Fundamentals of power energy metering

Power meters

Advances in the microprocessor industry have changed the way we live and work. Microprocessors are common components of just about everything.

The earliest usage of microprocessors in the electrical power distribution market was in circuit protection and metering equipment. One digital meter could take the place of several electromechanical (analog) meters.

When comparisons between analog and digital meters included mounting, wiring, layout and stocking expenses, the cost savings became even more apparent.

Electricity users now need better, more timely data to make decisions and take actions that will increase overall efficiency, productivity and profitability. 

To understand power meters, an understanding of power quality is necessary.


Power quality

When we think about meters and power quality, the common thread is information. Collecting, monitoring and managing data from the electrical distribution system can help reduce costs by identifying wasteful practices or unnecessary power use. Voltage fluctuations and other power problems can negatively impact a facility’s equipment. Meters can help identify the source of these common problems.


Using power meters can:

Reduce energy usage

Data provided by metering products comprise the data for verifying utility bills for energy management and lowering operating costs. Deregulation in some geographical locations permits energy users to select a utility provider and negotiate rate structures.

For heavy users with large utility bills, this may be an incentive to verify the utility bill, identify opportunity savings, and negotiate a better utility rate. Users are also empowered to decrease energy consumption, thereby lowering peak demand penalties and decreasing operating costs.

When a power meter is used with trip units and relays incorporating metering and communication capabilities, the entire electrical distribution system can be cost-effectively managed.


Improve reliability

Power meters are intelligent web-enabled, top-quality metering devices for the power system that provides:

  • Measurement of critical elements found in the power system

  • A standard communications protocol for easy integration into facility systems

The ability to receive an early warning of potential problems, eliminate unnecessary power failures, isolate faults to ensure minimal downtime, and shed or equalize loads while a problem is being corrected.


Increase productivity

Equipment downtime resulting from voltage or frequency variations can be very costly to an operation. Monitoring power quality with power metering products throughout the electrical distribution system provides data to identify, isolate and correct problems quickly and efficiently, as well as identify the source of power quality problems.

Technicians doing maintenance on a panel board