What are my best options

Looking for my best options. I want to monitor my general electricity usage Using CT’s clipped onto cables in my consumer unit, but also want to monitor what my 300W solar panel is doing (on sunny days) which will soon to be joined by another 300W identical panel, which will hopefully give me a zero electricity usage during the day when we have sufficient sun. (The consumer unit is at the front of the house the solar panel is in the back garden, power running through my shed) the 300W panel gives me about 285W steady now when we have full sun, and my house uses about 450W when it’s ‘asleep’ but the 2 fridge freezers are both running, as low as 150W when it’s just the background stuff, so potentially I will be exporting, (looking for a way to use that excess power to run through a victron charge controller and charge a 24V battery bank). That’s the next project, need to get the monitoring up and running first, so… What in everyone’s expert opinion is the best way forward? I want to be able to live monitor power consumption and generation so I can see instantly wht everything is doing.

I am reasonably tech savvy but new to the world of Pi & arduino, so be gentle with me please. :wink:

Does that imply that you need to measure the “garden” PV separately from any power you use in the shed? Will the two solar panel be co-located?

Are you only interested in “whole house” consumption, or does “what everything is doing” mean that you are likely to want to measure some other circuits individually?

Without getting into too much detail the solar panels are connected to my house electrics, via an RCCB trip in the shed, as the solar panels are located next to the shed, so was the easiest way of keeping the control electronics dry and secure. it’s a small experimental setup, which gives me (when it’s sunny) a way of offsetting what my house uses during the day, and so reducing my electricity usage from the grid. So in answer to your question I would like to monitor what I am using from the grid and also what my PV is producing so I can see how efficient it is. If possible i would also like to monitor separate circuits in the consumer unit, so maybe upstairs ring downstairs ring etc, but that’s no critical, just nice to have, the most important thing is to be able to monitor total usage from the grid, and power produced from my solar panels.

That is what I suspected - so you can’t use (say) an emonPi (which can monitor two circuits) because of the physical separation between the C.U., where you’d measure nett import/export, and the shed, where you’d measure the PV infeed.

One thought did occur to me: as your PV power input is low (~2.5 A), one possible solution provided it is practical would be to run a separate cable from the C.U. to the shed, solely for the P.V.
If that’s difficult, then I think you’re looking at maybe an emonPi in the shed - provided your Wi-Fi signal there is good, and an emonTx at the C.U., where you’d be able to monitor the nett grid power and 3 other circuits. So you’d have 4 spare monitoring points in total available - one in the shed and 3 at the C.U. If the inbuilt radio link between the emonTx and the emonPi didn’t work due to the house being in the way, you should be able to add an ESP8266 to the emonTx to make it WiFi - provided there’s WiFi signal at your C.U. :persevere:

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Thanks @Robert.Wall for your reply. :slightly_smiling_face:

That was what I was thinking but just wanted someone else to backup my thoughts. Wifi isn’t a problem, I have a Ubiquiti outdoor CPE (access point) which gives me excellent wifi coverage, right to the end of my road ! running a cable from the shed to the CU isn’t practical as there is a tarmac drive & the house in the way, and I don’t want anything showing, I have gone out of my way to hide all the armour cable running from the PV to the shed, so the only way to do it is Wifi and radio. The radio should work the house is newish, so the walls are made of paper so the 433mhz of the EmonPi should work fine, if not I have seen the ESP8266 EmonTX tutorial, I have a couple kicking around so that would be an option. :wink:

I will post back once everything has arrived and I have got it working

Thanks again for your response, hopefully once I am up and running I can help other members. :slight_smile:

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Welcome. I’ve just invested in an indoor AP and the difference is startling. Need to get a USG now.

Good Morning @borpin
I had no choice, I have an indoor AP, and an outdoor UAP. I have a Sky Q box and router which supposedly has mesh networking, the problem I had is that the only way I can watch TV in my house (apart from Sky) is to stream media. I have a decent speed connection (65+ Mbps) but the sky router and mesh network device in the Q box doesn’t spread it well, even though the router is upstairs in my office and the box downstairs. So a solution was required, after much research I decided on a Ubiquiti Unifi indoor AP, I was so impressed with what it does (never had a single problem ever since I installed it) I bought an outdoor UAP too, the signal from the indoor AP spreads into the garden, but I just wanted to make sure, as during the summer I stream stuff outdoors as well. :wink: I have turned the sky router and Q box wifi off altogether and forced the Sky box to use the Unifi network. :slight_smile:

Not got a USG yet, but it’s on the list, it;s an awesome bit of kit. :wink:

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