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Quick, Easy and Effective Power Monitoring

Posted May 14, 2017 12:00 AM by Gianluca Fanchini
Pathfinder Tags: Power Monitoring RS Components

Perceived wisdom says that blogs should be quick, precise and easy to extract information from; so when you have a product to discuss that delivers these exact three things, its advantages are very simple to communicate and digest.

Let’s look at the background. There are many reasons why you should monitor the real-time health and capabilities of your building or plant’s electrical installation and equipment. These include: legislation, sustainability targets, maintenance issues, carbon taxes, power quality and energy expenditure. I can guarantee you are affected by at least one of these, if not more.

But hands up; how many of you actually know how to undertake this type of monitoring? And of those who do, how many of you have been discouraged by the time and effort involved, using complicated hardware and rewiring? You are not in the minority!

In cases like this, simplicity and expeditious installation often win; and this is exactly what Schneider Electric has achieved with its new PowerTag technology. PowerTag provides a remarkably simple solution to a very complex problem. It is a compact, easy-to-install energy sensor, which connects to an MCB and delivers precise, powerful, real-time data to building owners and facility managers.

Designed for any type of building, PowerTag can be easily fitted to any circuit breaker any time anywhere in just five minutes – without the need for complex wiring or additional space. Once fitted, it monitors and measures currents, voltages, power, power factor and energy and sends this data wirelessly to a concentrator to display via in-built webpages or to provide data for larger energy management systems or BMS.

So, I promised you “quick, precise and easy to extract information from” and this is exactly what PowerTag does. Now you genuinely have limited excuses and unlimited reasons to implement an in-depth power monitoring architecture, without breaking the bank…or your schedules.


Editor's note: This is a sponsored blog post from RS Components.

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#1

Re: Quick, Easy and Effective Power Monitoring

05/14/2017 11:58 PM

Really sounds interesting, and based on the first item in the link, the price sounds very attractive. On the other hand, there is no real information on how the data is collected/transferred/analyzed. "sends this data wirelessly to a concentrator to display via in-built webpages" I assume the 'concentrator' is an app that runs either on a PC or on a smart phone, or both, and connects via WiFi and is viewed on a browser...

"PowerTag can be easily fitted to any circuit breaker any time anywhere in just five minutes" We have circuit breakers rated from 20 to 2000Amps, and from 120 to 480 Volts. I highly doubt if the same device can be used on all of those different current and voltage levels.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Quick, Easy and Effective Power Monitoring

05/15/2017 12:52 AM

The concentrator is a device (Acti 9 Smartlink Si D - Wireless access point), apparently, according to this pdf. It goes in the same cabinet at the other devices which it connects with wirelessly, while the concentrator itself is connected via Ethernet, presumably to a computer. Pretty cool system.

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#4
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Re: Quick, Easy and Effective Power Monitoring

05/15/2017 2:05 PM

Thanks for the link.

Is that what European Circuit breaker panels look like? I didn't see any reference indicating models appropriate for US style breaker panels.

I've been using a DENT EliteProXC energy meter system for about a year and a half now. Just like the Schneider units, it uses Rogowski coils as current transformers for the larger currents, and split CTs for the smaller ones. It has been a very worthwhile investment for our company!

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#5
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Re: Quick, Easy and Effective Power Monitoring

05/15/2017 4:04 PM

That EliteProXC looks like a great tool (I checked it out online).

I've never seen a UK or European breaker panel. Best to ask JohnDG, PWSlack, Nigh, Kris or some of the others here. I'm guessing the one in the photo is a UK panel but don't quote me on this.

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#6
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Re: Quick, Easy and Effective Power Monitoring

05/15/2017 8:43 PM

It is! In combination with my FLIROne IR camera attachment to the iPhone, together they have saved the company tens of thousands of dollars in a year!

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#3

Re: Quick, Easy and Effective Power Monitoring

05/15/2017 3:08 AM

Interesting. I am at present using eSenze of Yantra Microsystems and digital energy meters (with MODBUS) of Elmeasure/ EAPL. I have installed about 100 such remote monitoring systems on our solar-wind hybrid products. One eSenze can handle up to 150 parameters.

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