Author Topic: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?  (Read 17927 times)

jfpetesn

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2015, 07:10:23 PM »
Could it be that the blower speeds are set differently? I know when we had an attic unit it was set up for a particular number of registers and then it was different for heat and AC.  Also, those attic units really take a beating as they are operating at temp extremes especially in the summer.  It could be duct size and run so the attic unit is working a little harder to push the air around.  I also wonder why the downstairs furnace shuts down mid cycle.  I wonder if the limit switch is kicking in (getting too hot) and allowing it to cool off before resuming.  Could be a problem or a bad limit switch. 

Our solar has been installed since mid October.  My best day was in Feb and I hit 88.5kWh.  So far I prob average about 75 kWh with sun but overall I expect 55-60 kWh/day average.  If you have a single string inverter then shaded panels take down the entire string to the lowest panel.  The newer microinverters really help with production where some of the panels are shaded.  They allow each panel to produce max power. If you have one or two shaded, they let the other non shaded panels produce max power so it makes a big difference.  If you do not have shading issues then the single string inverters work great.

If you get the script working well let me know I would like to take a look at it and give it a try.

pfletch101

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2015, 07:13:26 PM »
I have the same questions about your solar install.  Do either of you have any tips or suggestions regarding your solar?  I did some research analysis and have just made the switch to an hourly pricing program with our utility.  This is my first month on the program but if my calculations are correct, I believe that the hourly pricing will add another 10-15% production efficiency to my solar system.  The reason is that most of the price increases throughout the day occur during the 9-5pm time period.  This is the time period that I am sending the most power back on the grid so they will compensate me for my solar production at the current hourly price.  This allows me to sell my solar production at a higher kWh rate say 0.05-0.09 kWh and then when I purchase at night I will purchase back at 0.025-0.035 kWh.  I think it is really going to add up.  If you have that option you might investigate it. Just like the stock market, sell high and buy low.

I have been on hourly rate pricing (ComEd RRTP) since a year before I installed my solar panels (2010), and I did and do shift my usage as much as possible to use power when it should be cheapest. Unfortunately, the emphasis is on 'should be'. For the first couple of years, running my washing machine and dishwasher (both have integral delay settings) and the greater part of my air conditioning in the summer (on a high-end programmable thermostat) in the early hours of the morning, together with the payback for solar kilowatts produced when everyone else was using A/C, resulted in very substantial calculated savings over a flat rate. However, in the last two years or so, hourly rate prices have been all over the place, and the savings (if any!) have been much smaller.

Last winter, we saw peak hourly rates over $1.00/kWh and quite a lot of hours when the rate was over $0.30/kWh (our average rate here is around $0.05/kWh), and this winter we have seen similar, though mostly not quite so severe, spiking. What is worse (in terms of planning usage) is that these spikes have frequently occurred at times when the rates should theoretically have been well below peak values - 2 am on one occasion! For the last two summers, too, we have frequently seen days when the daytime rate was in the $0.05-0.10/kWh range, but the rate has shot up (it seems) as the sun sets, with evening rates in the teens and twenties (cents/kWh). My advice to you would be to keep a very close eye on this.
Peter R. Fletcher
TED Pro Home - main MTUs monitoring utility and PV Solar feeds; 2 Spyders monitoring selected individual circuits

jfpetesn

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2015, 08:10:15 PM »
I am keeping a close eye on it.  I have set up a spreadsheet and pull my hour data from TED and plug in the hourly published prices.  I went back and looked at the historic rates for the last 2 years and in our area (near St. Louis) seems the ave rates after 9-10 pm run .025-.035.  During the day, rates run about .03-.05.  During winter months looks like the spikes occur from 6-9 am and 5-7 pm.  Spring and summer the spikes seem to occur from 9am-4 pm.  I haven't seen anything over about .15kWh in the 2 year period I reviewed and that seemed to be during the summer months.  I hope this works out. Our fixed rate for power is about .055 kWh.  We are on Ameren Power Smart Pricing (Actually day ahead pricing).  They publish the next days rate at 4:30 pm daily.

tlveik

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2015, 04:48:17 AM »
Could it be that the blower speeds are set differently?
That was my thought too.  The fan speed on my furnace is adjustable, at the motor.

