Support for Itron ACE3000 export meter?

My power company has installed an Itron ACE3000 type 260 export meter.

The meter seems to have a (dark) LED on the front, labeled something like "1000 impulses per kWh."

Is it possible to interface this type of meter to a Fluxso? If so, any details would be appreciated.

gebhardm's picture

"Dark" LED sounds like infrared - you can check with any digital camera if it shows the LED blinking on the control monitor; and 1000 pulses per kWh sounds good; if it is IR then you might try an IR-sensitive phototransistor directy attached to one of the pulse ports and it should work like any other open-collector input (which is in the meter area also referred to as S0 or IEC 62053 compliant) - get an electronics nerd to assist you ;-)

AceNZ's picture

I checked for LED pulses using a digital camera -- no luck.

I found some info about the meter online. Looks like the LED port is intended to interface with a digital meter reading device of some kind ("data readout by optical port according to IEC 62056-1").

There are also apparently some pulsed outputs (IEC 62053-31 Type A, S0 output), but they're hidden behind the secured front-access panel.

mr_thingy's picture

You won't see it on a digital camera since they have an IR cut-out filter, you'd need to use an IR-sensitive camera like a night-vision one, or remove the IR cut-out from your camera, or find an older camera like the Panasonic FZ1 which were somewhat IR-sensitive (later models added better IR-cutout).

gebhardm's picture

You won't see anything, at least no pulses, as the "dark LED" belongs to an optical I/O port. See
@Mr_Thingy: My newer Nikon Coolpix still "sees" IR...

"The ACE3000 type 520 is fitted with an optical port to allow the unit to be programmed in the workshop or in the field under security control. Communication is in accordance with the protocol defined by IEC 62056-21 which has replaced, but which is compatible with, the IEC 61107 standard. The port is also enabled for meter reading in accordance
with the same standard." - if this is the same protocol as the Dutch meters that are supported by the FLM, I cannot judge...

AceNZ's picture

Thanks for the info.

I think I'll give clamps a try first -- hopefully they will be accurate enough for my needs.

fusionpower's picture

About checking the IR led with a digital camera. I used a standard Television remote control to check the sensitivity of my video camera. It is surprising how much IR light those remote controls put out. In a totally dark room i was able to get quite a clear picture on the video camera when pressing buttons on the IR remote. Pointing the IR remote directly at the IR remote whilst pressing a button was like looking into a camera flash. Just thought i would mention this as the IR led on the electrical supply meter is an unknown and your camera's IR sensitivity is an unknown. Using the IR remote to test the camera would eliminate one of those unknowns.

bazzle's picture


If you want accuracy Din rail meters with pulse o/p are about the same price as the clamps.
Don't know what country your in but they cost approx. $40 Oz.
No 'phantom' loads either.

mr_thingy's picture

If you get them from somewhere like Aliexpress they're around USD15-20, you just need a qualified electrician to fit them. Best option is to get a batch of them for different parts of the household circuitry and get them all fitted in one go, so you only pay once for the installation.

AceNZ's picture

Getting more than one is a very good idea.

Are DIN rail meters a super-standard thing? Any chance they will be incompatible with my main board? Or is there an easy way to check?

How do they interface with the FLM? Is it anything more than just a pair of wires?

That Aliexpress site is new for me (I knew of Alibaba, but not their sales side); very interesting! Any brands of DIN rail meters that are known good or that should be avoided?

mr_thingy's picture

They're completely standard, on Aliexpress look for the DDS328 ones (from various manufacturers). As long as you have a distribution board that's DIN-rail based (not an older one where things are just screwed to a bakelite panel or somesuch) then you should be fine. The meters have a TTL-level pulse output that you just plug directly into the Flukso's inputs. The only thing to be aware of is the power rating, depending on which part of your house wiring you're taking them to (e.g. whole-house, hot water, oven, etc) you may need to get a higher-current one, they usually come in something like 5A, 20A, and 30A ratings, which is the size of the shunt they use to measure current.

mr_thingy's picture

Here's some sample links on Aliexpress:

There are three generic model types, DDS 238-1, -2, and -4 (sorry, not 328 from my earlier post), which differ only in their power rating/shunt size. The -1's are slimline and the width of a standard mini circuit breaker (MCB), the -4's are for a full-house load and, oddly enough, 4x the width of an MCB. I can't find any 1's up there at the moment, they seem to come and go. You just connect the signal from the two pulse-output pins straight to the Flukso and you're done.

