FAQ – TQ-Automation

In the following we have briefly and concisely summarized the answers to many frequently asked questions (FAQs). You will find them broken down according to topics and products. If your question is not listed, please feel free to contact us directly at any time.

General FAQ

What is the function of the Energy Manager (EM)?

The EM is basically a measuring device for recording power consumption (1... 3 phases) similar to a smart meter.
The recorded data are stored in the device (up to 3 years) and can be displayed graphically on an Internet browser.
Depending on the configuration of the network topology, the device is equipped with an integrated web server and can be accessed worldwide via the Internet.
Depending on the variant, both reference and supply can be measured.
If the EM is installed directly after the main meter, the total consumption / supply is recorded.
Various graphic display options are offered: Hourly, daily, monthly, annual consumption etc.
A breakdown into individual phases (L1, L2 and L3) is also possible.
In addition to the electrical measured values, the EM also calculates procurement costs.
The feed-in is represented in kWh.

-> System restart

Board battery empty, poor wiring or contacts.

What is the difference between EM210 and EM300?

The EM210, which can measure both feed-in and feed-in, provides relevant data for operators of alternative energy generation such as photovoltaics, combined heat and power plants, etc.
The EM300 is aimed at professional applications in the industrial environment in which reactive or apparent power is required in addition to consumption/feed-in of active power.
The measurement data are made available here via interfaces commonly used in industry. This can be via Modbus RTU/TCP or JSON and AJAX.
The EM300 is also aimed at monitoring real estate in the real estate market. Here the current measurement data are read in in own portals or applications for monitoring. This can be done e.g. via Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP or via CSV files. Via Modbus RTU, individual consumers can be detected via current sensors. Max. 8 sensor bars with max. 12 sensors each, i.e. up to 96 sensors, are possible.

How and where is the Energy Manager installed?

It can of course also be installed in any subsequent sub-distribution boards.
(Due to the very compact housing dimensions – 4HP corresponding to a residual current switch – there is almost always sufficient space available).
In the first case, the total consumption is recorded, otherwise the subnets connected to the EM on the output side are recorded.
Relevant electrical installation expertise is required for installation, which is the case with approved electrical specialists.
The time required for installation is usually considerably less than one hour, depending on the respective installation situation.

Does the EM require an additional power supply?

No, the power supply is already integrated in the device and is supplied via phase L1.

Is a permit (from the RU) required for the installation of the EM?

No, because the EM is installed after the meter of the EVU. The owner can freely dispose of this area in accordance with the (electrical) installation regulations.
The landlord's consent must be obtained for installation in rental properties.

How do I get the data from the Energy Manager?

Hier gibt es mehrere Möglichkeiten:

For example, the EM is connected to a router (often contained in the modem of an Internet provider), to which a computer with an Internet browser (the operating system plays only a minor role here) is also connected. Then the EM can be accessed via a common browser like a website. This also works via WLAN if the EM is equipped with an optional WLAN module. In addition, the EM can be set so that the measurement data (CSV) are sent regularly via email and FTP. It is also possible to export CSV files (can be imported into MS Excel) to a hard disk.
The EM300 offers a LAN, WLAN or RS485 interface for data transfer in order to communicate measurement data to a remote station via Modbus TCP or Modbus RTU or via an HTTP interface. (Details can be found in the documents for the respective versions.)

Parallel to communication with Internet browsers, apps for IPhone and Android are also available, which visualize the measurement data analogously to the Energy Manager website.

Does the Energy Manager replace the utility's existing meter?

No, the EM may only be installed in the house distribution panel as an additional device. 

Can the Energy Manager's data be used for billing purposes?

This is not permitted by law. The consumption data can be divided internally at any time. The energy manager has a very high accuracy.

Can individual consumers be measured?

If only one consumer is connected to a subnet or phase, it can only be detected.
If several consumers are connected to a network, in many cases a single consumer can be determined via the "current stop timer" function.
With the EM300, individual consumers can be detected via current sensors via Modbus RTU.
Max. 8 sensor bars with a maximum of 12 sensors each, i.e. up to 96 sensors, are possible.

In which time grid is the CSV written?

The smallest time grid in the CSV costs and consumption is 15 minutes and in the CSV meter readings and instantaneous values are 1 minute.
It can be summed up up to several years.
Of course, the data are continuously recorded and the accumulated consumption in the desired time grid displayed. 

Can the EM be operated on only one phase?

Yes, L1 must always be connected, L2 and L3 are optional.

How high is the Energy Manager's own consumption?

