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Need electronics suggestions - breaker box monitor

 
pollinator
Posts: 112
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
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Okay, so we've all heard of (and probably own) a kill-a-watt for monitoring power-hungry loads.

But how to detect drains that:
a) Aren't connected to a 110 power outlet
b) Change over time -- is your fridge going out?
c) connected to that one outlet that you never thought about (did you remember to turn that one light bulb in the attic off?  ... are you sure?)

What I envision is a little circuit that can sit next to my breaker box and attach to all outgoing hot lines to tell me if, say, breaker #3 is pulling a load even at night.

Should be possible. I'm vaguely picturing something like arduno+some kind of sensor+analog mux
(+being careful not to electrocute myself)

Thoughts?
 
K Eilander
pollinator
Posts: 112
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
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homeschooling forest garden building writing woodworking homestead
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Also, I suppose you could add some relays into the system and do some neat stunts.

Want to minimize usage spikes?  Control when fridges cycle on.
Battery bank getting low?  Cut power to non-essential systems.
That one light you keep leaving on?  Turn the thing off after 30 seconds of use.
 
pollinator
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Location: North central Ontario
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K Eilander wrote:Okay, so we've all heard of (and probably own) a kill-a-watt for monitoring power-hungry loads.

But how to detect drains that:
a) Aren't connected to a 110 power outlet
b) Change over time -- is your fridge going out?
c) connected to that one outlet that you never thought about (did you remember to turn that one light bulb in the attic off?  ... are you sure?)

What I envision is a little circuit that can sit next to my breaker box and attach to all outgoing hot lines to tell me if, say, breaker #3 is pulling a load even at night.

Should be possible. I'm vaguely picturing something like arduno+some kind of sensor+analog mux
(+being careful not to electrocute myself)

Thoughts?

Hmm well I have used the Ted monitors: look at this link here:   http://www.theenergydetective.com/prohomestore.html
You choose either a clamp on the mains or separate clamps on each load. We've used them for monitoring a whole house to figure out load profiles. They start reasonable and get pricey depending on the level of detail you want.  There are  cheaper meters on amazon as well but you get much less detail.
Cheers,  David
 
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