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Old 01-22-2015, 10:00 AM   #1
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Default Energy Consumption metering

Hi there,

I have been tasked with Measuring energy consumption across all of the business I work for.

The business is across 5 locations and each location has many different buildings.

I can calculate how how much electricity we are using at each location due to the electricity bill we get for that particular location- however this isn't really accurate enough!

For example, say Location 1 has 5 different buildings - Would it be possible to calculate the energy usage of a particular building? I was thinking something along the lines of a point of entry meter for that building? Do these things exist? If so how much do they cost - im guessing a electrician would need to install if this was the case.

I know there are instruments that you can plug into the mains between the individual device you are trying to measure like a computer - however we would need hundreds of them, and it wouldn't help with measuring Air heaters, lighting etc.

Anyone got any ideas?

Many thanks in advance! Much appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Energy Consumption metering

As I'm aware of each premises should have a power meter, depends if each building has its own meter.
You would be better off contacting your energy provider as they would have info kits for users like your self on how you can go about calculating your energy demands once they know you are doing this type of task.
Most energy companies can tell you your low & peak energy time periods.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Energy Consumption metering

You could use current transformers and meters for such a thing. It's industry practice and is ultimately the way any domestic and commercial (and industrial processes) measure energy use.

Here's a link to a meter: Kilowatt Hour kWh Meter, Energy Submeter, External Current Transformers CTs #24 | eBay

Here's a link to a current transformer: EKM Current Transformer CT Split-Core 13mm 200 amp CTs Meter Energy Tracking #32 | eBay

These are just the first I came accross, and are quite expensive. However, it'll point you in the right direction.

If you are unsure of how they operate, please read up about them! Current Transfomers (CT's) can be dangerous, and can result in high voltages when open-circuited - always keep them short-circuited! And remove the load from the circuit you are placing it on when you are installing.

The theory isn't too difficult, but please read through how these systems work before installing them - it's very easy to install, but just as easy to blow a CT and electrocute yourself in the process.

Hope that's of help.
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Energy Consumption metering

I was going to suggest inductive monitoring also.

Is it single phase or 3 phase coming into the buildings? and what voltage? (240/440 are the common UK voltages)

there are some pretty simple kits available from energy suppliers to monitor residential feeds, (provided free by the suppliers). (but usually these are limited to monitoring single phase supplies.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Energy Consumption metering

Quote:
Originally Posted by connchri View Post
You could use current transformers and meters for such a thing. It's industry practice and is ultimately the way any domestic and commercial (and industrial processes) measure energy use.

Here's a link to a meter: Kilowatt Hour kWh Meter, Energy Submeter, External Current Transformers CTs #24 | eBay

Here's a link to a current transformer: EKM Current Transformer CT Split-Core 13mm 200 amp CTs Meter Energy Tracking #32 | eBay

These are just the first I came accross, and are quite expensive. However, it'll point you in the right direction.

If you are unsure of how they operate, please read up about them! Current Transfomers (CT's) can be dangerous, and can result in high voltages when open-circuited - always keep them short-circuited! And remove the load from the circuit you are placing it on when you are installing.

The theory isn't too difficult, but please read through how these systems work before installing them - it's very easy to install, but just as easy to blow a CT and electrocute yourself in the process.

Hope that's of help.
Irresponsible answer to the question since alex_boothby would not be a qualified electrician to carry out the installation, you would have been better to refer him to engage a qualified electrician to do job, also it would be cost prohibitive as many would probably be needed to install on all buildings.
Why install meters when the provider has them installed, all the providers will do is supply an info kit on how to work out on average what electrical device will consume eg/ lights, heaters, air cons, machinery etc.
The provider will supply the tariff costs to work this out.

Cheers.
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Energy Consumption metering

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
Irresponsible answer to the question since alex_boothby would not be a qualified electrician to carry out the installation, you would have been better to refer him to engage a qualified electrician to do job, also it would be cost prohibitive as many would probably be needed to install on all buildings.
Why install meters when the provider has them installed, all the providers will do is supply an info kit on how to work out on average what electrical device will consume eg/ lights, heaters, air cons, machinery etc.
The provider will supply the tariff costs to work this out.

Cheers.
Perhaps you could explain why you would need a qualified installer? These don't require you to break into any wiring, and if done as per instructed, then it is safe.

Current transformers are used even with the free home kits that you get (In the UK anyway) to monitor your energy consumption - that require you to install it yourself - it's simply a matter of clipping them on the tails going to the consumer unit. Hardly dangerous.

Ignorant reply from where I'm standing...

