Author Topic: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation  (Read 19323 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Installing a home energy monitoring and reporting system on Dave's home solar power system.
The 3G based wireless Connect 23 from Solar Analytics:
https://www.solaranalytics.com.au/
Designed & Manufactured by WattWatchers:
http://wattwatchers.com.au/

 

Offline mux

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2016, 12:26:24 pm »
First off; I'm thoroughly amazed that thing is legal! It's got dicky 4A screw terminals to hook up the power! What kind of bullshit is that?



They're not even the shielded kind! You can stick a screwdriver in there and get a high energy event going, especially with an inverter in island mode!

Also, this is NOT how you wire up something outside of the house



I'm amazed that a country so in danger of burning down at any moment has such lax regulations on electrical equipment and installations, apparently. This wouldn't fly under IEC(6)1010, ever.
 

Offline timgiles

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2016, 12:37:05 pm »
Would be interesting to see what the saving that 9600 dollar battery would have given you.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 12:50:01 pm by timgiles »
 
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Offline station240

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 12:58:35 pm »
Yeah Tesla Powerwall was in the news recently, they announced they made 2500+ Powerwalls this past quarter.
That's something like 28 per day, not good.

Plenty of people that preordered a Powerwall that have heard nothing, or just the odd email about we'll contact you soon to arrange a install date.

Tesla are very secretive about what is in the Powerwall, I don't think they want you poking around to figure out how it works.
It's a worry when the indepth information you find on such an expensive item, is on 3rd party websites.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 01:49:35 pm »
First off; I'm thoroughly amazed that thing is legal! It's got dicky 4A screw terminals to hook up the power! What kind of bullshit is that?

I'm not sure if that's sarcastic or not?
You do know this doesn't actually carry any significant current, right?
 

Offline abaxas

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2016, 03:46:38 pm »
My god, that fusebox box thingy is savage. A level of shonkiness that would even scare the Chinese!
 
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Online Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2016, 03:51:28 pm »
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.
 

Offline elliottveares

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2016, 04:08:27 pm »
Wow, the distribution board looks a mess inside Dave! No nice DIN rail mounted MCB's in a line with nice neat wiring. That RCD (left to the Export meter) also looks rather old; what circuits does it protect? Is it current or voltage operated?

 

Offline RGB255_0_0

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2016, 04:28:19 pm »
That thing would give PhotonicInduction a heart attack  :-DD

What is labelling, exactly? All those cables flapping in the breeze and looks like there's no strain relief on them.

Anyway, was an interesting video/advert.
Your toaster just set fire to an African child over TCP.
 

Offline mux

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2016, 04:40:45 pm »
First off; I'm thoroughly amazed that thing is legal! It's got dicky 4A screw terminals to hook up the power! What kind of bullshit is that?

I'm not sure if that's sarcastic or not?
You do know this doesn't actually carry any significant current, right?

Hm, in that case it's slightly okayisher, but still really not done to use removable screw terminals for medium voltage. It's not good design, that should just have been a standard DIN bus bar screw terminal.

It'd also be nice if you responded to the comments about that horrid wiring job in the distribution box. I haven't seen that in decades; even my brother's 1970s 10x renovated and crappily rewired house at least had a standard DIN panel with bus bars and proper marking.

You know you're going to get absolutely lynched over this kind of stuff if you're critical of less-than-perfect design in product reviews, and have told us this for over 5 years already, right? This isn't excusable stuff.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2016, 05:15:54 pm »
The rewireable fuse! Nothing a semi decent DIN rail surface box to replace all those randomly placed breakers ( you can at least run it through the back directly) and then at least route all the cables ( solid core cable, best not to flex it too much) into a loom along the hinge of the SRBP board.

Probably a move of the 2 meters to the right of the panel, removing the old meter and the ripple controller, that thing under the meter with the big blue Siemens capacitor visible through the window, it is an entirely electromechanical device that responds to a tone transmitted via the power lines for a neighbourhood, here in South Africa they were used to do street light switching, replaced by remote photocells doing group switching and now slowly being upgraded as the wiring is transferring from copper to ABC aluminium cabling with individual photocells per lamp. Then the 2 meters move into that space, and you have enough room to put in a decent 2 or 3 DIN rail box, which will allow you to have the incoming breaker, solar inverter breakers, RCD or two and then more breakers so each room can have it's own breaker for sockets, and separate lighting breakers, with room for more expansion ( or the monitor) as needed.

The panel rear then looks neater ( no knitting randomly going around and shonky cables every which way) and you will have a neater panel along with a neater box.

But, as I was told, I work too neatly to be an electrician. Can't help it too much as I was trained as an Instrument Tech, and there I had to make neat wiring and tie it up properly.  I tend to use a lot of cable ties, generally 200 per panel, just to get the wiring neat and tidy, at least for the first round, additions often tend to be tied to the existing runs, and I sometimes do not remove the redundant ties.

But Dave is not able to touch his own wiring, he needs to call an electrician ( as per state rules) to change a light bulb!
 