AceNZ's picture

Thanks for the links.

When I ordered the FLM v2b a few days ago, I included three 50A clamps -- probably would have skipped them and gone entirely with DIN meters if I'd known the details. So, three clamps leaves two ports for DIN meters.

Now just need to size them right. I haven't found any larger size (40A continuous / 60A peak) DIN meters yet.

fusionpower's picture

There are heaps on eBay, just search for "kilowatt meter".
Eg. eBay 100A Kilowatt Meter

fusionpower's picture

Actually, now that i look at the rating it is only 30A continuous and 100A peak. Sorry about that.

mr_thingy's picture

Are you really pulling 40A (nearly 10KW at 240V) through a single phase? The reason why it may be hard to find 40A meters is because at that power level you'd need to go to three-phase...

AceNZ's picture

I have 3-phase service, with max 60A per phase (45 kVA max total).

My normal load is well under that, but it has peaked around 50A on one phase.

I'm working on moving to max 40A per phase to reduce my monthly fixed charges, but I need to do some measurements first to figure out how to best balance my loads.

My grid-tied solar inverter/charger can limit current draw from the mains, but it's connected to one phase only.

A 3-phase meter would be fine, as long as I can get separate measurements for each phase.

AceNZ's picture

Bazzle, thanks. Those are 45A and 50A peak, though -- just 5A continuous.

bazzle's picture

Where did you see that?

AceNZ's picture

Click on "Attachments," then the link for the Data Sheet. Current ratings are listed as, for example, "5(50) A", which means base load of 5A, with 50A peak.

mr_thingy's picture

@AceNZ, what are you doing that draws 60A on one phase? It sounds like you really need one of these:

I think your original plan to use current clamps is probably the best one, at those power levels (in commercial workshops and the like) you've usually just got a honkin' big moving-iron ammeter and your provider tells you the total usage at the end of the month, since the only measurement requirements are "is it currently drawing the correct amount of power" and "how much did it cost to run this month".

AceNZ's picture

Hah! Yes, a megawatt meter would be great!

I have two large hot water cylinders. They can draw 20A each. Together with an electric oven, a microwave, various motors, fans, a heat pump, electric washer/dryer, computers, oil-filled floor heaters (which can be 10A each), halogen lights and so on, it adds up quickly.

One slightly unusual load is some ham radio gear, which can draw close to 20A. It's on the phase with the solar, though, so the grid load there can be limited to 40A by pulling extra power from the batteries when needed.

mr_thingy's picture

Actually another thing you could do is break the measurement down into parts, so instead of taking a reading off the main 60A circuit, take a few separate readings off the hot water, the kitchen gear, the ham radio gear, etc. Take it in bite-sized chunks, which a 20-30A meter will be able to handle.

AceNZ's picture

Sure. I guess it comes down to what I'm going to use the measurements for.

I know I want to track solar production and total consumption on the phase that solar is connected to.

Since the DIN meters require fixed wiring, it makes sense to put one on the solar output -- that's 5 kW max (20A @ 240V).

The other logical place is the House Load that's on the same phase as solar, but that can be 40A, or possibly a little more.

That would free the three clamps to be moved around as needed, based on what looks interesting. Probably start on the two phases that aren't connected to solar, and narrow-in from there based on reported usage.

FLM is on it's way by FedEx; due to arrive this Thursday.

bazzle's picture

I received a reply from Schnap
The 5amp is just a test current. They will operate continuously at their rated load.

Hi Barry,

Just disregard that info.

The manufacturer is using that rating(5A) to test the accuracy of the meter.

The other number (25,32,45,50) is the rating in which the meter is available.

So if you have the LXEM 150 you can load your meter up to 50Amps.

Looking forward to serving you,

Electric Products Specialist

mr_thingy's picture

Thanks, that's good to know. I'd been told that the first value was continuous and the second was momentary only.

mr_thingy's picture

That one looks interesting, it also reports power factor and reactive power. I'm assuming it cycles through the displays since there's no obvious way to switch readings.

If you want a live readout of voltage and current draw you can also get something like this:

AceNZ's picture

Just thought I'd follow-up for others who might be interested:

I got one each 32A and 65A Hiking brand watthour meters through the above seller at Aliexpress. Arrived quickly, all in one piece.

Installed in my switchboard today, configured into the FLM. No problems or surprises -- works great!