Is it legal to install an iotawatt inside a meter-box in Australia?

A question for Australian iotawatt users:

I have a large, old meter-box with a lot of spare space.
Is it legal to install the iotawatt (including the 9V & 5V transformers) inside the meter-box?

I’d like to avoid drilling through the walls of the meter-box to add conduit, because they are lined with something which may be asbestos.

(I will get an electrician to do the installation, but I’d like to know what’s involved ahead of time.)

Yes. So long as the Iotawatt is not behind the panel, and you don’t break any distributor seals in the process then it is fine. Mine is in my meter box, I added 2 din rail mounted power points for the 2 plug packs. I’m an electrician and you shouldn’t have to break seals to install.
As for the asbestos possibly in the panel, yes try and avoid drilling through that.

Thanks for the information! It will greatly simplify the install.

You do need to have enough room in the board as well. Depending on age and size and location in Australia there will be different layouts to deal with. Some areas of the meter board are reserved for distributor equipment and are not available for you to use.

The electrician will know whats possible and compliant.

This is what I plan to do in my meter box once I get my sparky mate to come over (I’m in Perth). This is my meter box, plenty of room thankfully. I’ll head over to Jaycar this week and pick up the recommended current reference.

Does the voltage reference matter much? Or will any old USB mobile charger do?

So i would recommend (and from memory I think @overeasy recommends as well) is a raspberry Pi power supply for the 5v supply, and yes the Jaycar power supply for the voltage reference will work good. Personally I use the raspberry pi supply and the Doss adapter from radio parts and these have been running in a warm meter box for 12 months now.

The Doss supply and the raspberry pi supply sit side by side ok with 2 din rail GPO’s with a 1 din space between. Don’t know about the Jaycar physical size though.

The din rail GPO’s are normally 2Din size, you have 5 spare din size on you bottom row so place a 1 din space between then.

As Giraffe said, most distributors reserve their panel area for their equipment, so best bet would be mount it on the metal panel under the circuit breakers.

Photos of mine is here. I’ve placed my Iotawatt on the reserved area, however we have remote meter reads in Victoria so never a meter reader visit, but an inspector I know doesn’t have an issue with placing items like this on the reserved area, just don’t use screws. I’ve used industrial double sided adhesive.

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I’m also in Victoria, but I’m not convinced the IotaWatt Installation is compliant. Specifically the AccuEnergy CT Clamps used, don’t seem to have insulation voltage listed on them and thus wouldn’t this be an issue with clause (b) [AS3000:2018].

“All cables or each conductor of a multi-core cable are insulated for the highest voltage present.”

Likewise with the ELV Transformer wiring entering in/out of the Switchboard.

IotaWatt does not have SAA Approval or RCM Mark, either, which in my mind would be an issue for buying/importing it.

Interesting the inspector was ok with mounting it there, when we have done PLC Installs, we have had issues with COMM cables overhanging the distributors reserved area.

Regardless I was planning to install it:
I was planning on buying a Meanwell DIN PSU for the 5V Supply to the IOTAWatt: MEANWELL HDR15, along side a SELV transformer for the AC Voltage reference (6v-15v) to avoid having a GPO with a PSU hanging off the Switchboard. HAGER ST312 SELV Transformer.

I was then going to run the IotaWatt to a IP68 Enclosure which I was going to mount next to the switchboard. Thinking a poly-carbonate model from Jaycar. I think this would be better suited than using the reserved area in the Switchboard?


Regardless of code compliance, I don’t recommend installing the IoTaWatt base unit inside a meter-box. That’s one of the reasons all of the CTs have 1.5m cables. An external, weatherproof if necessary, box is recommended. That said, I’d like to clarify a few things:

The AccuCTs are rated 600V as per their datasheet. This is also implied in the UR mark imprinted on the units. The cords are rated 300V/80°C and that is imprinted on them. The datasheet also states CE compliance, although the mark isn’t on the units being shipped. That was an oversight and will be rectified in the next order. Still shipping Echun CE marked units to the EU.

