Energy Monitoring

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russellhltn
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Energy Monitoring

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:26 pm

I've been eying a new toy for myself, but I'm wondering what application this might have at church. From what I've seen, bishops and stake presidents aren't involved in the utility bills, so they don't have much incentive to conserve. However, I think FM Groups are probably keen to understanding what's going on. The ability of this device to monitor remotely (if the building has broadband) seems like a good fit.

I'm particularly interested in Energey Detective for myself for it's "Load Profile" function that can detect the usage pattern of high wattage devices. But there's also energyhub.net, shaspa.com and probably some others I'm missing.

Thoughts?
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mfmohlma
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Postby mfmohlma » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:44 pm

You may want to check if your utility will be installing Smart Meters anytime soon. Our utility up here has been installing them for at least a year. It is my understanding that they support the ZigBee protocol to allow you to see real-time stats. It appears that the devices you're looking at were built just for this scenario.

Some info here.

I would hope that the FM groups up here could take advantage of the extra info generated by these meters.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:54 am

oregonmatt wrote:You may want to check if your utility will be installing Smart Meters anytime soon. Our utility up here has been installing them for at least a year. It is my understanding that they support the ZigBee protocol to allow you to see real-time stats. It appears that the devices you're looking at were built just for this scenario.


Yes, it would be wise to check with the utility company to see if they'll be offering anything soon. But one must keep features in mind as well. For my personal use, it's the Load Profile feature that I'm, attracted to. It allows me to monitor the use of a specific appliance (such as the electric water heater) based on it's power draw. I want to see what effect insulating the water pipes will have. And I can always move the Current Transformers to monitor a specific circuit - not something you can do with a power meter.

While the unit I'm looking at does support ZigBee, I have no interest in it. ZigBee is too short a range for monitoring except on-site. The unit comes with a gateway to Ethernet which would seem to open the possibility of remote monitoring from anywhere that has a Internet connection. That's what I think would be of interest to the church.

Most any kind of energy management system will provide graphs that will help the FM group and/or the agent bishop to see if the buildings HVAC system is being used according to policy* instead of just looking at the number for each month and wondering where it all went.

*It may just be in my stake, but there's a policy on how many people have to be at a meeting before you can turn on the A/C for the chapel or cultural hall. I can see where the church may not like it if the Ward Organist fires up the big system when it's just them practicing. But currently, I doubt if there's a easy way to monitor what's happening.

Anyway, when (not if) the church takes a interesting in energy management, a tool like this will be useful.
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