Share with group my New US Install


#1

Just thought some may find my new installed US IoTaWatt interesting and for newer people, maybe it will provide some information on installing their own. I by no means claim this is the way to do it, but simply the way I did it. Understanding the differences with country, power, location, etc. The below worked best in my situation.

Below is an image of the install all closed up and somewhat clean. I do have to wash my panel now that I see it with better lighting.

With the cover removed, you can see how I mounted the box, labeled all the CTs and how they are secured going into the panel. Ports #13 and #14 will be for future solar inputs once installed, the #12 is awaiting an assignment.
IMG_5497

Simply a close up of the panel all closed up and logging.

My newly created dashboard in EmonCMS (local install) is below. It is rather eye opening what a clothes dryer done to dry things. Wow.

I’m still learning a ton and have more to go, but with the help of this community and the creator of this wonderful device (@overeasy) I could have never done it. Thanks all for your help! I look forward to one day help others in the coming months.


#2

Very nice install. I’ve put this post into the “show and tell” category.

I do think there is something slightly amiss. Total watts is 4,739 while the dryer alone is pulling 5,114, so one or the other is off. I have to wonder if it’s the mains. Could you post a shot of how they are installed, and a graph using the IoTaWatt graph facility to show the two mains and the dryer plotted together while the dryer is running. Use the position and zoom to isolate the full dryer cycle.

Awhile before I started this IoTaWatt project, I did some research on the metrics of electric clothes dryers. I built a heat recovery exchanger and found that the real problem wasn’t energy, but lint. In the process of all that, I instrumented a dryer with various temp sensors and an energy recorder. I weighed a few batches of clothes before and after drying and found that electric usage for my dryer (a pretty standard Maytag), was about 1KWh per pint (1 LB) of water extracted.

Following on, we got a high speed clothes spinner and started spinning the clothes after the washer was done. We have a pretty good washer with a very high speed spin, yet we can consistently get at least an extra pint of water out with the high speed spinner. (It also takes out residual soap and we even spin during the summer when we line-dry because the clothes come out better and less stiff).

Anyway, we do from 40-50 loads per month, so that’s about 40-50kWh/month.


#3

Sorry as I was not aware such a category existed. Thanks for letting me know and moving it to the right place.

I think I caught this prior to the other catching up on the dial. I did discover that I needed to double both the voltages of the sub panels as I was only getting half the watts and it would put me in a negative on the “Other” category.

Attached is the latest from the EmonCMS dashboard and I think things are correct.

Let me see if I can pull or find how to get the chart you are looking for in the IoTaWatt device. I will say that was surprised also at my supply voltage swings from solid 120v to about 115v through the day.

Here are a few of the request details, if you need something else, or I did not get the info, let me know.

21%20PM

36%20PM

57%20PM


#4

Yea, that’s not quite right. Can you do that graph with the indidual main1 and main2 rather than the total output?

I see that your main CTs are showing as reversed. One simple way to fix that without messing with the mains is to reverse the VT in the plug. That will also reverse everything else, so you can decide what’s easier to do. Having the mains right will only be important when you get solar.


#5

What is interesting is that they seem to change from reversed and back over the day. I did switch one and it went back to the reverse. I tried to match load arrow down to the panel from the mains above. Is that not correct on the 200a CTs?

Is there an easy way for me to tell by the config if they are backwards and not just the reverse icon?

How about this chart, better?


#6

That is not normal. Can you post a picture of the mains CTs installed in the box?


#7

Yes, I will get you one today or tomorrow. I thought I was doing well. I do have them on the two black legs and nothing on the neutral (white) main. Power seems like like to measuring correctly just reversing at different times.

The CT 200A arrow showing K --> L should have the (L) pointed towards the panel; correct?


#8

@overeasy, I had some time to open the box tonight and grab a few images. I did have leg 2 the opposite direction as shown in the photo below but leg 1 showed correct (had to see in first image).

I did reverse that one and also confirm that both had the Load and arrow pointing down towards the panel as seen in the next image.

After confirming the above both are pointed in the correct direction, I see that leg 1 says it is backwards still as you can see in the application info below.

54%20PM

Could it be a incorrectly configured CT module or a setting on that one port on the IoTaWatt? Just not sure what to change next to ensure things are correctly install. Thanks for the look.


#9

You are doing fine. Nevertheless something is wrong when a CT reverses without any apparent cause like solar. It may have nothing to do with your installation. In the long run, you are better off getting it right. IoTaWatt is very accurate. You should not have this behavior.

In USA split phase installations, it’s arbitrary. You just need to be consistent. The CTs on one leg point toward the panel, and on the other they point away. (That’s why one of the wires is reversed on a single CT 240V circuit).


#10

Thanks for the quick reply, so in the above image of them both pointing down, one should be down and the other up? As leg 1 is showing now reversed, do I simply need to adjust this one by reversing it? Easy fix if that is the case. Just one more time in the panel. :slight_smile:


#11

Anything is possible, but that’s pretty far down the list.

You don’t have to do anything. Just give me the information I ask for and I’ll do the rest.

This happens all the time. I ask a question, and rather than answer the question (could you show me a picture of the install), the client jumps ahead and changes things. Now I don’t have a clear picture of the original problem, and the new setup is clearly wrong. The number of people I can help is directly proportional to the amount of time it takes to find the problem and determine the solution. I do things methodically.

This is a straightforward setup. My suspicion is that the CTs, being so close, are interfering with each other. Some time ago, I suggested that with this tight space, you consider swapping to ECS25200-C2 clamps.

