IotaWatt in unconditioned space


#1

I am considering setting up an IotaWatt system.

Main panel is in an unconditioned shed in NH where air temp is often lower than the 15 F minimum operating temp stated in the specs. (122 F high limit is not an issue (probably)).

Idea #1: extend CT leads and locate the IotaWatt indoors.

Idea #2: build an insulated box and use heat dissipation to keep the IotaWatt warm. Anyone know how much power it draws? Or more elaborately, use a thermostatically controlled electric heater (aka incandescent light bulb).

Idea #3 : don’t believe the specs / don’t worry about cold.

Related Q … what is experience / guidance re extending CT leads? Some of my circuits of interest run off a sub-panel that is 40 ft approx from the main panel.


#2

Hi Chip,
I live in the Lakes Region and have had an IoTaWatt connected to my meter in an unheated outbuilding. No problems last winter, even during that bitter cold snap in December where it was regularly below zero. As long as there is no source of moisture to cause condensing, I’d say just go for it.

One word of caution though: You will need to insure a fairly good WiFi signal out there. A lot of snow can reduce the effectiveness (I’ve observed) and I use a DLink bridge plugged into a socket in the house close to the outbuilding that is maybe 50 ft. away.

40 ft shouldn’t be a problem with the Echun CTs. I don’t have an extender available, but what I recommend is using CAT 5 or 6 wire that has twisted pairs. You can run 4 CTs through one cable. Splicing or connectors will require some ingenuity.


#3

I am in Lakes Region also. My shed is dry. Only condensation risk would be a day like today – cool night + big dose of tropical air. We had condensation on the outside of all our windows. Don’t think there was condensation inside the shed, though.

Shed is also adjacent to router location, WiFi strength will not be a problem.

Thanks for the response.