Energy meter or how to measure the efficiency of the outlet

    In the modern world, any type of energy loves accounting, whether it is food consumption or a simple incandescent light bulb (if there are still such). The composition and the approximate energy content in kilocalories are written on food packages, and it is customary to indicate its consumption on any electrical appliance. And if with a simple lighting lamp everything is less or less clear, then it’s already more difficult to calculate, for example, the consumption of an electric water heater or, say, a vacuum cleaner. Yes, and what about devices that work in sleep mode, on the one hand, they practically do not "eat", but on the other hand, they still consume something. That's just for such measurements and you need a tricky device called "Energomer".

    energy meter

    As stated on the label of the device, it is designed to measure the power consumption of electrical appliances as well as for ease of calculating the load on the outlet.

    The appearance of the energy meter is large
    packaged energy meter

    energy meter, front view

    energy meter, side view

    Well, let's check how it works. We insert it into the socket, and while the device turns on and the program is loading into the microcontroller, on the screen you can see all the possible symbols. Turning on does not take long, but not instantly, for about a second or two.

    power meter in outlet

    Further, the energy meter immediately shows the voltage in the outlet as well as the frequency of the alternating current in it.

    outlet voltage

    For convenience, the energy meter has a clock displaying the day of the week, the adjustment of which occurs by pressing the "SET" button, at the beginning of course you rely on it with non-habit and often go directly to the time editing. I would enter the editing mode with a slight delay, to eliminate this inconvenience, but oh well, the device of stars from the sky is not enough :)

    We proceed directly to measurements.

    The first test will be a lighting lamp. We recently moved to our apartment and I immediately put LED lamps everywhere, in fact we do not have a single lamp in standard socles. The most common - with a G10 cap and the like. Fortunately, I found a microsofit for shooting in the softbox and it has an old 50 W halogen lamp. Here we will experiment on it.

    First, let's look at the consumption with a halogen lamp:

    50W halogen

    As you can see, it consumes 46.5 Wh, which is close to the declared nominal of 50 Wh, in my case, accordingly, it “eats” 16 kopecks per hour in the afternoon (tariff is 3.35 r per kWh during the day).

    Next we change the bulb to the diode:

    LED 6W

    With a seemingly similar light output (unfortunately there’s nothing to measure) the consumption of the LED lamp is already 5.9 Wh, which is also close to the indicators declared by the manufacturer and the "gluttony" of such a lamp is already slightly less than 2 kopecks per hour.

    And here is an interesting fact. I have only 39 lamps at home, 24 of them are dimmable, and if I assume that I turn them all on to full brightness, the total energy consumption will be 230 Wh, which is equivalent to two incandescent lamps of 100 W each and another, for example, in a 30 W toilet, although I don’t remember if there were 30 W lamps ... That is, in principle, all the switched-on lamps will “eat” 77 kopecks per hour, and if they are left on around the clock, in a month they will be able to reduce my budget by only 573 rubles. This can serve, in principle, as an argument, for example, in a dispute with those who constantly turn off the light for you, motivating this with the goals of saving. Well, all right, thank God no one "fumbles" about bulbs :)

    Well, we figured out the energy efficiency of bulbs, now you can compare and more interesting technique.
    To begin with, we’ll measure the Apple MacBook Pro 13 ", this is not the latest generation, but it’s suitable for the test :) The laptop

    energy efficiency MacBook 13 Pro

    was almost discharged, I confess, I didn’t remember how much the percentage of battery charge was, but the maximum power consumption of the charger was 64.5 Wh And here an interesting peculiarity came to light - the power supply unit does not “dumb” immediately to the full, but starts to give off energy gradually, at the moment of connection the first digit that was fixed by the device was less than ten and then it started to climb. ass holding the meter or the power supply gave energy this way, but there is a sign of the presence of minimal “brains” in the power supply.

