Sunday, May 18, 2008

ted, this case is closed

I've been excited about receiving a TED 1001 home energy meters for two weeks now. I downloaded and skimmed through the TED manual to see what the installation requirements were. I Googled online forums to learn how I might connect the TED display unit to my home Linux server and archive energy data. On Thursday, I received a new TED on loan that I could use for the energy efficiency experiment I had in mind. Even better - with the Victoria Day long weekend, I figured I had plenty of time to install the metering unit and test out communications over the power lines to the display unit.

Then I opened my electrical panel and found this:

The main service conductors come into the panel from the top left, just below the yellow sticker. These bad boys are thick and sturdy, and placed far too close together for me to get the CTs clamped on. Better yet, I can't de-energize these cables in order to feed them through the CTs - that would have to be done on the BC Hydro side of the circuit.

So that's it - the monitoring experiment case is closed. BC Hydro does offer reasonable historical billing data, however, so I may still grab coincident weather data and run a quick model to check the efficiency of my home. The TED will be passed on to some lucky colleague at work to play with - I hope their electrical panel is easier to work with than mine!


  1. I haven't opened up the mains side of my main breaker panel. I used to be more cavalier, but now that I have a main shutoff swich, I tend to use it.

    That panel looks pretty small. 100A?

  2. My main panel is rated for 125A, and nearly all of the breaker positions are used up. Does seem pretty low, given that this house was built in the early 80s.

  3. You will just have to wait for you free meter from BC Hydro. Soon there will be smart energy everywhere.

    "smart energy everywhere" is a trademark of Shneider Electric.