---------- Post added at 09:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:51 PM ----------

Here's something similar to what the energy companies were throwing in for free a while back here:

Efergy Elite 3.0 Wireless Electricity Energy Monitor Smart Home House Meter | eBay.

All I did was point him towards a more robust one, targetted for industry and permament installations.
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Energy Consumption metering

Your country must be behind the times in rules & regulations in safety, not often tails are exposed with modern meters on switchboards & it would be illegal to open up electrical installations, matter of fact it is illegal to tamper or attach electrical devices to the providers equipment in switchboard enclosures.

Current monitoring devices that are legal to be used by a non qualified person are ones that plug into power points or could be attached to appliances leads only.
The two original links you provided are clearly for equipment to be installed by qualified electrician.
The last link is still illegal in Australia as electrical devices are not allowed to be attached to consumer mains.

I do not do ignorant replies since I'm a qualified electrician that understands rules & regulations stipulated by my governing authorities in my country, I think you should inquire with your relevant authority as to what is legal.

Oh I would imagine UK, & USA rules & regulations would be on par with Australia.
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Old 01-25-2015, 03:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Energy Consumption metering

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
Your country must be behind the times in rules & regulations in safety, not often tails are exposed with modern meters on switchboards & it would be illegal to open up electrical installations, matter of fact it is illegal to tamper or attach electrical devices to the providers equipment in switchboard enclosures.

Current monitoring devices that are legal to be used by a non qualified person are ones that plug into power points or could be attached to appliances leads only.
The two original links you provided are clearly for equipment to be installed by qualified electrician.
The last link is still illegal in Australia as electrical devices are not allowed to be attached to consumer mains.

I do not do ignorant replies since I'm a qualified electrician that understands rules & regulations stipulated by my governing authorities in my country, I think you should inquire with your relevant authority as to what is legal.

Oh I would imagine UK, & USA rules & regulations would be on par with Australia.
Since we're title dropping now:

I'm well aware of the wiring regs, as I'm a qualified Incorporated Electrical & Electronics Engineer who's spent time with 2 of the big six energy companies in the UK (RWE Npower & Ibedrola - trading as Scottish Power) as well as one of the world’s largest consultancies in Engineering (Atkins), working mostly on electrical plant in power stations (Aberthaw, Longannet, Cockenzie, Lynemouth, Stonebyres, Didcot, naming just a few that I've spent significant time on) - that properly understands the electrical theory and characteristics that result in your cherished regs.

As long as that CT is wired into the meter before it's clipped on, there is no safety issue. It's comparable to wiring a flex into a household item - you are not going to plug that in unless you wire it up first, are you? Exposed wires and all will be a safety hazard, not something Mr Smith goes around doing...

As for exposed tails, we are not talking about bare, non-insulated, tails. Current Transformers do not require direct contact. Hence, you do indeed speak from ignorance otherwise you would not concern yourself with exposed tails as our meters are perfectly safe here in the UK with all copper being properly insulated.

Quote:
Your country must be behind the times in rules & regulations in safety
The UK is arguably the most health and safety conscious nation on the planet, and EU wiring regs are often brought up to standard by BS requirements.

I don't doubt that you know how to safely wire up a house, but I do question your knowledge and/or understanding when you consider a non-contact, domestic, CT metering system as somewhat too dangerous for a confident home user to install - especially when multinationals hand them out freely - if there was any issue of immediate danger, I'm pretty sure they'd not hand them out for fear of liability!
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Energy Consumption metering

Quote:
Originally Posted by connchri View Post
Since we're title dropping now:

I'm well aware of the wiring regs, as I'm a qualified Incorporated Electrical & Electronics Engineer who's spent time with 2 of the big six energy companies in the UK (RWE Npower & Ibedrola - trading as Scottish Power) as well as one of the world’s largest consultancies in Engineering (Atkins), working mostly on electrical plant in power stations (Aberthaw, Longannet, Cockenzie, Lynemouth, Stonebyres, Didcot, naming just a few that I've spent significant time on) - that properly understands the electrical theory and characteristics that result in your cherished regs.

As long as that CT is wired into the meter before it's clipped on, there is no safety issue. It's comparable to wiring a flex into a household item - you are not going to plug that in unless you wire it up first, are you? Exposed wires and all will be a safety hazard, not something Mr Smith goes around doing...

As for exposed tails, we are not talking about bare, non-insulated, tails. Current Transformers do not require direct contact. Hence, you do indeed speak from ignorance otherwise you would not concern yourself with exposed tails as our meters are perfectly safe here in the UK with all copper being properly insulated.


