Personal computing discussed

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TwistedKestrel
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Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:33 pm

(Felt like this was the best section for the question, let me know if I'm wrong)

Due to experimenting with mining/distrib computing* stuff, I'd like to know with some confidence how much power my computer is actually using. Estimating it is hard due to things being overclocked. I know I can get a Kill-a-Watt or knockoff for around $20 but I was wondering if there was something slightly more sophisticated out there that could track tiered electricity pricing without being an order of magnitude more expensive. I'm not finding mentions of tier tracking in reviews I can find, but I vaguely recall that something out there can do it (it wouldn't be hard to implement, at least).

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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:04 pm

If you just use a kill-a-watt, you can get an idea of how much power it uses, and then you can figure out how much that would cost you under the different tiers (which I presume to mean that you pay different rates at different times of the day).
 
ludi
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:22 pm

TwistedKestrel wrote:
(Felt like this was the best section for the question, let me know if I'm wrong)

Due to experimenting with mining/distrib computing* stuff, I'd like to know with some confidence how much power my computer is actually using. Estimating it is hard due to things being overclocked. I know I can get a Kill-a-Watt or knockoff for around $20 but I was wondering if there was something slightly more sophisticated out there that could track tiered electricity pricing without being an order of magnitude more expensive. I'm not finding mentions of tier tracking in reviews I can find, but I vaguely recall that something out there can do it (it wouldn't be hard to implement, at least).

What you're wanting to do is in the domain of commercial power metering systems and yeah, they typically start at an order of magnitude more expensive, particularly if you want data-logging capabilities:

https://www.powermeterstore.com/P15230/ ... gy-monitor
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Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:29 pm

There's no way to know tiered pricing based on a single outlet and without somehow plugging in your utility's pricing scheme.

My coworker uses this on about 40 circuits across his house, he showed me graphs of his LED walkway lights gradually using less mW of power as they heat up and generate more resistance:
http://www.brultech.com/store/index.php ... er=product

For something cheaper and custom like you describe, you're probably best off programming something yourself with a Raspberry Pi and an appropriate hall effect sensor.
 
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:30 pm

Does tiered mean they charge you more if you go over a certain limit?
 
DPete27
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:49 pm

Good suggestions here so far, but definitely keep your feet on the ground. How much granularity/features/etc is REALLY needed? For your described use case (and assuming you're not mining with more than 10-ish GPUs) simply reading energy output for 1 hour should give you enough data to extrapolate over a week/month/year and calculate your energy costs since those workloads tend to be pretty consistent. How much is it worth paying for an hour of data? What's the ROI period for a more expensive monitor? How big of a deal is it if you're off by a few $ of energy costs? Also consider that the volatility of the market will far exceed any small errors in energy usage calculations.

Surely if you're cutting your profit margins so thin that you're in danger of not being able to pay for the electricity cost, then you're probably better off mining for something else. There are helpful profitability calculators out there to help make those decisions.
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TwistedKestrel
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:28 pm

I guess I could look into reasonably hackable smart plugs, I kinda thought there would be a consumer product for this. Pretty much anyone who needed an energy monitor in my province would benefit from it, at least for monitoring appliances that are always using non-trivial amounts of power.

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
There's no way to know tiered pricing based on a single outlet and without somehow plugging in your utility's pricing scheme.

My coworker uses this on about 40 circuits across his house, he showed me graphs of his LED walkway lights gradually using less mW of power as they heat up and generate more resistance:
http://www.brultech.com/store/index.php ... er=product

For something cheaper and custom like you describe, you're probably best off programming something yourself with a Raspberry Pi and an appropriate hall effect sensor.


Some meters will already take a flat rate and show you a number. Where I live (Ontario) there are only 3 tiers, so it would only be a bit more complicated.
 
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:47 pm

TwistedKestrel wrote:
I guess I could look into reasonably hackable smart plugs, I kinda thought there would be a consumer product for this. Pretty much anyone who needed an energy monitor in my province would benefit from it, at least for monitoring appliances that are always using non-trivial amounts of power.

Isn't your price tiering based on time-of-day? If your average power consumption by the mining bank puts your output in the red between peak hours, then just shut down the bank during those hours?
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TwistedKestrel
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 pm

ludi wrote:
If your average power consumption by the mining bank puts your output in the red between peak hours, then just shut down the bank during those hours?

