Brultech versus TED?

Discussion of supported Energy Management Drivers and Hardware (TED 1001/1002)
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gregoryx
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Brultech versus TED?

Postby gregoryx » Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:13 pm

I've read their web sites. Someone help me decide. How'd you decide? What do you think the differences are?

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Postby ricks » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:47 pm

Hi Gregory,

Being one of the few Brultech users I liked the fact that the unit can be mounted a significant distance from the electrical panel using cat5 and can be connected to the monitoring PC via USB or zigbee. I mounted the ECM1220 in my server room next to the MLS machine so USB worked great. With the info available in ML I didn't need another thing mounted to the wall in our living space. There's also an IP version coming. There's no concern with X10 interference since it doesn't use plc.

Great support... received replies on weekends. Excellent plugin underway by Bob (bpwwer).

Having not used TED I can't comment on a comparison but I am very happy with Brultech. The hardwired depolyment (cat5 & usb) sold me. Gives me greater confidence in the quality of the data.

Happy shopping.
Rick

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Postby bpwwer » Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:54 pm

Hi Gregory,

I'll echo what Rick said. I got the Brultech for pretty much the same reasons. I don't know if they're still offering it but there was special pricing for CoonTech users and that certainly helped.

The support from the company has been very good. When I queried them to get information about the protocol they use for sending data, I got everything I needed and then some within 24hrs.

I haven't seen the TED or dealt with the company so I can't comment on them.
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Postby gregoryx » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:26 am

Hmmm... TED uses powerline transmission for data from the panel. Interesting. So the interface device could certainly be anywhere you plug the controller device into the wall. But now we've got another protocol running on the powerline. Hmmm... might not be a problem... dunno.

Brultech's got the Zigbee to IP convertor thing coming now... which sure seems like a messy way to get IP into the unit. :roll:

Oh... wait... the soon-to-be-released ECM-1240 has a serial-IP version... now we're talking. And it appears as though it may also support monitoring of up to five other specific breakers in addition to overall panel draw. Now we're talking! Geez... or use one or two of those to track water or natural gas usage... that would be good, too.

Okay... I'm waiting for that thing! :D

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Postby bhiga » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:47 am

I have INSTEON and HomePlug 2.0 (Netgear XE104) running on my powerline alongside TED and they all seem to be playing OK with each other.

One thing about TED, since it uses PLC, is that you're advised to plug the RDU (receiver display) into an outlet on the same electrical phase as the MTU (metering transmitter). It seems to work on my other phase, but not as reliably.

The Brultech's architecture looks a bit more modular than TED, but TED is designed for end-users - the rate computations and stuff are managed in the RDU.

I'm happy with TED so far. I'll have to wait to get a detached home before I get something bigger. :)
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Postby gregoryx » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:17 am

A question about TED and Brultech: the TED website screenshots appear to suggest that you can make a "power signature" (or something like that) to identify a semi-unique device - like the electric clothes dryer or the A/C compressor - and chart it as if it were seperately monitored. Am I understanding that correctly?

If so, can that be tracked in ML as well?

Can Brultech do that?

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Postby bpwwer » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:36 am

I think BrulTech has some references to tracking individual appliances using the web based software that they're working on. I'd guess it just takes a reading of the power draw for an appliance and then when it sees that same draw +/- a bit it assumes the appliance is on.

Not sure how that would work with things like the oven that cycle on/off. Seems like a lot of appliances might vary depending on what part of the cycle they're in.

The current software for the Brultech doesn't have this and neither does the plug-in I wrote. Don't know about the TED plug-in.
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Postby gregoryx » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:12 pm

bpwwer wrote:I'd guess it just takes a reading of the power draw for an appliance and then when it sees that same draw +/- a bit it assumes the appliance is on.


That's what I'm assuming as well. At least for very large draw (unique signature) stuff, it's a great idea.

For TED, does it get back into ML?

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Postby bigDvette » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:25 am

I'm fairly sure it does not do what you are assuming. That graph doesn't have a configurable input for HVAC or something.

