Smart Home Monitoring

Are you the type of person that likes to know the details?

Do you like to keep your personal business – personal?

Is access to your financial information important to you?

If this is you, then you need to know about Smart Home Monitoring.

“How much money do I waste by leaving the TV on at night?”

In the past, questions like this have been difficult to answer. You would have no way of knowing how much power an appliance or device was using. Until now.

A Smart What?

Smart Home Monitoring is basically energy management for your home. It is a dynamic system that records, analyzes and communicates your home’s energy data across an online platform, allowing you to monitor and manage your home’s electricity! A typical utility meter only records how much power your home is consuming. A typical solar monitoring system only records how much power the solar panels are producing. With a smart system, it is different; it is comprehensive. A home with smart monitoring records both consumption and production!



Here is an example of smart home monitoring. In the above image, the bar graph depicts both energy consumption (in blue) and solar production (in green). From a simple graph like this, you can analyze your energy consumption behavior – I bet you never thought of that? Here’s a hypothetical analysis of our imaginary family – the Dotsons:

It’s a typical Saturday morning for the Dotson family. They wake up early for the kids soccer practice. After practice, they go out to lunch and then proceed home. Upon arrival, each turns on their device of choice or puts on their favorite show. Dinner is leftovers followed by a couple hours of Saturday game night. The kids go to bed around 8:30 (although we all know they aren’t sleeping) and mom and dad turn on a movie around 9:00. Of course, no movie is complete without Dad making up a batch of popcorn from his new carnival style popcorn machine. By 11:30 PM everyone is sound asleep in their beds.

Does the above Smart Home Monitoring graph really say all that? You betcha! The blue bars shows very little power use in the early morning hours with a slight upticks as the first mom and dad, and then the kids wake up and get ready for soccer. By 9:00 AM everybody is out of the house and they return home at 2:00, as indicated by the blue bar’s spike in bar graph.

What’s really cool is that you can see from 7:00 AM through 3:00 PM, the Dotson family’s solar panels are producing way more power than they are using. That means they are getting net metering credits for sending all the power back to the electric company. By 4:00 PM, solar production wanes as the sun readies for its daily slumber. Power usage is up, so the Dotson’s home is now drawing electricity from the grid. However, thanks to all the accumulated net metered solar power, they are not paying for that electricity! On a day like this the Dotson’s end up sending solar power back to the grid and get a credit, even with Dad’s little splurge of carnival style popcorn 😁

Want a simplistic overview – no problem. Check out the circle graph. Not only are the Dotsons offsetting their electric usage, but they are over producing at 257%. Wow! If this was your Smart Home Monitoring system, you’d know that you used 66.9 kWh that day, but produced 109.6 kWh from your solar panels. And if you want to nerd out, you could analyze the data, minute by minute (does anyone really do this?).

Why Should I Care?

Because this has to do with your money! Smart home monitoring helps you know exactly how much power your home is consuming and how much money you are saving – and how to save even more. Just by simply  knowing how much it costs to wash and dry a load of laundry or how much money you spend on air conditioning on a hot day will help you to live smarter and take more control of your costs and spending.


Once you know how much something costs, you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to continue spending money in that way. If you knew that unplugging your internet at night could save you hundreds of dollars over time, you might consider turning it of at night. Knowledge is power (in this case, quite literally).

How Does it Work?

Electricity flows through wires. You know that. A smart monitoring system measures how much power is flowing through those wires with the use of current transformers (CTs). Whether you have solar panels or not, you can measure your home’s power consumption. CTs, which are shaped like donuts, are placed around the wires in your electric panel.

If you have solar, the CTs are placed on the inverter output circuits (the AC power coming from your solar panels) and measured from there. This information goes to the smart monitoring device, which analyzes it and sends it to the cloud. From there, you can pull it up on your smartphone or any internet-ready device!    

Smart Home Intimacy

Access to your data is a big deal! Previously, the best you could do was wait to get a bill from your electric company. That electric bill would tell you how much power you used that month and perhaps provide a daily average. But now, with your smart home monitoring, you have instant access to your home’s energy network. This is how you can make educated decisions, make hypotheses and run tests.

Smart home monitoring gives you the ability to know your home in a more intimate way.  So, whether or not you want to treat your home like a science experiment or you just like knowing what is going on, this new technology will get you there. Where is “there”? The future of course!

The supervisor (A Smart Monitoring Device)      

Reference:

http://www.thewp-group.co.uk/4_reasons_why_smart_meters_are_the_future_of_energy_efficiency.html

https://m.shop.bt.com/blog/5-reasons-to-install-a-smart-meter-in-your-home

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bNdA0l2TSO31-5GHyrCfayicx0rwidjv2KFp5QYcb5M/edit

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bNdA0l2TSO31-5GHyrCfayicx0rwidjv2KFp5QYcb5M/edit

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bNdA0l2TSO31-5GHyrCfayicx0rwidjv2KFp5QYcb5M/edit



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