Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

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Posted by amdx on March 26, 2014, 4:47 pm
On 3/23/2014 4:19 AM, ObamaNocare wrote:

  I don't know if it is efficient or not, at this point there are just  
two of us in the house.
  If I can remember, I'll check the brand, I got it from Lowes.

   I put a power meter on my water heater in 2008.
Look on Ebay, they're cheap.

Posted by mike on March 26, 2014, 5:21 pm
On 3/26/2014 9:47 AM, amdx wrote:

Got a link?  I didn't find anything that would work on
a hard-wired water heater.

Cheapest water heater power meter is an electric clock
across the element.  You'll need a 240V clock or stepdown
transformer or a relay or some such.

Another fun thing to do is to use a 25-cent Palm III PDA
to watch the flashing light on the power company's digital
meter.  Graph the power consumption in real time.
Pretty easy to see when the water heater comes on.

Posted by notyoung on March 28, 2014, 6:42 pm
 There are some whole house energy meters (TED - The Energy Detective is one).  

Clamp-on ammeters are also available - if you can safely pop the cover on the breaker panel and put tthe clamp aromd the proper wire.

There's a new wireless device that clamps around a cable (instead of a single wire) to measure the current and report to your smartphone or tablet.  Don't have details as I don't have an interest - we heat, cook and heat water with natural gas - except for the two weeks we heated with a kerosene heater while waiting for a replacement controller board for the relatively new high-efficiency furnace :-(

Some of the digital service meters can be read by a Palm or other device with SIR capability, but not all of them (our provider uses a meter in this category :-(
If I were sufficiently industrious, I could probably build a unit to read the continuously changing dashed line at the bottom of the LCD display and get the instantaneous power reading.  The process is simple, just time consuming.  Set up a video recorder to watch the meter.  Turn off all breakers except the one by the garage door.  Record a few minutes with zero load.  Plug a 1000 watt heater into the one active outlet and turn it on.  Record a few minutes of video.  Turn the heater off.  Record a few minutes of video.  Turn all the breakers back on and go reset the clocks.  Play the video back and watch for patterns - you know the times at which the heater was turned on and off.  If needed, step through the video a frame at a time.  Once the pattern is known,  repeat the above with a variety of known loads.  Either build a light/dark detector that watches the proper area of the meter or put a video camera in front of the meter and write some video monitoring software that watches for changes in specific areas.  Shouldn't take more than a year to get the bugs out ;-)

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Posted by amdx on May 9, 2014, 5:25 pm
 On 3/26/2014 12:21 PM, mike wrote:

  I used a regular house meter. You need to break the wire insert
meter box and plug the meter into the box.

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