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Author Topic: Iotawatt  (Read 589 times)
MeatyFool
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« on: October 01, 2018, 10:43:28 AM »

Can monitor 14 different current clamps.

From reading previous posts here about monitoring individual appliances, I assume this device is geared towards the American market where appliances are wired direct into the CU unlike in Europe where we use a ring main.

As the CT clamp has to go around a single cable, I assume the only way to use this to monitor a single appliance in the UK would be to splice the power cable of the device and place the CT clamp around a single wire - I probably don't need your advice to suggest that this would be a big fat NONO?

Meatyfool..
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Fionn
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 11:00:01 AM »

I'm not aware that ring mains are used anywhere in Europe except the UK.

Certainly they're not used in Ireland and the few DBs I've looked at in France didn't use them either.

If you could pass the cable through an enclosure and do the spicing in that there shouldn't be an issue, may not be very easy to get the CT wiring back to the base station though.

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MeatyFool
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 11:22:10 AM »

Re ring mains, I stand corrected.

When you refer  to "enclosure", do you mean a proper electrical "junction box"?  (sorry, don't know the proper terms).

So cut the cable, wire one into one side of the "box", wire the other end into the other side of the box and attach the CT clamp to one of the wires*.

I am aware about the wiring for the CT clamp.  If I were to stick with just the washing m/c and tumble dryer, the actual iotawatt device could be located nearby.  For other devices, as I have access to the other side of the walls in my loft conversion, I could even splice the main cable behind the socket to get monitoring of any device using the socket rather than a single device.

Currently, I have just installed a Tchibo wattmeter to the tumble dryer with the intention to record usage on the 1st of the month along with my meters - this is screwed if we get a power cut though, so looking for a logging solution.

Meatyfool..

* I don't like fiddling with electrics, so would probably get my electrician to do this - as my two appliances are both using electric sockets attached to the wall rather than flush, I could put the CT clamp on the wire before the socket.  I don't know why, but I feel happier doing that than cutting a device cable!?
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Fionn
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2018, 12:06:35 PM »

Yes, a standard plastic enclosure / junction box , put a gland (or grommet) on either side of it, disconnect your cable and pass it through.
If it's flat cable and you have to use grommets, secure the cable inside using cable ties or similar on either side of the box.

No need to cut the cable, just use a split CT.
Strip off the outer sheath carefully on a portion of the cable and clip the CT onto either the live or neutral.
The box is just there to maintain the insulation rating.

Hiding the CTs behind the socket or inside the back box if there is room sounds like a good idea if you can pull it off.

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heatherhopper
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2018, 12:13:57 PM »

Not sure the Iotawatt was necessarily developed for the American market - possibly more for monitoring multiple consumers (eg blocks of flats).
There are other options available from it's associated stable which would enable you to monitor remotely and log centrally. Can all get quite expensive unless you DIY it from components.

Quote
I don't like fiddling with electrics,
In that case, although installing C/T clamps and the rest of the gear is reasonably straightforward, you are probably better to stick with simple plug-in consumer devices - there are a plethora available. Quality may be an issue of course.

Getting an electrician in to install logging devices on individual appliances would seem a bit OTT. What is it you are trying to achieve?


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MeatyFool
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2018, 12:58:36 PM »

Not sure the Iotawatt was necessarily developed for the American market - possibly more for monitoring multiple consumers (eg blocks of flats).
There are other options available from it's associated stable which would enable you to monitor remotely and log centrally. Can all get quite expensive unless you DIY it from components.

Quote
I don't like fiddling with electrics,
In that case, although installing C/T clamps and the rest of the gear is reasonably straightforward, you are probably better to stick with simple plug-in consumer devices - there are a plethora available. Quality may be an issue of course.

Getting an electrician in to install logging devices on individual appliances would seem a bit OTT. What is it you are trying to achieve?

See the end of this post re my intent.  What I may have struggled to get across is that I am aware that there are some things that can be "safe to do" around electrics and there are other things I should leave to an expert.  The trouble being I feel uncomfortable about leaving it to me to decide where the dividing line is between the two!  I deliberately also said "can be" safe to do - there is a reason why regulations refer to competent persons!

Fionn's response has given me a degree of comfort - what has been outlined is something I can see being within my capabilities.  The fact that I don't even need to cut cables is great!

I am in the process of trying to put together a post regarding wanting to log my electricity usage.  With regard to the plug in options, yes I have one, that I am going to take a reading from once a month, but if a power cut occurs, I lose the data.

I am aware that there many options - what immediately interested me about the iotawatt is it can handle far more connections than the other openenergymonitor.org devices that I have looked at so far.

Meatyfool..

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