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In Western Australia, each kilowatt hour of electricity consumes represents 780 grams of Carbon Dioxide.

We recently purchased and installed a Smappee Infinity energy management system.

Smappee Infinity collects real-time and historical production and consumption data down to appliance level, enabling us to see actionable insights into our electric power usage. For example, items that are always-on such as network routers, network video recorders and energy guzzlers such as air conditioning and refrigerators.

Even with a 5kW solar system installed, our first annual power bill in 2018 was $3,000. After replacing the cattery freezer and refrigerator with more energy efficient models and closely monitoring the time that we pumped bore water, the annualised bill was reduced to $2,500.

The Smappee system consists of interconnected components including the Genius (Gateway between monitoring system and cloud), Power box (Measures power signals) and Current transformer hubs (Current measurement).

The components are interconnected via an RS485 serial link via a standard twisted pair telephone cable (already installed). This enables the Smappee Genius to be located in the house, 30 metres away and near the internet router, the Power Box and two current transformer hubs in the Shed switchboard and the third current transformer hub in the Cattery switchboard, 35 metres from the Shed.

Smappee Energy Management System

Smappee Energy Management System

Energy efficiency actions

1. Lighting
The cattery and Shed lighting is currently standard fluorescent tube type with a total power consumption of 1,000 Watts. We are converting all fluorescent lights to LED type.  As a trial, I have retrofitted one fluorescent light fitting in the shed, installing 2 x Osram 18W, 1,800 lumen tubes.

Retrofit procedure
1. Isolate the lighting circuit at the switchboard circuit breaker
2. Remove the tubes and cover.
3. Remove the two electromagnetic ballast units and the power factor correction capacitor.
4. Reconnect the cut ballast wires.
5. Test to ensure that the wiring is correct.
6. Refit the fitting cover and install the new LED tubes.
7. Switch on the lighting circuit breaker and light switch to test.

Power consumptionVoltageWattsVARP.F.
After (with capacitor)250311620.19
After (Without capacitor)24931420.59

2. Cattery HWS
The Cattery hot water system is a 3,600W, 200 litre storage unit. The timer has now been set so that the unit can only be energised between the hours of 11am and 2pm to take advantage of the Solar power production.


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