Author Topic: Multiple TED systems, single distribution  (Read 4647 times)

DA.leo

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Multiple TED systems, single distribution
« on: March 24, 2012, 05:05:30 AM »
First, thank you for help and support.

I’ve read through previous posts:
 “Measuring individual circuits?” http://www.theenergydetectiveforums.com/index.php/topic,971.0.html
“Multiple Gateways” http://www.theenergydetectiveforums.com/index.php/topic,959.0.html
“Multiple Gateways” http://www.theenergydetectiveforums.com/index.php/topic,190.0.html

I want to confirm an application before proceeding with further design, based off posts and conflicting ideas within the posts. I will have 1 panel 120/240V with upwards of 15 displays (zones) monitoring individual branch circuits. (Circuits are subject to change, but same principle) Circuits 2,4,6,8 will be associated with MTU1/Display1. MTU1 CT1 will monitor circuits 2,6 and CT2 monitor 4,8. Circuits 1,3,5 will be associated with MTU2/Display2.  MTU2 CT1 will monitor circuits 1,3 and CT2 will monitor circuit 5. Circuits x,x,x, MTU3/Display3. Circuits x,x,x MTU4/Display4, etc.

As long as each MTU#/Gateway#/display# is assigned a distinct address, is it possible to have upwards of 15 gateways on one distribution panel without interference and keep semi-accurate results?  Is there a better application for this? Primary interest is to relay power consumption through visual display per office area, where each office contains 2+ receptacle circuits and 1 lighting circuit.

As a side note, i've looked into using an entire Branch Circuit Monitor Panel using a solid CT per circuit connected to 15 HMIs through a RS-485 serial link. This came with a large price tag and am looking for a low-cost implementation of the same thing, and 15 TED5000 systems would work.

Conflicting statements from posts:
In addition, using multiple gateways is difficult if they are in a common distribution system. You need to carefully isolate each gateway/MTU group from each other to avoid communications interference.

I think I know the answer to this one, but I just want to make sure -- can you install multiple TED 5000 gateways in a home, each with say 4 MTUs? 

I assume the answer is no due to possible PLC communication issues, but can someone from Energy Inc. please confirm -- thanks!

You're correct-- you cannot install more than one system in a home due to them interfering with each other.

Again, thank you for your time, responses or better ideas.

tonyg

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Re: Multiple TED systems, single distribution
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2012, 11:28:07 AM »
As long as you isolate segments of your panel using noise filters, you can run more than one gateway/MTU bundle in the same panel.  Joey @ Energy Inc. directed me to this video for more detail on how to wire my two-gateway setup (video #5):

http://www.theenergydetective.com/support/troubleshooting

I guess the noise filters act as a PLC firewall of sorts, to prevent PLC network chatter interference between systems.

RussellH

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Re: Multiple TED systems, single distribution
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 12:27:14 PM »
Circuits 2,4,6,8 will be associated with MTU1/Display1. MTU1 CT1 will monitor circuits 2,6 and CT2 monitor 4,8.

What phases are the breakers on?  Circuits 2 & 6 will have to be on the same phase.  Likewise 4 & 8 will have to be on the same phase.  

Normally CT1 and CT2 are on opposite phases, but I think you can correct for that by flipping one of them "backwards".

Edit:  I'll add that you'll only be able to get a reading for the total of circuits 2,4,6,8.  You won't be able to breakout  2 & 6 from 4 & 8 even if they are on separate CTs.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 11:08:29 PM by RussellH »

gregtompkins

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Re: Multiple TED systems, single distribution
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 01:34:29 PM »
I have KIND OF a similar set up and its driving me crazy.  We live on a farm, we have TWO shops, a greenhouse and our house.  We want to have a TED system for each building.  Each building has a feed off the meter, i.e. there are no subpanels but they are through a common meter.  I have been hitting my head against the wall every day why I can't get it to work and it dawned on me, could it possibly be interference between TEDS?  So I checked the stats.htm page carefully on all of them and I see each others' MTU IDs flash on the LAST MTU ID: section of stats.

Also, can someone please confirm which way the red dots really are supposed to go?  I have on one video the red dots clearly point toward the breaker box but the information sheet that shipped with it says to point to the "source", which I would interpret as toward the meter.....

