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Emporia vue solar setup. Smart Home Integration

Emporia vue solar setup. Smart Home Integration

    My Powerwall Project

    Hello Everyone I am new here, I have been lurking in the shadows for some time and reading posts, watching videos, and taking as much information in as I can. This group seems to be very knowledgeable and I am excited to join the community. I especially like HB powerwalls on YouTube, I bought one ofhis shirts to support him and have seen all of his videos I will donate more when I have some extra funds as I really enjoy his stuff.

    My goals simply put: To stop paying for electricity entirely, and send small amounts back to my utility company (utility connection is.35 cents (US) per day regardless of usage) to zero out my bill. I would also like to convert my car to electric power (I am a master mechanic for my profession) and install electric vehicle charging station into my home. These are my long term goals. With these3 main goals in mind, I would also like to do this project with as many cheap if not free materials as possible, I will get more into this later.

    That being said I already have 15x 315W Longi Mono solar panels, 15x p320 SolarEdge optimizers, 1x SolarEdge storedge Se-3800A inverter, and an LG Chem 9.8Kwh battery. This system is about3 months old and I love the system, but after watching the company install the system I realized I could have installed it myself. Also, after 3 months of monitoring and watching I am still paying a power bill. So I installed an Emporia Vue Smart energy monitor andI am nowwatching my power consumption in real time through my utility companies meter. Although I realize this may not be entirely accurate, it is reporting to me the numbers the power company will use to determine my bill, thus this is the number I am interested in. I attached a rough drawing of my average daily power usage.

    So far I have decided to build an 18650 based powerwall. I have started by going on batteryhookup and ordered 900 cells to start. I also ordered 2x 8 cell charger / capacity testers based off some recommendations on here. The chargers are to arrive today and cells next week,I will begin tear down and cell processing immediately, however I do not plan on having a fully working powerwall for several months if not closer to beginning of 2021.

    In addition to ordering the 18650 cells to begin processing, I have also decided I want to place my powerwall in some type of enclosure. I am unsure of my local regulations, so I purchased a copy of NFPA-111 which is my local fire code and regulations pertaining specifically to energy storage, photovoltaic power sources, and electric vehicle charging. I also need to check and see if I need to acquire permits for my area (most likely as I am in southern California US) for the energy storage, I know I will need new / additional permits to install any more solar panels.

    I was able to up-cycle several old cabinets that I am hoping to store the powerwall inside of, they are UL listed meaning it is rated for electrical components. After determining if they will work (reading the NFPA-111) I plan on rubberizing the inside of the cabinets, mounting them to the back side of my garage, and painting the outside the color of the house (of course leaving warning labels visible).

    Looking around, I also found that I have a large surplus of metal clotheshangars. They are 2mm squared steel wire which is the same as a 12 awg wire.It seems to be this would be good for 25amps per strand? I tried twisting some together and found that I can twist a pair together pretty easily, 3 or 4 is rather difficult especially without kinking. The other issue I have with this is that some of them break while twisting, leading me to believe I could have some porous sections of this conductor which would create a hot spot and possible an open circuit. So, if I continue through with this idea, I plan on testing each individual bus barby actually flowingamperage for extended time (like 10 minutes or more at 150% of the amps I plan to run through it) and then check for hot spots using thermal imaging. Due to the materials, I would need to test each individual bus bar prior to service, meaning this would be extremely time consuming but would cost nearly nothing and leave me with peace of mind.


    Hanger wires are made from cheap metal. this is why you get ones that will break. If you keep the amps low (much lower than equivalent sized copper) then you might not have an issue. But, I think over time you’ll develop one. Also, clothswire usually has a coating on them to help keep them from rusting as they have iron in them. So may make soldering to quite difficult.

    All in all, copper wire is pretty cheap and you only have to work it once, not possibly several times. I would recommend forgoing the hanger wire and just get some house wire and strip it.

    Proceed with caution. Knowledge is Power! Literally! Knowledge is Power; Absolute Knowledge is Absolutely Shocking! Sub-Certified 18650 Cell Reclamation Technician

    Please come join in general chit-chat and randomnessat DiscordChat(channels: general, 3d-printing, linuxcoding, powerfrenzy, humor. ) (this chat is not directly affiliated with SecondLifeStorage; VALID email req’d)


    New member

    Hanger wires are made from cheap metal. this is why you get ones that will break. If you keep the amps low (much lower than equivalent sized copper) then you might not have an issue. But, I think over time you’ll develop one. Also, clothswire usually has a coating on them to help keep them from rusting as they have iron in them. So may make soldering to quite difficult.

