Google PowerMeter Always On Power

20Feb10

Looking at energy usage motivates the householder to switch off appliances when not required, organise things using timers and maybe even buy more efficient devices.  These actions all have the net result of reducing the annual electricity bill.  A very rough rule of thumb is £1 per year per watt, so getting from 300w down to 100w Always On should result in a handy £200 reduction in your annual energy bill.

So easier said than done. Not quite !  The householder is presented with a single total electricity reading as a guide, which is okay, but has to factor in the switching on/off of fridges/freezers/central heating.   This makes it a little confusing at times.

The chaps at google have latched onto this and came up with a neat green bar at the bottom of the trend showing AlwaysOn power.  I tried to use the Google PowerMeter Always On information this week, here’s my impression of it.

What I like….

  • Graphical display is nice
  • Summary value is okay

Could do better….

  • Cannot read the value of the Always On power in watts.
    Looking at the chart there is no zoom in possibility, nor is there any way to click on the chart to determine the value at a specific time. Tough !
    The day view would be great if it added the same zoomability as the Google Time Series Chart
  • The summary value is presented in kWh, so for the previous day you have to divide by 24 to get watts and looking at todays figure you need to do another division so your arithmetic is bound to improve !
  • The collected data resolution is at best 10 minutes which can render a false picture of the usage as important detail is missed.
  • Finally, I haven’t spent long enough but I can’t figure out exactly how google determine the always on figure !

Here is a Google blog link giving a nice explanation about Always On.  From Google’s perspective it is also interesting that they also determine wider statistics about the always on power used in different home types.

Damp squib rating from me on this one, whilst concept is sound, I found the google implementation too simplistic/generalised to be of any use.

Here is a link to my previous 100w barrier blog on my Always On analysis.

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