Neurio + Tiny House Electricity: Measure all the Usage!

Marc Bilodeau/ Planning, Product Reviews, Smart Sensors, Tiny House

It’s wonderful to have electricity in the tiny house. Even better with insulation and a portable heater. However, this is far from the goal of an off-grid tiny house. To get me one step closer toward that goal, I’ll install a neurio sensor that measures watt-hours in real-time. Now I can tackle phase 2 of the overall electrical work.

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What is Phase 2?

Phase 2 actually is two tiny house goals in one. First, it solves the issue of measuring electrical use to properly size a home solar system. Without measurements and only relying on estimating, I can incorrectly guess my tiny home solar needs. This could leave me without power, or allocate too much space and money to a system. So, it’s important to try and get it right the first time.

The second tiny house goal is home automation and data collection. This sensor provides the means to know electrical use at any given moment. I have many plans around making this a smart home, and this is the first step into that endeavor.

It’s time to start determining how much power the tiny house uses at any given time. This may be difficult to gauge at the moment since not everything that uses electricity is in the tiny house. However, it does provide the means to see at any given time how much power is in use. Additionally, it can be collected over time and analyzed when the time comes for phase 3. Phase 3 is installing the home solar system.

Neurio Sensor

I’ve been collecting a list of sensors capable of monitoring certain aspects of the tiny house. For the job of measuring and tracking electrical use, I’m using a sensor by Neurio Technology, Inc.

They have two types. One for monitoring electrical use and a second Solar Expansion Kit to measure how much electricity is being generated. At the moment, I will only use the consumption features. Once the home solar system is complete, I’ll have a means to measure both consumption and generation.

I purchased a Neurio Energy Kit that supports one and two phase electrical systems. The tiny house has a single phase electrical panel, therefore, I only need one sensor. Additionally, I purchased the solar expansion kit which will be installed during phase 3 of the electrical work.

Installing a Neurio Sensor in my Tiny House
Installing a Neurio Sensor in my Tiny House

Setup was straightforward and the online resources did a great job explaining the process. However, I ran into an issue where the power always displayed 1 W no matter what I did. Neurio Support did an excellent job helping me through the installation. After we found my error, I was able to quickly make the necessary change and everything started to measure correctly.

Smart Tiny House

The overall goal is to build an off-grid smart tiny house. This is one of many sensors that will provide ongoing feedback of vital and important systems in the tiny house. Each sensor will have its own purpose and I’ll write blogs as each one is installed.

Tiny House Neurio Sensor Readings
The complete installation and a screen capture of the data

Programming and product design are my areas of professional expertise in which I bring my passion for data, logic, and analytics into my Tiny House Project. I can make smart decisions, be completely aware of my consumption, and learn how to maximize my resources while minimizing my footprint. It’s all very exciting. However, there is more tiny house to build first. For now, it’s back to the wood, hammers, drills, and saws.

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