    For contrast, let's compare with an old ASUS laptop. In terms of performance, it is like the old Lada and flying saucer, and in comparison with performance, ASUS loses much to the MacBook. One time of turning on, launching the desired program and opening the file in it may differ by an order of magnitude, what about energy efficiency?

    old asus laptop

    The left side of the photo shows the power supply consumption in the off state, in principle, the batteries in the laptop have long been in circulation and it will never be able to charge 100%, the laptop turns off, but with the power supply turned on, it will consume 36 Wh. And if you turn on the old man, then the consumption starts to jump from 70 to 100 Wh, depending on the load. In principle, at maximum load, the difference is almost 2 times, which is significant in percentage terms, but not so significant in terms of consumption in numbers. But in terms of work efficiency, he loses already more and you can only work after him, doing simple work, otherwise his nerves are more expensive :)

    Another ancient but interesting device is, as they were called then, the Ultra Mobile Portable Computer from SONY release of something around 2007. He has 1 gigabyte of RAM and a 1.33 GHz processor, it seems some kind of Celerone is a plus for him that I replaced the HDD with an SSD.

    SONY VGN-U280P

    In any case, the power supply consumes around 20-30 Wh, I think that the battery plays a good role, since it is still alive and dampens load surges.

    Well, for a more striking example, I measured my 2009 home iMac.

    iMac 27 2009

    And here it’s more interesting. It consumes quite noticeably. Almost 4 times more than its smaller apple counterpart, well, it’s understandable, with such a screen. There are as many as 27 inches. But the surprise was that in sleep mode. Or rather, not even in the sleep state, but turned off, he eats as much as 5 Wh. There is a reason to turn it off now, otherwise it was always plugged in =)

    In principle, a modern electronics engineer doesn’t have much electricity and it all depends on what kind of computing load is on this device at the moment, plus a lot depends on the power supply and its behavior, whether it constantly gives out one power or adapts to its consumer, although with modern switching power supplies this is not as relevant as, for example, with ancient transformers.

    By the way, by the way about smart chargers. To many, the well-known iMax B6 behaves almost the same way as the Apple charger, it also smoothly increases the power output, and then naturally gradually decreases it as the battery charges.

    iMax B6

    Here is the most powerful LiPo battery I have: 2S 30C 5200mAh and at the peak of power consumption when charging in 5 Ampere mode, the charger consumed no more than 60 Wh.

    We’ve sorted out the equipment more or less, it’s time to move on to heavy artillery.

    First, check the consumption of the kettle.

    Kettle Photos

    We also have a kettle with minimal brains. He has a microcontroller that heats the water, depending on the selected program.
    In sleep mode, it consumes very little, only 0.02 Wh / h, and when the program is activated, it is already 0.5 Wh / h.

    maximum consumption

    But when the heating element is activated, it already “eats” to the full - 1.9 kWh.

    minimum consumption

    Heating to the desired temperature occurs due to periodic on / off. And it seems to me that boiling up to 100 degrees occurs through the passage first of the first two and then already to the final, to boiling water. The kettle first warms up to full, then turns off the heating (at that moment it consumes only 8 Wh) and then turns on the heating again and so on to the desired temperature.


    vacuum cleaner 1200W

    Well, with an iron and a vacuum cleaner, everything is extremely clear. "Eat" as much as stated. The iron has a maximum of 4 kWh, and the vacuum cleaner has a maximum of 1.2 kWh.

    As a result, the device is quite interesting and can be useful where you need to determine the power consumption of the device or the current passing through the outlet. I did not measure the current strength, as I was more interested from an economic point of view. And here it is already possible to easily answer the questions of how much money is spent on a particular action. For example, I am interested in calculating the net cost of printing on a 3D printer, as well as how much it costs to swim in the bathroom when heating the water with a water heater. Is it profitable to warm water with electricity at home or is hot water cheaper? Unfortunately, I can not conduct these tests yet, it will be only later. The printer has not yet arrived from a distant Chinese store, and careless repairmen incorrectly connected the water heater. But in the future I will definitely get answers to these questions.

    From myself, I want to say thanks to Dadget for the device provided for the test and wish the guys success in the geek industry :)

    PS. If anyone is interested in the device, then here is the link to it: Energomer from Dadget.

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