New Utility Meters Puts a Hold on Monitoring

Today I noticed that there was no data for the Ypsi Food Coop and the River Street Bakery on SolarYpsi for the past few days. I was surprised because Nik Estep added code to the website to send me email when a laptop stops sending data. I walked down to the Ypsi Food Coop to see what was up and was surprised again to see the laptops happily sending data, but all zeros. A quick walk outside answered all my questions, I saw this.

New Utility Meters at the Ypsi Food Coop

The Ypsi Food Coop and River Street Bakery got new digital utility meters. I opened up the customer access box to find our laptop wires connected to ……nothing.

We’ll have to do some research and figure out how to read these new meters. Sure wish I would have known a head of time. I also need to ask Nik to add more code to alert me when a laptop is sending all zeros to the website.

5 thoughts on “New Utility Meters Puts a Hold on Monitoring”

  1. I’ve been making some progress on reading the new meters. I found this great blog posting talking about reading both the IR LED on the top of the meter or tapping into the RF signal it sends out.

    I’ve checked the meters and we have the IR LED on top. I still need to look at it with a CCD camera to see if I can see the flashes. I’m still deciding which output to read. If any SolarYpsi geeks have some free time, I’d glad to accept any help I can get on this project.

  2. Looks like the GRID INSIGHT AMRUSB-1 will not work with our meters. Here is a note from them.

    Unfortunately, the Grid Insight AMRUSB-1 receiver does not pick up signals from the Itron OpenWay models. These meters use newer RF mesh technology that, as far as we know, is encrypted.

    The right way to read these meters is to get your utility to allow you to join it to your home-area network (HAN) and access its data registers using ZigBee Smart Energy Profile (SEP). ZigBee transceivers in USB form factor are readily available. Your utility may or may not be willing to do that, though the meter does support it.

    Alternatively, you might want to look into sensing the infrared pulse transmitted by an LED on the face of that meter. Wattvision makes a sensor capable of doing this.

    The AMRUSB-1 does do everything you need for Itron Centron C1SR meters and other non-OpenWay models, so feel free to mention to others who might have compatible meters. It also receives data from a number of water and gas meters — see the data sheet on our web site for more information.

    182 Howard Street, Suite 632
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    +1-415-449-4757 office

  3. The utility company suggest that we explore the Advanced Pulse WattNode device for monitoring the power at our solar location.

    I didn’t think current transducers could measure the direction of the power, but this product has an additional connection to the circuit itself and appears to be able to tell not only the amount of power passing through the wire but also the direction. This is important since a solar location sometimes has power flowing out of the building.

    I’m looking at getting one of these devices for testing.

  4. Took a browse of the Eastern Echo and *shock* not 1 iinavdduil writer in the opinion section is Conservative. They are all across the board liberal to far left leaning liberal.So, I guess even with Ann Arbor News Paper gone . Nothing has changed!Conservatism still in EXILE on Eastern Michigan’s campus for at least a half century and counting.

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