Recording electricity usage for electric cars

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by SolarFun, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. SolarFun

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 16, 2009
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    I'm a director of a condo association and we anticipate the first electric car in our garage. This car will need to be charged and we don't have individual metering for electricity usage. I would like to find a device that would record electricity usage so that an authorized person (and only that person) would be able to collect this information which would be used to bill the owner of the parking space.
     
  2. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    I think it'll be solved soon enough by our government. After all they're not collecting any road taxes on electric cars.

    Not much I can think of that's cheap and cheerful, at approx $2 a fill that's going to add up fast on your hydro bill. You may need to add a $60 or so per month surcharge on your tenant agreement for electric car owners. I'm sure it won't go over well.
     
  3. t_n_k

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 6, 2009
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    Do you mean this will be a community owned vehicle that would be housed and recharged in a common garage?

    If it is being recharged from a standard mains GPO then there are power monitoring devices on the market which can be plugged into the GPO and which will log and store the energy consumption from the outlet. Presumably one could ask an electrician to mount such a device in a lockable enclosure to ensure access is limited to the designated responsible person(s).
     
  4. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Maybe it will be a Chevy Volt, and we can find out what "more car than electric" means.

    It will be interesting on a hot summer day to see the utilities scramble to handle air conditioning, cooking, laundry, and now increasing electric vehicle loads.
     
  6. SolarFun

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 16, 2009
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    As to the make of the car, we don't know. We are just anticipating the demand as it seems likely that people who live in the city will be the ones taking advantage of the electric cars.

    I'm gasping at the possible costs for piping power to an 240V outlet and metering it. I am in Canada: Ottawa, Ontario specifically, and the Province is in the process of replacing old meters with new, "Smart" meters. From the comments I hear and read, the new owners of the "Smart" meters pay more than ever, even when trying to take advantage of the cheap power periods. Anyhow, I just had the brainstorm that there are thousands of old meters being tossed and they must be cheap. I will contact the power company and see if they will sell to a lowly customer. We could just run 240V to an old meter and read it every month and charge the person who owns the parking place. Any thoughts on this idea?
     
  7. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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  8. Duane P Wetick

    Active Member

    Apr 23, 2009
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    It seems like the devices needed to do this are available commercially; specifically a credit/ debit card device and a recording watt-meter. The user simply swipes his ID card and the watt-meter records the power usage for this user.

    Cheers, DPW [ Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations.]
     
  9. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    That scheme could be used privately.

    a security card or other ID that can be scanned by the computer. That apartment residence is 'billed' for that charging session. The meter just reads useage and the computer logs it and attaches it to the owners monthly rent bill.

    Or you could hire someone to go outside and 'turn on' the charger and have them write down the meter reading, and when the owner comes back your employee will go outside and write down the meter reading and the office staff will attach it to the monthly rent.

    Works both ways. :)
     
  10. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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  11. SolarFun

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 16, 2009
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    Really good ideas. I called Ottawa Hydro, our power company, and they said:
    1. They don't sell their old meters to unauthorized organizations. Since this is a public utility, they don't do authorizations without registration. Registration is done by another organization. I didn't inquire.
    2. In order to meter electricity to "reuse" it, we would have to be registered, etc.
    3. Ottawa Hydro would not help by installing a meter because this would be "re-metering" which they don't do.
    4. There was a hint that we could use a meter to gain some experience to sell the electricity at an unmetered flat rate to an electric car owner.

    More to be learned at Ottawa Hydro - maybe. I suggested that there was someone in the organization whose job it was to do some thinking to get out in front of these new ways to use electricity. Didn't resonate.

    We are starting to think about wind or solar options. Ottawa Hydro buys power from solar installations at 80 cents/kwh. Sounds like a terrific deal for the seller. Since I am now the buyer (through my monthly electric bill), I am decidedly of two minds.
     
  12. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Sounds like a PIC project to me. Seems easy enough, wattage meters are not complex, and could feed into a pic. How about a device with a swipe card reader that will feed electricity to the car until it is turned off, then charge the customer for juice used?

    The reason I envision this is car parking poaching is probably bad enough without adding a financial incentive. With my idea the person paying the bill gets the service.
     
  13. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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  14. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    That's only applicable to the US, and the equipment usually makes it a losing proposition unless you happen to have a Small Hydroelectric Plant.
     
  15. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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