Without additional modules the EM requires min. 3 Watt, max. 5 Watt.

Does the EM also work with multi-tariff systems?

The Energy Manager works with a 24h tariff. It can be set that a different tariff applies from a certain point in time.

How can energy consumption and costs be reduced with the Energy Manager?

Energy saving starts with the knowledge of energy consumption. And this is exactly where the Energy Manager comes in – it can be used to easily analyse the electricity consumption in households and businesses and to identify potential savings.
When the Energy Manager is used in households and businesses that generate energy themselves, it is also possible to measure and visualise the electricity fed into the grid. With suitable measures, the own consumption can be increased and the low paid fed-in electricity can be reduced. This can be implemented, for example, by extending the Energy Manager with the B-control Smart Heater (double tip = intelligent heating element from the manufacturer E.G.O + EM210) for intelligent hot water preparation in heating or service water boilers with excess electricity.

Can the Energy Manager be maliciously manipulated over the Internet?

Access to the EM can be protected by a password. Otherwise, the usual state-of-the-art protection mechanisms are included. Even in the event of unauthorised access, no damage can be caused to the installation. Only the stored data can be deleted / manipulated.

Where can the Energy Manager be obtained?

Please send us an inquiry. We will then name the sales partner for you.

What happens after a power failure?

The Energy Manager "remembers" all configuration data and restarts automatically after the failure has been remedied.

If the EM is defective, will the power fail completely?

No, because EM does not interrupt phases L1 to L3. Only the functionality of the measured value acquisition is then no longer given. 

Is there an app? Where can I find it?

Yes for iOS at the Apple Store and for Android at the Google Play Store. Both are available for free.

What is the maximum permissible connection current for the EM?

63A can be measured directly. Higher currents are also possible via external measuring transformers.
Rated currents of 100, 150, 250 or 500 A are typical here.
The current transformers require a transmission ratio of 5 A rated current each.

What is the measurement accuracy of the EM?

Accuracy class according to IEC 61557-12: Voltage +/- 0.5% / Current +/- 0.5% / Active power +/- 1% / Apparent power +/- 1% / Reactive power +/- 1% / Power factor +/- 1% Related to IEC 62053-22 or -23 (typical) = Active energy class 1, reactive energy class 1 When using external current transformers, the respective measurement accuracy must be taken into account.

When is data logging activated with CSV type 2?

Data logging must be activated with a check mark (CSV type 2). It does not start automatically.

How do I find the Energy Manager in a network with a LAN connection?

Connect the Energy Manager to the laptop with a CAT5e cable.
The network settings on the laptop (network and release center) must be DHCP (=IP address automatically obtained).
To establish communication between the two devices, please download the B-control finder from our homepage www.b-control.com/downloads and start it.

Installation instructions (overvoltage protection)

The place of use is the sub-distribution in the switch cabinet.
In any case, the instructions in the B-control Energy Manager installation manual must be observed.
If you should hang our Energy Manager directly on the 230V supply network, you must ensure that the short-circuit current is a maximum of 6kA.
This means that the Energy Manager must be fused separately.
The Energy Manager is fused with 6kV, the Ethernet interface is only fused with 4kV. Therefore you have to provide an overvoltage protection of 6kV. Possibly with a separate overvoltage protection element in front of the Energy Manager.

How often is the data saved or transferred?

This is adjustable.
Typically every 15 minutes, but it can be measured after every minute.
If the Modbus interface is used, all values are provided every second.
Optional within 200ms for control tasks.

How is the data transferred to the head office if you do not have an Internet or Intranet connection?

There are two possibilities:
Either an additional device is used to transmit data via the mobile telephone network to the office (e.g. a CSV file is transmitted once a day).
Or the data is transported manually.
The memory (depending on the setting) can store the data temporarily for several years.

Many providers require additional equipment for data transmission. Is this the case with the Energy Manager?

No, the measuring technology and an additional communication processor with 4 GByte capacity is integrated in the device (i.e. for years of storage of the measured values).
So the PC can also be switched off and the data is not lost.
The transfer software is included in the scope of delivery and part of the functional scope.

What do I have to invest besides the device?

The device costs €370 including memory, transfer function and software.
The software are blocks (apps) for tablets, but also a web GUI to parameterize and evaluate everything directly with a PC.
A comfortable evaluation software costs €3500 for 25 devices and €500 each or €1000 for another 25 devices.
Additional installation costs are added (approx. 30-45 minutes).

What about rated current > 63 A?

Then external converters with a transmission ratio (e.g. 250A : 5 A) can be connected to the Energy Manager.

