Smart Power Strips

nickmnickm Registered Users Posts: 2
Just wondering if anyone has used one of these newfangled smart strips with an off grid system? I read that it uses 1 watt when in use and uses 0.25 watts when idle, so I'm wondering if it prevents your inverter from going into search mode? And if your inverter is searching and you turn on your control appliance, is it able to pull the inverter out of search mode?

I like to keep my inverter on the most sensitive search mode setting and it bugs me when some unforeseen device keeps it on. I guess it's my way of keeping tabs on phantom loads. But it sure would be convenient to use one of these smart strips and not have to always be turning switches on and off, or forgetting to turn them off!



  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Smart Power Strips

    Welcome to the forum Nick.

    In theory it should work because the power strips use current sensing on the 'control' outlet to turn the others on/off. So with that load off the others should go off, resulting in a 0.25 Watt draw on the inverter which should be low enough to allow it to go to standby, at which point the output is zero and so is the load (no 120 VAC produced).

    Now when you turn the control load back on it should be read by the inverter first, causing it to come out of standby and produce power which will enable the power strip to sense the current flow and turn the other outlets on.

    Caveats: first, I haven't tried this myself. Second, much depends on the circuitry in both the power strip and inverter, particularly how sensitive they are to loads and how they handle the switching.
  • nickmnickm Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Smart Power Strips

    Thanks for the info! Like you say, in theory it should work. Maybe one of these days I'll buy one and try it out and let you know how it goes, 'cause you never know until you actually try :-). Sure would be nice if it works!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,080 admin
    It probably depends on the exact product and the marketing folks.

    Presumably, a smart power strip is there to help save you money. If it does not save you money (typically by turning off accessory loads when the main load is turned off--I.e., monitor, printer, etc. is plugged into switched outlets, main computer plugged into sensing outlet--Computer off, switches other outlets off). You can do similar thing by simply turning off the power strip when you are done with the computer.

    Could be interesting for automated loads--Such as a fan inside a refrigerator/freezer to circulate cold air only when the compressor is running (faster cooling of products, less thermal layers--warmer at top of fridge, cooler at bottom of fridge). Or simply to turn stuff off when not in use--Typically your kids leave stat. box on, decoder, audio system, etc. on when turning off the tv and lights (good luck even getting them to turn off the TV).

    I do not know of any "standard" that include USB or other interconnections (USB ports are now "free" on many 120 VAC outlets--saves plugging in USB power bricks for all of your little devices scattered around the home).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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