Beyond Your Utility Meter: Page 3 of 3

Three Energy Monitors for Your Toolbox
Beginner

Inside this Article

Utility Meter
Utility Meter
Clamp-on Ammeter
This clamp-on ammeter measures current in the conductor it surrounds. Multiplying the measured current by 120 V gives watts.
A Kill A Watt Meter
A Kill A Watt meter plugs directly into an outlet, and measures watts and kWh directly for whatever is then plugged into it.
The HOBO data logger with current sensors.
The HOBO data logger with current sensors.
TED Gateway
TED Gateway is plugged into the wall, to receive data from its circuit monitors.
TED Energy-Monitoring Units
TED energy-monitoring units in the breaker box.
The Current-Detecting Clamps
The current-detecting clamps, which attach to the energy monitors.
Utility Meter
Clamp-on Ammeter
A Kill A Watt Meter
The HOBO data logger with current sensors.
TED Gateway
TED Energy-Monitoring Units
The Current-Detecting Clamps

Besides seeing how low you can go, PowerMeter lets you monitor your home’s energy use from any location with Internet access. An interesting anecdote is the story of a woman who accessed her PowerMeter app on her cell phone on the way to work—and noticed that the power level seemed high by almost a kilowatt. Curious, she returned home to find a toaster oven that had been left on. Its white plastic housing was turning brown and looked like it was ready to catch on fire. Talk about saving the day! This is the type of increased energy awareness that these tools can create.

With or without the PowerMeter, the TED 5000 system is a good investment in a well-designed tool. You can use it to find the energy wasters among family members. Seeing your real-time energy use can help to change patterns of behavior. Family can be encouraged to compete in energy-saving activities—it’s all about raising energy consciousness.

What’s Your Energy Path?

TED requires a home computer network, but for those less digitally enabled, using a watt-meter can yield good results. With diligence and patience, you can find your entire home’s phantom loads and control them with timers or power strips.

Tools like these can help you along the path to savings—both energy and cash. Eventually talking about kWh will be as common as talking about mpg is today. Almost everyone understands automobile fuel economy and can ballpark what kind of mileage their cars get—but people who understand kWh and know how much energy their homes use on a daily or monthly basis are not as common. Think about it—can you rattle off how much energy your home used last month? That can be the frame of reference for improvement—all you need are the tools and information.

Access

Guy Marsden documents his passion for living sustainably at www.arttec.net. Guy is a self-taught electrical engineer who develops electronic prototypes for private inventors and small companies.

“Solar Heat Upgrade: Expanding & Improving an Owner-Installed System,” by Guy Marsden in HP119

Link to energy-monitoring products • http://blog.mapawatt.com/2009/10/07/list-of-energy-monitoring-tools/

Products:

Brand Electronics • www.brandelectronics.com

Google PowerMeter • www.google.com/powermeter

HOBO data loggers • www.onsetcomp.com

iGoogle • www.google.com/ig

Kill A Watt • www.p3international.com

The Energy Detective • www.theenergydetective.com

Watts Up? • www.wattsupmeters.com

Comments (0)

Advertisement

X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading