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Home Electricity Monitoring System #1 FAQ
This FAQ primarily relates to the Current Cost range of LCD Home Energy Monitor. Over the years the Current Cost range has included LCD Monitors, Bridges, Gateways, transmitters and clamps.
Question : Is the energy monitoring system configured and ready to go, to suit my requirements.
Answer : YES we will configure and test your monitoring package before dispatch. All you have to do, is clamp / connect and power up the system. This is a sought after benefit of our 24/7 monitoring solutions.
Question : How many transmitters can I connect to a monitor?
Answer : You can connect up to ten transmitters [be it current clamp or appliance plug-in] with each circuit having it's own designated LCD screen on the monitor. Use the UP & DOWN buttons to scroll through the circuits. Each current clamp transmitter has three inputs, where depending on the web portal or SOFTWARE chosen, you can see these inputs individually. Meaning you can see the power of each phase of your three phase supply. Each input to any current clamp transmitter, also relates to the number of clamps, where the monitor will ONLY display the summed inputs of the transmitter.
The default circuit is channel 0, where you will see the temperature displayed. The other nine channels are designated by Appliance 1 to 9.
Question : How many electricity monitors can be connected to a transmitter?
Answer : There is no limit to the number of monitors that can connected to a transmitter. This allows you to monitor the power use from any location in your home. You may have one monitor in your office, uploading data to an online web portal, with another in the kitchen making everyone aware of what the electricity usage and costs are occurring.
Question : What type of battery does the electricity transmitter use?
Answer : 2 x D Cell alkaline, available from any supermarket. Cost is approximately $10
Question : Do I need an electrician to install the home electricity monitor?
Answer : Where access to the back of the board is required, then you will 100% of the time need an electrician. In all cases of installation, the procedure only takes minutes. So calling out the electrician when you're not sure, is the best idea and importantly not going to break the bank!
Question : How do I set the electricity tariff in the monitor?
Answer : Press and hold the UP arrow until the LED flashes. Select the $ currency using the UP / DOWN arrows. Next enter your electricity tariff in cents. Example for 32 cents enter 32.00, use the UP / DOWN arrows to adjust, then press OK. NOTE! You ONLY have one minute to correct the tariff and you need to press the OK button within this time to make the change. If you cannot scroll to your desired tariff within this time, do the process in two stages, making sure you press the OK button withing this time window.
Question : Will my power monitor operate correctly if my home has a steel frame?
Answer : We have a lot of monitoring clients with this kind of home. We have not heard of any issues so far. So we would say YES your monitoring system will operate correctly. Our electricity monitoring systems are also used in commercial situations and there is often a lot more steel and concrete in these buildings. So a steel frame home should not be an issue.
Question : What is the maximum voltage & current rating for the clamp?
Answer : Voltage 600V Current 100A for the purpose of accuracy.
Question : Does the electricity monitor cost a lot to operate?
Answer : No. Approximately 6 cents per week or less than $5 per year.
Question : What is the adjustable voltage range of the latest transmitter?
Answer : From 200 to 260 volts. This setting is adjustable during the pairing process of the electricity monitoring transmitter to the electricity monitor. The default setting during configuration by AHE is 240 volt and can be adjusted in 10 volt increments.
Question : Will the electricity monitor work on a two phase 480 volt or three phase 415 volt supply?
Answer : Yes it will as the power in each phase is still only 240 volts. Depending on the software / web portal chosen, you will be able to see the power on each phase.
Question : I want to monitor each phase of my three phase supply, is this possible?
Answer : Yes it is. The Energeniaal software will allow you to see each phase of the transmitter. Where you wish to use other software or an online web portal, then the solution is to have a transmitter on each phase. Then of course you can see all three phases.
Question : Can I connect my electricity monitoring system to my Solar PV?
Answer : Yes you can. You will need to add a RENEWABLE ENERGY / ADDITIONAL APPLIANCE PACK to any existing Home Electricity Monitoring System. Otherwise visit SOLAR POWER MONITORING SOLUTIONS. Information on connecting your Solar PV Monitoring System is included in our additional Home Electricity Monitor FAQ. See our SUPPORT page for further information.
Question : What is the maximum distance allowed between the electricity transmitter and monitor?