The UK is arguably the most health and safety conscious nation on the planet, and EU wiring regs are often brought up to standard by BS requirements.

I don't doubt that you know how to safely wire up a house, but I do question your knowledge and/or understanding when you consider a non-contact, domestic, CT metering system as somewhat too dangerous for a confident home user to install - especially when multinationals hand them out freely - if there was any issue of immediate danger, I'm pretty sure they'd not hand them out for fear of liability!
So you are saying a home owner is allowed by law to wire a flex lead?
You are saying home owners are allowed to attach these devices to meters?

An unqualified person is not allowed to work on any electrical installation or attach any equipment to a permanent electrical installation.

Typical electrical engineer, read your regulations, matter of fact quote what a home owner/user can do, post up your references to the regs.

If you are saying UK has highest safety standards in the world then your comments concern me as to what a home owner can do with this equipment, regs do not allow it for very good reason.

Rules & Regulations were written for a very good reason suggest you do a read up on them, obviously you don't know them from your comments stated here.

OBTW these two links provided by you are not for unqualified people to play with, so much for your safety standards.

Kilowatt Hour kWh Meter, Energy Submeter, External Current Transformers CTs #24 | eBay

EKM Current Transformer CT Split-Core 13mm 200 amp CTs Meter Energy Tracking #32 | eBay

Need I say more when you made your first post encouraging an unqualified person to fit these, you kind of admitted in that post it could be dangerous.

You say you doubt my knowledge, I certainly doubt you on your safety & lack of understanding electrical regulations codes.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Energy Consumption metering

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
So you are saying a home owner is allowed by law to wire a flex lead?
You are saying home owners are allowed to attach these devices to meters?

An unqualified person is not allowed to work on any electrical installation or attach any equipment to a permanent electrical installation.

Typical electrical engineer, read your regulations, matter of fact quote what a home owner/user can do, post up your references to the regs.

If you are saying UK has highest safety standards in the world then your comments concern me as to what a home owner can do with this equipment, regs do not allow it for very good reason.

Rules & Regulations were written for a very good reason suggest you do a read up on them, obviously you don't know them from your comments stated here.

OBTW these two links provided by you are not for unqualified people to play with, so much for your safety standards.

Kilowatt Hour kWh Meter, Energy Submeter, External Current Transformers CTs #24 | eBay

EKM Current Transformer CT Split-Core 13mm 200 amp CTs Meter Energy Tracking #32 | eBay

Need I say more when you made your first post encouraging an unqualified person to fit these, you kind of admitted in that post it could be dangerous.

You say you doubt my knowledge, I certainly doubt you on your safety & lack of understanding electrical regulations codes.
Bah humbug.... Here we go again:

Quote:
So you are saying a home owner is allowed by law to wire a flex lead?
Correct, I'm talking about a flex, not a behind the wall cable. A flex is a flex, a cable is a cable - I'm being pedantic on my terminology for a reason - otherwise mistakes and misinterpretations happen. For instance, if you wished to replace a flex from the plug to a washing machine, yes, you are perfectly, by law, allowed to replace this. Now, laws don't typically give consent - they usually forbid or restrict, so perhaps you should post a law that forbids such work to be carried out by a home user - after all you are the one making continuous claims that no-one can do anything.

Quote:
An unqualified person is not allowed to work on any electrical installation or attach any equipment to a permanent electrical installation
Again, being pedantic, you have to be careful. For instance, here in Scotland the terminology is competent, not qualified. Although, I would, like yourself, suggest that qualified is very important. This is law, if you are competent, and meet the standards, you can wire in your own system here - and this can be checked by the local council to give you a certificate of conformity or such like.

But I digress, I fail to see why installing a CT based current monitoring energy meter would need to abide by this, and I disagree with the term (that I believe you have added just to satisfy this case) "or attach any equipment to"... otherwise we'd all have to be qualified to plug in our wares.

Quote:
Typical electrical engineer, read your regulations, matter of fact quote what a home owner/user can do, post up your references to the regs.
Very little known, and yet often argued upon, fact (yet clearly defined in the BS 7671 Wiring Regs Introduction itself) is that they are not legally binding regulations (I.E. Non-statutory). They are best practises so to speak. Infact, the only regulations that cover home installations are the building regulations, and I've covered that above in relation to Scotland.

For England, part P of the building regulations states:
"that anyone carrying out electrical work in a dwelling must ensure that reasonable provision has been made in the design and installation of the electrical installations in order to protect any persons who might use, maintain or alter the electrical installation of that dwelling from fire and injury, including electric shock."

