Last week our electricity supplier replaced our home's 20 year old
electromechanical power meter with a Centron C1SR3OTA solid state
wireless reading meter.
Now the meter reader won't have to schlepp a hundred feet through the
snow and down a slippery slope to get to where the meter is, he can read
it from the comfort of his vehicle.
(The town just replaced our "plug in" remote water meter reader jack
with a wireless one too.)
I believe that our old electric meter recorded only the "real" power
Do these new solid state meters also record only the real power used, or
should I be looking into adding power factor correction capacitors to
the heavier motor driven loads like our two heat pumps?
I have not a clue what "real power" is to you. The term could mean
Older "wheeled" meters typically recorded KWH and that is all.
New electronic meters can do a plethora of readings. Depends on what the
power company wants.
This web page would seem to indicate that the new meter is nothing more than
a KWH meter with remote reading. It says nothing about any other values.
Where I live the utilities offer time of day rates. Some places in
California force time of day rates on the user. I know that some utilities
are working on harmonics and power factor but not for residential, at least
not right now.
Your kidding about PF correction for a couple of 5 hp motors, the a/c's?
Understand your rate structure and you will then know how to reduce your
It means the same to me as it should to any electrical engineer.
I usually charge for giving classes, but since someone else was nice
enough to explain it all on the web for free, I can point you to this
page without charging you anything. <G>
Unless I've been handed some BS, I believe there are already some places
in the USA (Arizona maybe??) with high residential AC loads which are
already charging their customers a power factor penalty. And, I've seen
power factor compensation equipment aimed at homeowners advertised,
though at present it may be more of a scam than anything else.
And, some electric power buying cooperatives threaten members with low
power factors, search for "power factor" on this page:
A penny saved is a penny earned. We currently spend about $300/month
averaged year round to run those heat pumps which provide both our heat
and AC here in New England. I'd certainly want to look at the power
factor of those units and decide if adding some correction caps would be
worthwhile if I found out that the new meter was recording anything
other than real power.
Our present rate structure is perfectly linear from what I can see on
the bill, so the only way we can save anything is by using less power,
like using CF bulbs wherever I can stand them and snuggling under an
electric blanket in the winter instead of keeping the whole second floor
at 70 F all night.
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