Answer : 100 metres according to the manufacturer where the electricity transmitter is outside of a metal powerbox. Building composition may reduce the range, with a more practical range being 30 metres. Distance of the transmitter is discussed in more detail on our blog, in this posting WATERPROOFING YOUR HOME ENERGY MONITOR'S TRANSMITTER, where extending the transmitter range is discussed for the purpose of monitoring a solar array, sited some distance away from the home.
During our tests, we were able to well exceed the 100 metres. Further EXTENDED TRANSMITTER RANGE is available by request, where the range is extended over 150 m. We test all our monitoring solutions to 100m outside of the metal power box.
Question : How strong is the transmitters signal?
Answer : Whilst we do not have any data as an answer, we would say the transmitter signal strength is very strong. A bit similar to when you are in the country trying to use a city mobile phone. Unless you have a mobile phone with strong reception then you simply lose out. Telstra has their 'blue tick' range of phones for this purpose. The transmitter runs off two heavy duty batteries and supports a good strong signal. This is where cheap electricity monitors often fail, on strength of signal tests. All monitoring systems are tested to 100 m line of sight, before dispatch.
Question : Can the transmitter be mounted inside a metal meter box?
Answer : Yes it can. What is termed the 'Faraday Cage', according to the manufacturer has little effect. After running our own tests, we have come up with solutions that extend the range, which are detailed here on our blog here WATERPROOFING YOUR HOME ENERGY MONITOR'S TRANSMITTER. The transmitter in this case is located outside of the metal meter box. For distances over 150m we modify the transmitter. A solution suitable for where any solar array is some distance from the home. See SOLAR MONITOR EXTENDED TRANSMITTER.
Question : I have restricted space, what is the dimensions for the transmitter?
Answer : Height 15.5 Width 11 Depth 6 [Dimensions in cm]
Question : Can all BRIDGES be updated online, so they receive all 10 channels?
Answer : YES and NO. The concept of the bridge is that it is 'supposed' to be just a change on the Current Cost server, to allow it to post all 10 channels. If you are using an old 1 channel Bridge you may find the firmware needs to be upgraded. The cost for this firmware upgrade is $35. All Bridges supplied by us have the latest firmware. See BRIDGE FAQ.
Question : Where can I find the specifications for the monitor?
Answer : Click on this link for HOME ENERGY MONITOR SPECIFICATIONS
Question :What amount of historical data is stored by the monitor?
Answer : The monitor stores historical data for all ten channels:
The number of kWh used every 2 hours for the last 31 days
The number of kWh used every day for the last 90 days
The number of kWh used every month for the last 7 years
Question : How do I download the data from the monitor, using the USB cable to my software application and what do I see on the monitor?
Answer : Depending on your chosen software application, you may wish to download the data from the monitor at once. To do this, press and hold the OK and DOWN arrow on the monitor, until the LED flashes. The monitor's screen will go blank and display a single number, which will count through 1 to 9, whilst it downloads the data to the software application. The monitor will return to the normal screen once the data is downloaded. A refresh of your software will display the additional data.
Alternatively if you have your monitor and software application connected for more than a couple of odd hours, then the monitor's data will be automatically downloaded to the software application. This will occur during an odd two hour cycle. Example being just after 11.00 where the monitor and software application were up and running before 9.00. In this case there will be no change on the monitor's screen at the time of download, other than normal monitoring changes.
Question : What happens if I have a faulty part?
Answer : We will discuss any fault with you first, before asking you to return the item. Once we have hands on the item, we will confirm the fault, before posting you a replacement part.
Question : I notice that the monitor's temperature sensor is reading high, when the monitor is operating off the portable battery supply. Why is this?
Answer : Your batteries are running low. Whilst you are still able to see the energy readings, the low voltage is causing errors with the temperature sensor. Please replace the batteries to fix the problem. Plugging the monitor into the provided mains power supply will eliminate the temperature error.
Question : How many channels will the ELECTRICITY MONITOR BRIDGE upload to a suitable online portal?
Answer : You have a choice of uploading 1, 4 or all 10 channels [appliances].
Question : How do I change channels on the monitor
Answer : To change channels use the UP & DOWN arrows. Household electricity consumption is often set to channel 0, with solar power to channel 1. This is our default configuration, which you can change later if needs be. Otherwise talk to us about configuration during the initial call.