Offline Razor512

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2016, 06:10:21 pm »
For the tesla power wall, I feel that it is a bad investment at its current cost. Lithium Ion batteries do not last forever, and they lose capacity with each charge cycle. Due to its use case, it will go through many charge cycles per year, and it is not worth having a unit that will fail to cover its own costs within its lifespan, or fail right as it reached a break even point, in those situations, you are putting in extra work, adding more points of failure, and getting nothing in turn other than shifting where your money goes rather than saving it.

Remember, when a battery system, it is not a simple calculation of capacity to match your usage, it is complex as the capacity figure is always changing, thus the rate at which it offsets its own cost, does down with each cycle. Think of it like an MMORPG where you level up quickly at first, but each increasing level requires exponentially more XP, thus progress slows, in the case of the battery (if put in MMORPG terms) the total XP needed to reach the break even level might be a fixed number, but with each charge cycle, the amount of XP gained when attempting to reach that level gets smaller.
Think of it like saving up for a new car, while the workplace gives you a pay cut every 2 weeks; the amount of progress made becomes less and less over time.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 06:12:10 pm by Razor512 »
 

Offline Laertes

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2016, 06:36:22 pm »
Hmm, I wonder: when did you build your house(or when was it built, if you bought it)? Because I'm pretty sure that kind of "free flow" distribution box wouldn't have been acceptable in Germany from like the mid eighties onward, and I wouldn't expect many electricians to touch one of these setups for doing additions - they would probably all tell you to rip it all out and replace it by a "proper" DIN-Rail based box, do the wiring and labeling "right" etc.

Then again, the germans have been known to completely gild the lily when it comes to regulations and norms - Daves box does seem to be safe enough to do the job, can't see any reason to worry about it in the video. It just looks a bit ugly is all.

Also, if you don't do that regularly already, make sure you test that GFCI. These things can and do(albeit rarely under those kinds of conditions) fail and that one looks pretty old...
 

Offline donmr

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2016, 08:25:43 pm »
Can you explain that current transformer better (or show another picture)?

I see 2 wires going thru the hole, into and outof the circuit breaker.  Won't the currents just cancel each other?
 

Offline The Soulman

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2016, 10:50:23 pm »
Wow never knew these panels even existed! I've seen some shabby stuff but this is far more worse than the worsted boxes (yes boxes) I've ever seen (including Belgium).
It may have the proper gauge wires and all but come on..  :palm:
Please let someone send something decent in the mailbag:

 

Offline Someone

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2016, 10:53:00 pm »
But Dave is not able to touch his own wiring, he needs to call an electrician ( as per state rules) to change a light bulb!
You can work on the wiring but it requires an licensed electrician to certify it, and there is no issue with replacing bulbs or other plug in equipment.
 

Offline Someone

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2016, 10:56:37 pm »
For the tesla power wall, I feel that it is a bad investment at its current cost.
It greatly depends on the specific situation, where people require (demand/expect etc) to have electricity 100% of the time it can be good value. As a load balancer as its being marketed at the moment, there is a negative rate of return for most people.
 

Offline Someone

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2016, 11:50:00 pm »
Wow, the price was a surprise. It will be trying to compete against smart meters as they become routine in NSW but pricing for those is still in the imaginary stage of a project.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2016, 11:52:33 pm »
The metering and switchboard may not look pretty but it is obviously not to difficult to work on. Plenty of space.
It has probably been there over 30 years and so probably only fair to compare it with other installations of that age. 
Obviously they don't put fuses in anymore but they are quite legal to keep in an existing installation.
That RCD does look a bit dated.
It would be expensive to get it upgraded though, because the metering would need sorting out too.

As far as the web ui goes, I don't think it would be too hard to make the graphs zoomable. Html 5 Jquery api.
 

Offline orion242

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2016, 12:12:36 am »
Don't look too awful to me.  At first I thought the panel everything was mounted to was metal.  Conductors just going through that would have been troubling.  Plenty of half assed installs here that are far more scary that this.

What surprises me is the number of breakers.  Here in the US 30-42 space panels are pretty much the norm on anything built in the last ~20yrs.  Most use 75% or more of the available spaces.  Looks like that panel only had about a half dozen.

Do you have other sub panels in the house or is that it?  How many sqft is your house?
 

Offline Someone

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2016, 01:05:51 am »
Do you have other sub panels in the house or is that it?  How many sqft is your house?
Thats a very normal layout for an Australian installation, even large houses might have only 2 lighting and 2 power point circuits.

You often see just 4x 16A or 20A circuits:
Oven
Hot Water
GPOs
Lights

And then additional if renovations were done or its a newer install:
Air Conditioner/Heater
Kitchen/Bathroom
Swimming Pool

Here are some examples of modern installs probably done in the last 20 years:
http://www.sundayenergy.com.au/solar-news/is-my-house-single-phase-or-three-phase
and guides about replacing fuse wire for laughs:
http://athomerentals.com.au/news/article/how_to_replace_a_blown_fuse
 

Offline Dan Moos

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2016, 01:25:59 am »
Add me to the list of folks caught off guard by your panel. Is this what panels are like in Australia? Electrical considerations aside, it just seems inefficient spacewise, and messy aesthetically.

