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Insteon V5.X Unit Power Consumption


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#1 IndyMike

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 06:56 AM

SH appears to have made a rather significant improvement in the power consumption and power factor of the V5.X Insteon units.

Previous revisions of hardware exhibited real power consumption in the 1 to 2 watt range with power factors of 0.13 to .3 (pretty deplorable). The one exception to the power factor rule was a "Beta" KPL that exhibited a power factor of 0.82. These units are shown in "red" in the table below.

Current hardware (V5.X) does not register register any "instant" measurements using my Kill A Watt (Model P4400). I actually didn't believe the readings until I performed a couple of long term average tests which placed the average consumption in the .2 to .3W range. Assuming a PF of near 1, this would place the RMS current consumption in the 0.0016 to 0.0025A range (well below the display resolution).

As a sanity check - the heat sink on these units is dead cold when in operation. My older units are "warm" to the touch.

Although I'm rather happy to see that SH has improved the standby consumption (and waste heat) of their newer units, I don't plan to rush out and replace my current hardware. At $0.08 /kW-h, it would take me over 30 years to recover the cost of a SWL based on power savings alone. To be fair, the 30 year number not consider the waste heat that must be removed during the cooling season. However, if cooling load is that much of a concern, there are far higher value targets to consider (incandescent lighting and dimmers in general).


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#2 Brian H

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 07:08 AM

Thank you for the information.

#3 huddadudda

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:46 AM

Any idea at what the revision cutoff is for these devices that the power consumption were changed? For example I have rev 5.0 - and your showing 5.2 - would it be safe to assume that 5.0 are the newer lower power devices or no?

#4 IndyMike

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:33 PM

Hello huddadudda,

Sorry, but I can't answer with certainty. I don't have any V5.0 devices to test.

Most manufacturers associate major revision levels (i.e. V4.x to V5.x) with major changes. My V5.X units have rather obvious changes to the component layout. While my V4.X appliancelinks appear to have the "old" layout.

Apostolakil was kind enough to provide the following photo of his Icon V5.1 dimmer. It shows the revised component layout. If your units look similar (please confirm), I would say you're in luck.

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#5 Brian H

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:39 PM

Did you see the label on the back? Indicates it can now do low voltage lighting and other loads previously cautioned about. :)

My version 4.1 ApplianceLincs are a radical change from my version 1.3s.
Completely different board and components. 1.3s used the 120 volt AC relays and my 4.1s use a 24 volt DC relay.
I also have no >5.0s to look at.

#6 IndyMike

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 01:09 PM

Brian,

Very good catch - I've been missing the trees because of the forest. I was on the website yesterday and saw no mention of LV Lighting.

I also did not notice the change in the relays. The label on my V5.X units is directly over the relay. I haven't lifted one yet to peek underneath.

Another good catch.

#7 Brian H

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 01:22 PM

Well I am confused. No too unusual. :)
I have in front of me a 2876D old Rev 1.1 and it has the same information on acceptable loads. :?:
Incandescent, low-voltage, neon, cold cathode and general inductive fixtures only.

This is a Green LED; DC:0551 Icon Dimmer Switch.

The on line manuals for both the below 5.0 and above 5.0 version 2476D and 2876D Modules still say Incandescent only and other loads depend on the manufacturer of the light saying it is dimmable. With no guarantees from Smarthome or SmartLabs on them working correctly.

#8 huddadudda

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 02:11 PM

OK So I checked and I have a few different revisions throughout my house and some extra spares in the closet. I can confirm that for rev 5.0 and 5.1 they both look exactly like what is pictured with the same info on the label and internal parts. Your mostly likely right when you stated that due to the revision number going from 4.x to 5.x these products would most likely be similar.

Also FWIW I tracked back when I got these rev 5.0 and 5.1 to the 1st of March 2010. I keep my receipts in case I need to RMA an item back to smarthome and I write down the revisions next to the line items for reference. I recently had pulled this receipt because I also purchased two dual band 2457D2's and one just died this week and another one in July!

#9 87squirrels

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:26 PM

I have a V5.35 KPL with the same language on the label.

I also notice that the Quick-Start sheet included with the 2476D has a note at the top "Model 2746D (600 Watt), Rev 5.0+ (V5.0 or higher label located on bottom right screw tab) Your new SwitchLinc Dimmer allows you to dim and remotely control any light in your home at the touch of a button."

