Author Topic: Power cut monitoring  (Read 441 times)

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Power cut monitoring
« on: October 30, 2020, 08:16:31 pm »
My electricity supply is subject to transient power cuts, or possibly voltage dips. These manifest themselves as any or all of the TV re-booting when the power is back, the printer doing maintenance and my Rasp Pi rebooting and losing its connection to its external HDD.

The first two are noisy and cause annoyance if they occur when I'm otherwise sleeping. The other is a pain, but the uptime command on the Pi will tell me when the power was restored. Currently it's showing uptime of 8:23, so the power went off/dipped at 11:50.

Does my smart meter monitor this kind of stuff? Any other (cheap/free) monitoring? I know Kim did lots of clever stuffs to show her supply co. FWIW the neighbours in my block also get these, so I suspect the fault is not inside my palatial mansion. 
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Power cut monitoring
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2020, 08:29:01 pm »
Have you paid the leccy bill?

Re: Power cut monitoring
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2020, 09:06:23 pm »
We used to get these a lot - right up to the point the overhead cable up the road blew. It’s likely to be an incipient fault that the local grid is recovering from, which can go on a bit before manifesting itself as a total cut.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Power cut monitoring
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2020, 09:18:55 pm »
While the smart meter will undoubtedly be able to detect loss of voltage, it probably isn't doing anything with the data.  I had a conversation with Data Logger Dave about this during our 216V saga: Not only is there an absence of SCADA monitoring at the local substation level (so they only know there's a failure if someone reports it, and need to install additional temporary equipment to determine if the phases are poorly balanced or whatever), but there doesn't appear to be any kind of effort to make use of smart meters to provide monitoring data to the distribution companies.

If you're getting a lot of transient drop-outs, it might be worth reporting the problem to your distribution company, so your local equivalent of Data Logger Dave can come and install a logger at your cut-out and/or dispatch the apprentices to fettle the local wiring.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Power cut monitoring
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2020, 09:31:12 pm »
You might get a reduced rate on exotic smoking products from your neighbour.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

Re: Power cut monitoring
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2020, 10:47:19 am »
UK electricity metering for 100kW+ customers has always used half-hourly interval data.  Undoubtedly the meters can be programmed for smaller intervals but HH is what's used across the industry for the purposes of understanding demand profiles in sufficient granularity to enable pricing of contracts and trading of power on the markets.

The advent of demand side response services has required much greater granularity of data, but this tends to be dealt with using additional metering.

From a domestic residential perspective, it's very likely that your typical SMETS2 smart meter is more than capable of providing HH data,  since this is what's used for Octopus's Agile tariff (https://octopus.energy/agile/) but whether your incumbent supplier actually does anything with that data will be supplier dependent.  Most suppliers offer HH data services (online graphs of consumption etc.) to larger users as part of their contracts but probably aren't set up to offer this to residential customers. 

Either way, it won't tackle monitoring of transients and would only capture measurements at HH intervals.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Power cut monitoring
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2020, 11:19:24 am »
Either way, it won't tackle monitoring of transients and would only capture measurements at HH intervals.

Yep, Octopus are getting half-hourly data from our SMETS1 smart meters, and making it available via their API.  I think you can view graphs on their website too.  We're not on the Agile tariff, because we lack any kind of energy storage that would make use of it.

They give customers a setting that changes this granularity to daily or monthly.  Presumably this takes place upstream somewhere, as it comes with the disclaimer:

Quote
Important: If you choose daily or monthly reporting, you will not be able to access your half-hourly data through us.


I reckon max/min/average voltage/current/power factor values (at whatever sample rate the meter works with internally) for each interval would go a long way toward spotting problems, even if it's not recording transients.  But I doubt the meter is actually doing anything with that data, other than making it available on the front panel.  (But possibly could in future?  eg. If providers wanted to bill for apparent power.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Power cut monitoring
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2020, 11:55:18 am »
I reckon max/min/average voltage/current/power factor values (at whatever sample rate the meter works with internally) for each interval would go a long way toward spotting problems, even if it's not recording transients.  But I doubt the meter is actually doing anything with that data, other than making it available on the front panel.  (But possibly could in future?  eg. If providers wanted to bill for apparent power.)

This is remarkably analogous to the software I work on (but for IT related goblinry).

We've had some customers where we've installed our stuff, got it pointing at all of their stuff (and bits of their stuff pointing at bits of our stuff) and then they're suddenly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things they'd need to fix that they simply weren't aware of before. (This can be both a good thing and a bad thing obviously.)

Some are so put off by this they just want to go back to "fixing the stuff that our end users tell us about" but eventually they get won round (ok, prioritise the customer reported stuff, but also start to chip away at the other bits and you'll soon be already working on fixing something when an end user calls to report a fault/problem, and you'll also be fixing loads of stuff before you even have an end user ring up to log a fault/problem.)

Surprisingly simple but it's kept me in gainful employment for many years.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Power cut monitoring
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2020, 04:56:35 pm »

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Power cut monitoring
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2020, 07:33:07 pm »
Following yet another bout of TV turning itself on at audax o'clock, I phoned UKPN.

Turns out that day's event was down to storm damage on the 11kV network, which had cut off a chunk of customers. (It was a longer outage,. as the oven clock was flashing at me).  We then talked about all the other micro-outages, which the person on the other end could see had happened, which he said were down to "switching events".  Not much ciould be done about them, but phone if they happen again was the plan we agreed.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)