    All in all, copper wire is pretty cheap and you only have to work it once, not possibly several times. I would recommend forgoing the hanger wire and just get some house wire and strip it.

    I went and looked at 12-2 Type NM-B with ground. Looks like all 3 twisted together should flow 50 amps easily (2x 12awg= 50 amps, plus 1x 14awg = 20 amps for total of 70, so 50 should be safe to operate at) and its 50 (US) for 250 ft.If I haven’t been able to find some for free (or cheaper) ill pick some up when I have processed enough cells to begin mypacks.

    P.s. Thanks for moving the thread. Griz

    Wayne’s World

    Hit up an electrician friend to keep offcuts for you. Anything 1m or longer could be useful I would think. When I get closer, I’m going to do the same.

    I’m harvesting tool batteries. Much longer project timeframe at a lot less cost.

    Emporia Energy Monitor Review

    The Emporia Energy Monitor is an energy monitoring platform that can provide real-time data analytics on the usage of electricity, natural gas usage, and other energy sources.

    This section focuses on an advanced piece of technology called Emporia Energy Monitor (EEM) that is used by some large corporations to analyze its production performance. EEM was originally developed by Emporia Power Utilities Corporation to help monitor production for their commercial operations.

    How Much Energy Does your Home Use?

    You can take the word energy company for it, or you can measure your use yourself. With a device like Emporia Vue, you can do this fairly simple and without having to complete any major reconnection.

    Like the Sense Energy Monitor we reviewed in early 2019, Emporia Vue uses a pair of electromagnetic current sensors that are installed above two electrical tubes that enter the circuit breaker. Sensors can detect the total amount of electrical wiring your home pulls from the network, and this information is fed once per second to a connected device.

    The screen, via Wi-Fi, transmits this information to Emporia servers in the Cloud, and from there to an app on your smartphone. This allows you to monitor the energy consumption of your home in real-time and historically.

    What Sense does and Emporia does not offer is a method, via machine learning, of “identifying the fingerprint of different devices” depending on how the devices in your home use energy. Over time, Sense can define your refrigerator, oven, oven, and more. Add the Vue Expansion Module, and you can add up to eight additional clips that connect to individual circuits in your home and monitor them directly, without any guess.

    However, the Emporia system costs much less than the Sense system: the Emporia Vue base unit is only 50, plus another 60 if you choose to add the eight circuit sensors (you can buy the combined devices for 100). A 200-phase 3-phase current sensor is also available for light commercial applications at 15. This represents a significant saving in any way. But, of course, you’ll encounter some caveats along the way.

    First of all, the fixing is not entirely related to just cropping the sensors in the wires. Vue itself must be running to work. This means completely shutting down the electrical system (the controls for which I discovered were in a completely different location outside my home) and connecting the wires to unused circuit breakers and the neutral carrier tape. If you do not have an unused circuit breaker, a wire pigtail is included with a tap in the box that allows you to borrow a little energy from the cutter in use.

    Connecting all of this is not a big deal, even if (like me) you don’t do anything inside the electrical panel. It’s easy to follow Emporia’s instructions, and the only hiccup I encountered included a Wi-Fi antenna from Vue. Since the electrical panels are metal and (of course) full of electrical equipment, Wi-Fi signals do not penetrate away from the box. The antenna must be operated out of the box by bending the cable through a knockout and securing it to the outside of the plate.

    My problem: The circuit breaker is hung on the wall, which means they need to run the wire not only through knockout but also through the drywall. For my testing purposes, I chose not to drill holes in the wall, and instead, I only used Vue with the cover of the breaker box removed during the test.

    The problem with other devices in Vue is that all of these sensors and wires accumulate quickly, consuming a lot of space inside the cracker box. It may be difficult to install the Vue Basic Unit, along with two sensors, a power adapter, and related wireless equipment, inside the box. My fracture box, with about 40 nearly circles connected and virtually nothing unused, is incredibly full of wires, and finding a place to stash Vue wasn’t easy.

