like?
I can't speak from a professional position, but from my casual observation, I have seen more DIN rail breakers and switchgear showing up.  I expect speed of installation would be a factor.

Quote
When did it change?
I can't answer that one.
 

Offline Dan Moos

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2016, 05:45:53 am »
I can't imagine having to drill the panel separately for every breaker is remotely efficient. The DIN system is literally plug and play. I'm not judging it's safety, just it's utility.

What is the purported pros of this kind of setup?
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2016, 07:16:23 am »
That looks more like a normal US panel.

Got a ground mixed up with your neutrals though..

That appears to be his ground bonding as it runs from the neutral bar directly to the ground bar. Not uncommon to do it that way.

As for Daves Panel that actually looks OK. everything was easy to understand and the sections on the front with what I am assuming are the convenience outlets separated were clear. Just because its a in field assembled system and not din rails or snap in buss bar breakers does not mean it cant work safely. I see more conductor clearance in there than I see in many U.L. 508 spec panels here in the states and this is a fair bit easier to work on. 
Charles Alexanian
Alex-Tronix Control Systems
 

Offline EPTech

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2016, 07:22:35 am »
Hi there,

In Belgium (I do not know about other EU countries) you are allowed to install the electrical system all the way from the supply cable to the sockets and lighting. Then you need to have it checked by a certified agent and once approved the electrical distributor will install the meter and attach the supply cable to the grid.

The agent checks whether you installed regulatory earth fault switches, fuses and wires. He will also check for earth continuity and spread resistance. He will also check your schematic and sign together with the compliance documents.

The installer/technicians of the distribution company will install the meter(s) in a sealed separate box. The main earth fault switch is also sealed. From that point on you are allowed to make changes to the installation but the slightest change requires a re-approval by the compliance agency, even if it is done by an electrician. The electrical installation is the responsibility of the home owner up to the  cable attached to the main earth fault switch.

If one refurbishes a new house, one is bound to make changed to the electrical installation,so it needs to be re-checked. If the fuse box is not up to current standards, it will be rejected. In most cases a refurbished home needs a new fuse box.

Ex. My mother had a relatively modern fuse box with DIN rail and reset-able fuses. After she had her solar panels installed I had to replace the entire board because the fuses did not have the mandatory links across neutral and fases. This because linked fuses were not available for the older fuse sockets that were in het cabinet.

Also worth mentioning: The compliance document is valid for 25 years. If you have employees your installation is treated as an industrial one and hence needs a yearly check-up. Anything above 125A is also considered industrial.

Here are some pictures of my Belgian installation. It is not so typical because I have a main fuse box that branches out to the house and the work shop/lab. In a typical home you will see only one fuse box. But these are completely up to standard, slightly over-killed. I have about 22kVA (32A@400V 3-phase) incoming. With the incoming cable section I can go up to 80A (55 kVA).

Kind greetings,

Pascal.
 

Offline Monittosan

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2016, 07:24:42 am »
Daves panel looks older than what his house would otherwise have. Typically houses do no have ceramic fuses and rather use a DIN rail with individual RCBO's with the main switch being a 63amp CB for Single phase.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #39 on: May 10, 2016, 10:35:29 am »
I can't imagine having to drill the panel separately for every breaker is remotely efficient.

The drilling only took a couple of minutes.

But ... I did wonder why it didn't have some pre-drilled holes in it for common fittings.

 

Offline orion242

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #40 on: May 10, 2016, 10:38:31 am »

Got a ground mixed up with your neutrals though..

Standard earth ground bond to neutral at the main service panel I assume.

Guess I assumed that because they added the optional ground bar and didn't see a meter, it was a sub panel.  Typically you would use the supplied ground screw to bond the neutral bars to the panel if it was a main panel.  Looks like that screw is installed right at the top center, but I'm not that familiar with the homeline SD panels.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 10:42:18 am by orion242 »
 

Offline kolbep

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #41 on: May 10, 2016, 11:13:42 am »
Curious as to what the PLC in your right hand board is for???
====================================
www.ShoutingElectronics.com Don't just talk about Electronics, SHOUT ABOUT IT! Electronics Blog Site and Youtube Channel
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #42 on: May 10, 2016, 11:25:07 am »
Daves panel looks older than what his house would otherwise have.

Circa 1985 IIRC.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #43 on: May 10, 2016, 12:07:48 pm »
What is shonky about it?
Everything! Compared to what what you'll find in homes in the west of Europe it seems to stem from a century ago! Drilling holes to let wires through  :wtf:  :palm: :palm: You guys never heard of bus-bars and DIN rails?
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline RGB255_0_0

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #44 on: May 10, 2016, 12:21:04 pm »
To be fair, the exposed live and neutrals in that picture are shonky IMO.
Your toaster just set fire to an African child over TCP.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #45 on: May 10, 2016, 01:00:44 pm »
There is supposed to be a cover on top so it looks like this and everything is protected:
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #46 on: May 10, 2016, 02:28:33 pm »
Drilling holes to let wires through  :wtf:  :palm: :palm: You guys never heard of bus-bars and DIN rails?

Not sure how you guys get wires into your box, but drilling through a backplane is quite acceptable.
We have to have 2 layers of insulation around mains wiring on any new work, and it has been this rule since last century.
That electrician maintained 2 layers of insulation, so I dont see how it is shonky.

Of course we use Din rail, the meter device was a Din rail mount.
Bear in mind this was a retrofit job, new switchboards have a similar style to your photo, but probably have RCDs combined with a breaker on each sub circuit.
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #47 on: May 10, 2016, 02:35:22 pm »
I am surprised the electrician appears to be "With it" most of the electricians I encounter in my line of work dont know the first thing about electronics or electricity! I would love to find somebody like that I could off load some of my work to.
Charles Alexanian
Alex-Tronix Control Systems
 

Offline donkey77

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #48 on: May 10, 2016, 09:47:31 pm »
My guess is irrigation? ! Quite handy things those logos. I use the newer 08 version to control some lighting circuits, these connect to the network which makes it easy to make time changes and with the phone app doubles as an hmi.
 

Offline EPTech

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #49 on: May 10, 2016, 11:13:43 pm »
Hi there,

To kolbep: at the moment the PLC controls lighting only. Timed stairway lights, general on/off, funny stuff like that. It will control irrigation later, once I have budget to install it ;).

I wonder what kind of grid is at your place Dave. In Belgium most grids are TT, which means the Neutral (star point of the transformer) is directly connected to earth. The mains cable has to be an EXVB (reinforced) cable with 4 wires of minimum 10 mm squared. The earth at the user side is usually one or a set of copper or zink coated pins, or a loop in the foundation. As long as the resistance is below 30 ohm, you are safe to install a 300mA diff. The main earth conductor has to be 16mm squared I believe.

Another big difference I see is that your have a common neutral point and only the fases are interrupted. Over here the neutral and phase need a linked circuit breaker on each circuit. The differential current switch also interrupts all fases and the neutral. Is your main earth conductor connected to this neutral point?

When I hear your electrician talk on the video, the installation seems perfectly safe to me. Ours are over protected and way more expensive, even the basic ones. I am not talking about my semi-industrial stuff. :)
Kind greetings,

Pascal.
 


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