The ETL mark currently on the base unit costs about $8US per unit. These “safety” certifications are little more than a license to steal. If Australia wants to insist on their own mark for products that otherwise have US and European compliance certifications, my feeling is that it would be more of a concession to their own compliance certification industry and would do nothing to increase or insure product safety. What would make sense, worldwide, would be to adopt harmonized standards. Three guesses who opposes that.

This transformer has a no-load voltage of 14V, which is close to the working limit of IoTaWatt. Also, the phase shift is unknown. Plus, it’s really expensive. I’d advise using one of the two locally available and tested wall-plug units.

A hint for those mean enough to not want to buy a transformer: I have used DC transformer plugpacks, modified by removing the Regulator & rectifiers. There are many in scrapboxes suitable. (Mine were from OLD modems (as in antique!)
The trick is to smack the corner of the plugpack so the glued joint releases. Make sure to relabel the transformer, & re-glue the joint.
I am not a sparky, but I feel that as long as there is no hardwired connection to power, the device would be classed as a consumer device. A sparky would need to install a power point in the box for the plugpack power supply. Be aware that the metal power box will shield the wifi.

haxxa, your opinion about the subject is unfortunate being dangerous and misleading in this case. Compliance marks on equipment for a country are required to legally install. I have done Compliance Engineering in Australia for 25 years and am aware of the issues involved covering both AU, NZ and compliance with many international standards and country laws. Since there is no RCM mark on the iota watt then it is not legal in Australia (and New Zealand) to install and use it. The Inspector reference in various posts clearly does not understand this. RCM covers all the laws that the device is subject to. The Local Importer is required to Labell devices and keep a file of the various tests it had done on it) . In IOTAwatt there will be the Radio Spectrum laws (used to be CTICK). As IOTAwatt attaches to the mains through the CT and voltage transformers these must be compliant with various standards. Again they must be labelled and a file kept on them by the importer. Since there is no importer here none of this can be done. Thus there can never be a compliant installation here. This applies also to every other country not recognised UL and EU. The US and EU you cover through UL and EU marks. There are a number of countries that recognise these. Most do not. Reality check to all users. Fortunately the microprocessor has an EU mark it was probably tested to the correct standard so the emissions statement will simply reference the EU test report. The CT’s and other transformers are Prescribed items here and MUST be compliant and be marked correctly - the compliance report is issued by one of the States energy safety government agencies - they will receive a compliance number - this is a very expensive process even if there are EU test reports. This may be solved by sourcing locally compliant devices. I strongly recommend to sellers of IOTA watt to make sure they do not sell non compliant CT and Transformers into a country. I see way too many dangerous transformers, off line chargers and many other electrical items imported here. There have been several deaths due to these. If an IOTAwatt install goes wrong the authorities will issue notices and then the inspectors will start rejecting installations. Thus there is an opportunity for someone to identify compliant parts.

Hager safety transformer is legal . I have a selection of 9v AC plug packs that are suitably marked but old. They were used to enable devices to generate 12v DC supplies. What is available now because the world seems to be heading for 5v DC everything.
MEANWELL HDR15 is probably illega as it is open frame. Just get something all enclosed from PowerBox.
The CT’s, as Prescribed items, must have many tests done on them. Not just insulation resistance. The material will have flammability rating. There will be standards covering sharp edges and probably spring force ! I do not have a standard handy covering this technology. Clip-on meter current probes will be a good start.

Just checked Aus sources. I see that NHP have a range: Here is an example that gives data on the device. As is often the case here the Compliance File number is not publicly stated but companies like NHP will have someone running compliance. They often outsource the file development to local companies like TUV, EMC Tech and Comtest. CT SOLID CORE 100/1A 27MM 3VA CL1 1.5VA CL0.5

An electrician installed mine behind my meter panel, to avoid drilling the asbestos panel.

Hasn’t caused an issue for me. The power outlet is installed below my box with a weatherproof outlet.

I’m not certain I’ll ever need to actually access the device and it’s better not to fiddle so it suits me.