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Calc-Electric – monitor your electricity consumption using your webcam


Calc-Electric. Nick Taube has come up with a clever way to use your webcam and his software to monitor and analyse electricity consumption in your home. Just install his £5.00 program, point your camera at the nearest electricity meter and his code will give you all sorts of cool charts and figures to help you work out what is costing what. It’s also sensitive enough to identify power usage by products on standby, which is pretty bonza. The only issue I can see is that getting a webcam in front of a meter under a cupboard or out in a garage might be a problem for many people.


 How long can Calc-Electric run a single test for? The duration is only limited by the number of measurements Calc-Electric can store in memory. This is adjustable, but typically Calc-Electric will be set up to store up to 10000 measurements. We recommend logging data in 10 minute intervals so this is equivalent continuously monitoring your electricity use for 70 days. If you want to log data more often, and for longer you can set up Calc-Electric to store millions of readings (depending on your PC’s memory) How accurate is Calc-Electric? Calc-Electric is basically as accurate as the meter it is monitoring. Over the duration of a typical 5 hour test, the total energy use and cost will be accurate to better than 1 part in 2000. You would notice if an appliance consuming only 1 watt had been switched on or off!

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