These would have been a breeze to install and can be placed with some separation. I’m not sure what the problem is, but it is consistent with the magnetic field of one CT affecting the field of the other. I’m not an expert, but I can’t think of anything else that that would cause a CT to report both negative and positive current flow when there is only positive (or negative).

Right now the problem isn’t that one or both are backwards. The problem is that you are not getting accurate readings on the mains. Total power when the dryer is running is less than the dryer power alone, and you report that the mains alternate between reversed and not.

So even as currently installed, you should get the correct readings, notwithstanding that one will show as reversed. So you can take me up on the offer to swap the CTs, or you can try to find a way to get some separation between these CTs and see if that changes the problem.


#12

Thanks again and I agree that changing multiple things can cause more issues then they fix. I’m also an engineer and I want to fix it by troubleshooting any other type if issue, but some of this power stuff is very different from technology. At this time I think I have a stable configuration on the rest of the system, with only the Mains_1 reporting a backwards condition.

If they are both to be directed with the arrow down K --> L where L is pointed at the panel for both CTs (as they are now), I can work on getting distance between the two CTs if you believe it is interference due to proximity. If the direction of both CTs are correct now (arrow down), I can work on getting space and see if that corrects things, does that sound right?

I have to go back in the box anyways as I think my AC CT came loose after the moving things around. Once we have them in their right place, I plan on using wire ties to ensure they are tight.

As of right now, this is what I see in the device:

55%20PM


#13

One will need to be reversed before you can accurately do solar. See the post that I interjected between your previous two posts.

I have never seen your AC register anything. I know where you live and if you have not been using your AC the past few days, you don’t need AC. You asked about this a few days ago, and I suggested that you check that the jack is seated firmly, and that one of the conductors is reversed. If one of the conductors is not reversed, you will always see zero.


#14

I guess he best move is to reverse the one that says it is currently backwards (Mains_1) so one will point up and the other will point down. As for the AC, you can see the chart below showing it was quite active today :slight_smile:

It just stopped reporting in after I opened the box to have a look and move around the mains. With things very tight in the full box, I think this one got bumped when closing up.

The plan for the morning will be to check the AC CT and reverse Mains_1 and also give them some distance as best I can. I may need to cable tie one up top as far as I can. Previously you did not recommend the clamp CTs as they were not CE rated. If I do not get things going on this in the nest few days, I may take you up on them.

Love learning and seeing the data I’m getting already, now it is just in the tweaking mode.

Well, without changing things, looks like AC was working. I must have been looking at the wrong gauge. So it is only the mains to work on.


#15

@overeasy, I think I got it now with my mains. I did reverse Main_1 and the load arrow is point up to the grid. Main_2 is still down and pointed at the panel. I give the CTs some room; as much as I could and it seem like things are correct. You can ignore the “Other” as I’m still woking on a few of my 240v circuits which need to be doubled.

Your thought when you have a second?

43%20AM

And from my dashboard:

Here is the inside panel view:


#16

Sorry to say it still doesn’t look quite right. The sum of the mains should be greater than that of the individual circuits. Doubling more 240V circuits will only make that worse.

I’m suspicious of the power factor being reported for the AC and Freezer as well. These are not resistive loads, so I have to wonder how they can be near or at 1.

I’m at a loss right now for what is going on. The only other instrument we have at our disposal to validate any of this is your electric meter. So I’d like to use that to determine if the mains are being measured accurately, since they are both measuring that. This will take a day to do, because we need to compare the kWh measured over the same time period.

If you run the local graph app and select your Mains_Total output under the Energy tab, you will get a plot of total kWh over the selected time period (doesn’t matter what time period as long as it ends now). Here’s my meter over the last day:


Note the highlighted Max number at the bottom. That is IoTaWatt’s latest total kWh. Record that number along with your current meter reading. After a day or so, do it again. Then we can compare therecorded usage of IoTaWatt vs your meter. This will tell us if the mains are correct. You should be within 1%.


#17

I see what you mean. If I take the total from the mains and subtract what I’m monitoring I’m at -260.2 watts. I see what you mean on the doubling of the 240v as this would add to the watts used from the total and make that even more of a divide. I will take a look at the meter and get a reading and then do the same a day later and see what I can from the chart.

The AC is a 240v with the twist in one of the legs but the freezer is a single 120v long with the fridge. Could it have anything to do with my reference voltage being in the 116-118 on average from the 120 expected?


#18

Voltage doesn’t have any impact on power factor and I calibrated your unit before I sent it out. It’s possible the freezer was in some kind of defrost cycle with a heater running, especially if it’s a frost-free upright.


#19

That could be the case the you are correct that the freezer is an upright type model. We do still have the unexplained 24-48v back current from the cable company into the house (that is at least what the electric and cable companies think), but I wold not think this would have a big impact on usage, etc.

I will wait a day, grab the meter reading and then take another a day after that near the same time. I guess we can only see what we find. I do like that there is no more backwards connection at least. :slight_smile: One step at a time.


#20

I think we have it now. attached are to shots from the application interface after swapping out for the newer CTs. I hat to use the splitter on the garage feed as that one was 50A and the barn was 100A. So, if you take the total and minus the “others” and the CT feeds while doubling the barn feed amount, you get very close to the total.

Thoughts or input. After closing up everything, I did find that the well pump is the only thing reporting a reverse connection, which is fine for that need.

15%20PM

50%20PM