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Monitor for power loss


kohai

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So, my brother called and asked me a question that is a variation on what I've done with my house.

 

He wants to monitor for power loss with his fridge and freezer in the garage.  They've had a landscaping crew trip the breaker a few times.

 

He has no z-wave or insteon or anything.  He'll need to start from scratch and for now this may be the only thing he does.

 

My thoughts:

 

Aeon Z-wave Smart Energy Switch

http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B007UZH7B8

 

Have him get these and then just monitor power usage.  If it goes to zero then have it send an alert.  I assume if the switch loses power that a hub/controller monitoring it will treat that as zero (e.g. it stopped communicating so it must be zero voltage).

 

Questions:

1. Do you see a simpler more elegant way of doing this?

 

2. I hate to say this, but I wonder if the ISY is too complicated for the non-techie type person to manage.  I have no experience with any other controller to know other options to suggest or if that is even wise since the ISY is great.

 

Opinions?

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Forget the power detection. Somebody pulls out the plug and it won't know it.

 

Get a CAO Tag manager and one Tag. They detect temperature to 0.4C accuracy and talk through the fridge metal casing no problem. Now you will detect the door left open, compressor failure, or power failure.

 

It can be set up to email him when the temperature falls outside a set range. It can also send URL packages to your REST interface on your ISY from anywhere in the world, send text messages to your phone or tell you vocally what s wrong with the app running in the background of your mobile device.

 

They also tell you humidity, X, Y Z positions and alert you if it has been moved, so you could tell if the door was opened. Battery voltage alarms also send via  the same dozen different notification options.

 

Manager runs about $50 and each Pro tag about $35 USD.

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Forget the power detection. Somebody pulls out the plug and it won't know it.

 

Get a CAO Tag manager and one Tag. They detect temperature to 0.4C accuracy and talk through the fridge metal casing no problem. Now you will detect the door left open, compressor failure, or power failure.

 

It can be set up to email him when the temperature falls outside a set range. It can also send URL packages to your REST interface on your ISY from anywhere in the world, send text messages to your phone or tell you vocally what s wrong with the app running in the background of your mobile device.

 

They also tell you humidity, X, Y Z positions and alert you if it has been moved, so you could tell if the door was opened. Battery voltage alarms also send via  the same dozen different notification options.

 

Manager runs about $50 and each Pro tag about $35 USD.

 

This would be an inexpensive solution and probably all he needs.  Thanks!  How does it monitor power failure?  Simply due to the temperature change in the fridge/freezer?

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I use these and agree with Larry. They wont monitor power failure BUT they can send you a notification if the temp falls below a threshold which should work. Otherwise maybe a syncolinc and simple SH hub?

But the OP indicates this guy has nothing to start with so the CAO tags would support that and be self-contained but fully expandable.

 

He could use the cheaper tags ($25?)  due to not needing to buffer months worth of data for after his fridge gets back home.

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I can tell you from personal experience for those serious about knowing what is happening to the fridge / freezer. You will need to monitor the wattage, current, line voltage and internal temperature. Failure to do so will leave you with a false sense of security and only offers half the picture when its needed.

 

The following examples are why both need to be monitored and tracked:

 

1. Door is left ajar or creeps open due to improper closure, packing, door seal. Monitoring the line voltage won't tell you anything that items are not being kept at the correct temperature and you're consuming more electricity.

 

2. Compressor / Refrigerant Failing: One or both conditions exist once again monitoring the line voltage does not tell you the fridge / freezer is operating as expected.

 

3. Temperature: Monitoring the temperature directly also does not tell you if line voltage is present with in a margin of safety. Meaning if you simply monitor temperature it can take 1-6 hours for the temperature to meet a specified threshold. Keeping in mind if this is a frost free unit which many are you will always have false positives. Which a smarter controller like the ISY Series Controller can program for.

 

4. Wattage: Many if not all current fridge / freezers draw no wattage at idle. So with out a smart controller like the ISY Series Controller you will not have the ability to place a operating range.

 

5. Tracking: Regardless of the method you use graphing / charting is the only method to know and determine actual run time, number of cycles, start up, and normal vs defrost modes.

 

6. Current: Measuring (inrush) start up current is very important because it tells you components are operating with in specs or not.