Also, in all the how-to videos the illustration is showing 120 only panels.  Our panels have both 240 and 120 breakers.  Would this all work best if I used BLK/WH/RED 240 and filtered both the RED and BLK at every single panel?  The problem I will have if I have to do this is a lot of stuff to have to put into the panel.  those filters are humongous!

I really wish TED would come out with a Wi Fi version instead of relying on the PLC to pass packets since that media is so crowded with interference.....

Thank You for your help -- great product if you have a very simple setup.


rotus8

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Re: Multiple TED systems, single distribution
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 06:43:27 PM »
Here's what I have found about the "red dots" problem.

The number one thing is that both CTs on a single MTU must have the same orientation: red dots either toward the source or toward the load. It really doesn't matter - see next points. And of course, the two CTs must each have wires from a single phase and the wires in one CT must have wires the opposite phase from the wires in the others.

If the MTU in question is set to "load" or "generation", you are done. These settings perform an absolute value operation so the orientation, which sets the polarity of the reading is taken care of mathematically.

In more complex setups, the polarity of the readings matters as they are combined together arithmetically. The polarity is set by the relative phase of the voltage sensing on the red and black wires vs. the current readings on the CTs. It is simply luck how you connect it up; since the two CTs are not marked, it is a 50:50 chance if you get the CTs in phase or out of phase with the voltage sensing. You need to start it up and see if the polarity of the readings is what you expect. If it is not, the polarity can be reversed in three different ways; it doesn't matter which way you do it whichever is easiest for you, but only do one:

  1) Rotate the CTs 180 degrees on their wires, changing the red dots to face the other way. You must do both CTs, and put the same CT back on the same wire.
or:
  2) Swap the two CTs on their respective wires without rotating - red dots facing the same way as before.
or:
  3) Leave the CTs alone and swap the MTU red and black wires connection to the two phases. If you are only using the black wire, move it to the other phase.

RussellH

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Re: Multiple TED systems, single distribution
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 11:12:12 PM »
both CTs on a single MTU must have the same orientation: red dots either toward the source or toward the load. [...] the wires in one CT must have wires the opposite phase from the wires in the others.

That's normally the case.  But as long as you violate both rules, it will work out.  (Having the dots point opposite ways and having the same phase in both CTs.)

tonyg

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Re: Multiple TED systems, single distribution
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2012, 08:28:23 AM »
The problem I will have if I have to do this is a lot of stuff to have to put into the panel.  those filters are humongous!

Yes, yes they are.  I tried finding space for just two of them inside the panel last night and was a bit shocked how big they were relative to the empty space in the main panel.  I am considering having an electrician put in a sub-panel just to hold the filters, MTUs, and circuits TED will communicate over to keep things clean.

Quote
I really wish TED would come out with a Wi Fi version instead of relying on the PLC to pass packets since that media is so crowded with interference.....

If they put WiFi on at least the gateway, most of my install headaches would be eliminated.  The whole PLC thing made more sense to me on the TED1000, where the "gateway" was combined with the display and had to be placed somewhere inside, where it was visible.  Now that the display is separate from the gateway, IMO the next logical step is a TED gateway that's hardwired into the panel, accepts direct connections from the MTUs so it's not trying to communicate over your power lines, and supports ethernet or wifi to connect to your network.  JMHO :)

Regardless, it's a sweet product, and it's already paid for itself in power we've been able to save simply by being able to measure our usage.



gregtompkins

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Re: Multiple TED systems, single distribution
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 06:51:25 PM »
Yes, it is a very "sweet" product I think it really targeted to simple home users, not small business operations!  I felt I got it really working "perfectly" until we fired up our greenhouse fans and our coolers that run on 240.  Now I am getting more MTU SKP than MTU REC according to the stats.htm page.  Is there a product that either Energy, Inc. or another company makes similar to TED5000 that is more suitable for commercial operations?  This PLC thing is really a bummer, why on earth have anything use PLC if its so annoyingly unreliable?  I've been tinkering with this now since January, thought I finally had it all dialed in and am now back to square one.....  There is no way at all I could possibly put filters on every possible interference culprit.  And we have days our electrical use is over $60!  I really think the only way to make this work for us would be to have Cat5 run to every single panel and a breaker specifically for the gateway and filters, of course.  What a major pain!

Thanks for your help!

--GREG--