Discuss Vue Gen 2 use with generator power

Emporia Energy Community Share Your Emporia Experience Discuss Vue Gen 2 use with generator power

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    • #6909 Report Abuse
      jj613
      Member

      Let’s discuss using Vue Gen 2 with a backup generator.

    • #6910 Report Abuse
      jj613
      Member

      I have a 200A load center, and a 30A backup generator.

      Here’s what I’ve found so far in relation to the generator:

      1. No local mode is a severe limitation.   If the tree / car accident or whatever took out your power also took our your internet which is hanging on the same poles, the Vue is useless as long as internet is out.   It provides not data and the app cannot connect to it locally over your wifi network, it needs the mother ship.  Or as Emporia eloquently puts it, “it is designed to be a cloud-based service”.   ET Phone Home.  Anyway: Solution: I really hope Emporia learns to recognize they double the value of the thing to their clients by providing some limited service between app and device on a LAN with no internet.   Meanwhile, if you have an outage likely to last more than a day, and if you have cellular service, you can go into the app and change the device’s wifi network to your phone’s hot spot during the outage.
      2. Standby sensors: I bought a 17th and 18th sensor for the generator supply.  I clamped them to the generator supply leads which in my case are in a dedicated junction box near my panel.  For some people they are in the transfer switch, for others they are in the panel on an interlocked breaker.  Regardless, buy an extra pair of 50A clamps and adapters so you can plug them into either the 2.5 or 3.5mm channels.  If you have a manual transfer switch like me, leave the leads unplugged and when you fire up the generator, swap them for something else.  With an auto switch you can leave them plugged in to two channels (as if they are solar) or don’t do that and that aspect of standby won’t be automatic.
      3. What to monitor on standby: The Vue is actually pretty useless for device-level monitoring on generator.   At least in my house, the fridge, boiler, and a very generous amount of lights and electronics will use about 25% of generator capacity.   All the rest is easily consumed by two or three bigger but essential devices: sump pumps (I have two), Disposal (because without it you can’t use the sink at all), and any one kitchen appliance.  The trouble is the Vue really doesn’t capture or synchronize instantaneous power draw by pumps, fridge, disposal etc very well.   I haven’t lived through an outage since I got the Vue but I’m tempted to think I won’t even bother with device-level data, and just stick to the supply.
      4. How to monitor generator supply side: I haven’t decided yet.  If I swap the two supply leads for A/B/C (disconnect the utility leads during an outage) the Vue will work “normally”.   And for added benefit I won’t confuse the monthly totals for any device.  The big downside is that I can’t monitor the phase balancing or the load on each phase.   This matters a whole, whole lot in fact it’s the most important thing during an outage.  Honestly the app should have a feature JUST FOR THAT.   But in fact, the app doesn’t even show you the broken out A/B/C loads.   So I guess what I’ll do is swap out the gen leads for two of the device channels … maybe the A/C since outages are usually in winter.  Then I can see them independently.  More to come on this.
      • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by jj613.
      • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by jj613.
    • #6925 Report Abuse
      waterboyz
      Member

      Looks like I am being censored.

    • #6927 Report Abuse
      jj613
      Member

      @waterboyz why do you think that?  Nobody from Emporia seems to pay attention at all to these forums, I’d be surprised if they are censoring.   What did you do?  Insult my mother?  🙂 Recommend a competitive product?

    • #6929 Report Abuse
      waterboyz
      Member

      jj613 said:  @waterboyz why do you think that?  Nobody from Emporia seems to pay attention at all to these forums, I’d be surprised if they are censoring.   What did you do?  Insult my mother?    Recommend a competitive product?

      I didn’t make any comments about your mother so I’m not sure what rule I broke.  20 minutes ago I made a reply to you and it also disappeared with no notice or explanation.  Poof.  What is odd is the opening screen for this community shows that I was the last to make a reply to this thread but it is not actually here.

    • #6931 Report Abuse
      waterboyz
      Member

      OK

      My last last last reply stuck.  So I made another one after that and it had a link in it.  That one went poof so I will try another way.

      reliancecontrols.com/ProductDetail.aspx?THP108

    • #6932 Report Abuse
      waterboyz
      Member

      OK, that link without using the “link” button worked.

      Here is the other link.

      reliancecontrols.com/ProductDetail.aspx?MB75

    • #6934 Report Abuse
      waterboyz
      Member

      My IT stuff is on a battery backup system.  Sometimes the utility power goes out and I still have Internet.  I’m pretty sure that if the utility and Internet went out that the Emporia stuff would be useless because it is cloud-based.  Would it still work if you have cell/data service through your phone?  Yeah, I’m probably not thinking clearly here.

    • #6951 Report Abuse
      Emporia Support
      Emporia Staff

      Hello @jj613 and @waterboyz, first we would like to apologize for the lack of response on this forum. We have not censored anyone.

      First and foremost, our goal is to provide exceptional customer service through our various customer facing channels. We feel confident that we have done that. We are a small team, with limited resources and sometimes we need to prioritize our front line support over our other customer facing channels. With that said, we realize we need to do a better job managing the Emporia forum and are very much committed to do that in the immediate future.

