British Gas / Electricity Monitor

  Cara2 16:39 PM 15 Jun 11
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Does anyone have the above as advertised on the TV?

I do and thought mine was faulty as it does not hold its charge. Basically I charge it up for hours on end and then disconnect from the mains. After 2 or 3 hours its looses its charge, along with all the information I have programmed in.

I am now told this is normal - it is meant to be plugged in at all times apart from the odd time necessary to take it into another room etc.

Is it just me or does that seem silly that it has to be plugged in all the time using electricity? (I am told it uses only a small amount of electricity to be fair). Doesn't it defeat the object of saving electricity by having it plugged in constantly? It looks very portable, but really it isn't.

  woodchip 19:52 PM 15 Jun 11

How can it monitor if its not plugged in?

  Cara2 20:58 PM 15 Jun 11

A circular ring (best description) is clipped around 2 main wires leading out from main box. I am told it detects the amps.

The Monitor then picks up the signal wirelessly.

  Cara2 20:59 PM 15 Jun 11

Oh and the Monitor can be plugged in anywhere, not necessarily in the room with the circular clip.

  proudfoot 15:14 PM 16 Jun 11

I am not personally familiar with this piece of kit, but from Cara2s description it appears to detect the current flow in the the live feed to your consumer unit/fuse box using magnetic induction. As there is no means to detect the mains voltage it will assume a standard 230 volt supply. The supply voltage will vary during periods of high usage both within your premises and also due to external distribution losses, but should not exceed + or - 2.5%. The unit will use the formula Voltage X Current x Time in hours to give kilo watt hours i.e. units of electricity. If the unit has to be plugged in to work it may use the houshold wiring to transmit the data to the room unit. The British Gas advert appears to indicate the gas supply is monitored is this so, if so, if so how?.

  proudfoot 15:17 PM 16 Jun 11

Correction The formula shoud be divided by 1000 to give KWHours.

  oresome 16:13 PM 16 Jun 11

I did get a similar device provided by EON.

Switched it off when we went on holiday and have never bothered switching it back on since. The associated software was flakey, the clock lost several minutes every week and it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know regarding consumption.

As well as assuming the voltage, the device is only accurate for appliances with a power factor of 1 which probably excludes electric motors, TVs, some CFL lamps etc. but does give a reasonable estimation.

You wouldn't be able to tell your provider that their meter was inaccurate on the strength of this device though!

  Cara2 18:35 PM 16 Jun 11

The Monitor does not monitor Gas usage.

I actually found it a good 'eye opener' on my use of electricity, even though it may not be highly accurate. It has made me far more aware of turning things off when not in use.

It was just the fact that it had to be plugged in surprised me.

  wherty 20:29 PM 16 Jun 11

Power Factor is only considered on Three Phase Supplies as you don't get any current lag on single phase supplies.

This is untrue. Simply put "single phase power factor" into Google for a number of interesting explanations.

  oresome 12:02 PM 17 Jun 11

Power factor correction is now part of the design criteria with many power supplies used in TVs and PCs.

  wherty 14:59 PM 17 Jun 11

I think I undestand what you mean - It was just that the statement "you don't get any current lag on single phase supplies" drew my attention.When you have resitive, inductive or capacitive loads you obviously do.

PF correction has always been considered to some degree in domestic installations. That is why PF correction capacitors have been fitted to the older type of fluorescent lamp fittings which employ highly inductive coils for the past fifty years or so.

Due to the present cost of electricity more emphisis is being placed on PF correction both in domestic and industrial applications. However, as has always been the case in industry this will stop short of unity due to the laws of diminishing returns.

I will put this one to bed now so that anyone who wishes can return to the origional question.

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