Is OEM Suitable for Metering and Data Analysis for Ecovillage Community Sub-Grid?

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(Troy Smith) #1

TL;DR = Looking for metering system to integrate across a small community that can provide both billing data (doesn’t necessarily have to provide revenue grade accuracy) as well as analysis of consumption / production behavior.

(NOTE: This topic is somewhat similar to EmonPi for Cohousing project? but we may be less concerned about revenue-grade-accuracy)

I’m writing from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in rural Missouri, USA. We are an experimental intentional community working to explore and create a model for ecologically sustainable living. We have our own electric sub-grid here and we do our own internal power metering and billing. We’re dissatisfied with the amount of data we are able to get from our current meters and are looking for a better solution that will allow residents to analyze their own household power usage as well as allowing administrators to implement advanced billing strategies (time-of-use and tiered pricing) and analyze power consumption/production on a village wide scale.

It may be helpful for me to describe our electrical infrastructure. Our community has a connection to the local utility grid and we have a large community-shared solar array connected to the grid at that location. Then the power from those sources is distributed throughout the village sub-grid to the various buildings. Some of the buildings have their own solar and/or wind production and some of them can backfeed excess power back to the sub-grid and total excess power in the sub-grid (if any) is backfed out to the utility grid.

We have wi-fi in many but not all locations. Households are often in close proximity to each other but not always. The village is around 300 meters across and someday may be double or triple that. Many of our homes are built using natural building materials and techniques. That means a lot of earthen plaster and cob walls, which seem in my anecdotal experience to substantially interfere with wifi signals.

I’m looking at other devices like EKM Omnimeter, Sense, Curb, but i would love to support an open source effort if it is a good solution for us and if it seems that it will be reliable and have ongoing support/development.

Metering Requirements

  • Affordable
  • Reliable network
  • Time-of-Use information
  • Ability to measure solar production, on-site energy demand and grid import/export (at least 2 CTs needed per household)
  • Residents’ access to consumption/production data for their building
  • Administrator access to aggregate data in order to analyze village-wide power consumption and solar power production as well as gather data for time-of-use billing.

I hope this is clear and apologize for my tendency to use too many words! Looking very much forward to any help you all can provide. Much thanks for your efforts to promote energy conservation in the world!

Troy Smith
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

New Emoncms Groups/Administration module