    Review Sense Energy Monitor Emporia Current Sensor

    In addition to traditional sensors, digital agencies have been using an EMPORIA device to monitor the quality of their client’s products. It is a type of sensor that measures temperature and other properties. The EMPORIA device did require a service fee from the client but it did not cost a lot of money. The sensor was easily set up and it could be monitored by the customer at all times. But there were some issues with the EMPORIA sensor.

    The home assistant is a Smart home product that helps in monitoring energy usage in the house. It can monitor all external gadgets, lights, and appliances and communicate with remote services.

    emporia Smart home energy monitor home assistant is an appliance that can be controlled by AI. It uses AI to monitor the usage of the appliances in your home. You can use it for checking up on your appliances, your child’s activities in the house, batteries running low, etc.

    Emporia Energy Monitor App

    Emporia Energy Monitor is a Cloud-based, mobile app that helps you manage your energy usage and save money on energy bills.

    Emporia Energy Monitor (EEM) is an app that analyzes the consumption of energy consumption in your home or office. It will suggest you various ways to reduce consumption. It will monitor the consumption, generate reports for you and allow you to make changes.


    Both monitors connect to your home’s 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network to send data to the Cloud.

    The user can then access this data using the companion app of the respective sensor or the web interface. The apps display all the appliances that are using energy at the time.

    The Sense Energy Monitor also comes with an external antenna monitor that acts as a booster in case the Wi-Fi signals are too weak inside the metal breaker box.

    For the Emporia Vue, if you have Wi-Fi signal issues, you will have to purchase an external booster.

    You can also lookout for the best mesh routers for thick walls to improve connectivity across your home.

    emporia, solar, setup, smart

    As far as the connection process is concerned, the Sense Energy Monitor took some time to detect the Wi-Fi and establish a connection.

    The Emporia Vue, on the other hand, took no time to connect with the Wi-Fi.

    If we talk about connectivity, the Emporia Vue takes the cake. Its connection process and stability are much superior.


    The installation process of both the energy monitors is pretty easy, and you can do it yourself if you are familiar with the electric box.

    However, it is advised that if you don’t have any prior experience in dealing with electrical components, call in a professional to install the energy monitor.

    The Sense Energy Monitor can be plugged into any electrical panel. It comes in a small iPhone-sized unit that can connect to the existing power cables.

    The package also includes another pair of sensors and an antenna to ensure the sense monitor has a connection established at all times.

    As for the Emporia Vue, the installation also includes clipping sensors onto the existing wires.

    However, it does require power to work. This means, to install it, you will have to shut down the entire electrical system.

    In addition to this, it requires connecting the wires to an unused breaker and a neutral bar bus.

    Since this requires plenty of technical knowledge, it is advised that you hire a professional to install the monitor in case you opt for the Emporia Vue.

    Although Emporia Vue is a great bargain and comes with amazing features, it can only connect to certain Smart energy meters in a few states of the US.

    over, to get the best results and ensure seamless functionality, you will have to purchase Smart energy meters designed by certain manufacturers.

    The Sense Energy Monitor installation process is much easier and can be done at home if you are comfortable working with electrical components. Hence, Sense is the clear winner here.


    At 299, The Sense energy monitor is a higher-priced model when compared to the Emporia Vue.

    It comes in two variants: Solar and non-Solar. The former costs more than the latter. However, if you don’t have a solar installation at the moment, you can opt for the non-solar Sense monitor.

    It can be upgraded to the solar variant anytime for 50 bucks.

    Even though the Sense is much more costly than the Emporia Vue, the price is justified considering it comes with two extra sensors for measuring the flow of electricity. over, it is also equipped with AI.

    The Emporia Vue, at 69.99, costs much less than the Sense energy monitor.

    emporia, solar, setup, smart

    It costs you one-third of the Sense monitor even if you choose to add circuit-specific sensors. You can also add more sensors to the system for an additional 15.

    Although Sense energy monitor costs more than Emporia, it provides more value for money.

    So, in terms of cost and value for money, the Sense monitor conveniently sits on the throne.


    The Sense monitor measures only 5.3 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches. It is smaller in size than an iPhone mini.

