Energy Monitoring

This bit isn’t anything to do with computer security but it does involve using computers and the Interweb!

I’m currently looking at monitoring the energy used at home because the electricity bills seem disproportionate to “most” people. To be fair I do have more than my fair share of computers n stuff running most of the time and when we get the “lecky” bill my wife always grumbles about all my computers and I always say it’s the tumble drier 🙂

Since I started using the Energy Monitoring kit, it’s looking like the pump I have running for at least 20 hours a day for my Koi pond filters and waterfall that is using a lot of energy! I’m not yet convinced though because we are only monitoring the energy used by having a CT (Current Transformer) sensor on the live cable and the energy used is arrived at by, well,  guesswork! It does a calc using some standard figures and in principle this shouldn’t be far out. It is called “Apparent Power” but the utility companies bill us on “Real Power”. In addition to that, the standard method of working out the power is P=VxI and that’s fine for light bulbs and things like heaters but for motors it isn’t as straight forward and you have to use a “Power Factor”. So in principle, we are monitoring the current and guessing at the power and using an unreliable calc (in the case of the pump motor) so my pond pump might not be costing as much as indicated!

My daughter thought it might be a good idea to have a look into getting  a “Solar Powered” pond pump but conceded that there isn’t much sun light at night 🙂 I suppose if we had a “Lunar Powered” and “Solar Powered” pump, we’d be sorted lol.

I’ll do a couple of bits on the Efergy kit and the “open Source” kit so you can get an idea if it’s something you want to do. In the main I would say that having some form of energy monitoring is a good way to let see how much energy you are using and it may help you turn some stuff off and save some money!