Tom

jlsoaz

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2015, 04:52:14 PM »
Hi DanKegel:

It sounds like you are doing some interesting efficiency research.  I installed an expensive multi-zone heating and cooling system last year (Mitsubishi), and in a way this may be saving me money, but in a way I'd say I'm more opting for the increased comfort (the old system simply wasn't getting it done, whether in winter or summer) and so the energy use seems to be more or less in the same ballpark as it used to be.  My regrets on that system include that I didn't buy the equipment through a local place (long story) so getting service on it will be difficult.

I can't speak though to the sort of system you're talking about, as the types of home and HVAC sound different.

Electric Hot Tub?  That's one way to use a lot of energy, but I guess if you want a hot tub, then go for it.

The LED effort sounds good.

jlsoaz

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2015, 05:06:05 PM »
Hi jfpetesn:

I was discouraged by my utility from doing some sort of Time of use pricing program and told that it would increase my bill.  The explanation was complicated, but it involved that weekends, holidays and most winter daytime hours are considered off peak by utilities (I was told).  I don't know about other utilities outside of mine (Unisource, near Tucson).

[...]

May I ask, how much solar did you install?  I have a 13.2kWh ground mount system with a Sunnyboy string inverter.  Works great!  I have done some projections off of known similar systems and I think I will be knocking on 20-22,000 kWh yearly production.  Do you have an SREC program?

jlsoaz:

I have the same questions about your solar install.  Do either of you have any tips or suggestions regarding your solar?  I did some research analysis and have just made the switch to an hourly pricing program with our utility.  This is my first month on the program but if my calculations are correct, I believe that the hourly pricing will add another 10-15% production efficiency to my solar system.  The reason is that most of the price increases throughout the day occur during the 9-5pm time period.  This is the time period that I am sending the most power back on the grid so they will compensate me for my solar production at the current hourly price.  This allows me to sell my solar production at a higher kWh rate say 0.05-0.09 kWh and then when I purchase at night I will purchase back at 0.025-0.035 kWh.  I think it is really going to add up.  If you have that option you might investigate it. Just like the stock market, sell high and buy low.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2015, 05:10:25 PM by jlsoaz »

jlsoaz

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2015, 11:13:13 PM »
BTW My home is 4400 sq ft, I have propane for cooking and a set of gas logs.  GEO provides my HVAC as well as my water heating.  I have a well for water and sand filtration for our septic. there are 3 occupants at this time. My net kWH usage for a year under 2000. I use approx 200 gal gasoline in a year.  

In coming back to this information, it looks to me that you're being fairly efficient, at a first guess.  I don't know a lot about others' calculations and how they should be compared, and so my questions are not meant to imply that I can really tell in some professional way if someone else's residence is super-efficient.  I do enjoy efficiency conversations and some details, as well as economic discussions, but I don't have a lot of knowledge of exactly how others' setups look or don't look.  

IMO, I think the net kWh usage figure is a bit of a distraction since (IMO) efficiency is not about net kWh usage, but how efficiently you use all electricity.    I'm guessing you're using something on the order of 60-65 kWh per day of electricity (please correct me if I am wrong, I'm working on the fly and not sure if I'm grabbing the right numbers from this page to guesstimate.... I'm thinking average about 55-60 kWh of solar harvested per day, plus a bit more drawn from the grid to provide for any shortfalls, per what I think you've said)

I suppose more information would be needed (location and climate, etc.), but this amount of electricity use, plus the number of BTU from Propane, for a 4,400 square foot house with 3 occupants, then I guess it seems not bad to me.  

