ECM-1240 Electicity Moniter with 7 channels

20Jan10

Here goes for some well earned free advertising for a small Canadian company called Brultech.  These guys have a brilliant little Electicity Moniter that goes way beyond the supermarket clip-on things.

The model I like is the Brultech ECM-1240 Electicity Moniter with 7 channels

So what extra does it offer that makes me all excited ?

  1. Power Accuracy and proper consideration of power factor.
    Cheaper clip on devices such as  Owl/Eco/CurrentCost etc type units leisurely just measure current every 5/10 seconds, which creates big errors due to the slow sample time and also that voltage and PF are not part of its power calculation.  The ECM1240 measures the voltage, samples thousands of times per second, accounts for power factor and uses higher quality current transformers.
    End result is believable accuracy.
  2. Multiple Channels 7 channels per unit and you can add on more units.
    This is tremendous value since you can drill down into different things ie lighting, cooking, tv, refrigeration.  Thereby allowing you to understand where the money all goes to, the rest in up to you.  Other multiple channel solutions are way more expensive so this offers in my opinion great value for money.
  3. Measure Gas Usage Want to measure gas or other energy, no problem you can connect up your gas meter usage pulses into channel 7 and get a grip on gas costs as well.
  4. Logging and analysis To really answer and figure out where the energy losses go you really need to log the data away to database with a workable resolution.  An excellent ‘engine’ program is provided that does this for you.
  5. Web based software to let you browse and keep an eye on your costs on a minute by minute or hour/daily/monthly/yearly basis.  This optional cost software is very good right now and the next release promises to get even better.

Okay, there must be some downsides ?

  • Well, installation involves working inside your consumer unit so an electrician is recommended for safety reasons.
  • There is no big sexy display and a PC is needed if you want on-site or rather in-house logging (this is fine by me)
  • Strangely enough their haphazard web site can be off putting for prospective customers.

Alternative, per socket based solutions soon get expensive when you work out how many you need.

Oh, how much is it, I hear you ask, basic package is ~ $200 USD including all the current transformers, I think that is good value.  Other communications options rattle up the cost depending on what you want to do.  But hey, you could choose industrial solutions that do less that cost 10x more.

Here is the product link at Brultech

Thumbs up 5 star rating from the emperor.

If your in Scotland and want help to get it going feel free to drop me a note below.

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