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May 2016
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Internet of Things 1.0 — Electric consumption data logger

Ireland’s Airtricity offers an LCD smart meter display to help their customers track usage patterns. The device comes with what looks like an ethernet port but don’t try to connect it to your PC. It may be RS-232 with +/- 12 Volts, more than enough to damage your PC. The sending unit is magnetically coupled to a line in your electrical box. It broadcasts the usage to the display via 433Mhz which can be read remotely. In this case I sampled it and pulled it into a spreadsheet:

home_electric_consumption

Our family’s earth hour didn’t match up with the rest of the world but sometimes c and I look at the Airtricity meter and run around the house trying to see how low it can go. The phantom power baseline is quite a bit higher than I’d like, with a few 200 watt bursts throughout the night. I’m not sure which is the fridge, which is the freezer and which is the boiler pump but the 3000W tea kettle is obvious. The electric stove top cycles on and off around 2000W towards the right of the graph. There are some mysterious 1200W bursts in the middle of the night. I hope it’s the boiler or fridge startup motor just happening to kick in during the sample interval.

If irish water also gave customers access to the smartmeter data they’re collecting on us, I might have noticed hundreds of gallons leaking from their poorly installed smart meter sooner.