What you can do is see total electrical usage OR you can put the little rings around a particular circuit and measure just that circuit, but it doesn't create a signature for a particular device. TED doesn't at least.

To the other questions, you can put the USB monitor wherever you want and if you aren't on the right phase, just pick the next breaker down since they alternate phase up and down and you will be on the other phase. Mine has been rock solid for months.

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Postby gregoryx » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:04 am

I'm looking at the neat to last picture in this document.

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Postby bigDvette » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:10 pm

HEre is the description of the profile function. I don't see a place in the plugin for Cinemar where these events are logged. However, you could monitor for these events yourself inside MLServer although it would be pretty crude.

TED Footprints provides the ability to monitor simple changes in kW usage to create
Load Profile Events. This allows you to watch usage of major appliances, such as Water
Heater, HVAC system, or other heavy loads. For example, a hot water heater turning on
might register a 4.6kW increase over a few seconds. The Footprints Logging service will
watch for a 4.6 kW increase and register an event signaling that the device has been
turned on. Once a 4.6kW decrease is measured, Footprints will log an additional event
signaling that the device has been turned off. Please not that this is only intended to
indicate when an appliance might have possibly been turned on or off, and that many
factors may cause an event to be incorrectly registered (i.e. an appliance that has a similar
kW usage being turned on/off, etc).
Load Profile data is only available for periods where the TED Logging Service is running
and that the RDU is connected to the PC.
Load Profile Graph
The Load Profile Graph is the visual display of what load profile events have occurred.
TED Footprints User Manual Version 1.3
Copyright 2008. The Energy Detective. All Rights Reserved. Page 22 of 36
The bar chart portion of the Load Profile graph indicates when a load profile event has
begun or ended. It also displays the duration and cost of each event.
Multiple devices can be tracked for Load Profile
events. To pick which device to display, select the
device in the list box on the bottom right hand side of
the screen.
You can also force the graph to redraw by clicking the
Refresh Status button just below the list box.
As mentioned earlier, other events may cause a device
to be registered as on or off by mistake. To manually
fix the devices current status, use the Toggle Device
On/Off button.
To select a date to display, use the calendar control on
the bottom left hand corner of the
TED Footprints User Manual Version 1.3
Copyright 2008. The Energy Detective. All Rights Reserved. Page 23 of 36
Managing Load Profile Devices
To add, remove, or edit a device, click the
Edit Load Event Types button on the
bottom of the Load Profile screen. This
will launch the Load Profile Device Editor.
The Load Profile Device Editor allows you to Edit, Add, or Delete a Load Profile
Appliance. Each defined appliance is listed in the list box found at the center of the page.
The appliance name, along with the kW change that is being watched for, is listed.
To delete an appliance, select it from the appliance list box and press the Delete Selected
Appliance button. To edit an existing appliance, select the appliance from the list box
and press the Edit Selected Appliance button. To add a new appliance, press the Add
%ew Appliance button.
TED Footprints User Manual Version 1.3
Copyright 2008. The Energy Detective. All Rights Reserved. Page 24 of 36
Setting the Device %ame
Clicking the Edit Selected Appliance or Add %ew Appliance buttons will launch the
wizard to edit/add a Load Profile Device. The first page of the wizard will prompt you for
the name of the device. Appliance %ames must be unique. If you attempt to add a
second appliance with the same name as an appliance that already exists, you will
overwrite the settings of the original appliance.
After you have named the device, click %ext or press Cancel to return to the Load Profile
Device Editor.
Setting the kW Trigger Amount
The next step of the wizard will check for an increase in kW usage as the appliance is
powered up. The kW Trigger Amount is the amount we expect to see our kW increase
when the device is turned on.. You can input this amount manually, or you can have
Footprints monitor for the next event by clicking the “Learn” button.
TED Footprints User Manual Version 1.3
Copyright 2008. The Energy Detective. All Rights Reserved. Page 25 of 36
When the Learn button is pressed, Footprints software will monitor the RDU feed for the
next large kW increase. The device being profiled may need to be on for over 30 seconds
to be detected. Once a kW change is detected, you will be notified that the process is
complete and the value will be entered into the kW Trigger amount field.
For best results, turn off as many appliances as possible prior to adding a profile. You
may want to use Learn more than once to ensure you are getting an accurate reading.
The Percent Error Allowed is the amount of variation from that amount that we will use
to create a match. For example, if we are looking for a 4.45kW increase and specify a 10
percent error, the Load Profile event will be triggered by any increase that is in the 4.00
to 4.895kW range.
After you are satisfied with the kW Trigger and Percent Error Allowed amounts, click
%ext to proceed to the next step of the wizard.
TED Footprints User Manual Version 1.3
Copyright 2008. The Energy Detective. All Rights Reserved. Page 26 of 36
Advanced Settings
For most appliances, you only have to enter the kW increase amount and can assume that
the device is turned OFF when the inverse kW decrease is detected. In this case, you can
skip the advanced settings and save your profile by clicking the Finish button.
However, some devices register as ON or OFF in stages versus a single kW change. For
example, an HVAC system might have 2 stages to register that is has been turned off.
The first decrease would occur when the compressor turns off, and the second decrease
may happen a few minutes later when the fan turns off. In these complex cases, you
would be able to enter the various stages by pressing the Take me to the Advanced
Settings button on this page.
Once you click on the Advance Settings button, you will be taken to the following screen:
TED Footprints User Manual Version 1.3
Copyright 2008. The Energy Detective. All Rights Reserved. Page 27 of 36
You can enter up to 3 power-up stages, and 3 power-down stages for each device.
However, you do not have to have the same number of stages in both the power up and
power down modes. Continuing with the HVAC example, you might have a unit that
turns both the compressor and fan on at the same time. This might register as a 5kW
increase. However, using the 2-stage cool-down example, the compressor shutting off
might register as a 4kW decrease, and the fan powering down would register as a 1kW
decrease. In this case, the stages would look like this:
kW Stage 1 Up 5.0
kW Stage 2 Up 0.0
kW Stage 3 Up 0.0
kW Stage 1 Down 4.0
kW Stage 2 Down 1.0
kW Stage 3 Down 0.0
If a stage is not used, enter a value of zero for that stage. While you do not have to have
an equal number of stages, the total kW increase and total kW decrease must be equal. In
his example, we have a 5kW increase with a 5kW decrease to balance it out. Note also,
TED Footprints User Manual Version 1.3
Copyright 2008. The Energy Detective. All Rights Reserved. Page 28 of 36
that the initial 1-2 second ramp-up where a very high kW is noted by TED should not be
considered a “stage.”