 

 

post-1970-0-41639000-1470978868_thumb.png

post-1970-0-85183900-1470978876_thumb.png

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Here is the temperature setup page from one CAO Tag.

post-4697-0-32909600-1471006534_thumb.jpg

 

 

Here is a shot from just the URL Calling  notification options.

post-4697-0-26683600-1471006777_thumb.jpg

 

 

There are pages of other notification options also but just simply installing the app will voice notify you of the problem without even much option selection. Just a few checkboxes.

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I can tell you from personal experience for those serious about knowing what is happening to the fridge / freezer. You will need to monitor the wattage, current, line voltage and internal temperature. Failure to do so will leave you with a false sense of security and only offers half the picture when its needed.

 

The following examples are why both need to be monitored and tracked:

 

1. Door is left ajar or creeps open due to improper closure, packing, door seal. Monitoring the line voltage won't tell you anything that items are not being kept at the correct temperature and you're consuming more electricity.

 

2. Compressor / Refrigerant Failing: One or both conditions exist once again monitoring the line voltage does not tell you the fridge / freezer is operating as expected.

 

3. Temperature: Monitoring the temperature directly also does not tell you if line voltage is present with in a margin of safety. Meaning if you simply monitor temperature it can take 1-6 hours for the temperature to meet a specified threshold. Keeping in mind if this is a frost free unit which many are you will always have false positives. Which a smarter controller like the ISY Series Controller can program for.

 

4. Wattage: Many if not all current fridge / freezers draw no wattage at idle. So with out a smart controller like the ISY Series Controller you will not have the ability to place a operating range.

 

5. Tracking: Regardless of the method you use graphing / charting is the only method to know and determine actual run time, number of cycles, start up, and normal vs defrost modes.

 

6. Current: Measuring (inrush) start up current is very important because it tells you components are operating with in specs or not.

 

Interesting, I didn't think that a fridge/freezer would drop to 0 power but that makes sense.  Very cool graphs!  So, monitoring of power has to be done as power consumption over a period of time.

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Interesting, I didn't think that a fridge/freezer would drop to 0 power but that makes sense.  Very cool graphs!  So, monitoring of power has to be done as power consumption over a period of time.

 

More specifically I was trying to show everyone how various scenarios that are very common will not be caught simply by monitoring just one specific criteria.

 

If you monitor the line voltage of the outlet all this does is tell you there is power. It in no way tells you the fridge is drawing power, operating at all, in spec, door ajar, or there is some kind of mechanical failure.

 

Monitoring wattage is a nice balance as it does tell you when something turned on, duty cycle, and possible minimum / maximum wattage scene (IF) a smart controller like the ISY Series Controller is in use.

 

Monitoring wattage alone does not tell you the device is operating correctly either. As noted, because something can be using the same energy (watts / KWH) but if there is a Freon leak the unit will not keep, maintain, the proper temperature. So this requires a temperature probe to monitor the low, mid, high values seen.

 

Even this doesn't tell you the whole story with out graph / chart tracking because both methods are instantaneous (at the moment) readings.

 

Thus the need for a graphing / charting application solution which renders the trends of peaks and dips in the over all operations of the system.

 

All of this information was a hard lesson learned for me in the past . . .

 

Below I have included a few more image captures - In this view I've selected the calendar option which is one of many powerful charts / graphs I can render to see hard factual data with out guessing.

 

One is the monthly KWH and the other is the monthly dollars broken down into each day in that month. Its easy to see if there are changes on a global scale whether it be from changing the TSTAT, adding in fresh products needing to be frozen / cooled. To someone forgetting to let something cool down before placing it into the fridge / freezer.

 

Next, you will see another chart that indicates the volt amps. This allows me to know exactly how much back up power I need for each appliance on a global scale. The next chart indicates the power factor which how close that appliance is to the ideal of 1 PF. PF is more important in industrial settings than in a residential home but this information is available for any loads which normally apply to inductive loads and motors.

 

The last image capture is probably one of the most important ones for me because having the ability to see the start up (inrush) current allows me again to know what to expect when something big like a sump pump, compressor, what ever kicks on.

 

Again, this allows me to employ the correct back up systems with enough run time to operate the systems during a grid down event.

 

Monitoring current / amps for most appliances and hardware offers critical insight about its start up, running, and idle behaviors. In my personal experience when something is on the cuspid or is starting to fail current / amps start to rise.

 

This tell tale sign offers me and most end users enough time to get something in place or have it service before something lets loose. 

post-1970-0-15487200-1471020783_thumb.png

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post-1970-0-17122200-1471021354_thumb.png

post-1970-0-39571800-1471021367_thumb.png

post-1970-0-16224000-1471021571_thumb.png

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  • 1 month later...

