Phantom Loads - Oh my!

Graham ParkinsonGraham Parkinson Posts: 28Registered Users ✭✭
Getting onto specing fittings for finish wiring for our off grid "cabin" (becoming a house now that we can't seem to do without those electronic thingys all the time):

When shopping for stuff, it's  really difficult to find info on phantom loads for things like digital countdown timers for code required ventilation fans (a watt for the "Off" LED? maybe better to just find an old fashioned wind-up fan timer somehow), digital multi-location dimmers (? Watts), and things required by code like arc fault breakers ( a few Watts each) , 120 VAC hard wired smoke detectors (? Watts).   Seems like no-one really wants us to know about these phantom loads.

We thought about using occupancy sensor light switches to save power but it seems that they draw several watts and would be a net loss compared to being frugal with turning off lights manually.  We were looking at the neat Lutron Maestro digital dimmers that allow using master slave ("companion") dimmers to dim lights from several locations on one circuit - but no info available if these dimmers have a phantom always on draw, which I suspect powers their "digitalness" via the neutral wire that these require.  Apparently some types of LED capable dimmers don't try to leak current through the LED's to power their internals when on as they don't get enough power this way so they are going to a separate supply via the neutral wire. Guess I'm going to have to call Lutron to see what the "off" loads are.

Has anybody got measured on any of this kind of stuff?

These types of loads are always connected  loads even when stuff is "off" so they can really add up when living off of a battery.

Speaking of "phantom loads required by code" I had an electrician actually tell me that even though we were off grid, if we installed our 120/240 VAC distribution panel in an "unconditioned space", we would actually have to install electrical baseboard heat below it .....

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,871Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Welcome to the nanny state.   I was forced to install all the above, and fire sprinklers in an unheated garage.   Duh!  25F tonight, and 21F tomorrow night - do I leave one on all night ?

    Wait till the battery backed up, hard wired smoke alarms start to fail.  I had 5 or 6 go out in first 6 months.

    I assume all the mandatory loads are 5w each, easier than the research to find they are 3.7w  new models that don't ship till next year

    Enjoy
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  • Graham ParkinsonGraham Parkinson Posts: 28Registered Users ✭✭

    Thanks Mike

    Folks on Lutron forum got back to me:  Maestro dimmers draw 0.6 W ea when off.  Lumea and Contour draw 0.0 W (mechanical off switch so no phantom loads)


    Cheers


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,669Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Speaking of "phantom loads required by code" I had an electrician actually tell me that even though we were off grid, if we installed our 120/240 VAC distribution panel in an "unconditioned space", we would actually have to install electrical baseboard heat below it .....
    Love to know the reasoning behind this?

    All my Mains have been outside in in conditioned space for 12 years. I worked in a camping community where all the mains were at the pole, I didn't notice any baseboard heaters under them...lol.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • softdownsoftdown Posts: 1,879Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    Speaking of "phantom loads required by code" I had an electrician actually tell me that even though we were off grid, if we installed our 120/240 VAC distribution panel in an "unconditioned space", we would actually have to install electrical baseboard heat below it .....
    Love to know the reasoning behind this?

    All my Mains have been outside in in conditioned space for 12 years. I worked in a camping community where all the mains were at the pole, I didn't notice any baseboard heaters under them...lol.
    Pretty sure that "soyboy" is full of it. Electricity is one thing that seems to work regardless of the temperature. Though I seem to recall high temperatures reducing the conductivity of aluminum wiring by significant amounts. 

    Are we going to heat and a/c the grid next? I mean....it is almost all outdoors. #ExpensiveProposal 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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