What about heat meters and water meters?

These are connected via further components from the B-control product range.
This can then be used, for example, to implement room automation.

Energy Manager with Wifi

Which Wifi antenna is recommended?

We recommend the WLAN antenna by TELTONIKA "WiFi antenna 5 dBi magentic type with 1,5m cable".
If you use another WLAN antenna, it may only have max. 5 dBi.
In addition the antenna must have an RP-SMA male connector for the connection to the Energy Manager.

How to find the Energy Manager in a network with a Wifi connection?

Connect a WLAN antenna to the Energy Manager. The WLAN of the Energy Manager can be found in the WLAN settings of your PCS ("B-control-EM").
The network key (= password) of the Energy Manager is "bcon210pw" for the EM210, "bcon300pw" for the EM300.
To establish communication between the two devices, enter either "http://b-control-em" in the address line of your browser or the static IP address "http://192.168.1.1" or, if this does not work, download the B-control-Finder from our homepage www.b-control.com/downloads and start it.
Please note that your network adapter is set to "Obtain network address automatically", as the Energy Manager is delivered with network setting DHCP by default.
The Safari browser with Bonjour offers another option.

Energy Manager EM210

What is the scope of the EM210?

  • Measurement of current supply and feed-in per phase
  • Storage of measurement data in the device
  • Integrated web server
  • Visualization via web interface, IOS-App, Android-App
  • Representation of the measured values for power supply and feed-in in total and per phase in kWh
  • Display of total electricity consumption and consumption per phase in Euro
  • Manual and automatic data export of measured values via e-mail, FTP
  • LAN interface (EM210 L), LAN/RS485 interface (EM210 LR), WLAN in preparation
  • optional accessory: Smart Heater for easy plug & play energy management

Can the EM control external devices?

In principle, this is only possible with the bundle (double tip), which consists of an EM210 and a heating rod for heating domestic hot water and heating water.
The heating rod is only active when energy is fed in.
With this product, the feed-in (e.g.According to the current statutory feed-in tariff, this is financially more rewarding than feeding the electricity generated exclusively into the grid. 

Does it make sense to add the EM to a PV system because the inverter already measures the electricity generated itself?

     
Yes, because only with the EM210 can both feed-in (PV generation) and feed-in (consumption) be measured and suitable optimisation measures derived.

Energy Manager EM210 and Smart Heater

Can the power consumption of the Smart Heater be continuously adjusted?

No, only outputs in steps from 500W to max. 3.5 kW are possible.
The Smart Heater selects the best value based on the supply.

How is the Smart Heater installed correctly?

Important!!! Please observe the installation instructions of the Smart Heater.
Please observe the installation position!!

Why does the Smart Heater switch off prematurely? Why does an error message "Temperature too high" appear?

Important!!! Please check whether the Smart Heater has been installed correctly! This is described in the installation manual of the Smart Heater.
Installation position must be observed!!

What do you have to consider if you operate the Smart Heater in addition to a solar thermal system or a CHP unit?

In systems with a built-in heat exchanger, it must be ensured that the temperature of the medium to be heated is limited in such a way that the protective temperature limiter (STB) with its switch-off temperature of 110°C-10K does not trip.
In general, parallel operation of the EGO Smart Heater with systems that heat to temperatures of around 80°C is problematic.
Each of the heating systems has its own hysteresis and therefore different switch-on/switch-off temperatures.

Energy Manager EM300

What is the scope of the EM300?

  • Measurement of active and reactive power, apparent power, current, voltage and power factor per phase
  • Smallest configurable interval for measurement data transmission. 1 second
  • Integrated web server for easy configuration of the device by the installer
  • LAN interface (EM300 L), LAN/RS485 interface (EM300 LR), WLAN in preparation
  •  

How large is the internal memory? CSV1 / CSV2

     
CSV1 up to 220 years / CSV2 without sensors approx. 5 years / with 96 sensors approx. 83 days +/- 10 days.

What can be measured with the EM300 other than energy consumption?

  • Voltage L1 to L3
  • Starting currents I1 to I3 from consumer
  • active, reactive and apparent power, active, reactive and apparent energy per phase and in total
  • cos phi Power factor per phase

Energy Manager EM300 and Sensorbars

Is there any advantage in using only 3-bars if you are dependent on speed?

No, it is important to reduce the number of sensor bars, i.e. to install only one 12-bar instead of four 3-bars.

What is the cycle time until a current value is available in the Energy Manager and can be fetched via Modbus TCP?

