How to Install a Solar Energy Monitor
The Efergy Engage Hub is a popular energy monitoring solution for households with solar power. Reason being - it tracks both household power consumption and solar power production.
But before you jump in, you need to understand how it works. The physical part of the product has three components:
- Hub - A small wireless device that plugs into your internet router.
- Transmitters - These go inside your meter box and are battery powered (3 x AA batteries each).
- CT Sensor Clamps - These plug into the transmitters and measure the power usage.
Simplified Wiring Diagram
Important: Do not assume your electrician will automatically know exactly how this product works. There's a good chance they will not.
It's typically a quick job for an electrician to fit the sensor clamps at your meter board. However, they must be informed of the correct installation locations to ensure the readings are correct.
- Position 1 = Power Consumption Only ("Load Only").
- Position 2 = Solar Power Production Only.
These wireless energy monitors cannot sense the direction of current flow, only the total amount going through the cable.
For this reason, you need to ensure the clamps are installed correctly on the 'power consumption only' and 'solar production only' cables.
If you install a sensor on the 'NET' side of your main switch, the readings won't make any sense. This is because whether you are importing 400 Watts or exporting 400 Watts it will just read "400 Watts" - which isn't very helpful.
Example of a correct single phase house & solar installation. The clamps (shown behind the board) are on the 'load only' side of the main switch and the 'solar only' side of solar supply main switch.
In some cases, a small amount of re-wiring of the switchboard is required to enable the correct installation outcome.
In the following example, the top of the main breaker was used as a junction. This makes it tricky to separately measure solar (first red cable) and usage (all the other cables).
When this occurs, an electrician can move some junction points to other breakers. This should leave you with just two wires connected to the load side of the main breaker: 'solar only' and 'load only.'
Example of an electrical switchboard which required minor modification by an electrician before installation of the sensor clamps.
Did you get the right number of sensor clamps?
At your electricity meter board, take a look at both the 'Main Switch' and 'Solar Main Switch'. Using the image below as a guide you should be able to see which type you have for House (Main Switch) and Solar (Solar Main Switch).
Single phase (single pole) main switch on left vs. three phase (three pole) main switch on right.
The software set-up happens online via the Engage Hub online portal. Key links:
IMPORTANT! When configuring the system at the engage website we recommend that you:
- Label the first transmitter as Whole House (PWER).
- Then label all extra transmitters as Sub metering (PWER_SUB).
- These can be relabelled later in the settings section of the portal.