    It can easily fit into any electrical breaker box. The Emporia Vue, on the other hand, has a more square-ish form factor.

    It measures 4.1 x 3.1 x 1.1 inches. Hence, it needs more finicking to fit in the breaker box.

    The size of the device does not affect the overall performance, but it does add to the convenience.

    The smaller the device, the more convenient it is to install it. Hence, in terms of size, the Sense Monitor provides more convenience and is superior.

    What is it?

    The Vue Home Energy Monitor is a component based system that measures energy use from individual breakers inside your electrical panel allowing you to see energy real-time energy usage. Armed with that information, smarter energy decisions are yours to make.

    • Gen 2 Vue Energy Monitor
    • Two 200A current sensors for service mains
    • Sixteen 50A current sensors for individual circuits
    • Wire harness
    • Extra wire wire nuts
    • Wi-Fi antenna cable

    Design and features

    A perfect case of functionality taking the lead while keeping all components very user friendly and small enough for the task at hand. This unboxing image showcases it best.

    emporia, solar, setup, smart

    Above is the monitor and the two main sensors that clip around the power leads into your electrical panel. All of it is built to disappear inside your panel providing insight without anything unsightly.


    Correct installation is the key to the Vue Energy Monitor working properly. It’s not a terribly complicated installation, but depending on your particular electrical panel a licensed electrician is definitely recommended. My electrical panel actually showcases both good and bad scenarios, so let’s take a look. Here is my main electrical panel and recently installed sub-panel that houses circuits for our EV Charger and pool pump. Before removing the cover panels, turn off the main breaker which may or may not be in your panel or elsewhere in your house.

    A look inside the main panel shows that there is not enough room to house the main hardware or the sensors on the individual breakers. Even if there was, it’s important to know that while you can turn off individual breakers, the main power leads into the panel are live, so a licensed contractor would be the right approach here.

    The sub-panel by comparison is new and downright roomy. So, until I am able to get a contractor out to update the main panel to a new box with some more room, my installation will be limited to this smaller panel.

    Step one is to download the app, set up an account, and select the Vue Energy Monitor to your profile. It will then give you the option to go through the installation guide before setup. I would highly recommend going through this even if you have a contractor install as it helps you understand how an electrical panel works and clearly lays out the dangers involved and the necessary safety precautions.

    You need to knock out one of the conduit punch-outs in order to install the external Wi-Fi antenna. It’s on a decent length cord so there’s some flexibility in placement.

    Connect the antenna cord’s coaxial connector to the top of the Energy Monitor and slide the rubber cover into place, before positioning the monitor into an available space in your panel.

    Depending on your panel you may have 1, 2 or 3 main service leads. Select the appropriate number in the app and follow the instructions as to where to attach them. They look like this and have a specific orientation to follow the direction of current flow. They’re installed by unlocking the clasp and clipping around the service leads.

    Once connected the 3.5mm plugs on the end of the sensors are plugged into the A,B,C ports on the top of the monitor. In my install, I had two leads and used the included plug to cover the C port.

    This next step varies depending on if you have an empty circuit or not. It’s quite common for US installations to have all circuits full. The wiring harness is attached to two leads from adjacent breakers and two grounding posts. This is then connected to the bottom of the monitor.

    The last step of the physical install is to connect sensors to the individual breakers you want to monitor. These clip around the black lead of each breaker and then plug the 2.5mm plugs into one of the many ports along the two sides of the monitor.

    Any unused ports should have one of the smaller plugs installed to close them up. As you connect each in the app, you’ll be able to note what that breaker is for monitoring usage in the app. The final install in my case looked like this.

    Make sure all the cables are tucked back and close up the panel before turning your breaker back on. You’ll be able to hear the monitor power on and then you can proceed with setting up the monitor via the app and connecting it to your Wi-Fi. Everything else from here out is through the app.

    Final thoughts

    The Vue Home Energy Monitor is a powerful gadget that can absolutely provide insights into the energy usage around your entire home. If you’re not opposed to some trial and error power toggling of devices within a zone, you should be able to spot excess draw from devices in standby saving you money if they don’t need to be on.

    Price: 164.99 Where to buy: Emporia Energy and Amazon Source: The sample of this product was provided by Emporia Energy.

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