Energy wave of power monitors for cyclists
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Put your energy into measuring electricity consumption.
Pictured: A SEGmeter – is a set of current sensors that detect the electricity flowing through the different circuits in your home.
By Michael Greene – The Sunday Age Domain’s Greener Homes on 17 June 2012
EVERY time you press down on your toaster, it costs you money. But how much? And how does that compare to your second fridge? Or the air conditioner?
Something’s been missing in between our power points and our utility bills. Most of us don’t know how much electricity we’re consuming, let alone which of our gadgets take most of the load.
Five years ago, Sam Sabey started tinkering with a way to show electricity consumption in real time, working on the principle that we can’t change what we don’t measure. The project began at the Melbourne HackerSpace, a weekly gathering for tech hardware enthusiasts.
Mr Sabey’s hobby has now become a business, called Smart Energy Groups. His product – the SEGmeter – is a set of current sensors that detect the electricity flowing through the different circuits in your home. It sends the information to a web platform, which displays it in all manner of graphs and charts.
“It’s the ultimate energy saving gadget,” he says. “The data tells a story – it’s a wonderful tool to help make the invisible visible.”
Earlier this year, Mr Sabey and his family moved house. With the SEGmeter, he discovered that their new home was consuming 400 watts per hour in the middle of the night. One of the main culprits was the air conditioner, which drew 60 watts per hour, even when it was switched off.
“It’s about understanding when and where we’re using electricity,” he says. “Every house is different and they don’t come with an energy efficiency manual.”
A SEGmeter for householders with 6 different channels, costs about $1000, including installation. Mr Sabey says it’s best suited for big electricity users who want to reduce their bills, and also for houses with solar panels, because it reveals the split between production and consumption.
More info: Smart Energy Groups www.SmartEnergyGroups.com
Michael Greene www.michaelbgreen.com.au