      Thank you both for your input and feedback!
      Marty

    • #6961 Report Abuse
      waterboyz
      Member

      Marty,

      Thank you for the reply.

      My censor comment was because I was frustrated when I posted a couple of comments and they disappeared with no reason why.  I think I eventually figured it out after trial and error.  But deleting a comment without an explanation is not cool.

      If this forum was hosted and managed by another entity other than Emporia I could understand why there could be attention issues but this has your name all over it.  I do understand the limited resources and thank you for the renewed emphasis on this forum.

    • #6963 Report Abuse
      jj613
      Member

      Hi Marty.   I want to acknowledge that the support you provide through other channels, especially your live chat, is excellent.  I want to acknowledge that publicly.   I just don’t understand why, as a small company with limited resources, you provide *such* good support 1:1, and virtually none at all here in your community forums.

      I think it’s great that you created a user community here.  But it’s not big enough, yet, to be entirely member-sustained.  You need to be part of it.  Every minute you spend answering questions here will pay off 100 times compared to your Chat tool.    I operate a forum for my employer, I’m speaking from experience.

      When Waterboyz  suspected censorship I thought he probably found a bug triggered by the link he was pasting.  Something about the link caused his comment to get deleted.  Probably.  But again, you ought to be here to figure that kind of stuff out, otherwise conspiracy theories can run away 🙂

      And now that I have your attention I want to reiterate something I said to you in our chat and wrote above:  Your product is **SO CLOSE** to being useful for managing Power (not Energy) for people with generators and if you close the gaps and make that a feature it would turn your product from nice-to-have into a no-brainer accessory for generator owners.

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by jj613.
    • #6966 Report Abuse
      waterboyz
      Member

      jj613

      Well said.  Thank you.

    • #6986 Report Abuse
      duanethorpe
      Member

      I posted this issue in the report a bug area of this forum on November 17, 2020:
      community.emporiaenergy.com/topic/gen2-cannot-be-used-when-internet-is-down/         (note I removed hyperlinks since my attempt with them was deleted, so you will have to copy and paste into your browser).

      Since emporia did not respond to my original post, I decided to “roll my own solution”. I am a retired Electrical Engineer so I have the time and tinkering with electronics/programming is a fun hobby. I have provided a link below to my GitHub page where you can see what I did. I do not intend for my solution to be in competition to the emporia units. I am not selling anything. My solution requires more time and labor to implement, but most important to me is it meets my requirements. And it is all local to my network, no cloud.

      If you are wondering if the Raspberry Pi 3B+ is powerful enough for power measurements every 2 seconds, I will say definitely yes. It has been running for well over a month, never missing a beat. In fact I recently started sending air quality info from inside my house via an ESP32 microcontroller to the RPi. So I can even display that data also, no problem. That is the beauty of using popular hardware and software where there are lots of examples on the internet from folks who have done something similar to what you want. Anyway, best of luck to all of you.

      github.com/DuaneOne/House-Electrical-Power-Usage-Monitor-Including-Generator          ( again sorry you will have to copy and paste into your browser).

    • #6988 Report Abuse
      jj613
      Member

      @duanethorpe that’s really nice.  I bet you enjoyed seeing that work in the end, and thanks for sharing it.

      For me, I think the Emporia Vue is good value for what it does.   And for the time being, I fill the gap of monitoring total generator output with the analog meters on my transfer switch.   I put a night vision webcam on a goose neck so I can see them from anywhere in the house.   When I’m not using the generator I reposition the gooseneck so the camera becomes a basement-cam.

       

       

    • #6995 Report Abuse
      duanethorpe
      Member

      jj613,  I think the webcam is a great idea – relatively inexpensive and easy.

    • #6997 Report Abuse
      waterboyz
      Member

      jj613 said:  I put a night vision webcam on a goose neck so I can see them from anywhere in the house.

      What webcam are you using?  I have a webcam for zooming and a bunch of Wyze Labs cameras.  I just got the webcam so still learning it.

    • #7003 Report Abuse
      jj613
      Member

      @waterboyz the camera I’m using for the transfer switch is prehistoric, you couldn’t and wouldn’t buy one.   There are lots of “baby cam”, “dog cam” kind of things for $30 on Amazon that SHOULD work, just make sure it doesn’t need cloud services.  Your Zoom camera is probably USB, so that won’t work.   I haven’t seen Wyze cams before but they look like they would work *if* they work locally.   Do they?  Does the app connect directly to the camera on your local network?

    • #7005 Report Abuse
      waterboyz
      Member

      jj613 said:  …I haven’t seen Wyze cams before but they look like they would work *if* they work locally.   Do they?  Does the app connect directly to the camera on your local network?

      Sadly, for this application, I’m pretty sure they are mostly are cloud-based.  They can have a 32g SDcard but I have not tested if ALL video is cloud-based.  I have a bunch of these but never really looked into the behind-the-scenes……yet.

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