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Postby ricks » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:47 am

The ECM 1240 should be out late January or shortly thereafter. 6 channels of monitoring, comm via rs232, ethernet and zigbee, pulse counter inputs for gas and water meter monitoring. Gee, I wish I had waited. :(

http://www.brultech.com/HomeEnergy/ecm1240intro.html

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Postby gregoryx » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:37 pm

I'm all over it. 8)

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Any Update?

Postby SparkyD » Sat May 09, 2009 8:44 pm

ricks wrote:The ECM 1240 should be out late January or shortly thereafter. 6 channels of monitoring, comm via rs232, ethernet and zigbee, pulse counter inputs for gas and water meter monitoring. Gee, I wish I had waited. :(

http://www.brultech.com/HomeEnergy/ecm1240intro.html


Does anyone know if this is available yet? Would this work with Bob's Plugin? I had problems with TED and Insteon not getting along. I would love a hardwired energy monitoring solution, especially one that could monitor additional circuits and even gas and water metering.

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Postby ricks » Sat May 09, 2009 9:33 pm

Yes, the 1240 is shipping. I've been using the 1220 so I haven't ordered the 1240 yet. There's a lot of info over at cocoontech http://www.cocoontech.com/forums/index. ... =0&start=0

I'm very interested in the 1240's ability to monitor pulse meters like gas and water but there has been little feedback on that topic. Bob's plugin works extremely well on the 1220. Since I don't have the 1240 yet I'm not sure how far he's gone with the plugin.

Rick


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