More specifically I was trying to show everyone how various scenarios that are very common will not be caught simply by monitoring just one specific criteria.

 

If you monitor the line voltage of the outlet all this does is tell you there is power. It in no way tells you the fridge is drawing power, operating at all, in spec, door ajar, or there is some kind of mechanical failure.

 

Monitoring wattage is a nice balance as it does tell you when something turned on, duty cycle, and possible minimum / maximum wattage scene (IF) a smart controller like the ISY Series Controller is in use.

 

Monitoring wattage alone does not tell you the device is operating correctly either. As noted, because something can be using the same energy (watts / KWH) but if there is a Freon leak the unit will not keep, maintain, the proper temperature. So this requires a temperature probe to monitor the low, mid, high values seen.

 

Even this doesn't tell you the whole story with out graph / chart tracking because both methods are instantaneous (at the moment) readings.

 

Thus the need for a graphing / charting application solution which renders the trends of peaks and dips in the over all operations of the system.

 

All of this information was a hard lesson learned for me in the past . . .

 

Below I have included a few more image captures - In this view I've selected the calendar option which is one of many powerful charts / graphs I can render to see hard factual data with out guessing.

 

One is the monthly KWH and the other is the monthly dollars broken down into each day in that month. Its easy to see if there are changes on a global scale whether it be from changing the TSTAT, adding in fresh products needing to be frozen / cooled. To someone forgetting to let something cool down before placing it into the fridge / freezer.

 

Next, you will see another chart that indicates the volt amps. This allows me to know exactly how much back up power I need for each appliance on a global scale. The next chart indicates the power factor which how close that appliance is to the ideal of 1 PF. PF is more important in industrial settings than in a residential home but this information is available for any loads which normally apply to inductive loads and motors.

 

The last image capture is probably one of the most important ones for me because having the ability to see the start up (inrush) current allows me again to know what to expect when something big like a sump pump, compressor, what ever kicks on.

 

Again, this allows me to employ the correct back up systems with enough run time to operate the systems during a grid down event.

 

Monitoring current / amps for most appliances and hardware offers critical insight about its start up, running, and idle behaviors. In my personal experience when something is on the cuspid or is starting to fail current / amps start to rise.

 

This tell tale sign offers me and most end users enough time to get something in place or have it service before something lets loose. 

 

How are you able to know how many $ per day your fridge uses?

How do you monitor the kwh?

 

your system is indeed impressive

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How are you able to know how many $ per day your fridge uses?

How do you monitor the kwh?

 

your system is indeed impressive

I have a whole house energy monitor / energy management device called the Brultech GEM ( Green Eye Monitor) and its companion data storage server Dash Box (DB).

 

The DB is what tracks and aggregates the energy readings and offers the charts / graphs you see.

 

All of this energy data is sent to the ISY Series Controller for conditional logic to help alert, maintain, and react to my homes energy targets and needs.

 

In the distant future the team and I expect to have two way voice control, notification and management via Amazon Echo, Tap, Dot.

 

If energy monitoring / energy management isn't just a passing fad or hobby you may consider saving up for one of the best in class energy monitors from Brultech.

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I have a whole house energy monitor / energy management device called the Brultech GEM ( Green Eye Monitor) and its companion data storage server Dash Box (DB).

 

The DB is what tracks and aggregates the energy readings and offers the charts / graphs you see.

 

All of this energy data is sent to the ISY Series Controller for conditional logic to help alert, maintain, and react to my homes energy targets and needs.

 

In the distant future the team and I expect to have two way voice control, notification and management via Amazon Echo, Tap, Dot.

 

If energy monitoring / energy management isn't just a passing fad or hobby you may consider saving up for one of the best in class energy monitors from Brultech.

So you have two ISY994 (one Zigbee and one Z-Wave) or just one?

 

5.0.4 works well?

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So you have two ISY994 (one Zigbee and one Z-Wave) or just one?

 

5.0.4 works well?

 

I have three controllers - one is dedicated for testing the other two are for production. Of the two production units one is for a isolated network intended as a proof of concept. The other is the primary unit which includes the ZigBee radio for direct integration to the Brultech GEM / DB.

 

I do not have Z-Wave at the moment because it doesn't support generation 5 plus chip sets. I am running 4.5.X firmware because this is in a production environment. 

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