My Energy Kit

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
8,676
Northern NH
I have been cleaning up and sorting on occasion my stuff left over from my career. I had an empty Pelican case so decided to put my testing gear in one place awhile back and had it out today to do a quick test on my refrigerator. This is definitely not all of it, but mostly the smaller stuff that I might need to go chase something down. I picked up Flir thermal camera last year and left space for it in the case, but it came with its own similar case. I just use my bandsaw to cut new openings in the foam as needed and then glue the seams in the foam.

Up top is a collection of type K thermocouples. with some tubing for my manometer and batteries.

Center top is my Kill-a Watt plug in power meter. Quite the handy rig, I wish it had data output so I could log it, but instantaneous and cumulative power is real handy to check out plug in equipment.

Next down is Hobo 4 channel temperature logger, I can plug in 4 thermocouples and custom monitor for long periods of time. It runs on a couple of AA batteries and plugs into my laptop to initialize and download. Hobo sells dirt cheap data logging of almost any parameter. I used to use the large industrial data loggers at work but compared to them, the Hobo is plug and play.

Next down is a digital manometer, great for checking static pressure. Hidden under the black foam packing of the Pelican case is a Dwyer pitot tube for doing velocity traverses with the manometer.

Off to the right is an all in one HVAC tool, nothing fancy but its got a turbine type air flow meter, a basic light meter plus reads temp and RH. It even has a plug in for a remote thermocouple. I used to us it for a first walkthrough an office when someone was complaining about AC. 90% of the time it was crappy balancing or leaky/disconnected flex duct above the ceiling.

Way over to the right is Fluke thermocouple calibrator, I mostly use it taking reading with a thermocouple.

As other things appear, I have room to fit them in.

Other tools too big for the box are a

-Fluke Multimeter with a small assortment of probes and clips

-Fluke Clamp on ammeter

-Flir Thermal Camera

The one device I would like to have is a data logger for watts and collection of Current Transformers (CTs) to be able to log power usage over a period of time.

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I also have quite a collection of teflon tubing, some stainless and copper tubing, type K manometer wire and several 60" slack tube manometers. )not much demand for 60" manometers ;) ) . We used to use teflon tubing for testing as it held up to higher temps and didnt collapse.
 
Ready to gift a home energy audit to fiends and family;) Ad a blower door and you’d have another career!
 
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I got close to buying one but decided to hold off.
 
I got close to buying one but decided to hold off.
I’ve priced them. Wish I could rent one. Side hustle was appealing. But I don’t think enough people care enough to make enough for the$$$$ and time investment. If I did it one a couple of these emporia energy monitors would mean I could do do one job a week with a week or two of energy monitoring.
Smart Home Energy Monitor with 16 50A Circuit Level Sensors | Vue - Real Time Electricity Monitor/Meter | Solar/Net Metering https://a.co/d/4PDvxyC
 
The hourly rate for energy audits is limited, no need for degree just a certificate. This keeps the hourly rate low. My last job preretirement was in the $150 an hour range plus expenses and that was doing the client a favor. My guess is an auditor would not be close to $150 an hour in their pocket. The new IRA act requires lots of energy audits but they are controlled by the contractors who do the upgrades. They have "captive auditors" who do the initial audit and then steer business to the contractor they are aligned with who then does the work and has the auditor do the follow up visit. Therefore, the auditor is not really independent. If I was bored I could do it but my guess is I would do it too well and if I figured out my hourly rate it would be pretty low as I would put in lots of hours doing it right versus doing it quick.

Most of the auditors I have seen are young folks without technical degrees that want to get into the energy field. They can take a quick course and take a test and get it on their resume but my limited experience is they move up into the organizations promoting the work who are getting money from various government and utility grants.
 
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We looked into it as we have lots of insulation and hole plugging experience. The idea of doing attic insulation work in the summer encouraged us not to do it.
 
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