I like your inclusion of the gasoline data, as I think there are tie-ins between where we choose to locate and in some ways attributing our transportation energy use to that decision.  My own figures would be roughly (not as accurate as yours, I haven't really kept track of things, and still haven't found a capable electrician to install the TED on a new separate panel I have for my car charging)

1600 square feet of living space
About 3500 feet elevation, high desert, - reaches about 110 F or above in Summer and can get below freezing in Winter.
1/2 acre of land w/septic
City water
1 occupant
No propane or natural gas (except for transport, see below).
Electricity use?  I'm not certain.  I have a decent idea of how much solar I harvest per month and how it varies, but billed monthly electricity use is very much all over the place, depending basically on the season and whether I have been away.  I'll estimate subject to revision that on average my total electricity use is perhaps around 24 kWh per day including my EV.

Transportation: I have two cars, neither of which sees "that" much driving.  The EV I drive about 5,000 miles per year, requiring (very approximately) about 1666 kWh per year of which maybe about 70% is drawn at my house.  So, a little more than 3.19 kWh per day drawn on average from my house.   Let's call it 4 kWh.

My other car I run mostly on gasoline, but also a tiny bit on nat gas (long story, and moot because my tank is just about expired).  Not quite sure of number of gallons, but I guess maybe 5,000 miles per year at (guess, subject to revision) 23 miles per gallon, so maybe somewhere around 217 gallons per year.

As I said, I'm not super-knowledgeable about others' energy use.  Once in awhile I have been able to chat with a person in this area, to get an idea of things.  One of my neighbors once told me that he spends $200 in a cold month on Propane to help keep his house warm.  Also, I had a blower test - the guy said that for the volume and size, it was probably the tightest place he'd ever tested, and if I had natural gas or propane he would be really concerned.  I did take more ventilation measures after that. Also, I chatted with the utility rep who monitors solar installs around the state and he said I compared very favorably in terms of my energy use, from what he could see.

My 24 kWh per day average is a somewhat wild guess.  There are very wide seasonal variations.  At the peak of winter or summer I can use as much as 50 kWh in a day or even more I guess.  In the Spring or Fall I can get down to as low as 5 or 10 kWh total use in a day.  Some of this is attributable to my solar hot water heater which allows me to avoid using any electricity to heat any water except on certain overcast days or during parts of the winter.  At those times, there is a 220V switch I turn back on, at the panel, to start using that energy for water heating.  If I had more than one person here, that particular energy use would be a lot higher, maybe even when the sun is shining brightly.  This solar hot water heater aspect then I suppose is sort of cheating because I've said that I don't regard PV as an efficiency measure, so then why do I get to incorporate solar hot water into my numbers?  Is this really an efficiency measure?  However, I'm not sure how I'd account for what is admittedly a significant factor here.

For an example of a true efficiency measure, - I have a hot water recirculator in my bathroom that allows me to avoid running the water before I take a shower - this is an efficiency measure that saves a little water and maybe a little energy. 

During times when I am away, my electricity use seems to bottom out at around 2.5 to 3 kWh per day.  I'm not happy with this but I think there's not too much I can do, particularly now that my new inverter seems to be adding a continuous use of around 30+ watts.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2015, 11:33:47 PM by jlsoaz »

jfpetesn

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2015, 07:36:31 PM »
Jlsoaz:

Your assumptions are pretty close.  I according to my projections I am going to produce about 22,000 kWh/yr or about 60kWh/day.  Certainly depends on the weather.  Yesterday I hit 92 kWh my biggest day yet.  Ended up with about 25kWh surplus that was nice.  This Sunnyboy inverter is really nice and efficient.