The comment about some panels lacking room for expansion due to widely spaced layouts more or less sums up my distaste for yours. In the U.S., the breakers are in a modular layout that pretty much enforced maximum space efficiency. Also, instead of a random ratsnest of wires, it would have the wires coming in in a way almost like a well done PCB.
Have you ever seen a panel  in the U.S.? I'm legitimately curious what your thoughts are here, because to me, yours looks like what you would call a " bodge"
 

Online Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2016, 01:43:09 am »
From my (casual) observations, DIN rail systems are not to be found in most Aussie households - especially of older homes - unless there's been a rewire.  I expect they are a lot more common in new construction.

Dave's board is pretty typical.
 

Online Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2016, 01:46:02 am »
Electrical considerations aside, it just seems inefficient spacewise, and messy aesthetically.

The comment about some panels lacking room for expansion due to widely spaced layouts more or less sums up my distaste for yours.

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.
 

Offline orion242

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2016, 01:52:43 am »
Do you have other sub panels in the house or is that it?  How many sqft is your house?
Thats a very normal layout for an Australian installation, even large houses might have only 2 lighting and 2 power point circuits.

You often see just 4x 16A or 20A circuits:
Oven
Hot Water
GPOs
Lights

And then additional if renovations were done or its a newer install:
Air Conditioner/Heater
Kitchen/Bathroom
Swimming Pool

Here are some examples of modern installs probably done in the last 20 years:
http://www.sundayenergy.com.au/solar-news/is-my-house-single-phase-or-three-phase
and guides about replacing fuse wire for laughs:
http://athomerentals.com.au/news/article/how_to_replace_a_blown_fuse

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.
 

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. 
 

Online 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?



 

Online 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???
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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.
 

Online 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.
 

Online 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.
 

Offline sibeen

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2016, 10:48:15 am »
As to the main *cough* breaker *cough* being 60/80. It is a fuse. The fuse holder is rated to 80 amps and the fuse installed is 60 amps; hence the 60/80.
 

Offline fvdpol

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2016, 02:33:03 pm »
Dave, understand from your comments in the video that the daily extraction from your sunny boy and uploading to PVOutput is kind of a hassle...

I don't have experience with pvbeancounter; but I'm using SBFSpot, a similar tool that is just sitting on a small Raspberry Pi class linux machine doings it's business.

Installed it a few years ago, and hardly ever look at; it just works :-)
The documentation includes even a simple step-by-step tutorial on setting it up on a PI. I'm using it to connect over ethernet to my SMA STP7k, but the software also supports bluetooth. Besides the info logged to pvoutput a lot of more detailed information is logged to database and csv files.

link: https://sbfspot.codeplex.com
 

Offline jnissen

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2016, 11:14:28 pm »
Agree the distribution box looks like a monkey installed it. Nothing is nice and neat. I guess I'm used to seeing bus bars and modular systems common in the US. This would never pass code or even come close to it!

Dave - if your so interested in your solar power data why didn't you go with micro-inverters. I have live graphics that I can play to show me the dynamic power of each panel. Significantly more nerd porn available that way! Check out the Enphase micro inverters and the software/interface. It really is damn cool and I have been using it for a few years and still impresses me to this day.

 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #53 on: May 15, 2016, 06:41:16 pm »
Well, here in a 2 bedroom flat around 60 years old I have a slightly upgraded board ( as in, upgraded from wire in fuses sometime in the 1970's when the DCC wire was replaced with PVC wire, and this board was upgraded when my father bought to replace the ancient HYMAG breakers it came with) with a incoming mains douvble pole isolator, a double pole feed for the water heater in the basement, the earth leakage breaker, then 6 circuits providing all power, 2 for lighting, 3 for plug outlets, and the last one for the electric stove and oven. Spare breaker that used to supply a instant heat boiler for the kitchen, now I just use the geyser downstairs.

Only original wiring is the supply wire, old 16mm DCC rubber insulated, which is direct to the meter. If I ever replace that I will have to put in a new cable, 16mm split concentric cable, wired via a separate route, as the old wire is not too likely to pull out of the old steel conduit easily. As it is only around 20m to the meter room that at least will be easy to do, there are existing cable trays and mounts to hold it. Just have to paint the exposed sections to match the building.

There is enough capacity to handle all the loads, though there are a few socket outlets per breaker, so you do not really need a single breaker per outlet, though you might in the USA, and it is generally good in industrial use, where you might have a lot of high current loads all at once.
 

Offline CesarEscudero

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Re: EEVblog #877 - Solar Analytics Home Energy Monitoring Installation
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2016, 03:24:51 pm »
Quote
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!

Thank you! any other alternatives?
 


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