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Author Topic: is x10 really saving your electrical bills? think again.  (Read 20237 times)

purezerg

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is x10 really saving your electrical bills? think again.
« on: May 13, 2008, 10:38:08 AM »

I recently decided to take my brennenstuhl PM230 Power Meter to see how much power these modules consume.
1) Appliance module (PLC-P 2027UK)
2) Transceiver module (PLC-T 4022UK)
3) one-load lamp micro switch (PLC-R 2263E)
4) two-load wiring Micro switch (PLC-R 2268E)

the setup,

X10 modules -> wire -> AC socket head -> power meter -> wall socket.

there are no load on the modules. the L1 and L2 are not connected to anything.


guess what, here are the results
1) Appliance module (PLC-P 2027UK)                    14ws
2) Transceiver module (PLC-T 4022UK)                 31ws
3) one-load lamp micro switch (PLC-R 2263E)         7ws
4) two-load wiring Micro switch (PLC-R 2268E)       19ws

I had SO many of these modules and many other untested modules except only 1 transceiver module in my house.
the total that these modules alone consume 344ws in my house.
here's a comparison,
a standard computer fully on, is only 130-180ws without the LCD monitor
a 32" LCD TV is around 105ws
a ikea lamp 11ws is actually around 12ws

doesnt it make you think twice about x10?
 

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Boiler

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Re: is x10 really saving your electrical bills? think again.
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 02:26:10 PM »

Andy,

First, welcome to the Forum and thank you for posting your measurements.

While I have no experience with the modules you referenced or with your power meter,  the power numbers that you quoted a much higher than what we see in the "States" ( 120V 60Hz verses your 230V 50 Hz).

I ran a quick check on a few modules -

1) AM466 Appliance Module - 3W
2) LM465 Lamps Module - 3W
3) RR501 Transceiver - 0.5W

I was not able to find information on your power meter.  I did locate a web site that quoted your "PLC-R 2268E" as having 1W waste heat.  This makes me question your power meter.

Is it possible that your meter does not compensate for "power factor"?  Some devices (inductive/capacitive) pull current out of phase from the AC line.  If this is the case you can't use the simple V=I*R equation to calculate the power.  The equation must be adjusted to take into account the phase angle of the current.

I'd encourage you to check your meter prior to yanking all of your X10 units.  Unless your European units are significantly different from ours in the states, there's something that doesn't make sense here.

Please post any additional tests and/or conclusions,
Boiler
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dave w

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Re: is x10 really saving your electrical bills? think again.
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 03:39:13 PM »


doesnt it make you think twice about x10?


No....

I was not aware X10 marketed the modules as saving on your electric bill.

The remote control ability of X10 is primarily a convenience and security feature, and not necessarily energy saving. It can be energy saving when used via software to turn off unused appliances and lights (ie. when we leave for work the system goes through our house sending OFF commands to 90 some devices that should not be ON in an unoccupied home). If I hear a strange noise at night, one button will turn on EVERY light inside and outside the house, except the bedroom where we are likely to be. X10 appliance modules controlling wireless speakers "steers" loud warning announcments around the outside and inside of the house (directed by motion sensors) to "advise" that the security system is by Smith & Wesson.

Also I see much lower stand-by power readings than you quote (mine are pretty much in line with Boiler's, definitely less than 5 watts per module).

So, to me, the approximately 42 cents per day I am paying for X10 is well worth the convenience and security I derive. I suppose if I bought X10 to lower my electric bill, I would have a different view.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 04:57:05 PM by dave w »
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HA Dave

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Re: is x10 really saving your electrical bills? think again.
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 04:18:27 PM »

I recently decided to take my brennenstuhl PM230 Power Meter to see how much power these modules consume..................  doesnt it make you think twice about x10?

I am with Boiler.... your meter reading does appear to be in error.

And NO.... the FACT that it X10 modules to eat a watt or two here and there doesn't cause me to reconsider X10 even a bit. The added convenience, safety and security that X10 provides is a bargain... and would be at several times the price.

Like dave w... I was also unaware that X10 was marketed as an "energy saver". However... I have considered using X10 for green-switching in my home. Green-switching involves plugging a power strip full of devices that use electric even when off  into an appliance module. Then manually or via a macro or timer have the module remove the power from the power-strip. This has the potential to be a real power saver for anyone with a "home entertainment system" as TV's, DVD recorders, Sound systems, and Cable boxes all consume power 24/7.

Many X10 users already use macro's with they're HA set-ups that turn all lights off when the home is empty. Just turning off the random light that gets accidentally left on... should more than re-coop any electric usage of the modules.... even in a very large setup.
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Walt2

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Re: is x10 really saving your electrical bills? think again.
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 07:12:47 PM »

I went "hog wild" with X10 on my first house.  I had it control (using a Timer and then later a CP290) everything from multi-zone heat to my water heater. 

Even with all that, I saw a bigger drop in my electric bill from simply buying a new refrigerator.   ;D
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* Tecmar Device Master, CP290 (LightHouse), CM11A (AH), CM14A (AH2), CM15A (AHPro).

KDR

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Re: is x10 really saving your electrical bills? think again.
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2008, 07:18:33 PM »

I would have to say in my case that X10 has increased my electric bill. Now being able to control or have the computer control lights and other stuff, I find that before where lights were left off all night,they are coming on and going off with the control of X10. Hall way lights are on and dimmed giving me some light when I'm ready for bed. Before they were off and I just found my way in the dark.

The trade off is a safe more secure environment inside and out. X10 has helped me light up the night were as before it was always dark. A few bucks more on the electric bill but X10 helps to control that to.  ;D

----------------KDR
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HA Dave

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Re: is x10 really saving your electrical bills? think again.
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2008, 11:17:29 PM »

.................. I saw a bigger drop in my electric bill from simply buying a new refrigerator.   ;D

Yeah... I've played with LED (and of course  CFL's). I know full well... that lighting makes up only about 15 percent of my electric bill. Even if I went ALL LED's... the electric-use/ savings wouldn't be as great as if I just pulled the plug on the beverage fridge.

I run an old P3 24/7.... it's my Home Automation PC. I know that it costs a few pennies worth of power every month also. But I get too much from it... to even think of giving it up till I can replace it with a cheaper running PC.
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