I came across an old blog post today from October 2009 when I installed my shiny new TED 5000 and Google’s now defunct Power Meter software.   To be honest I haven’t looked at it for several years but fired up some software today and it checked right in.

Here is the original post from October 2009 for histories sake.

Well you may have heard that Google’s philanthropic arm Google.Org has created software that allows you to monitor how much energy your home is using. The software Google PowerMeter works with Smart Meters and now with its first energy monitoring device partner TED or The Energy Detective.

The TED 5000 device and Google PowerMeter software allow you to see your electricity usage, understand your usage and reduce your electricity bills and amaze your friends!

Of course, I had to get one. I purchased the TED-5000G which is the least expensive model that TED sells at $199.00. It is good for homes up to 200amps and is designed for monitoring one main electricity panel although I have my TED monitoring four by installing the CT’s in the trough feeding the panels.

The installation is fairly simple but you need to be familiar with electricity and not be afraid of opening the electricity panel and possibly installing a new circuit. The reason you might want to have an electrician perform the installation is that the cover of the electric panel is removed. Serious injury or death could occur if you are not extremely careful and familiar with electrical components and complete operation of the electricity panel. It is a very simple installation for an electrician and can be done in about 15 minutes.

 The TED-5000G is comprised of 2 basic components – an MTU or transmitter about the size of a cigarette pack. The MTU has two CT’s or Current Transformers attached to it. These Current Transformers look like small versions of the Lost in Space Robot B9’s hands and are the heart of the measuring system. These small clamps get attached to the power mains inside the circuit panel before they enter the main breaker and measure the current being used in your panel. Very similar CT’s are actually what is being used in your meter to spin the dial.

The second part of the system is a Receiver or Gateway which is plugged into any convenient outlet in your house. The Gateway has an Ethernet jack and you will need to plug it into your router or switch to get the system online.

The gateway is where the web server, internal storage and Ethernet communications occurs. It looks like a typical “power brick” that so many electronic devices have today and hangs right on the wall. The communication between your MTU and the Gateway is transmitted over the power lines every couple of seconds in the same way X10 devices work. In fact if you have X10 devices in your home the TED device can wreak havoc on them.

If you purchased one of the TED devices that comes with a wireless display then the display is the third component in the system. The display is very basic compared to their footprints software but it does allow you monitor your usage and the cost of electricity.

With all the TED 5000 packages you get to two great pieces of software. The TED Footprints software and integration into Google PowerMeter. The Footprints software is a really nice piece of graphical software that gives you a total picture of your electricity usage both in real-time and historical views. Check out the online demo at the TED website. After you install Footprints you can integrate your installation into your iGoogle page via the PowerMeter gadget.

So far so good with my installation of the TED 5000G I installed it a couple of days before I closed my swimming pool for the winter so I could clearly see the effect of running two pumps for 12 hours a day. The spikes caused by different appliances are really amazing to watch and I am hoping that by monitoring the usage we will be able to reduce our electricity usage over the upcoming years.

So far so good with my installation of the TED 5000G I installed it a couple of days before I closed my swimming pool for the winter so I could clearly see the effect of running two pumps for 12 hours a day. The spikes caused by different appliances are really amazing to watch and I am hoping that by monitoring the usage we will be able to reduce our electricity usage over the upcoming years.

Now for the bad news …..  The TED 5000 Series is now officially back ordered.  The demand caused by the Google PowerMeter announcement has caused the company to run out of devices.  They are still encouraging orders but quoting a 3-4 week lead time for shipments.