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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to find an economic way to meter my charging in a shared garage at my condo building. I want to be able to tell the HOA how much I use of its 110v outlet. Anyone know if a meter like this will do the trick?


 

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Yes, but I've read it's not designed for LONG TERM use. Hopefully users will chime in.
 

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That's what I'm using. Someone mentioned a lot of heat on the rear of the KillAWatt, melting some plastic. Others concluded it must have been a loose/poor connection at the outlet. I installed a new high quality outlet and plugged my KillAWatt into that, no issues so far. I also hung the EVSE so that the cord just the right place away from the outlet so that it does not pull down on the Killawatt at all, so there should be no strain on any of the connections. I will hit it with my IR gun next time I think about it to grab a few temp readings.
 

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I was hoping to find something similar to that kill a watt where I could unplug it and it would retain memory of my usage until I cleared it. Something so I could track month to month. It has to be ok to be plugged into an outdoor plug though
 

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I have used kill-a-watt's in my large christmas lights displays over the years and found pulling any more than 8-10 amps continuous on them resulted in pretty HOT units and / or failure...

when I first got my volt I plugged mine into the circuit and after an hour at charging 12 amps my kill-a-watt was warm.. im thinking they must have fairly thin wiring inside them... the outlet in my garage is a nice newer outlet and is good shape.

my Insteon 2423a1 works good but requires an insteon controller or such to read the data from the device.. it doesnt even break a sweat at 12 amps...

im also using the slightly older model kill-a-watt.. it may be that the newer ones are beefed up inside and can handle the higher currents better..
-Christopher
 

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I installed new outlets in my garage and used that meter for 4 months. charged every day at the max amps. I don't charge at work so I left my charger plugged in all the time. At the end of 4 months my 240v charger got installed. When I unplugged my 110v charger the outlet on the Kill A Watt was blackened and deformed like it had gotten to warm. I honestly think I was lucky not to have caused a fire. I in the camp that it is a good meter for short term or spot checks but would not use it again long term.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does anyone know of a heavier duty version of the same idea? Something that'll last? And do these things lose their memory as soon as you pull them off the outlet?
 

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Does anyone know of a heavier duty version of the same idea? Something that'll last? And do these things lose their memory as soon as you pull them off the outlet?
You really need to find something that uses a current coil (CT) around the hot line. That is the least impactful way to ensure you get data while not having to worry about overloading a device.
 

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I have used a 4-1850 power meter from Brand Electronics for over 10 years with no problem. It retains memory when unplugged and PC interfaced models are available. Not the least expensive but nicely made.

http://www.brandelectronics.com/meters.html
 

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You really need to find something that uses a current coil (CT) around the hot line. That is the least impactful way to ensure you get data while not having to worry about overloading a device.
For those of us who aren't savvy in the ways of electrical work...can you put in layman's terms? Or link to an example? Thanks!
 

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(I also live in a condominium and am involved in a “Pilot Program” to figure out how to support EVs)- I’ve got a couple interesting ideas from a post here on this subject just 2 days ago -search it out.).

I tried a WANF Mini Ampmeter D02A (Amazon $16.95) – (almost the same as the Kill-a-Watt). It is a very nice unit that did everything I needed perfectly (For 1 week)! Then it crapped out – part of the back by the plug was burned and melted and it smelled like it was burned up inside.

Luckily it didn’t start any fire. The receptacle it was plugged into is 30 years old, rusted, and a mess – so I don’t really know if it was the meter or the receptacle that caused the problem. (Brand new receptacle is being installed tomorrow). But I do get the feeling that this unit may not be up to constant 12 amp throughput!

Meanwhile I have searched and searched for some reasonability priced device to do this and have been unable to find anything. While the suggested meter – the EKM EKM-15IDS looks like it would do the job – look at the way it must be installed!

I’m sure most Condo garage areas have similar wiring to mine – the wire is enclosed inside metal conduit – the EKM type meters could not be installed without major electrical work.

It is ASTOUNDING to me that with so many EV’s and Plug-in-hybrids becoming available, apparently no Electric Supply Company has developed a simple – inexpensive – “Kill-a-Watt” sized device that simply plugs in (like the D02A or Kill-a-Watt) – but is robust enough to handle the job…(.If I was a few years younger I’d be starting another new company)!
 

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For those of us who aren't savvy in the ways of electrical work...can you put in layman's terms? Or link to an example? Thanks!
Look back a few posts, there is a picture of one.
 

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I know it doesn't do you much good right now, but power metering is the next firmware update being worked for the homemade Open-EVSE. It may take a few months to iron out the details, but I'll post it as soon as I have it working. All data will be stored in EEPROM for durable storage and retrieval.
 

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I installed new outlets in my garage and used that meter for 4 months. charged every day at the max amps. I don't charge at work so I left my charger plugged in all the time. At the end of 4 months my 240v charger got installed. When I unplugged my 110v charger the outlet on the Kill A Watt was blackened and deformed like it had gotten to warm. I honestly think I was lucky not to have caused a fire. I in the camp that it is a good meter for short term or spot checks but would not use it again long term.


This same thing happened to me. I could not unplug the cord from the meter. When I finally got it pryed apart, I found the plastic around the meter plug had melted to the EVSE pigtail. Both were new and had not been plugged in and unplugged many times.

What I found while I was using it was all the information I needed. My MY 2012 uses 13 KWH to fully charge. I now keep a log book and multiply the number of bars I gained while charging by 1.3 KWH. This has worked well for me for over a year now and no external meter required.

I hope this helps.
 

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This M30-U is pretty simple with the right plug/receptacle add-on but it does not come inexpensive...

It is ASTOUNDING to me that with so many EV’s and Plug-in-hybrids becoming available, apparently no Electric Supply Company has developed a simple – inexpensive – “Kill-a-Watt” sized device that simply plugs in (like the D02A or Kill-a-Watt) – but is robust enough to handle the job…(.If I was a few years younger I’d be starting another new company)!
 

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This EKM is UL listed and use only 1 CT to measure the current flow with 2 hot wires w/o neutral (240/1/60). Need to be installed inside a Nema 4 enclosure for outside use. Always consult a professional, ask to your electrician. Also, there is Leviton and others... Not an exhaustive listing.

For those of us who aren't savvy in the ways of electrical work...can you put in layman's terms? Or link to an example? Thanks!
 

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It was discussed in another thread that the MyVolt.com measurements are actually the "from-the-wall" kW-hr usage - probably more granular in the downloaded CSV file. I don't know whether it is entirely true but, maybe others can offer more explanations on this.
It's definitely from the wall. It doesn't measure anything. I just uses the time and the maximum voltage and the amperage. For example, if you charged for one hour at 12A it would tell you that you used 1440 watt hours (1 hour X 120 volts X 12 amps = 1440 watt hours).

Personally it seems a lot simpler. It might be off by a few kWh a month but $50 can buy a lot of kWh (much less $250).
 
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