How much electricity does the TV use, what consumes more electricity – the washing machine or the refrigerator, how efficiently is the electricity used in the apartment? All these questions can be answered by the now closed service Google PowerMeter However, geeks and home economists should not despair, for despite the shutdown of the service from Google, the cause of monitoring electricity consumption continues to live on.In this review, a device is offered for review Current Cost EnviR which not only allows you to watch how the kilowatts of electricity "flow away" on the display of the device, but also in conjunction with the Current Cost NetSmart (formerly Current Cost Bridge) to track electricity consumption online at my.currentcost.com
So what can this device do
- Current electricity consumption in your home/apartment (updated every 6 seconds on display)
- A non-contact method of measuring power consumption. More precisely AC, and the voltage is set in the settings from 200v to 260v. The power is calculated in the device by their product.
- A wireless method of transmitting data from the sensor terminal to the display-receiver over a 433MHz radio link.
- Estimated cost of electricity consumed per day/month (set rate per 1 kWh)
- Dynamics of electricity consumption, i.e. the device displays the jump in kWh when consumers in the house/apartment are connected/disconnected.
- Monitoring the current room temperature at the installation location of the display-receiver.
- Graph of energy consumption and current room temperature at the site my.currentcost.com. Updated every 5 minutes. Requires an additional module Current Cost NetSmart The graph also shows the minimum power consumption line (+ leaks if any) when all devices in the house are in standby mode.
Sending information about power consumption to Google PowerMeter service every 10 minutes. Additional module required Current Cost NetSmart
- Possibility of connection to a PC via a special USB cord with the possibility of further processing of data coming from the device in XML format on the PC. A list of available software is here You can also write your own parser handler for this data.
How to connect and use
- Connect and configure the display receiver. Set date/time, mains voltage, tariff.
- Turn on the radio transmitter and synchronize with the receiver.
- Attach a terminal to the phase wire immediately after the electricity meter and connect it to the transmitter. The receiver should immediately display the current energy consumption.
- In case of web monitoring, connect Current Cost NetSmart via a special cord to the display-receiver and to your home router/switch via eth. Your local network must have DHCP configured and active, because NetSmart gets its IP and gateway settings from it.
- In case of monitoring on a PC, connect the special USB cable between the display-receiver and the PC. Attention: simultaneous connection to eth and PC is not possible!
Next just for those interested : where to order and how to deliver
As I have already wrote earlier in QA These devices for home use in Russia to buy almost unreal. Therefore I found the closest product by parameters to the Russian power grid and with a relatively bearable price on British Amazon (I could not find the device in the US). I purchased Current Cost EnviR Black – The Smart-R Monitor For £48.60 and Current Cost "Bridge" Device For £29.95 for online monitoring.
The next problem is shipping. The fact that Amazon does not deliver to Russia this kind of products and had to use the services of intermediaries for the delivery of goods from the UK. After reading reviews and disappointed by the poor selection, I used the services of EbayToday which for a small commission (£ 8.55) bought for me the goods and delivered to Russia for £ 15.95 (+ £ 6.95 took Amazon + optional insurance £ 2.50). It was quicker and easier to transfer the money from my cell phone which I used my bankcard to top up. I was not charged for the transfer at all. Delivery to my city was 18 days, including 9 days from UK to Moscow and 9 days in Moscow at the customs, sorting and to my city by Russian Post (~600km). No extra charge upon receipt. At last I received the coin box, sorry for the image quality, but I had nothing on hand beside a cell phone:
And the final problem was in finding a euro adapter to connect the two power supplies at 3.3v and 5v for the display and NetSmart respectively (the radio transmitter runs on two D type batteries at 1.5v). The thing is, most of the commercially available euro adapters do not fit. I bought the adapter EURO-2 For 30p a piece at the local radio store.
PS Of course we can not call this device cheap enough, but it clearly demonstrates the ability to monitor energy consumption and by studying the principle of its operation is quite possible to develop your own analogue, after all the current transformer terminals on the same Amazon in large quantities and in different versions. Interested in developing an analogue – welcome to QA And to personal email.
PPS If you need more pics, tech info, etc. – write me, I will add it to the review.
UPD 2013: A domestic counterpart for monitoring power consumption has been developed : WebMeteoBox
UPD 2015: Due to frequent problems (http 503) on Current Cost and Pachube servers, owners of Current Cost EnviR devices can use the domestic service narodmon.ru If you have any questions about the transition, write in person (I’ll share my experience) or to the admins of the service.