6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great little device,
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This review is from: OWL Micro + 2 II Energy Monitor CM180 Wireless Electricity Usage Smart Meter, New!!! (DIY & Tools)
Item came within days and what a great little energy meter. Install on my solar generation live cable so can see what I am generating all the time. Its that good I have ordered another so I can install on the incoming feed to the house and see import/export.
I know it won't know if I am importing or export but I will, if the this new unit shows 0 then i am break even.
and what a great price!
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Mar 2013 10:59:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Mar 2013 11:01:02 GMT
Mr Lennox ... thank you for this post. You address the question I have been wondering about for solar panels. I recently put in a 4kw system now that the price has come down to £5k so you no longer need a mortgage, just the cost of a 2nd hand car. But the real savings come in using your own power, for which you need to know when you're exporting. As it stands the utility companies assume you use half the power you produce. I reckon this is a huge overestimate, certainly on a 4 kw system, where mostly you can't use that power unless you've got the kettle on all the time. I've therefore been wondering how best to monitor in/out flows because I work from home, and want to know when to turn things on and off. In particular, I am pondering putting in a heat exchange pump so that when there's surplus solar, we don't burn gas to heat the house. Are you saying that 2 owls see when to do this? If so, would you be so kind as to explain where exactly in the solar system you connect the owl? Is it up in the attic at the invertor, or down at the FIT meter, or does it not matter. And in your estimation, is Owl giving accurate readings?
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2013 21:49:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Mar 2013 21:59:54 GMT
I fitted one owl transmitter on the incoming live and another on the live cable going into my 16a MCB on the disboard.
This allows me to see generation from 0 to 4000W and the owl on my incoming shows total in and out . maths needed.
so if my house was using 500w but at night
owl 1 generation shows 0w
owl 2 total shows 500w
if this happens while generating you need to get a feel to it
house taking 500w but generating 1500w
owl 1 generaton shows 1500w
owl 2 shows 1000w . this is export
if I turn a light on this figure goes down .
so 100w lamp on owl2 now shows 900w.
but if you instead put a kettle on the owl2 now shows 2000w this is import.
if you have an electric water heater I.e immersion heater, you can get a £350 gadget to monitor export and shove it to the water heater
hope that helps
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2013 09:38:46 GMT
Thank you for your time. That is very helpful. Can I ask you one more thing? What is this like for sensitivity at low power loads. For example, if you you are only drawing 300W and you turn on a 60W lightbulb, is it sensitive enough to pick that up? I read conflicting reviews on the web about this kind of system that works on electromagnetic induction, so your experience would be useful. Playing with this stuff is turning me into an energy nerd!
I am attracted to the "Owl Intuition-PV" package - Owl Intuition-PV Cloud Based Energy Monitor for Solar PV - but am wondering how sensitive it is. The other option seems to be optical - they work by measuring the LED flashes on your meter (the wee light that blinks once for each watt) and I'm looking at the "Current Cost EnviR" with transmitter and display - Current Cost Black EnviR with OptiSmart Transmitter - but I can see that this technology is moving so fast that anything bought today will be old hack tomorrow. My aim is to try and balance as closely as possible what my roof can provide with my consumption. Thank you.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2013 17:52:42 GMT
The generation owl is very close, but only starts at 100watts. The other owl is ok and will see a 60w lamp. I have used better meters in the past, but more electrical input needed. Runs of mains and also measures current, so gives you true power. These owls need to told the voltage.
The update are also a bit sluggish, I think its about every 10 secs.
There are other energy meters online that have three ct's and you need to be able to get each round the incoming and two round your generation wire. The unit can then work out if you are importing or exporting. check Google for energy meters for solar.
hope that helps
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 07:29:11 GMT
I'm most grateful for your help. I write about climate change - Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition - so these questions are more than just personal nerdiness (though my wife is beginning to wonder about that too!) - they're also about how we learn to live within the means of what nature can provide without trashing the planet.
Posted on 4 Jun 2013 08:42:35 BDT
D. I. Carden says:
I hope you dont mind I have just had a 3 kw solar system put in and would like to monitor it
with out spending the 200 pound the monitoring system that goes with the system
i would like to know how it is going on with solar monitoring
you have the meter that tells you the total how accurate is the owl total a day against that meter
Can the owl read the small amounts that you may make at start and end of say
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2013 19:18:40 BDT
The device works great if you install the ct round the solar live cable.
The unit does not see below 100watts, but the total reads very close to the generation meter installed
This is a very cheap way of seeing your instant generation value, but you will need to set the voltage in the settings to read right
I am very pleased with this device
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