I just want to have the numbers.
 
ludi
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:59 pm

TwistedKestrel wrote:
ludi wrote:
If your average power consumption by the mining bank puts your output in the red between peak hours, then just shut down the bank during those hours?

I just want to have the numbers.

Then a Kill-a-Watt is probably all you need? Point a webcam at it.
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:22 pm

TwistedKestrel wrote:
I guess I could look into reasonably hackable smart plugs, I kinda thought there would be a consumer product for this. Pretty much anyone who needed an energy monitor in my province would benefit from it, at least for monitoring appliances that are always using non-trivial amounts of power.


There is. It's called a kill-a-watt.

If they are "always using" power, than what are you really monitoring? For instance, if a TV at idle uses 10 watts, then all three TIME-based tiers (which is why I keep asking...) means is that you have a spreadsheet that applies the appropriate rate for the different time periods.

Even expensive devices with extensive logging don't magically give you a useful answer: you have to correlate that output with your particular rate scheme. Sure, it knows what watts when, but it doesn't know how to price them appropriately.

You pretty much end up doing the same thing, and the only thing the monitoring would give you is if the power usage is very variable in an unpredictable way. Which isn't very typical of consumer usage, etc...

EDIT: For instance, in mining for crypto like in your OP, the power usage isn't very variable: Your GPU or ASIC is running full-bore doing something incredibly repetitive. So, in that case, you measure how much power your rig is using during mining with a regular Kill-a-watt, and then... multiply by the various rates, right? At that point we would seem to be done, or what am I missing here?

Since you are doing this on a computer, even if you are randomly turning the mining on and off, you can log that with the computer, right?

Again, what am I missing here?
 
TwistedKestrel
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:39 pm

It looks like the Wemo Insight can actually do this to some degree.

To others: it won't be doing the same thing all the time, and additionally it will be interrupted on a near daily basis by me wanting to use it for other things. There is not a problem I am trying to solve, other than wanting to know with certainty a) how much power my PC uses both instantly and over time and b) how much it is contributing to my power bill.
 
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:50 pm

TwistedKestrel wrote:
It looks like the Wemo Insight can actually do this to some degree.


There are all sorts of smartplugs with energy monitoring, but at best they're letting you dump a CSV file via an app when you manually ask for it.

You're going need to write a macro in a spreadsheet that eats that and puts it in your tiered pricing terms, and even after you have that configured, you're going to have manually shepherd the device's CSV output each and every time.

Like I said, you might be better off getting ballparks for the power utilization of mining and other tasks, and just applying that programmatically to logging you do on the computer itself. The answer shouldn't be tremendously different, and it can be fully automated. You could also spot-check the readings from time-to-time and update the constants as necessary.
 
DPete27
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:03 pm

This sounds like less of a "necessity" solution and more like a "nerd project". No offense intended, just trying to clarify from my observation so we don't get hung up on practicality. Anything more than a Kill-a-watt meter serves no additional benefit, but it's fun and cool.
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TwistedKestrel
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:37 pm

DPete27 wrote:
This sounds like less of a "necessity" solution and more like a "nerd project". No offense intended, just trying to clarify from my observation so we don't get hung up on practicality. Anything more than a Kill-a-watt meter serves no additional benefit, but it's fun and cool.

No offense taken, this is absolutely what I am doing here. I'm glad that someone other than me said it, apparently I'm not conveying it myself
 
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:57 pm

TwistedKestrel wrote:
DPete27 wrote:
This sounds like less of a "necessity" solution and more like a "nerd project". No offense intended, just trying to clarify from my observation so we don't get hung up on practicality. Anything more than a Kill-a-watt meter serves no additional benefit, but it's fun and cool.

No offense taken, this is absolutely what I am doing here. I'm glad that someone other than me said it, apparently I'm not conveying it myself

A real nerd project would be to use the $20 Kill-A-Watt, a cheap webcam aimed at its display, and image recognition software to extract and log the power usage data. Bonus points if you use a Raspberry Pi to run the webcam and do the image processing.

:wink:
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Re: Current best/good energy monitors?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:06 pm

tftcentral posts power consumption in their reviews

in a nutshell, much much less than my electric dryer, sauna, air compressor and arc welder :)

edit just a few there

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/asu ... .htm#power
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