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 Post subject: All I want is my data.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 3
All I want is my data. My electicity usage data. I don't want a cartoon graph that I can't derive averages from or use to calculate the accuracy of my electricity meter.
I want the data. All of it. It really can't be that big. Maybe a couple of megabytes? It's apparently sitting inside the envi unit which is right in front of me and yet I cannot seem to get it out. This is frustrating.
I want it presented in a logical fashion that can be interpreted on a spreadsheet. As in: usage by minute, hour, day, month and year. After spending the entire day today reading through these forums and testing out half a dozen different software solutions I've come to the conclusion that we've been denied this basic functionality.
I want my data uploaded by my bridge to a server which will then let me download it and look at it. Why can't I do this?

I have to prove to my strata board that we have an electricity "leak" or theft in our building by showing averages over specific time periods. For this I need actual numbers not a simplistic graph that they can't log in to see anyway. It's unprofessional.

For current cost staff: here are two simple use cases which are currently impossible with any of the software solutions that you have offered:
1. Compare reported electricity usage for a specific time period (say 3pm till 3pm the next day) from an envi unit to physical electricity meter.
2. Total up the precise kwh used over a time period (say 15th of june to 19th september) to a power bill quoted amount for that period.
3. Compare the average kwh per day quoted in a power bill to that of the average over a specific time period recorded by the envi.

These are the most basic and useful applications of the envi units yet it seems impossible to complete.

Please help!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:12 pm
Posts: 38
Location: UK
I'm sure Current Cost or any number of other programmers could write and sell you a bespoke custom software package to suit your specific requirements.

Your data is also available in it's raw XML format so that you can do whatever you like with it. Print it, save it, graph it, convert it, broadcast it, sell it, or decorate your walls with it.

I don't see why CC is unprofessional, just because the various software that is offered free, doesn't meet your exact requirements.

They have openly published details to the XML data and how to interpret it. There are various topics on the subject elsewhere on these forums and some links to a datasheet that contains all the relavent the information.

The raw XML data can be viewed using most freely available terminal programs such as hyperterminal or there is (or was) a free XML terminal program available on the Current Cost web site. The raw XML data contains additional data that you can't see on the Envi such as a higher resolution temperature output and various other details that you may find usefull.

Unfortunately it does have it's drawbacks in the sence that it's only data and it can't mow the lawn or do the laundry for you, and it can't even make a magic cup of Tea! Totally unprofessional, i have to agree, one would expect atleast that much, surely.

As a suggestion to your problem of electricity theft, you should take a reading on your electricity meter, switch everything off in your home, unplug everything, particularly your computer (they use a LOT of power!) then sit there in the dark for a good while. Then check your electricity meter again and see if it's changed. It may take some time so if it still shows the same reading as last time then wait some more because your electricity theif may not be stealing from you at that point in time. Continue on and repeat the waiting process. If you find that the meter reading does change but only by a small amount then double check everything is unpugged again which will give you something to do while you are waiting for the all important breakthrough until your theif strikes. Make sure you have switched off your clocks, phones, fax machines etc as they are often over looked. Avoid anything that you could attempt to use to contact the outside world, take the battery out of any cell phones you may have as it could be radio interference getting into the wiring and causing false readings. Remember to remove any batteries from laptops and especially disconnect anything that can connect to the internet. (Could be a source of powerdrain) For the most part it's just going to be a waiting game until the theif strikes. If it gets cold at night, resist any temptation to swich on any heating, even gas heating can use electricity and impair your readings. If you wait for long enough, eventually you will be able to prove one way or another if it's something or someone that is using power. Once you find the theif, be sure to express your displeasure. If you sit him down and tell him (or her) how wrong it is, in much the same way as you have expressed above then i'm sure they will be sympathetic to your plight. I'm sure they will understand, not only, how you want it all, and how it's your right to get it all, they will completely understand how you should, in no uncertain terms, have it all. If they don't, well, that's just plain unprofessional of them. How dare they not give you it all. What is the world coming to. So unprofessional. I shudder at the thought of how unfair it's been for you. A total disgrace. I think i may even have to stamp my foot in the anger of it all and write about it on the internet. There must be atleast two other people out there who completely agree and to add insult to injury no less, here you are, having all these problems as well with no one producing perfect software especially for you. Man, i think i'll deffinitely have to stamp my foot in total discust and i think i'll even give my neighbour a dirty look tomorrow just incase they are even thinking of doing the same to me someday. I'm totally shaking my head in discust right now. Pffffff.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:06 am
Posts: 8
Quote:
These are the most basic and useful applications of the envi units yet it seems impossible to complete.


The problem with this statement is that everyone has their own conception of what is the "most basic" and "useful application". To you, it is the data, and periodic measurements. For others it might be the pretty graphs. For someone else, it might be an alarm or a cost/hour function. You get the idea.

There is software out there that will get you the data. I am working on my own version of software for my personal use. If you want to PM me, I am willing to work for an hourly rate on your problems. I am sure many other people would be willing to do the same.

