Post-Logging Best Practices
The monitoring session is all over and it’s time to collect the data and analyze it. What are the steps you can take to execute a seamless, error-free finish to your study? After all, performing the test is only step four of the six-step power monitoring process. We have a few ideas that may help make those important final two steps go smoothly.
There are several ways to collect data from a PowerSight analyzer. Redundant communications is one of the thoughtful ways PowerSight eliminates errors and maximizes success. Retrieve the data via the method you find easiest and meets the needs of the moment.
Getting the data via USB is a snap. There is no need to “pair” as with Bluetooth and you do not need an SD card reader and the transfer is very straightforward in our PSM-A user interface (just select the USB connection and Receive Data). The downsides to this method are that you cannot connect to the USB port when PowerSight is connected to active power or if it is locked in an electrical panel, and if the data in the analyzer has gotten so large that it has started writing over itself, then you will only see the most recent data.
This is the only method to use when PowerSight is locked in an electrical panel and it is certainly safer and less time consuming to open the panel to get the data than in any other way. It is also the safest method for getting data from PowerSight while it is actively monitoring. You can be safely outside the arc flash boundary while you download preliminary or final data. When testing is complete, it is a snap to get the data in the same way as you did it before (select the serial connection reserved for the PowerSight and Receive Data). The downsides are that you have to go through the Bluetooth pairing process once before you can connect to your PowerSight the first time, your computer may not have Bluetooth (or compatible Bluetooth), and if the data in the analyzer has gotten so large that it has started writing over itself, then you will only see the most recent data. It may also be slower than the other methods.
Via SD Card
Simply remove the SD card in your PowerSight and put it in the SD card reader of your computer. Then View Data, navigating to the SD card drive of your computer. The data can be analyzed directly there in the View Sessions Window or you can “Move/Convert” to move it wherever you wish on your computer. The unique advantage of the SD card is if memory filled in your PowerSight and it started writing over itself, the SD card will have the complete log session. All new data keeps being appended to the log on the SD card. It is also a breeze to get data when wireless communications are difficult and it is probably the fastest method to get the data, if your SD card reader is readily available. The downsides of getting your data from the SD card are you cannot remove it while logging (the card could become corrupted), you have to wear appropriate PPE to remove the SD card if the PowerSight is connected to live voltage, and you may not have an SD card reader available.
Note: If you have multiple test points, you will need to manually keep track of which analyzer/SD card monitored which test point, or use TestPlan Manager™ to keep track for you.
Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer one of the methods over the others (we prefer the SD card). The key thing to remember is that each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and we provide multiple means for you to get your data. Redundancy in data access is a key design objective and key to your success.
If You Used TestPlan Manager™ at the Start of Your Study
- Remove the SD cards from the analyzers and open TestPlan Manager™ in PSM-A
- Insert them one by one in your computer, clicking Get Test Data Files after inserting each SD card
- Complete the data transfer for each one & follow the dialogue boxes
- When all the SD card data has been collected, click Leave a Test Plan > Analyze Data to view the logs organized by test point and time
This can be as quick or involved as you need it to be. We won’t tell you how to interpret your test results, but we can guide you towards getting the most out of PSM-A to view data clearly.
Organize the data. The default names for files is the timestamp of when logging started (e.g. “211130_062403.$LO”, meaning that the logging session began on 11/30/21 at 6:24:03). This can be convenient if you know the order of when the data was collected. Moving all the data into a folder specific to the overall project helps in retrieving it in the future. If the data is specific to a piece of equipment or panel or to a process, you probably want to prepend the name of the equipment, panel, or process to the timestamp in the name (e.g. “PDU23A-211130_062403.$LO) and organize it by placing all files for a specific piece of equipment or process in a folder for that specific item instead of for an overall project. Put all your project folders under an umbrella “PowerSight” folder so it’s always clear where to look for your data. Or, if you use our proprietary TestPlan Manager™ feature, all these things will be done for you automatically and error-free. We recommend our unique TestPlan Manager™ for all studies of 5 or more test points or for longitudinal predictive maintenance studies for specific equipment.
Analyze the data as much as suits the needs of the project. Our PSM-A application has so many tools, that no matter what your need, the method is probably there. If you need to export to Excel, all files and graphical views have exports available. Explore the application to discover its capabilities. If you can’t find a way to do what you need, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manipulate your view by checking and unchecking the boxes for measurements, phases, and statistics. This helps single out exactly what kind of measurement(s) to focus on. If you want to only look at the maximum voltage on line two, you can do that quickly and intuitively while viewing a data log.
Zoom in on logs and waveforms to get a better view of events. Just click, drag, and release on the graph to zoom in. In the example below, a relative transient is noticeable but not finely detailed unless blown up on the screen. Both views are helpful, but PSM-A lets you get very zoomed in and precise for when you need it.
View waveforms, harmonics, and phasors with just one click. Switch between graphical and text view, phase-to-phase and phase-to-neutral, and show/hide different measurements. However you want to visualize power as a capture in time, you have no shortage of options.
Add labels and cursors to highlight events, moments, and sections of graphs. This can not only frame the data better for yourself, but effectively informs others surveying the graph/report of what is significant on a graph. If you come back to viewing the graph after a long while, the labels you left on it will help you quickly remember what was of note.
Fast, Professional Reporting
If you will be sharing the results of the study, save time and present it succinctly using our ReportWriter Wizard™. Creating a report is appropriate for most power analysis studies, and PSM-A equips you with a powerful tool for doing just that. The ReportWriter Wizard™ creates professional summary and comparison reports in just a few clicks. Each report can include text, tables, and graphs that you choose. Reports can be completely customized to fit your needs at that given time. We recommend using this tool to consolidate your findings after each study for your benefit and for anyone else involved in the project. View a sample summary report here and a sample comparison report here.