Powerhouse Dynamics has released a new wireless version of its eMonitor energy monitoring system.
The new eMonitor4 delivers Wi-Fi signals from the system’s gateway to a home’s router, as well as 2.4GHz wireless communications from a base unit installed inside the electrical panel to the gateway, avoiding the need to run wires outside the panel. This is a welcome sign, as previous wired versions of the eMonitor often dictated locating a home’s router nearby. The eMonitor’s web-based interface can also monitor and control wireless thermostats on a home’s Wi-Fi network.
The eMonitor4 is based on the same platform as the eMonitor c-Series for small commercial facilities released last year. In addition to wireless communications, the system offers a more powerful entry-level option and a more flexible expansion path, the company says. Users can monitor 12 circuits with the Base Unit (plus the two main electrical feeds) and add expansion pods, each serving 10 circuits. The expansion pods can also fit inside most electrical panels. One Gateway can support up to 10 eMonitors.
The company says it has not experienced interference issues from sending wireless signals from the electrical panel in residential installations. “The system is designed to store up to 14 days of data in the panel in the case communications is lost, and uploads automatically when it reconnects,” says Powerhouse Dynamics CEO Martin Flusberg. “The eMonitor will also reboot itself if it can’t connect to the Gateway within two hours as a means of forcing a connection, but we have not seen that happen in the field.”
At the moment, the only thermostats eMonitor supports are the Radio Thermostat CT30 and CT80. “Customers love the interface we created,” says Flusberg. “To adjust the thermostat you just move the horizontal bars to change temperature and vertical bars to change times. Another chart shows a plot of temperature versus setting, which really provides insight into thermostat operation, and is one of the sets of data we will be using to try to optimize performance, which we have not yet released.”
The eMonitor software service is delivered over the web and via mobile devices, and turns energy data into actionable intelligence by analyzing and diagnosing the data and delivering energy savings recommendations, along with cost, usage, safety and appliance performance alerts. Pricing is $499 for an eMonitor4-14, with monthly subscription pricing starting at $7.99 for an eMonitor 14 entry-level unit. An iPhone app is available, and Android is in the works. The eMonitor can also monitor energy production of solar PV and wind turbines, and can monitor the electricity used by geothermal heat pumps.
The eMonitor is available from a dealer network that operates throughout North and Central America and the Caribbean, as well as via on-line retailers including amazon.com, smarthome.com, energycircle.com, and efi.org. In addition, Ingersoll Rand recently announced that it has integrated the eMonitor with its Nexia Home Intelligence system, and is selling the combined system through its network of HVAC dealers and major builders.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates