Tag Archive: Google Powermeter


My ener$ave : http://www.myenersave.com

Enio : http://www.enio.co.uk

Just connected them to my current cost meter so need to wait a month or so before I can tell how well they both work.

L

I’m still yet to find a decent replacement for Google Powermeter (i’m starting to think i’ll need to write something myself… php/mySQL possibly?)

Anyway- i’ve noticed my baseline (always on) power consumption is pretty high so picked up an extension lead from maplin http://www.maplin.co.uk/power-strip-with-energy-and-co2-meter-348228 (£12.99) with a built in display (current consumption, max consumption, cumulative consumption, power factor etc) to check all of my devices to see where I might be able to realize some improvements.

Here’s what I found with some commentary:

Fish Tank Pump: 4W (Reasonable & not really optional)
32″ TV Standby: 4W (Not great but it’s normally turned off at the mains not left on standby)- On: 110W (Pretty poor but it is relatively old tech)
Sky+ Box: 20W (Appeared to draw the same power whilst in standby and whilst in use)
Clarke Tech 9000 HD Satellite Receiver Standby: 26W- On: 31W
42″ LG TV Standby: 1W (Expected for a relatively recent model)- On: 68W (Not bad considering it’s not LED backlit)
Boiler Idle: 3W
50″ Panasonic Plasma TV Standby: 20W (Very poor, but unsurprising for old tech)- On: 400W (ouch!)
Mordaunt Short Subwoofer Standy: 3W (Seems reasonable with the auto-on feature active)- On: 18W
Acer Revo r3610 XBMC HTPC Off: 3W- Idle: 32W- Watching a movie: 28W (why it uses more power when idle than whilst playing a movie i will never know?)
Mini TP-Link 5port Gigabit Switch: 2W (impressive!)
Linksys Enterprises Managed 24Port Switch w/POE : 41W (expected this- may do some research into alternatives)
4×4 HDMI Matrix Switch: 14W
Nintendo Wii Off: 3W- On: 16W
Onkyo 608SR Amp Off: 0W (impressive!)- On: 45W- Playing Loud: 55W
Netgear Router: 10W
HP Proliant Microserver in use: 40W (impressive!)
Giant American Style Samsung Fridge Freezer: 100W (pretty good from what i understand)
Dell Poweredge 2950 III Off: 30W (ouch- this is with both PSUs plugged in- i have already ordered replacement Supermicro servers which I believe use 40W roughly whilst on/idle!)- On: 350W (ouchhhhhh!)

That’s about all… We know the usual appliances: Kettle, Oven, Microwave, Toaster, Washing Machine, Tumble Dryer, Hover, Hair Dryer etc draw ridiculous amounts of power but I was predominantly interested in always on devices. I will try and add some makes/models above where i haven’t already put details. If you can recommend any green devices please do share!

L

Since hooking up my Current Cost Bridge last week the portal is nicely capturing and graphing data:

Unfortunately Google Powermeter appears to have gaps (whether this is a problem at their end or the Current Cost end I’m unsure). It seems a lot of others are reporting the same thing:

I’m still considering hacking the device to post to my own site/script(s) but until I have the time I’ll continue to use Current Cost & Google Powermeter. It would also be nice to see google capturing the temperature.

No news on stock of the individual appliance monitors yet either- and I have my doubts either Current Cost or Google will capture this data (which will further encourage me to hack the device with my own custom scripts). Similarly if/when I find a way to capture water/gas consumption.

Whilst doing some research I came across the Navetas Smart Hub which is in a completely different league. Follow the link to view demos/videos etc but what makes it stand out from the crowd in my eyes:

  • Ability to meter all utilities (Electric, Gas, Water)
  • Non-intrusive appliance monitoring (as I read it, the ability to determine how much energy each of your devices are using without having to hook them up to any form of individual appliance monitor- apparently this can be achieved as all devices have a form of unique signature)

I’d love to know more about this but it sounds like it’s only available through certain energy providers? I’ve sent Navetas a message, see if they get back to me.

I’ll try and keep you posted- but don’t be surprised if other projects take my focus away from this a little.

L

A lot smaller than I thought it’d be! I did have to register at http://my.currentcost.com to get the data to Google Powermeter but there’s no fee and adding the device was a doddle!

L

Further to my post earlier today i’ve found that Current Cost will shortly be offering IAMs (Individual Appliance Monitors) which look to start at around £15.00 (or in packs of 3, starting at £30) – http://www.electricity-monitor.com/wireless-energy-monitors-current-cost-c-37_57.html – with a maximum of 9 attached to a single EnviR. I really like the idea of trying to hook one of these up in each room then maybe have a dedicated one for the A/V cabinet, server rack, and maybe a few of the kitchen appliances?

I eagerly await delivery of the Current Cost Bridge so I can find out if it will indeed feed Google Powermeter and then see if it will pass details of the inidividual appliances or only the total.

I came across a few other sites that i’ll be doing quite a bit of reading on over the coming days:
http://www.smarthome.com/ – US store but hopefully i’ll find some products on there which are available over here or at least get me on the right track
http://john.crouchley.com/blog/archives/722 – Some info about hacking the Current Cost Bridge
http://john.crouchley.com/blog/archives/345 – Some info about hacking the Current Cost to read gas usage
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/powermeter?hl=en – The Google Powermeter discussion/help forum

After moving over to EON and getting a free Current Cost EnviR Black – The Smart-R Monitor i’ve hopefully become more aware of my power usage and, as a result become more “green”.

Their monitor is pretty good, giving current usage, previous 1day, previous 7days and previous 30days. But, in order to get a more detailed breakdown and analyze the data it is necessary to connect the monitor via USB to a pc and download the information. I want real-time access to the data without having to download it… and even more so, when i’m out of the house!

So after some research I found google (amongst the myriad of other services) offer a service: http://www.google.com/powermeter/ which provides some awesome features!

The google site offered a list of compatible devices/services http://www.google.com/powermeter/about/partners.html and the CurrentCost device was listed! But as it only has a serial port for connecting to a PC I was curious how to get the data streaming directly to google? A bit of research and I found a bridging devices to connect directly to my router: Current Cost “Bridge” Device CCPMB – I’m not yet 100% sure whether it can be linked directly in to the google service or if a CurrentCost subscription is necessary but i’ve ordered the device and will update once it arrives!

Now a wonder if anything similar is available for gas/water etc? I guess the problem is metering the usage?

L

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