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Add a ethernet port to Kill-A-Watt and poll from LAN server.
  [vote for,

Obviously, I care about where I'm using power, But I want a better way to track it.

By taking your standard Kill-A-Watt meter and hacking an embedded server into it you could easily setup cron jobs to poll them, hourly or whatever and insert that to a database, Few short pages on your server and you've got a nice graphical map of where you power is going. Right now, An hour ago. Over the past week.

Now obviously no one wants to string Cat5 across the house, This wil either have to go into a junction box or even better, take a generic main panel and build the Kill-A-Watt into the circuit breakers' slot. Remove all the bus bars, But just that type of grid. Obviously you would put this panel next to the mains panel, with a switch in it and a single Cat5 heading to your network.

And other problems I haven't thought of.

Rabbitbunny, Apr 16 2008

Kill-a-Watt meter http://www.reuk.co.uk/Kill-a-Watt.htm
Very cool. At £20 I may have to get one. [wagster, Apr 17 2008]


       //obviously no one wants to string Cat5 across the house// Well, obviously - you need Cat6.
coprocephalous, Apr 16 2008

       I like it. You could use powerline ethernet adaptors to report this information back over the power wiring. The unit servicing power to your router could also serve as the connection point between your powerline network and your existing home LAN. [+]
reap, Apr 16 2008

       I'd like to see how much I'd save after spending £50 (standard plug socket, ethernet over mains socket and kill-a-watt meter, maybe an all in one would cost less and not look so unsightly?) on each wall socket I convert to the new system. It seems like a long term thing but probably works out.
Secession, Apr 16 2008

       Partially baked. Large electricity consumers are metered by average half-hourly demand, so generate 48 readings per day. These meters are fitted with modems and phone lines, and the utility calls up every week or so and uploads the readings.   

       I agree that it makes good sense to have this facility in the domestic meter for instant graphing of demand.   

       Bluetooth might be better, since a meter reader could also use it (the utilities still like to visit from time to time). Alternatively, the meter could generate some sort of encrypted steganographed reading packet for you to email to the utility when it's billing time.
james_what, Apr 16 2008

       Meter readers have radio meters available, They install them when they can't get close enough due to dogs/locked fences/whatever.   

       I wouldn't go with any sort of powerline/radio networking, I require a physical abstraction layer, You never know who has a Bluetooth/WiFi connection or what the powerco has on the other end of their lines.   

       This is not meant to server any utility to the powerco, They can pay for the hardware if they want it so badly.
Rabbitbunny, Apr 17 2008

       [wags] Watch out for them at Maplin, often at half-price at 14 or 15 quid.
They seem to work quite well, just remember not to switch off the socket they're plugged in to.
Not networkable, though.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 17 2008


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