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Old 01-13-2020, 03:31 PM   #1
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CEC question regarding energy monitors


I'm thinking of getting an energy monitor such as a Sense. These devices work by connecting sensors around the mains conductors to a monitoring unit which is typically resident in the breaker section of the panel and fed by a 2-pole breaker. Is there any code issue with the sensor wires going from the mains section of the panel to the breaker section? I'm in Ontario, Canada, so the CEC (with Ontario amendments) applies. I thought the only wire which could span the mains and breaker sections was a ground wire (Ontario amendment, I recall), and even then only if no modification of the mains barrier was required.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:35 PM   #2
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


Haven't run into this but it doesn't sound compliant anywhere in Canada.
Does it have ULc or CSA approval? That would make a big difference.


EDIT: Already checked into info available from Hydro One online? You
can monitor usage there.

Last edited by CodeMatters; 01-13-2020 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:10 PM   #3
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMatters View Post
Haven't run into this but it doesn't sound compliant anywhere in Canada.
Does it have ULc or CSA approval? That would make a big difference.


EDIT: Already checked into info available from Hydro One online? You
can monitor usage there.

It's marketed for use in the USA and Canada, but I couldn't find ULC info on their site. Hydro One usage monitoring is very useful, and I'd like to take this to the next level by monitoring individual loads in my house. This will help me to optimize my usage, and may help me to plan for a future backup generator. I have a Kill A Watt, but I'm interested in trends over time (e.g. A/C, pool pump, etc.)


Update: I've asked this question on their site, and am awaiting a reply which I'll post.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:23 PM   #4
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


I've only installed one of these but It was on a sub-panel.

Don't quote me on this but I believe there's an amendment to permit the CT wiring inside the mains compartment. I don't have the ontario amendment nor a OESC book handy to check. I'll look into it.

Edit: just noticed you asked on ESA's site.

Sent from my new phone. Autocorrect may have changed stuff.
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Last edited by Kevin_Essiambre; 01-13-2020 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:32 AM   #5
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


Sense claims on their site that the product is certified for use in Canada. Still waiting to hear back from the ESA.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:56 AM   #6
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


Quote:
Originally Posted by LightlyToasted View Post
Sense claims on their site that the product is certified for use in Canada. Still waiting to hear back from the ESA.
Kevin had good point about sub panels.
So, is it certified for use our main panels with separate disconnect
compartment?
The ESA can take weeks to answer questions.
If it has ULc or CSA and the instructions describe installation in
combination panel, you're good to go.


EDIT: Another thought is that it's likely to be ok as it's
similar to the installation of current limiting devices used
these days for sometimes for EV chargers.

Last edited by CodeMatters; 01-14-2020 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:12 AM   #7
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


@CodeMatters I was thinking the same thing about the CT's being permitted for a load management system.

As long as you follow the instructions from the manufacturer you should be good to to. The instructions are part of getting a CSA listing on it.

Sent from my new phone. Autocorrect may have changed stuff.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:36 AM   #8
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


That's covered in 6-212(2) , but is a home panel 'specifically' designed for CTs ??

(2) Notwithstanding Subrule (1), service equipment specifically designed for accommodating current monitoring devices shall be permitted.


Common around here in the 80's to have CTs connected to the bi-energy furnaces. It would switch back to fuel if load was too high.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


That's interesting. I suppose it's only desirable to have the CT's in the main switch panel when there is more than one sub-panel. Otherwise putting them an a sub-panel would work just as well and wouldn't likely ruffle any feathers. Do you have any idea of what size they are and if they could possibly fit in the typical sub-panel clearance that could be provided by dressing the feeder to maximize the clearance.

Of course it should have some recognized lab approval... UL, CSA, ETL whatever.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:22 PM   #10
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


Found the certifications in one of their brochures.
Certified to CSA STD C22.2 No. 61010-1
Conforms to UL STD 2808
Conforms to UL STD 61010-1
Conforms to UL STD 61010-2-032
Conforms to CAN ICES-3(B)/NMB-3(B)
Also has cETLus mark.


I guess I'm good to go. I'll see if I can locate installation info regarding combination panels. Thanks everyone for the info. If/when the ESA gets back to me, I'll post their reply also.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:27 PM   #11
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


Quote:
Originally Posted by surferdude2 View Post
Do you have any idea of what size they are and if they could possibly fit in the typical sub-panel clearance that could be provided by dressing the feeder to maximize the clearance.

Current Sensor Specifications:
CAT IV 250V 200A max
Cable length: 46:
Inside diameter: 0.95"
May be used on uninsulated conductors
The installation guide shows a picture of a combination panel, but not one with a mains barrier. Also from that guide:
Must have enough space to fit sensor clamps with HxWxD dimensions of 3.375″ x 2″ x .75″ (85.73 x 50.8 x 19.05mm), and an inside diameter of 1. The Sense current sensors may not be able to fit around busbars. Our sensor cables are 46″ (116.84cm) long and our power cable is 36″ (91.44cm) long.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:38 PM   #12
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


The rationale for rule 6-212(2) (mentioned by @Shadow99 ) is to allow
properly cooling of OCD's. The space provided has been deemed
suitable with supply conductors only.....unless specified otherwise.

The above is a paraphrase from the CE Code Handbook.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:46 PM   #13
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


The pictures in their install manual make it look so easy! If only that was reality. I suppose you just have to do your due diligence and from there on, "ye pays yer money and takes yer choice."

Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:12 PM   #14
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


I received a very helpful reply from the ESA. This particular issue is covered in Bulletin 12-33-3 issued May 2019. It is too big to attach to this post. I'll post a summary soon, and maybe find a URL link to the bulletin.
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:32 PM   #15
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Re: CEC question regarding energy monitors


Does not appear that the bulletin is freely available on the ESA site without purchasing the entire OESC. Therefore I'm hesitant to post it here.


In summary, energy monitors are permitted as long as:
  • the devices are approved
  • there is adequate room in the service entrance compartment to accommodate the CTs (subject to Rule 12-3032 2) a) ii) where any cross section is not filled beyond 75%
  • the CT leads exit the service entrance compartment via a knockout and bushing
  • any line-level leads enter the breaker compartment via a knockout and bushing like any other branch circuit.
The illustration in the bulletin showed the energy monitor unit outside of the panel.


Hope this helps.
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