Analysis of Flukso data

We have had PV installed since late 2013. The first monitoring system was just the inverter output only and then lately, Flukso at which point the power consumption became visible.

The two can be seen here:

The Flukso proves more valuable in terms of identifying consumption/waste but what was noticed initially is heavy shading in the winter (now). I was aware of light shading in summer but the impact was much more severe in winter. So we hired some men with chainsaws and a truck and the garden causing the shading was turned into woodchips. This happened around the 21st and the result immediately obvious.

On the consumption side, I have a comms rack that runs 24/7 as well as a media PC/server. Both these have been designed to be as energy efficient as possible incorporating efficient energy sources such as pico power supply etc., in place of standard power supplies. All nonessential appliances (there's a PE860, packetshaper and a few other things) are off unless needed and the rack reports a combined load of around 120W at idle. Overall baseload for the house is around 300W overnight as a result.

There has been investment in low energy LED lighting and efficient appliances, especially a condenser drier since we use the drier a fair bit. The appliance that consumes the most power is the dishwasher and therefore we run it in the daytime. Next is the oven although it doesn't use as much power as I thought it might. The drier and washing machine surprisingly not much as I thought they might. Electric kettle is a major consumer when it is used. Microwave also but its only used infrequently.

Large flat panel TV's are a big consumer as are big computers running graphics (games) which might consume 3-400W while games are played. The fridge is seen cycling in the evening (I presume) and does not seem to be a major contributor, but I expect it adds up over time.

Our hot water comes from the sun via an Apricus hot water system and the pump is powered by the PV. I changed the initial setting to activate the manifold cooling since it was so hot it was always in shutdown. Now it works much better and maintains the manifold at a sensible temperature and storage temps at about 70C. It never seems to boost even after a few days of cloudy weather. I am very pleased with the performance of our system after I made the change described.

So these are the steps taken to minimise our power use with the Flukso an essential part of the process. Doing this we have saved about 4-10kWh per day easily justifying the investment.

fafot's picture

Same here.
Since I have the meter it encourage me to see why I am using around 10KW at night. I lowered my usage by turning off many devices, moving the water heating to day time and my usage dropped by more than 6KW.

One of the things that is also adding to the usage is A/C even when it is off. It can add 7-80Wh depending on the size and age. The older units use even more electricity. What I understand is that the A/C heating the gas to a certain temp so when the A/C is starting it will start immediately. It may not sound much but if you turn off the main A/C switch (outside) and your A/C use 40Wh x 24h = 960W every day. So if you are not using the A/C at all for few months you can save in such case around 1KW per day!

Computer screens are also heavy electricity users. Older led screens use 2-3 times more electricity than the new ones. Same with TV's. If somebody has 2-3 screens per PC - lowering the power save time from 5-10min to 2-3 min and using black screen saver will result in substantial saving.

Other devices that use power when they are turned off are washing machines, cooking hot plates, microwaves, power boards with leds and some cheap chargers. I am not saying to turn everything off but I've found that I had 4 spare chargers sitting ready to plug a device and they were using 12Wh. That is like 3 led 4W bulbs 24h a day without any use.

Fluc's picture

At night, my idle power usage(seen on the Flukso website) is 58 - 62 watt if the fridge is not working.
I am looking for possibilities to lower this more without sacrificing comfort:
Voip Gigaset telephone power 2w ....
Flukso power 3w ....
Clock-radio in bedroom minimum (shut-off) 3w.
Clock on kitchen oven < 1w.
Clock on microwave < 1w.
Induction cooking plate < 1w.
Gas heather is 24/7 stand-by and consumes minimum 7w.
Vdsl2 modem/router 24/7 on, consumes minimum 11w.
Cable antenna amplifier and cable modem together minimum 6w > this shall be switched on/off with relay soon when the TV set + decoder are also switched on/off (at night and during long periods at daytime). Yesterday i pulled a 18m long 2 x 0,5mm² cable trough spare tubes in the wall for this.
Total gain 6w !
Or 6 negawatts ;-)

keith_h's picture

Impressively low standing power consumption. I am now targeting reductions starting with finding out where this power is going.

fafot's picture

Yes, I managed too to get to those low readings but only on the weekends when the PC is off. My minimum is 57 to 60W and this includes the PVR on standby and antenna amplifier power supply on. Both use only 9W and are useful for taping programs at night.

icarus75's picture

Great to see you guys are putting the FLM to good use. I managed to lower my yearly electricity consumption to about 2800kWh by eliminating phantom loads, moving to more efficient lighting, power off the freezer and switching to a more efficient fridge. Oh, the latter happened already more than four years ago!

I'm now looking into reducing my gas consumption as well. I'll write that down in a future blog post.


keith_h's picture

In this part of the world where it never snows I was unable to measure any difference with the AC on or off at the isolator. I hear that in some places there is a heater which contributes to significant standing consumption but it appears negligible here.

Fluc's picture

Yes, you can say that stand-by equipment is a sort of stand-by heating, like modem, switch, router, decoder and other always-on power supply. In the winter, sometimes it is ok, but in summer it is heating up the area.
I think it is the same with incandescence light bulbs ...