The previous owner of our house used propane exclusively for heating, cooking, and heating water. The past propane usage was in the neighborhood of 1200 gal year.  Propane is pretty volatile in terms of price but roughly $2000/yr.  I am down to about 250gal/year since we went to geothermal HVAC.  I suspect our weather patterns are similar, we live near St. Louis MO.  We have pretty hot and humid summers with periods of very cold in the winter.  Last year we had 5352 heating degree days and 1094 cooling degree days.  My average yearly temp was 54.83 degrees.  From your previous post I am guessing that you have installed mini splits for your HVAC? I looked at the Daikin units with inverter technology and variable speed compressors.  That is a very cool idea.  I ultimately choose to install GEO because it would fit in with my existing ductwork and the rebates of course.  I know the Daikin could heat down to about 0 degrees F. 

When I had my blower door test my guy told me the same thing.  Do not seal the house any tighter or I would need to install an air to air exchanger to keep our air quality good inside.  Told me that the construction of our house was very good.  It was nice to hear that.  Our daughter has recently moved back home for a little while so our electric usage has jumped some.  It is amazing what the addition of one more person does to our monthly usage.  I bet it has added another 15-20 kWh/day.  One other thing, my wife does not work so we really have no downtime in the house except for nights and vacations.  I have tried temp setbacks for the HVAC and I don't think it helps costs about the same as leaving the temp constant.

My major wasters of electricity, are the televisions (TV on about 18 hours/day), the freezer(old but still works), and the 2 spare refrigerators (one old beer fridg and one for spare food). 

I test drove a chevy volt a month or so ago.  Came very close to buying one but my car still has several years left on it and I am fortunate that I only drive 3 miles to work so I only put 15-20 miles per week on it.  Saves me a tremendous amount on gasoline.  There was a time I was driving 150 mile per day.  I could definitely get by with an EV but until I really need to replace mine it doesn't make sense to spend that money.  I thought about buying a scooter but my wife thinks that's too dangerous.  I also thought about using my bicycle and may start using that during spring/fall.  Not sure that they want me coming to work all sweaty.

How has your hot water recirculator worked out?   I have considered installing one as i have one hot water heater and I waste some water waiting for hot water in the kitchen and bathroom.  I figured it was a trade off, increased energy usage (circulating hot water) or increased water usage.  For me, water is free so I haven't installed one yet.  My hot water lines are not insulated but they are within the conditioned space of the house.  It would be nice to have almost instant hot water though.

My utility suggested that I take a look at their hourly pricing program.  Seemed a little sketchy at first but with the use of my TED figures I was able to pull past hourly data and then run some price comparisons.  For now, it looks like I am going to gain about 10% additional solar advantage (price of sold Solar Power vs price of purchased power).  I will keep a close watch on this but 10% is 10%. 

If you have any other ideas please don't hesitate to mention them.  Keep up the good work

RussellH

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2015, 09:29:04 PM »
I figured it was a trade off, increased energy usage (circulating hot water) or increased water usage.

There will be energy usage for running the pump, plus the heat loss keeping the pipes hot.  You'll save water, but no way you'd save energy.

jlsoaz

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2015, 07:23:16 AM »
[...]
How has your hot water recirculator worked out?   I have considered installing one as i have one hot water heater and I waste some water waiting for hot water in the kitchen and bathroom.  I figured it was a trade off, increased energy usage (circulating hot water) or increased water usage.  For me, water is free so I haven't installed one yet.  My hot water lines are not insulated but they are within the conditioned space of the house.  It would be nice to have almost instant hot water though.
[...]

It has worked out "ok".  Unfortunately, I don't remember the price (I think I wrapped it into some other work I was having done), but I think it was pricey enough so that I'm not going out of my way to recommend this super-highly.... there are other measures I've taken which I think perhaps have a somewhat better bang-for-the-buck number.  

For awhile I didn't bother using it that much.  Keep in mind that my house is kind of an unconventional house that is very about energy savings.  So, when I add features like this, even if some of them are more effective than others, in the end, all the features adhere to making the house kind of a unique and interesting place.  Another example I guess (though not as hard-wired in) is that I have a very good energy-saving refrigerator.

