I have a moderately-sized home (~2400 sq. ft.) in the United States that was constructed in 1999. I am looking to build a home energy monitor to track my electricity usage versus time. Obviously, in order to do so, I need to get some reading of the current consumption of my home. To do so, I would like to use a device like this:
This is a current transformer that you clip around the outside of the (insulated) conductor. It outputs a voltage proportional to the current that passes through the conductor; that will then be monitored by some electronics that I'm building. What I haven't figured out yet is how best to install the sensor; I'm very comfortable with electronics, but I don't have much experience in building electrical wiring (beyond some very simple rerouting of existing circuits).
From what I gather, my home has two 120V phases that come into my breaker box like this:
I've been hesitant to open things up without knowing exactly what I'm doing, but I think it will be required to install the sensors (I believe I will need one on each phase). I've verified that the run from the outdoor meter to my breaker box is all conduit (which I've read is required by modern building codes), so I don't have a point where I can access the hot phases unless I install the sensors inside the box. I would likely then just route the signal wires up through one of the box ports and plug it into my electronics package nearby the breaker box.
Apart from my hesitance due to my lack of experience with the interior of my breaker box, the other detail that I'm not sure of is what thickness of wire is typically used for the inputs to the main breaker (labeled B in the above diagram). I need to ensure that the sensor I select has an opening large enough to accommodate the insulated conductor (for instance, the probe I linked indicates that its opening is 13x13 mm). I'm sure there isn't a single answer for all cases, but is there a good rule of thumb for what my home might have based on its characteristics?