Cornellio
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Meter for Wall Plug

Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:03 pm

Does anyone know how I could setup a meter that plugs into a regular 120V outlet?

I live in a condo and have a garage with a 120V plug, but the HOA doesn't allow charging a car from it because the electricity gets billed to them. Is there a way I can use a meter that charges me for the electricity (either linked to my credit card or send me the bill?)
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davewill
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Re: Meter for Wall Plug

Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:27 pm

There are multiple ways to get a meter into the circuit and measure what you draw, but nothing that will change the fact that the outlet is on the HOA's meter. You can go the Hialeah Meter route, which will require a small amount of electrical work to wire the meter in. The other approach would be to use something like the JuicePlug. There are also a bunch of chinese digital meters like these:
Image

That could be wired in. I would stay away from stuff that plugs into the socket since most of them won't be designed for the constant current draw. Unfortunately, whichever way you go, you'll have to get the HOA to agree to some sort of reimbursement scheme. There's nothing that will automatically bill the power to you instead of them.
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Oils4AsphaultOnly
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Re: Meter for Wall Plug

Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:23 pm

Cornellio wrote:Does anyone know how I could setup a meter that plugs into a regular 120V outlet?

I live in a condo and have a garage with a 120V plug, but the HOA doesn't allow charging a car from it because the electricity gets billed to them. Is there a way I can use a meter that charges me for the electricity (either linked to my credit card or send me the bill?)


I don't know about PG&E, but SoCal Edison was willing to run a dedicated meter off a sub-panel just for EV charging, so you should ask the HOA's utility company if they'd do the same?
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GlennD
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Re: Meter for Wall Plug

Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:54 am

A kikkiwatt will burn up under EVSE use. At five or six amps they are continuous duty. I have two and on one I had to re-solder the connections

At the cheap price they are very useful for intermittent duty like a one time measurement.
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Cornellio
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Re: Meter for Wall Plug

Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:57 am

Thanks, something like these may work if my HOA trusts me to reimburse them. Considering how they reacted when I had my car plugged in, it's not likely.

The Kill A Watt says 15 Amps max. I don't know how much the car uses.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: Meter for Wall Plug

Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:05 pm

You could show them the calculations that give you per-hour usage for charging, and set up a charging schedule and reimbursement agreement that is more generous to them than reality will be.
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Nubo
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Re: Meter for Wall Plug

Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:15 pm

Cornellio wrote:Does anyone know how I could setup a meter that plugs into a regular 120V outlet?

I live in a condo and have a garage with a 120V plug, but the HOA doesn't allow charging a car from it because the electricity gets billed to them. Is there a way I can use a meter that charges me for the electricity (either linked to my credit card or send me the bill?)


Any electrician could install a meter at the outlet. But to get billed automatically would require a meter that is read by the utility under your account.

As to the larger issue, know that California has specific laws in place that prevent HOAs from summarily or unreasonably denying your right to install an EVSE. It gives certain rights and responsibilities to each party. The HOA can actually be liable for hefty fines if they stonewall you. How that works in practice I don't know but it may give you a place to start looking.

There are many ways a reasonable arrangement could be made for you to reimburse for the electricity used. A meter at the outlet would work, but could be a hassle. A fee based on mileage might be the easiest method. The utility might even have recommendations on how to do that, or you can get your kWH consumption from CarWings.

I'd advise against any long-term use Kill-a-watt style gadgets. Not meant for such loads. Also I'd strongly advise to get an electrician involved in any case, to evaluate the wiring and properly install a high-quality outlet in a location that won't necessitate an extension cord. That lonely garage circuit was probably planned with lights and the occasional power tool in mind, not hours of 12 amp demand. Bare-minimum code 99 cent 15A outlet with stab-in connections es no bueno for car charging.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

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Re: Meter for Wall Plug

Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:58 pm

I'd also advise against a Kill-a-watt for EVSE use, and I own several. As mentioned they might be OK for <10a continuous use but a EVSE draws 12a and IMO thats just too close to the max 15a of the KW for continuous use.
Personally I went with this digital power meter, it even remembers the Kw reading after a power outage, something I can't say for my Kill-a-watts which revert to 0 after a power outage. I believe they sell KWs that have a battery backup but personally I wouldn't use them for 12a continuous use.
The power meter I linked needs to be wired inside the outlet but is quite easy to do, anyone with the ability to wire in a plug could do it.
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GlennD
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Re: Meter for Wall Plug

Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:56 pm

That meter is all over eBay for less than $10 shipped from China. It is accurate but I have noticed than when my garage exceeds 100 degrees F the edges turn black. I went back to my 3 readout LED meter. I have that and a VFD on my OpenEVSE. I also never had problems with the stock RGB display but what can I say, I am a tinkerer!

Since I am using a Barbouri board I have the 5V for it. The stock unit Chris sells is light on the 5V.

This is the meter I am currently using. It says 50Hz only but it works fine at 60Hz. The Volt amps and power factor are useless since our cars are corrected to one. I do have a monster HP supply that draws 2000W from 240V or 3750 volt amps. I think most consumer stuff is corrected.


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