Electric Meter Still Runs Off Grid

2Guido2Guido Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭
My system is not a grid -tie. The entire grid disconnects automatically at 6am and the house runs off the inverters powered by wind and solar and a huge battery bank..no problem. The grid then cuts back on at 7pm and the chargers kick in to top off the batteries overnight. During the day, my main house breaker is completely disconnected and the meter slows down to a very minute crawl with no load BUT NEVER actually stops dead. Our local electric company insists I have a small load still attached..BUT I DON"T...Is it possible there is a small inductance in the meter that will keep it very slowly moving ?? Has anyone ever checked their meter under no-load ??..any help would be appreciated..
Thanks

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Electric Meter Still Runs Off Grid

    With no load the meter should stop dead.

    The obvious question is how your system disconnects: whole-house transfer switch on AC mains? Does it include the neutral feed or just the two hot leads? Where does the power come from to control the transfer?

    Check the neutral and ground on the main service panel, feed line, and transformer (that may be outside of your venue to check).

    Otherwise ... sort of need a wiring diagram of the system to look at the possibilities.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,800 admin
    Re: Electric Meter Still Runs Off Grid

    The meter may draw around 3-6 watts to run the electro-mechanical stuff (a digital meter may use more or less).

    The face of the meter may have a number that says something like 12 kh which works out to 12 Watt*Hours per revolution for the "disk" or LCD equivalent (my old mechanical meter)..

    If your meter uses 6 watts (my new "smart meter" communicating digital meter is 3 watts--I think):
    • 12 Watt*Hours / 6 Watt "tare load" = 2 hours per revolution.

    You can also figure out the size of the load by:
    • kh * 3,600 seconds per hour * 1/seconds per revolution = Watts load

    For example:
    • 12 WH * 3,600 sec per Hour * 1/30 seconds per revolution = 1,440 Watt average load (over that 30 second period)

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • 2Guido2Guido Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭
    Re: Electric Meter Still Runs Off Grid

    I think Bill got the answer..it makes sense the meter draws a small juice to tun the mechanics. My ATS completely disconnects the 2 hot feeds, but not the neutral or ground. There is still a main breaker between the meter and the ATS. When that main breaker is turned off, the meter is still crawling...
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Electric Meter Still Runs Off Grid

    I'd ask "what do you Americans use for electric meters down there?" but after looking at my "new" meter and seeing a date of 1967 on it ... The old one looked like a Galvani prototype. I suppose we should be thankful we have 60 Hz current now. :p

    Supposed to get a smart meter soon. I wonder if they'll be able to install it without changing the feed?
  • 2Guido2Guido Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭
    Re: Electric Meter Still Runs Off Grid

    Who's American? ..we're the Conch Independent Republic....our electric meters still have rubber bands......
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,905 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Electric Meter Still Runs Off Grid

    I've also seen security lights installed on the pole running from the breaker there, even during the daytime, they will draw some tiny amount of current.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Electric Meter Still Runs Off Grid
    2Guido wrote: »
    I think Bill got the answer..it makes sense the meter draws a small juice to tun the mechanics. My ATS completely disconnects the 2 hot feeds, but not the neutral or ground. There is still a main breaker between the meter and the ATS. When that main breaker is turned off, the meter is still crawling...

    That meter should be stationary. You got a problem - either a "leak" in the panel from a hot to neutral or some other load on it. The meter only draws 6 watts or so when there's current flowing thru it. I got one of them old dial type meters on my prime genset and it don't turn with the power being fed to it but the load disconnected.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
    Re: Electric Meter Still Runs Off Grid

    My meter didn't move a bit in four months. But it was a new electronic kind.
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