Again, you are not required to use a qualified person for installation, but will require a certificate that can be provided post installation by the authorities.

Ironically, sometimes these wiring regs need to be cast aside, as they don't cover every possibility.

But again, I fail to see where this needs to be abided to in relation to these energy meters.

Listen, this just isn’t cricket. I never came on here to argue, I came on here to provide a solution, and I have. You constantly have tried to argue, you have title dropped, you have assumed points of law now that I disagree with (And you are free to pull up the legislation too you know), and in addition I now find that you have completely lied (Those home energy meters that you said are illegal in Australia - no they are not!) - you have now gotten completely confused with Smart Meters and these Energy Meters - they are not the same thing - I don't even understand how a "qualified" electrician would confuse these two. You were under the impression that he would need to work with bare tails - surely it's was obvious to you that this is not a requirement with CTs - as an electrician have you not used a clip-on current meter? I don't intend to bring you into disrepute - but it's difficult to avoid as I very much doubt that you are indeed an electrician - or at least an experienced one.

I am happy to warn people of all the dangers of anything that has anything to do with electricity - no matter how small. I would give the warnings to someone wiring a plug, as you need to be very aware. It boils down to this: I will warn anyone of doing any work in regards to electrical, or even IT as per this site, to ensure that they are 100% self-aware of what they are doing.

Quote:
If you are saying UK has highest safety standards in the world then your comments concern me as to what a home owner can do with this equipment, regs do not allow it for very good reason.
I said arguably, and it's definitely up there near the top. But, I've covered this point somewhat - statutory law is far more laxed than most would assume, and the Building Regulations are what cover it. And ultimately, you can do it yourself as long as it's safe and ultimately, if you need it, you get a certificate from the local authority. Here, in the UK at least.

Quote:
Rules & Regulations were written for a very good reason suggest you do a read up on them, obviously you don't know them from your comments stated here.
Correct - but it also isn't rocket science or working with nerve gas. And the regulations reflect this. You're free, of course, to provide links to the contrary - and bear in mind I'm dealing with the facts of the matter in this case, not necessarily my personal opinion.

Quote:
OBTW these two links provided by you are not for unqualified people to play with, so much for your safety standards.
Really, says who? Because it looks professional?

Ultimately though, as I'll go over again, these kits, that you claim are illegal in Australia (When talking about Smart Meters, the reason for their ban is completely unrelated to Health & Safety, they're illegal due to invasion of privacy), are supplied by every Tom, Dick, and Harry for Joe Bloggs to install themselves. These people don't like liability, they don't like bad press, they don't like fucking things up. Are you seriously putting yourself at odds with all these and their teams of engineers and lawyers? Are you seriously stating that they are all wrong and you are right?
If so you spout utter non-sense!

As I'll reiterate again, in the most dangerous case, that he uses the separate meter and CT's, as long as he wires in the CT to the meter first (remember our comparison to replacing a flex, for instance on a washing machine - you're not going to plug that in before you wire it now, are you??), then clips on the CT to the FULLY INSULATED tails to the meter, there is no safety issue.

Now, your right in one regard - if he's not happy doing it himself, he can if he wishes get an electrician to do it for him. Just like, if someone wasn't up for it, anyone could get an electrician to replace a light bulb or light socket.

One more rock that needs to be looked under though: This idea that a permanent installation needs a qualified installer - since when? Define a permanent installation and then what is it's relation to this? We are not adding a new circuit (that would only need the above building regs to be respected anyway). We are not extending an existing circuit. We are not interfering with an existing circuit. We are adding a separate device, not any more complex than a thermostat, and clipping in onto a fully insulated tail that will not affect the circuit, or its safety, in anyway. This is no different or anymore permanent that installing and plugging in a washing machine.

But let’s go back 500 miles and get to the OP's problem. I've provided a solution, it's a fitting one, it does what is required, and ultimately, if he's unsure, he can get someone else to fit it, as you say. You've did nothing but spout nonsense from the first reply to my post... I notice that you failed to concede numerous points that you were blatantly malformed about (inferring the need for bare tails for example for use with CT's), yet you continue to try and correct me and have opened yourself up to expose more ignorance - bottom line is, as far as I'm concerned, you are still ignorant of the system we are talking about here, lack the understanding of the theory, and now you have demonstrated a lack understanding of the legality of any wiring system we have spokent about: Even not able to differentiate between smart meters and these energy meters.

“Typical electrical engineer”?!, Typical Electrician – knows how to do something, but not why it’s done… Good going.

Although, I doubt very much that you are an electrician at all...
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