Anyway, your take on water is different than mine I guess because of your well.  Also, the fact that I invested in a solar hot water heater affects my thinking - I guess the challenge I break it down to, as a one-person household, is that I like to see roughly how much energy I can get out of my solar hot water system without having to turn on the electricity to heat up the water.  

So, the recirculator may only help a tiny bit, once per day, but I like it.  I try to keep it on a surge protector that I flip to off so it is not drawing a vampire load all day.  Sometimes I just get lazy and say screw it and don't bother with it, and just run the shower until the water gets hot.  

I didn't quite understand RusselH's points about keeping the pipes hot or something.  The water recirculator means that the only place that has to stay heated up is at the hot water tank itself... if the pipes are cold in the house, the recirculator overcomes that by not giving up until it has drawn the hotter water all the way over to the bathroom.  Maybe there is some point that Russel was making that I'm not getting.


My utility suggested that I take a look at their hourly pricing program.  Seemed a little sketchy at first but with the use of my TED figures I was able to pull past hourly data and then run some price comparisons.  For now, it looks like I am going to gain about 10% additional solar advantage (price of sold Solar Power vs price of purchased power).  I will keep a close watch on this but 10% is 10%.  

If you have any other ideas please don't hesitate to mention them.  Keep up the good work

I guess a question or two from me - does your utility credit you at a retail level, or some other price, for the energy that you send back to them?  Does the credit roll over to future months?  Does it get cancelled out once per year or so?  With the very large amount of energy you are harvesting, I guess if you reduced your energy use, you could start to think about making some token profit on your energy, but the amounts probably wouldn't be anything to write home about, and I don't know you're utility's policies.  In my case, I can't really go there.  Even once or twice per year when I do zero out, I pay about $10 for my bill due to the basic fees and such.

I can see your point about not getting a Chevy Volt yet.  I think many of us learned a long time ago that if you have reliable transportation and it's not broken or requiring a lot of maintenance or monthly payments (if you own it) then there is a point to be made about not messing that situation up.  With that being said, I think there is for some of us a clear synergy as to, in effect, "brewing our own" transportation fuel ... i.e.: filling our cars with solar power that is partially or entirely accounted for by our solar energy harvesting at our homes.  I wonder if the Volt is kind of cramped in the back seat.  When I trade in my leased Leaf, I plan to look at buying a used Volt for $10k or less, and also trade in my other gasoline burner, but a reservation I have a bit is that the Volt may not accomodate full-sized adults in the back in real comfort, I don't know for sure.

PS:

going back to the refrigerator discussion, I would be curious if you put a watt-meter on one or two of your refrigerators, if any of them are using more than 1 or 2 kWh per day, and if so, if they might not be good candidates for replacing with units that use maybe half as much.  Yes, I do understand that on a pure economic basis, the numbers might not work wonderfully, perhaps a bit similar to when LEDs were new and expensive and so arguably a bit hard to justify as against incandescents.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 07:25:48 AM by jlsoaz »

RussellH

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2015, 09:32:29 PM »
I test drove a chevy volt a month or so ago.  Came very close to buying one but my car still has several years left on it and I am fortunate that I only drive 3 miles to work so I only put 15-20 miles per week on it.  Saves me a tremendous amount on gasoline.  There was a time I was driving 150 mile per day.  I could definitely get by with an EV but until I really need to replace mine it doesn't make sense to spend that money.  I thought about buying a scooter but my wife thinks that's too dangerous.  I also thought about using my bicycle and may start using that during spring/fall.  Not sure that they want me coming to work all sweaty.

What about a GEM Car?

RussellH

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2015, 09:37:09 PM »
I didn't quite understand RusselH's points about keeping the pipes hot or something.  The water recirculator means that the only place that has to stay heated up is at the hot water tank itself... if the pipes are cold in the house, the recirculator overcomes that by not giving up until it has drawn the hotter water all the way over to the bathroom.  Maybe there is some point that Russel was making that I'm not getting.