Will these work with equipment labelled "This product may be dimmed only with a low voltage magnetic dimmer" ?

#10 stusviews

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 06:13 PM

From an electrician's point of view, low voltage often refers to the output of a distribution transformer (line voltage).

#11 87squirrels

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 07:26 PM

In this context, it's referring to 12VAC

#12 IndyMike

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:39 AM

After receiving some commentary on another forum I decided to revisit this post. I've added some AC current measurements (using a Fluke 8060A) and corrected a couple of things:

1) My original table showed the I2 KPL (beta unit) having a PF of .82 as measured by the Kill A Watt. This measurement was actually performed using a UPM100. The power factor presented was based on the UPM real vs apparent power - I no longer trust this device. The table has been updated with measurements using the Kill A Watt - Current, apparent power, and real power are below the resolution of is "instant" display.

2) I had previously shown a power factor of 1.0 for the V5.X devices. This was the result of the apparent/real power being below the device resolution and was misleading. I have changed those values to "_" in the table.

3) I've added the Fluke current measurements and calculated VA numbers to the bottom of the table. Since the Fluke cannot determine phase, we can only calculate Apparent power (not the real power that our utility meters register).

4) The last line is a calculated power factor based on the Fluke apparent power (VA) vs the kill-a-watt Real power.

Comments/Observations
1) The following is a comparative analysis. I do not have details on the Kill A watt to perform any type of measurement system error analysis.

2) The fluke current measurements and calculated Power Factor agree well with the Kill A Watt on the older devices (V1.2 KPL presented).

3) The Fluke confirms a significant (factor of 6) reduction in the current consumed by the V5.X devices. As stated above, the fluke cannot provide phase so actual real power is unknown.

4) The "long term" average power measurements provided by the Kill-A-Watt indicate a similar reduction in real power vs VA. While this may be a "leap of faith" based on the resolution and accuracy of the Kill-A-Watt, it is at least consistent.

5) My original chart indicated that the I2 KPL had a Power Factor near 1. This was a mistake that led me to believe that the PF had been improved on the new devices. This was further promoted by the Kill-A-Watt underanging on it's measurements and displaying a PF of 1. In fact, the Fluke measurement appears to indicate that the PF is similar to the original devices. While I'm not particularly happy about that (I hate distortion), a factor of 6 reduction in current trumps PF any day.

IM

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#13 apostolakisl

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 08:46 AM

I noticed that SH started posting power consumption for their devices. They listed the 2476d at .79 watts which is quite a bit more than IndyMike had calculated.

I did my own test. I connected five, new , v5.1 2476d switches with nothing attached to the load and the swtiches in the off position. I got a reading of 3.6 watts which came out to .72 watts / device.

I am a little disspointed that the .3 watt number is probably flawed for some reason. Indymike seems to have done a very detailed and careful study, but somehow I suspect something was wrong.

#14 apostolakisl

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 12:49 PM

I am terminating this experiment at 54.5 hours.

My kill-o-watt measured .18kwh at 54.5 hours for 5 devices. This comes out to .66 watts per device.

#15 IndyMike

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 12:36 PM

Hello Lou,

This may qualify as the most belated response on the forum. Nonetheless, thank you - I agree with your measurements.

This had bothered me for some time. I had previously checked my Killawatt using precision resistors. The numbers that I had posted were based on the error analysis using the resistive loads. Nonetheless, my Killawatt has problems measuring the Insteon device load.

I have tried re-testing using various combinations of Insteon devices (3, 6, 9 unit loads) over extended time periods. The answer keeps coming back the same - 0.3W/device. That answer is WRONG.

I erred when I used resistors to check the Killawatt. Measuring a "nice" resistive load is not at all the same as measuring a time shifted complex load (shown below). I finally resorted to pulling out my Oscilloscope to measure the current draw of 3 Insteon devices in parallel. My Killawatt reports this as a .898 W load (.3 W/device). Calculating the power based on the oscilloscope measurements results in 1.93W (.64 W/device).

Like you, I'm disappointing in the measurement. It also throws into question my previous measurements on the older devices.

I was using a KillaWatt Model P4400 - What were you using?

I really don't feel like pulling out the scope to re-tests the older devices.

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