Question : When does the 1 Day kWh reading on the monitor's LCD screen start from?
Answer : The 1 Day kWh reading works from midnight to midnight. So at midnight it will reset and show the previous day's total. It will display this same value until 11:59pm the following night.
Question : My Current Cost web portal is down, is there anyway to know the reason is due to server maintenance and not my bridge device?
Answer : One easy way to check this without rebooting your bridge, is to visit other users web portals listed on our SUPPORT page, where we also have a SERVER CHECK link. Our SITE NEWS will list any known issue. If other users are up and running and it looks like your bridge, follow the Bridge FAQ on the SUPPORT page.
Question : How easy is it to attach the cable clamp?
Answer : This operation only takes a few minutes. Any clamp is simply clipped around the outside of the required cable/s.
For additional FAQ please visit our Home Electricity Monitor FAQ
If you are a Home Energy Monitor client, seeking further copies of the documentation included with the monitor, please visit our SUPPORT page or email our office direct, with your request.
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Single Appliance Power Mate Monitor FAQ
Question : Why is a lower power reading displayed on the monitor, is it not simply volts multiplied by current?
Answer : The Power-Mate displays what is called True Power. This is the power you are billed for. If you wish to go into more detail click on POWERMATE POWER FACTOR EXPLANATION, which you will also find on our SUPPORT page.
Question : Why is there a lower current reading than specified on the appliance label?
Answer : An appliance's label will often state the maximum current, which may occur momentarily on power up. As an example an Air Conditioner unit will operate at 70% or 40% of the maximum rating, during normal use.
Question : Is 60 Hz supported by the monitor?
Answer : Yes it is. The electronics were designed to work over a large range of frequencies. Please note though, the Power-Mate is designed primarily for 240 volts. The Power-Mate works fine all the way down to around 150 volts.
Question : How long will the monitor take to calculate the accurate cost of my fridge / freezer?
Answer : Any appliance that is controlled by a thermostat will need to be monitored for at least 24 hours, if not more for accurate readings. Remember the monitoring of a fridge will be affected by the use of the appliance and temperature of the room. So if either is fluctuating then the monitoring period needs to take this into account.
Question : Can the monitor measure the energy over a minute, where the power is fluctuating from a couple of watts up to 500 watts?
Answer : The Power-Mate resolves & displays down to 0.0001 kWh, in standard form. The kWh is measured / calculated and updated each second. Remember this monitor was designed to accurately measure very short time periods and low power readings.
Home Electricity Audit FAQ
The following FAQ relates to our HOME ELECTRICITY AUDITS
Question : Are your Home Electricity Auditors trained?
Answer : All of our Electricity Auditors are trained electricians.
Question : What does your In-Home Electricity Audit Report detail?
Answer : The Aussie Home Energy Electricity Audit Report has changed over the years, to reflect what clients want to know about their electricity usage and costs. It is constantly growing into a wealth of knowledge. Each Electricity Audit though is slightly different as it is tailored to supply the information needed by the individual client.
We do not supply tick box audits, as we educate our clients!
A detailed report covers the aspects of how electricity is supplied, used and billed for in the home. Suggestions are offered on how to reduce the electricity bill to a minimum, based on the efficient electrical practices. Alternative options for improving / replacing inefficient appliances are discussed.
Home Power Audit [Telephone Consultation]
The following FAQ relates to our HOME POWER AUDIT
Question : Are your Home Electricity Auditors trained?
Answer : All of our Electricity Auditors are trained electricians.
Question : How can you perform a HOME POWER AUDIT over the phone?
Answer : By using our knowledge of how electricity is delivered and used in residential properties, we know over 95% of homes are wasting electricity in similar ways. We have visited hundreds of homes and use the information gained so far to offer our HOME POWER AUDIT service.
Question : I do not have a cordless phone in the home?
Answer : In some cases we may call you on a mobile phone to perform the remote Electrical Audit. You need a cordless or mobile, so we can talk to you whilst you are on the move in your home, answering our questions.
Question : Do I get a Electrical Audit Report when I use your HOME POWER AUDIT service?
Answer : No as we do not collect the same amount of information, as in our IN-HOME AUDIT SERVICE.
Aussie Home Energy : Electricity Saving Services FAQ