We have seen in recent days the working principle of the Bticino Living Now system connected by Netatmo and also how it manages the roller shutter system connected remotely with wireless controls, with the Home + Control app on iOS and Android and with Homekit / Siri and Google Home / Google Assistant.
Now the turn of a component that is not currently displayed on Google Home and Homekit but can be very useful in checking the consumption of your home and checking if there are anomalies in progress and above all warning you if they exceed a certain threshold.
It is in fact possible that in homes with an electricity supply contract that provides for a certain number of KW, the overconsumption due to the simultaneous use of washing machines, vacuum cleaners, ovens, etc. triggers the protection switch.
By installing a consumption meter not only can you have monthly or daily payment of your system but also establish a threshold beyond which you can intervene in advance by switching off the appliance whose continuity of operation is less important at that time: typically the vacuum cleaner or the dishwasher in favor of cooking the cake you have in the oven !
As we saw in our introduction on the Living Now system, to get a connected system we must always use a basic kit which includes the Lengrand gateway and the Command Enter Exit (see photo below): the combination of the two allows us to connect to the Wi-Fi at home on the one hand and to activate the connected additional components of the system through the Zigbee wireless home automation protocol.
We have explained to you, again on this page, how the use of the two accessories can be independent of a complete replacement of the control plates of the electrical system at least in a first phase of installation: you can equip a simple 503 or 502 box with the gateway and dress the command enter / exit with the plate and cover living now of the color you like.
In this review / guide we tell you about our experience with the Din FT20T60A Consumption Control which must be installed in the main electrical panel of the home and can work without other connected modules.
The packaging and installation in the system
The cardboard box with few frills and a simple label that tells the initials and characteristics of the device are what you will get by purchasing the product on Amazon or at an electrical supply store.
DIN accessories are practically accessories that can be inserted in an electrical panel equipped with one or more slides (a steel or iron bar): first of all you must disconnect the power from the main switch (that of the meter), open the electrical panel and remove the frame screws to remove the mega plate which prevents normal access to the wiring.
At this point we must identify the cable coming from the meter and unhook it from the power supply of the panel itself: this will be the cable that will have to pass through the ring that will allow us to measure consumption.
The only warning that to function correctly and measure the flow of current the ring must be positioned with an arrow stamped in the direction of the incoming current. Once the power cable has been inserted, it will be reconnected to the panel exactly as before.
The next step is to position the meter and power it to be able to transmit its data
As we have recommended to you several times even if the simple operation from an operational point of view, it is always good to call an electrician who can certify the regular execution of the system and avoid any trouble in the insurance.
We visualize consumption with Home + Control
As we said in the introduction, this is the only module of the Connected Living Now system that is not "exposed" on Homekit or Google and, moreover, one could hardly think of using it in an automation since it simply measures consumption and verifies exceeding of a threshold. It could be useful to selectively release the sockets on which there is a load that we can give up.
In any case, being a simple detector, the DIN module has no interruptions or switches and must simply be powered. The inclusion procedure takes place with the system already shown for roller shutters. Place that must be mounted with the meter disabled and therefore the system not powered, simply re-arm the meter and the power supply will return to the system by making a red light on the module light up. We will include it by pressing the Enter / Exit button for a few seconds: at that point a search will be performed on the Zigbee network and the subsequent inclusion in the mesh network. The procedure described in the gallery images below.
L'Home + Control application for iOS and Android as for other modules of Living Now Connected not strictly necessary to add a module but only to assign it to the correct room and, as in this case, to read the values that the module itself records.
Once viewed in the application, the Consumption module will provide us with the instantaneous consumption value (top right in the APP) and, thanks to the histograms, the value in the last days and in the last months, providing us with an overview and the values that we could then compare with our telephone bill: since positioned immediately downstream of the meter, consumption is very close to actual consumption.
At the moment the only control that we can have is that of the comparison between contractual and absorbed power and the possibility of letting us know when we approach the maximum power in order to operate, as mentioned at the beginning on the loads to be deactivated.
Below we see the control software settings and consumption graphs. In the two panels we see two loading conditions with and without vacuum cleaner on.
Conclusions: really useful?
Absolutely yes if you want to keep the consumption of your home under control and you want to manage voracious energy appliances. Obviously for a more precise analysis it would be necessary to know the absorption of the individual appliances and this the meter alone cannot do it. Other accessories from the Living Now series (controlled socket module) can be installed which, for each individual socket, evaluate instantaneous absorption and daily consumption: we will see them in the next test. Excellent ability to warn you when you leave a predetermined threshold.
Very easy to install, it occupies only one DIN module, well integrated into the app for iPhone and Android
It is not displayed on Homekit and Google.
Doing two accounts with this system and without redoing a new system with ad hoc plates but using a single 503 box we have a global consumption detection system from the cost of: 90 Euros for basic kit + 12.20 for plate and key cover enter exit and max 12.80 for cover and plate for box 503 + 44.77 Euro for Din meter Connected at the total cost of less than 160 Euro including VAT and you can still use it to add roller shutter, switch, controlled socket modules, all of which can be integrated into Homekit and Google Home systems.
On macitynet we talk about Bticino Living Now Connected in these pages: Homekit support and Google Assistant on Living Now, How the Bticino Living Now home automation works and the kits to start with Homekit and Google, Review Bticino Living Now Smart roller shutter Starter kit with Netatmo: home automation and Safety and how to measure the consumption of the electrical system with Bticino Living Now home automation on iOS and Android and DIN FT20T60A.