John Crouchley‘s been beavering away and has been writing about his new project – connecting his gas meter to the Current Cost Envi. By doing this John has been able to track his electricity and gas usage and been publishing online his gas use as well as electricity to Pachube via Arduino.
In his final circuit, the resistor and capacitor values give a time constant of about 0.5 sec and he has added a pull down resistor on the reset line just to make sure it is low unless deliberately increased.used waterslides buy
Once he had built the circuit and connected, John simply fixed the reed switch to the meter and board with the Current Cost development board and two AA batteries into small containertian xiao cheng. To see it all click here.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is taking new measures to become more environmentally friendly with the help of over 200 energy monitors.
The monitors have been donated to the charity free of charge by company Current Cost and will be distributed to the 235 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland.
By installing a monitor in a station, staff and volunteers will be able to identify where energy is being wasted.
The monitors form part of the charity’s push to become more energy efficient, which would also help to free up vital funds.
Jo Jones, Environmental Manager at the RNLI, said: “The RNLI is working towards balancing its lifesaving work with its environmental responsibility.
“The added benefit to this is that the RNLI can potentially save money in the process, which is a huge incentive. Our aim is to change habits towards energy use across the charity to reduce consumption.”
The new energy monitors will show how much electricity is being used in the station at any one particular moment
Users can also monitor their energy spend over a period of months to help them identify where savings can be made.
Martin Dix, founder and director of Current Cost, has been a long-time supporter of the RNLI.Mr Dix said: ‘I am immensely pleased that we can support the RNLI using our energy monitor.It’s a device that will continually help them to save money, and of course reduce their environmental impact.’
The RNLI has also been looking into the cost effectiveness of using renewable and low carbon technologies at lifeboat stations. Last month, the charity turned on its first wind turbine in Aith, Shetland.
The Envi (CC128) was released during February - the interest in it has been incredible. It delivers all of the features you’ve grown to expect from Current Cost products… a 7 year battery life in the transmitter (in fact, that bit hasn’t changed, so is fully compatible with the Classic)..it has on screen graphing, historical data and of course PC connectivity. But, with the Envi, you can input 9 further sensors, these can be a mix of extra CT based transmitters for individual circuits or our soon to be released IAMs (Individual Appliance Monitors) – these really help you understand what an appliance costs – and with the graphing facility, you can also judge when an appliance is beyond its serviceable/cost effective life. Watching your appliances degrade over time has never been so much fun!
All of the data is delivered in an xml message, covering 7 years of history. I’m pleased to report an enthusiastic community of hackers are already at work with applications. For more detail, see http://www.currentcost.com/cc128/xml.htm
But what’s this about mousetraps?
OK, maybe not crystal clear just yet.
Lets remember that the Envi delivers information every 6 seconds to the outside world for 10 different sensors ….. sensors aren’t just those useful devices that record energy usage, the transmitter boards can sense a whole range of events and alert within 6 seconds, as an on/off event (gates, lights, windows, flood/smoke detection, security, presence, motion, mousetraps being sprung!..etc) .. or maybe something more analogue like temperature or light levels.
Now whether any of these alerts are worth a text or a twitter is up to you … or maybe you fancy that information flashing up on your TV screen …. (perhaps with a horror film filter). The point I guess is… this isn’t just an energy monitor… (although I say it myself, it is a splendid one) its much, much more - and so it should be.
Why is any of this important?
We have over 500,000 users of the Current Cost system, their reasons for using it may be the environment or it may be to save money, its a win-win either way, but not only do we need to keep it interesting and engaging, this should be the start of a much longer journey that will give us more information, more control and a better future.
Anyone that attended Homecamp and asked for a dev board, should receive one very shortly – for everyone else we’ll get them on Ebay soon.
Its fairly self-explanotory, it requires 3VDC and the NO switch circuit is across CH2 the other two inputs are still analogue.
Pair to a free appliance channel on the display (use the up/down arrow buttons) press and hold the down (far right) button until the LED flashes, then press the dev board button for >9 seconds. When you see the 0 appear, you are done – short out CH2 and you’ll see the fixed value of 500 appear.
This particular board delivers the signal within 6 seconds, the next version will be circa 2.5.
We’ll also be working on an Envi that counts the events so the data doesnt need to be always connected.
What’s coming next?…. we think you’ll like the next products in the range!
So, its here, at last! The Envi (aka CC128) – and the interest has been spectacular.
We’d like to think we did a pretty good job with the Classic – a first in its class, an affordable monitor offering PC connectivity that helped show you wastage and not (just) usage - of course there’s a huge difference… if you boil a kettle, lets be honest, you’re using it, but what ever was happening at 3:00AM this morning may well have been wastage, that’s the bit we need to attack - that’s the bit you need to see.rubber boats for sale
You should be able to enjoy the investment of your appliances, guilt free … but just turn them off when you aren’t using them. Most of the wastage in your house will probably be small amounts of energy that seem insignificant (just 4Watts left on continually is 1% of the average domestic bill!) … or it’ll be larger items you believe should be left on… well, that freezer in your garage, the one with ice spilling down the side, that’s probably costing you ten times more than it should … get it changed, within a year you’ll have paid for it out of your saved energy costs and you’ll have a lovely new ‘A’ rated appliance to admire.
The Envi has some pretty neat features, you can pair up ten sensors (more on that in a later post), on screen graphing for each, PC data includes: 60 days of high resolution for all ten and seven years worth of all ten - that’s a lot of data! Soon to be available Individual Appliance Monitors (IAMs) will allow you to look closely at appliances in more detail… then reporting back to your PC.
There’s a growing family of products and services being created around the Envi, more tools and more assistance to help you save energy and money – Look out for the C2 logo, all these products work on the same platform and are compatible.
Theres a lot of activity surrounding Current Cost and the new products we’re releasing, making this news available quickly, is important to us, we’ll keep you up to date with our thoughts, tips and help… right here.