If you're running the pump just before you plan to use the water, that's different.  They systems I know about run all the time.  Yes, it works by drawing the hot water though the pipes - where they lose heat that at some point has to be made up by the water heater.  If you keep the pipes hot, then they keep losing heat.

Bottom line, I can't see ANY energy saving from the system.  Water savings, yes.  Convenience, yes.  But energy savings?  No.  None whatsoever.  The pump pushes it into "energy usage" territory.

jlsoaz

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2015, 11:39:24 PM »
I didn't quite understand RusselH's points about keeping the pipes hot or something.  The water recirculator means that the only place that has to stay heated up is at the hot water tank itself... if the pipes are cold in the house, the recirculator overcomes that by not giving up until it has drawn the hotter water all the way over to the bathroom.  Maybe there is some point that Russel was making that I'm not getting.

If you're running the pump just before you plan to use the water, that's different.  They systems I know about run all the time.  Yes, it works by drawing the hot water though the pipes - where they lose heat that at some point has to be made up by the water heater.  If you keep the pipes hot, then they keep losing heat.

Bottom line, I can't see ANY energy saving from the system.  Water savings, yes.  Convenience, yes.  But energy savings?  No.  None whatsoever.  The pump pushes it into "energy usage" territory.

It does not sound like we are discussing the same thing.  The sort of system I am talking about is intended only to run once in awhile.  In my system, there is a button I push when I am about to take a shower, and the pump runs for maybe 20-30 seconds and brings hot water out of the water heater and to the bathroom, and so instead of having to just waste water watching it run down the drain while the temperature heats up, I can start taking the shower almost as soon as I turn the valve on and the water starts flowing into the shower (in reality, I have to wait a few more seconds, as it is warm but not yet hot). 

Otherwise, the pump is not running for the rest of the day.  Why would it?  It's plugged in, and I try to turn off the circuit with a surge protector just to get rid of the vampire load, but other than that, no energy use.

I guess you could say it saves only water (which around where I live is of some use), not energy, but I'm not sure.  

It might be kind of interesting if, once the shower was turned off, it could then run in reverse and take the hot water that is still in the pipes and circulate that water back to the hot water heater/tank and replace it in the pipes with cool water.  That would save some energy I think.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 11:43:39 PM by jlsoaz »

DanKegel

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2015, 05:14:34 AM »
After monitoring my TED results for a couple weeks, and seeing mostly "furnace off", e.g.

<MINUTE><MTU>0</MTU><DATE>03/10/2015 04:33:00</DATE><POWER>5</POWER><COST>1</COST><VOLTAGE>584</VOLTAGE></MINUTE>

and "furnace on", e.g.

<MINUTE><MTU>0</MTU><DATE>03/04/2015 05:18:00</DATE><POWER>766</POWER><COST>0</COST><VOLTAGE>567</VOLTAGE></MINUTE>

I saw two days with ten minutes of "furnace absolutely melting down", e.g.

<MINUTE><MTU>0</MTU><DATE>03/08/2015 19:30:00</DATE><POWER>50338</POWER><COST>1007</COST><VOLTAGE>571</VOLTAGE></MINUTE>

I mean, holy crap.  That's eight times the normal power usage.  Has anybody ever seen something like this?

This is a gas heater, mind, so it's just the igniter and blower it's powering.

I'm attaching the script I use to collect data.  It's written in Perl, and I'm running this on Ubuntu.

tlveik

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Re: Is there a thread or area to discuss TED5000 results?
« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2015, 05:46:15 AM »
I mean, holy crap.  That's eight times the normal power usage.  Has anybody ever seen something like this?
Assuming this MTU is only connected to your furnace circuit, I'd say that the 50kw is just an error.  Otherwise, something else rather large is also running.  The voltage number is odd.  It's indicating 56 to 58 volts.