New gadget

I just bought an IHD—an In-Home-Device for measuring electricity consumption (and generation if you have solar panels).

It’s the Pipit 500. It collects energy usage information from the Smart Meter and displays it on an LCD screen. It connects wirelessly with the Smart Meter using a Home Area Network which is built into both the Smart Meter and the Pipit 500. I’ve installed it on the wall in the living room and I can see at a glance whether I’m exporting to the grid or taking from the grid, without having to go outside to look at the meter:

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It records net usage—so if I’m exporting more power to the grid than I’m taking from it, it shows power usage as negative. When net power is coming from the grid, it shows a positive figure. I can enter in my current tariffs and it will show my energy costs and export credits. It also shows CO2 emissions and a host of other info as tables and graphs.

It needs to be connected to a power point but has batteries also, so it can be taken from room to room to see the effect on energy input of turning on various appliances.

This window shows the instantaneous net energy consumption, i.e. the difference between what is going to the grid and what is being taken from the grid in real time. The ‘sun’ icon in the centre of the circle and ‘GEN’ shows a net export to the grid, and the amount -525 W is 525 Watts, the minus sign meaning a credit:

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This time more energy is coming from the grid than going to it as shown by the positive figure 707 Watts and the ‘lightning bolt’ icon in the circle. (To get this photo I had to turn on the electric jug to make it show as an import. Since the electric jug is rated at 2400 Watts, it means that most of the power to run it was coming from the solar panels and only 707 Watts coming from the grid):

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This one shows the daily history over 24 hours. The bars below the horizontal represent generation from the panels and the bars above the horizontal show import from the grid—nice and short aren’t they? (smug grin). That’s how I like it! It shows that generation started around 8 am and finished around 4 pm and during that time supplied all the power the house needed. As we move into summer, those times will increase. If last summer is anything to go by, I’ll get at least 14 hours of generation:

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It’s going to be quite useful.

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8 Responses to “New gadget”

  1. rabidlittlehippy Says:

    Most interesting! From where did you purchase it and if I can be most cheeky, how much was it please? Running outside to check for updates is just not possible for me I’m afraid.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      Click on the link I gave and then click on ‘where to buy’. I bought it online from the 1st one on the list. It is available in store from other suppliers, but they were nowhere near me. It cost $158 inc postage, but if I fill in the form they sent me I get a $20 refund from the Vic Govt as part of some energy saver scheme or other.

      Liked by 1 person

    • foodnstuff Says:

      Forgot to say…check first if your electricity supplier will support it. i.e. allow it to connect with the Smart Meter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. narf77 Says:

    Clever girl…now your energy provider can’t argue with you any more eh? 😉

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      I wouldn’t bet on it. He still owns the meter. 😦

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      • narf77 Says:

        Oh bum 😦 BUT at least you can question their ineptitude with a degree of proof…I am assuming that meter stores data?

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        • foodnstuff Says:

          Yes it stores data, just like the meter in the meter box on the wall outside. All the new gadget is doing is showing the data without me having to go outside to read it. The retailer (or at least his computer), is having trouble subtracting a start reading from an end reading and getting the right answer, IOW what power has been actually sent to the grid. Because I’m a mere mortal and can do subtractions better than a computer, I get a different figure. If the error was in my favour, I’d be keeping very quiet about it, but it’s not hence I’m being noisy.

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