  • 1x3 bar: average value 0.600 s, min. 0.593 s, max. 0.947 s
  • 1x6-bar: average value 0.601 s, min. 0.599 s, max. 1.100 s
  • 1x12-r bar: average value 0.621 s, min. 0.614 s, max. 1.210 s
  • 8x12 bar (maximum extension): average value 1.479 s, min. 1.454 s, max 2.400 s

What's with the current sensors?

Up to 96 current sensors can be connected via an RS485 interface. For max. 63 A.
This allows the circuits in the distribution cabinet to be monitored at low cost.
12 circuits can thus be monitored with < 400 €. That is only approx. 34 € per circuit.
Active energy is then calculated with the voltage and cos phi of the corresponding phase.

Smart Heater

What is the scope of the Smart Heater?

  • Output: 0 to 3500 Watt, can be switched in steps of 500 Watt depending on the supply voltage
  • 10% higher system efficiency compared to similar applications
  • Integrated heating circuits (500W, 1000W, 2000W)
  • Complete power electronics integrated in the device (no external contactor required)
  • Simple installation/commissioning (Plug&Play)
  • No additional software, no additional hardware required
  • Manually adjustable target temperature
  • Integrated temperature-dependent safety cut-out
  • Development and production: 100% Made in Germany

In summer, can the hot water be produced exclusively with the Smart Heater, e.g. for Legionella protection?

If it can be ensured that sufficient residual energy is available via the solar system, the Smart Heater can only be used to generate hot water.
Whether the energy available in the summer months is sufficient to keep the water temperature constant at 60 degrees during the day depends on the capacity of the system and the amount of energy consumed in the house during the day.

Can the Smart Heater also be used to generate hot water with reference current during hours when there is not enough self-produced energy available?

No, the Smart Heater is designed in such a way that it works exclusively with surplus electricity generated by the user.
The Smart Heater is only an add-on for hot water generation.
It supports hot water generation with surplus electricity generated by the user.
The available residual energy (electricity) is used to heat the water in the buffer tank.

Sensorbars ans sensors

Which cable do I need to connect the sensor bar?

We recommend the standard cable 2466C from AlphaWire. Alternatively a CAT5e cable can be used.

Firmware-Update 2.04

From which installed firmware revision on can I update to the latest firmware 2.04?

All EM can be updated to firmware 2.04 from firmware version 1.0.

Is it generally recommended to update to the latest firmware revision 2.04?

Yes, we recommend every update.
Firmware 2.04 offers new and improved functions:
The Energy Manager EM300 has been extended by the possibility to output connected sensors not only individually, as before, but to combine sensors into a group.
This allows e.g. the representation of a three-phase fused consumer as such.
The Energy Manager with the interfaces L and LR supports since firmware revision 2.02 the mains voltage 110 V and the mains frequency 60 Hz. (see changelog file).
In addition, the stability and security of the system has been improved.

Why is it recommended that the customer use the update tool to update to the new firmware revision?

In older firmware revisions up to 1.50.1, the intermediate step of a data backup was built into the update process, which the user cannot bypass or deactivate.
This creation of the data backup file can take up to an hour or longer for firmware revisions older than 2.02.
Therefore, TQ has developed a tool that streamlines the update process of an Energy Manager by bypassing this intermediate step of creating a data backup file.

Up to which installed firmware revision is updating using the update tool recommended?

Data backup is a mandatory part of the update process up to firmware version 1.50.1.
In order to avoid the tedious intermediate step of creating the data backup file, which can take up to 1 hour or longer depending on the database size, TQ provides its customers with the update tool as a service.
The update tool bypasses the mandatory data backup of older firmware versions up to 1.50.1.
For devices with installed firmware revision 2 or higher.0, data backup as an intermediate step is no longer a mandatory part of the update process.
These devices can be updated without the update tool, but a restart for versions 2.0 and 2.01 as the first step before importing the update file is mandatory.
The update tool is also a helpful tool for these firmware revisions, since several devices in the network with the same address range can be updated at the same time.

With a firmware version 2.0 or higher, the creation of a data backup file is no longer mandatory prior to the firmware update. Can devices with these firmware versions be updated without the update tool?

Yes, but it must be restarted first via the web interface.

Will stored data be lost when updating using the update tool?

When installing the update file via the update tool, an internal backup of the internal database is made.
All data - stored counter readings as well as configuration settings - are taken over with the update within the scope of the memory logic (see changelog file under point Revision 2.02 Link).
This process runs internally in the device unaffected by the update tool.

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