Phantom load or Phantasm…
So back to the main point of these graphs. I was up at the property until the middle of December. Heating was wood stove and baseboard heater. I had shut off the majority of heaters except for 2 units. The choice of which 2 was based on keeping a minimum temperature inside when I was away so as to not have any plumbing freeze. The actual watt rating of the baseboard heaters isn’t known as the labeling is on the backside of the units, and that would necessitate removal of the units to view the label. The Thermostat was set for 7C while I was away, and 16C when I was there. The wood stove would quickly takeover heating when it got rolling, but around 4 am the baseboard heaters would have to pickup the slack.
Came time to shut everything down, water, sump pump and heat. As a last ceremony I switched the Thermostat control switch into the position between Auto Heat and Auto Cool. I pulled the batteries for the electronics, sensing and programming. When I left the temperature was still being displayed, I assumed, correctly, this was a stored charge that would run down after a bit of time. The time it took was actually considerably longer than I’d expected. Around the middle of the afternoon on the 15th is where things get mysterious. On the graph power consumption ramps up to a peek level of 3.0 kWh, about 2 hours before I locked-up and departed. Hadn’t payed attention to the displayed information on the Thermostat as the system is supposed to be now off. I don’t know if the display would have told me that it was heating.
If you watch the dates go by you’ll see that for more than 3 days the heat was running flat out, full on, and curiously the consumption climbs ever so slowly to 3.3 kWh. This is weird as the outside temperature at the same time was more then high enough to allow the system to cycle (see the Daily graph). I’m not sure why the consumption creeps up by an additional 300 Wh. Sometime during the night on day 4, about 3:30 the heaters shutdown. I can only conclude that the Thermostat’s residual power gave out and the relay that operates the baseboard heaters dropped out. My mistake in this process, was not switching off the heaters at the breakers. I’m speculating that pulling the batteries, threw the system into a broken state (crashed) with the relay turned on. The Designers mistake in this event is that the control switch should have been a dead-man switch and killed the power to the relay, not been an sensed input to the Thermostat’s processor. If a Air Conditioner had been attached It may well turned that on as well.
After the run of 3 1/2 days, the actual phantom loads become visible. Hydro One’s graphing software has a sliding scale, so the consumption looks like it jumps up, but its the scale that changed. From the 20th and onward you can see Yardcam and its associated electronics running. You can even see when Yardcam wakes up and goes to sleep. There is the odd spike (relatively speaking) were software processes run that use more power.