I guess it is sad that Current Cost does not have what you need, but really for the price of the hardware, I think it is to be expected. Also the fact that Google Power Meter was just recently shut down, opens up a wide gap that did not use to be there. It may take some time for it to get filled back in.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:10 am
Posts: 173
These features are on their way. I'm waiting for the datastore to give me an easy way to do this. Hoping it will be soon and I will keep everyone in the loop when I know more.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:39 am
Posts: 23
currentcost wrote:
These features are on their way. I'm waiting for the datastore to give me an easy way to do this. Hoping it will be soon and I will keep everyone in the loop when I know more.


It will be a great feature for this device which IMHO is the only minor issue/let down at this moment in time. Really grateful if you can persist with this project and give us the good news, and hopefully be sooner as you have indicated.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:26 pm
Posts: 138
Location: Melbourne, Australia
While I empathise with your predicament, my initial response was to fire off a "serve" over unreasonable expectations; but I see others have done it more nicely. If CC have a fault it is in going to market with an unfinished product. However I would prefer not to wait the 2-3 years and pay the $1000 it would cost.

One aspect that has not been covered is:
bardcan wrote:
1. Compare reported electricity usage for a specific time period (say 3pm till 3pm the next day) from an envi unit to physical electricity meter.
2. Total up the precise kwh used over a time period (say 15th of june to 19th september) to a power bill quoted amount for that period.
3. Compare the average kwh per day quoted in a power bill to that of the average over a specific time period recorded by the envi.

These are the most basic and useful applications of the envi units yet it seems impossible to complete.

Basically the ENVI cannot achieve what you want. And the CC information is quite clear on this.

Firstly, if you are using an optismart there is no reason to expect it to differ from the electricity supply meter. [Automan's concerns apart].

Alternatively, if you are using clamps, the ENVI is measuring current (amps) not energy (kwh). Energy is Amps x Volts x Power Factor x time.
The voltage of your supply will vary depending on grid load and power factor varies according to the appliance drawing load. It varies from 100% for an electric heater to 80~90% for a fridge/freezer down to perhaps 10~20% for the switching power supply for your notebook. The Electricity meter takes all this into consideration, the ENVI assumes PF=100% and voltage is fixed. This is fine for looking at where you are using power and seeing relative reductions by turning things off. It will lose hands down when compared to a supply meter.

Apart from the above the ENVI is also susceptable to
  • installation problems (is it on the right wire, has it missed a wire)
  • stray EMF (are other wires too close)
  • sampling errors (ENVI records every 6 seconds - what happened in between)

So that I am not only being negative...
If you have a smart meter or interval meter your electrical supply retailer or distributor should be able to provide you with a breakdown by time of day. I get half hourly figures from my Australian retailer on request.

If it is theft through illegal wiring have an electrical inspection done by a licensed electrical contractor.

Good Luck with your project.

_________________
Seeker
"The Truth is out there!"


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:10 pm
Posts: 328
Location: East Sussex
If you are an industrial user of electricity your provider may be able to replace your existing electric meter with a smart one with the ability to check your consumption on their website.

While it is being fitted and the power is off anyone with an illegal tap may also complain "my lights have gone off" :)

I also use another energy monitor which logs data to a local sqlite database. Data is updated every second and into another table the summation for the last hour.

Thus one can look at the hourly data for speed and then drill down to the minute if required. (minute data is auto deleted every week to keep the database size down).

Image

Image

Image

Image

Automan.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:06 am
Posts: 8
Automan, I really like your charts. Is that something you put together yourself?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:37 am
Posts: 1
I have just started downloading to CurrentCost with a bridge. Are all channels transmitted via the bridge? Which channel, if more than one is transmitted, is shown graphed on the dashboard. I note that the downloaded .csv file from the dashboard has only temperature and power.

I would like to suggest that many CurrentCost users would like to see all their data. I think that the people at CurentCost know this but I am adding my thoughts in order to reinforce this view. I have no desire to see the temperature channel. I see no benefit seeing the temperature of the room where the CC meter is. IUt has no relevence for me at the moment. I want to see the power consumption and the output from my solar panel.

Can I encourage others to voice their opinions so the developers at CurrentCost can accurately gauge the things their users want.

Prior to Google Power meter biting the dust I was able to use the SQLight database it produced to generate charts of my own.
Attachment:
PowerGraph.jpg
PowerGraph.jpg [ 55.41 KiB | Viewed 6939 times ]

This chart has my main power and Hot Water as stacked bars above the horizontal axis and my solar power output shownas a negative value below that axis. The resolution is 1 minute intervals as averaged power over that minute.

I would love to have access to the raw data but that would mean leaving my computer on 24/7. If CC could provide access to all three channels of data that the CC meter collects I would count a loss in resolution an acceptable trade off.

I noticed elsewhere discussion of a spliced cable allowing data to be collected by a computer as well as the bridge acting as normal.

To the CFC people, thanks for your efforts so far. I know you realise that we want more from you and our expectaions are high and our needs various and diverse.

Can I encourage others of you to have your say.


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