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Smart Circuit Breaker

ZigBee or X.10 modular circuit breaker units
  (+4, -3)
(+4, -3)
  [vote for,

Rather than whole-house replacement units for home automation, build inband X10 or wireless ZigBee functionality into the small replacable circuit breaker units compatible with currently in-use panel systems.

These smart breakers would be able to monitor per-circuit power usage and power quality/factor, sending monitoring data back to a home control unit or PC, and possibly if desired offer remote control tripping of the breaker.

This should be feasible with current technology -- consumer devices like the Kill-a-Watt meter show that power monitoring electronics that run parasitically off the monitored load can be fit in a small profile, and Zigbee/X10 chipsets are not very large either.

skids, Oct 25 2006

Kill-A-Watt http://www.thinkgee...ts/electronic/7657/
Kill-A-Watt meter [skids, Oct 25 2006]

(?) Zigbee http://www.zigbee.org/en/index.asp
Zigbee Alliance Homepage [skids, Oct 25 2006]

X10 http://en.wikipedia...(industry_standard)
About X10 (wikipedia) [skids, Oct 25 2006]


       With a traditional console too, in case your PC's circuit breaker trips, right?
devnull, Jul 21 2008

       I know for a fact that this is already possible with some reasonably small MCB. Schneider Electric do them with an embedded web page. They may manufacture under Telemechanique or SquareD. Have a google.
gnomethang, Jul 22 2008

       I love the idea of sitting at a dead PC, trying to remotely reset the breakers.
coprocephalous, Jul 22 2008

       Circuit breakers are a safety device. They are intended to operate when some other part of the system has failed. As such it's best that they are completely self contained, without any dependencies on other parts of the system, since those other parts can't be trusted to be operating correctly at the time when the circuit breaker has to do its job. It's also best that the breaker doesn't try to do anything other than its safety-related task, as this introduces complexity into its design, along with a corresponding risk that the breaker will misbehave at a critical moment. [-]
Wrongfellow, Jul 22 2008

       Correct, Wrongfellow.
I may have to find these devices as a reference but the fact that you can view them and see the last fail state has got to be great for diagnostics.
gnomethang, Jul 22 2008

       I see that as you giving yourself a self-diagnostic to see whether you're insane or not. If the test results come up positive, who attempts to give you treatment?   

       [if a circuit breaker trips in the forest...]
WhereYouAt, Jul 22 2008


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