Tuesday, June 28, 2016

water heater inhibit to save peak time of use cost

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This timer I added today prevents my electric water heater from coming ON during the peak rate period. I save $1.50 each time that the heater does not come on in the peak period. An electric heater does not know the time of day or about peak energy rates. It is asynchronous and comes on when it wants to, when the water temperature is at the low set point. When the heater comes on depends on how much hot water is used and when it is used. But even with some guesstimates on the statistics, payback of the $45 DIY cost should be less than six months. My electric water heater is a hungry gadget (3 kW) and it seems a no-brainer to keep it from activating in the peak period. I expect to do the same with the fridge and freezer.

I am considering adding insulation to any or all three of these appliances to reduce losses.

You can get a simple mechanical timer at the home centers but I wanted to make it more complicated and expensive with a cheap electronic DIN rail controller from China off Ebay. It seems to work well so far. I bought a spare. Here it is mounted on the wall in a standard electrical box. Simple hookup in series with the water heater. An electrician can easily do this for you.

(click on any picture to enlarge) How it looked today from a whole house view. Whole house monitor hardware and software by Blue Line Innovations, Newfoundland, Canada. I drew the red graphics on a screen capture. You can see the hot water heater coming on strong at 18:05, just after my peak rate period (12-6pm).

I must work next on the base load, the 325 watts that is ON all the time. About $2/day cost.

First article of a series as I will update on progress.

Blue Line Innovations

McMaster FlexPlan website

Ont Govt funded the project

About the timer I used by "Big Clive" on YouTube

Thanks for your interest.

George Plhak
Lion's Head, Ontario, Canada

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