Wanting to monitor house power with solar


(shane) #1

Does anybody know if something like this exists? i have solar and normal power. I am assuming that if i put one of the normal clamp type meters on it would just read power. so during the night it would show usage, but during the day when i am over producing, i am betting it would still show power usage as the clamp meters don’t care what direction power is flowing.

On a side note, the power meter i got, the clamps were to big to fit, but i was able to put them on the solar feed and i see that my inverter pulls 90w at night.


(Brian) #2

I can confirm that a TED system can measure in/out very well including solar. I am not aware of a ST devicetype for the TED though.

I am struggling myself with the Aeon HEM2 right now, I am not sure whether it can measure negative (production) current. I really hope it can, otherwise I have to rewire and return it.


(Eric) #3

I got negative power when one of two clamps was backwards.

It would be fun to just add another meter for the solar feed.


(Brian) #4

But were the values correct, just negative? Also, would they flip positive if you sent electricity back? I have a lot of testing to do. :smile:


(shane) #5

It will not show negative. it always shows power in the positive. being that my main panel was so cramped, i couldnt get these clamps on the mains, i just put them on my solar feed. so during the day it was showing positive 2600w then at night it was showing a positive 78w of power. so at night i know for sure it should negative as powers flowing to the inverter and during the day it should be positive as power is flowing to the panel.


(Brian) #6

Darn. I’ve got a ticket into Aeon too. Assuming there is no way to configure it, this sucker will have to go back.

Yes, I could get another and somehow create a Franken-hybrid devicetype and do the math to get these to work, but it’s more effort than should need to be done.

I’m now in the same boat as @paranoid56. TED frustrated me with its integration always dying and lack of support. Plus it was expensive, and added another black box to my system.

(Thanks Shane for the confirmation).


(Mike) #7

(Brian) #8

Received this gem from Aeon technical support:

the HEM is configurable to show negative numbers as they do appear. You will need to set parameter 2 [1 byte dec] to 1. By default, this is set to 0 which reports the absolute value instead.

Woohoo! Now I’ve got some work to do.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

Why? This doesn’t seem like an unreasonable configuration (i.e., measure power company usage distinct from solar production & home usage).

Well, good luck with negative power draw data first!


(Brian) #10

It works! It’s easy to overlook but this stuff being in the cloud makes it a lot easier to test.


(shane) #11

I am still new to this, can you give some step by step help on how you fixed it?


(Brian) #12

I plan/hope on updating one of the existing devicetypes for this, which would include:

  1. This functionality update.
  2. Add a switch to flip the power reporting. Because (like me right now), configuring the device to report negative/positive will flip reporting to negative for some people while they are using power. I believe typical convention is positive for usage. And it’s better to have a software flip, than to have to open the panel and reverse the clamps. Safety!
  3. Clean it up for Android including getting colors to work. I believe all the devicetypes are dependent on strings too much. It’s not that I think that strings shouldn’t work, it’s that I don’t think it’s the best way to handle the data and I have a theory that it’s what’s bringing down the android app (not saying that the Android app isn’t the problem, it is, but that there are two causes and I am going to try and fix one of them).

So I have time scheduled this weekend to do this, believeI can get it done.


(Brian) #13

Code for my Android compatible, solar tracking Aeon Labs HEM2 device type in this post: https://community.smartthings.com/t/another-aeontec-home-energy-monitor-device-type-add-android-solar-and-calibration/27231/2

That post also has my reset SmartApp.


#14

This answered my prayers as I am new to this stuff and hooked up my HEM and realized it didn’t take into account my solar generation… so now I have your device and app code implemented, I’m seeing this for my display:

Not sure what the other tiles should be doing but they aren’t… and my amperage is way too high… it’s sunny right now and I’m using light power… I should be putting about 25 amps on the grid right now…
whatta ya think?


(Brian) #15

Hit configure button in device at least once. Wait a few minutes. Also make sure your leads aren’t flipped (one lead). The clamps have markings on then referenced in the instructions. Be careful.

Make sure it’s the Hem v2 you are using.


#16

When you say “configure” button… do you mean edit device? I have edited it and set the $/kWh value to my cost… tried to switch the 1 to a -1 but the - sign isn’t allowed to be typed in that field… saved it and still see what I posted. I have the clamps on opposite directions.
It’s a brand new Aeon DSB28-ZWUS (v 2)


(Brian) #17

In the pic you sent, scroll to the bottom, there should be a configure button. Press it. Doesn’t look like anything happens, but if you know how to watch your logs, you’ll see some magic happen. If you don’t, no worries, usually the values will fill out.

And sometimes a reset is worth trying too, that just fixed for me. My reset smartapp might be a victim of the scheduler failures of recent, I will keep an eye on it.

However, do note that my device started yesterday not reporting the min/max amp and volt values, so I need to dig into the issue and see what recent ST change messed that up.

However, current values should still be accurate and working.


#18

Thanks Brian…
I’ve been busy this week and just got back to this project…
yes, I found the config/reset, etc at the bottom… didn’t think to scroll down.
and yes I see the logs reflect the reset, refresh and configure actions. Very nice!
I’m wondering if I need to flip one clamp because I never see a negative current reading, even at night with no solar output.
Did you say the “Calibration for Power reporting” option (-1, +1) should be positive or negative to enable negative readings ? (sets parameter 2 to a “1” ) or is that embedded in your code? (and I can’t enter -1 anyway into the app’s edit option)

EDIT: I found it in your code:
zwave.configurationV1.configurationSet(parameterNumber: 2, size: 1, scaledConfigurationValue: 1).format(), // Enable (=1) pos/neg reporting

Yeah I never see negatives… hmmm


(Brian) #19

A few things:

  1. Possibly flip one clamp, but first check:
  2. Positive is usually consumption, so if your array is small or your usage is large, you could conceivably only see positive values.
  3. Where did you put the clamps? They should be closer to the utility than where your solar ties in to get net readings. Mine ties in on a breaker, and my clamps are on my main lines.
  4. Config automatically sets negative/positive reporting. It simply configures the device to NOT mathematically adjust the readings. You don’t have to set the calibration value for that to be working using my device. If you ever make more than you use, you should see a sign flip no matter what, if you’ve satisfied what I’ve listed above.

Report back your results, hope that helps.


#20

Thanks Brian…

My system is 9.36kw (36 panels x 260W) and this time of year I’m pumping 20 to 25 amps onto the grid mid-day based on my handheld current clamp meter clamping the lines coming from my inverters into the main panel… I can also see by my net metering watt meter (utility company meter) that the direction of flow is outbound (blinking arrow going really fast to the left). My HEM is clamped on the two mains at the very top of the box where they enter from the Utility meter, hit the main breakers and drop down into the breaker rails… so they are as close to the utility company as I have access.
Day or night (excess power to grid or drawing power from grid) I see positive readings in the app… and the peak currents seem quite a bit higher than would be reasonable for either direction of power… (readings in the 42 amp+ range) which can’t be right… maybe the HEM is hosed.