Power Analysis Checklist
Before going to a job site with your power analyzer, you need to have the right equipment ready to go. This is a helpful guide to make sure you have what you need when you start your monitoring project. Don’t leave without “the right stuff”.
✓ The Right Analyzer with the Right Setup
First of all, bring the right analyzer for the job. If you are concerned about power quality issues like swells, inrush, sags, transients bring your power quality analyzer. If only needing power consumption or ampacity, any PowerSight analyzer will take care of your needs.
Every analyzer has a default data setup within it. Typically this is set for creating data records each 15 minutes (where it still measures every second, but summarizes what it saw each 15 minutes). It also assumes that input ratios of 1:1 will be used for all inputs (PowerSight probes are auto-identifying, so you do not need to set input ratios for them). It also assumes the the load only consumes power (or it only generates power). The benefit of this is if you install a current probe backwards, the firmware in the meter will “turn it around” and you will get the correct measurements. If job requires that you monitor a load that alternates consuming/generating power, you will need to set it in another power mode. Typically, the default data setup records entire core measurement set into each record of the log. So to be safe, review the setup that is in the analyzer before you leave, using our PSM-A software and its Data Setup wizard™.
If you go the extra step of saving the data setup to your SD card, you will be able to reload it at the site. If you need to change the data setup at the site, most core settings can be changed using just the keypad of the analyzer.
✓ Power Source for the Analyzer
If your test runs for longer than a few hours, you will want to have some means of powering the analyzer to keep it running. The wall charger included with your analyzer will work great, but you can use it only where there is an accessible outlet and only when it’s OK to have a cable going into the panel to deliver charging power. A line-to-DC converter (i.e. an LDC) is often the best solution for safety because it powers the analyzer without a cable running into the panel. You still should have your wall charger on hand in case you can’t use your LDC for any reason. If you don’t have an LDC, perhaps you should consider bringing a backup charger. You never want to let the internal battery run down during a monitoring session.
✓ Memory / Data Storage
Your PowerSight analyzer probably has sufficient internal memory for most jobs you will ever need to do. However, it is good practice to ALWAYS have your SD card installed in it before you leave for a job. The SD card provides redundant memory to your analyzer, Redundant memory provides a reliable mirror image of the data that is inside the analyzer, which makes sure you always have the data you need. SD cards also provide a redundant method for getting data out of the analyzer and for getting data setups into it. Even if the study is short, having redundant data storage is key, in the unlikely event that one data logging feature/mechanism fails. At the end of the session, you may have two copies of test data. It is always better to be safe, which is why every PowerSight system includes an SD card.
✓ Voltage Leads & Current Probes
Voltage probes are included with all PowerSight analyzers and there is room for them in every system carrying case, so just be sure you have them in the case (with their alligator clips attached) before you leave. For voltages above 1,000V, you will have to obtain special medium voltage probes (such as the 5KVP and the 15KVP), but that is uncommon for most applications.
The other probe set to have with you is the right current probes. All standard PowerSight systems come with our dual range eFX6000 probes. They measure from 1 to 6000A AC. There are times that you will want to have a different set with you before you leave for the job site. PowerSight probably has the widest range of current probes, to insure you can do any job. You will want our HA5 if you are working with installed CTs, our HA100 if space is especially limited, our HA1000 if you need the highest accuracy, our HA-GFD if you need to measure low currents of a few milliamps, or our DC600 or DC2000 if you need to measure DC amps. It is good practice is to bring one extra current probe in case there is an issue or question about one of the probes you are counting on.
PowerSight has the controls and display to do almost anything you need while at the site without needing to communicate with a computer. But just in case there is something else that you need to do, bring your laptop with our PSM-A software loaded. It’s a great way to get a hi-resolution view of waveforms, phasors, and harmonic content once you have connected. It is also the best way to verify that the data being logged is exactly what you need. If you use TestPlan Manager™, you can update the plan at the site to keep it 100% accurate and load that plan immediately into every analyzer.
✓ Carrying Case
Yes, you already have your carrying case and your system is probably sitting in it right now, but you may want to consider additional cases for special situations. If there is exposure to weather, like on a roof-top or outside a power pad, you may want to bring a weather-resistant carrying/operating case like the CASW. You can operate the system while it is inside the case, exposed to rain. You can even lock the case closed or lock it to a pole for security from theft and tampering.
If you are doing a multi-point monitoring project you may want to transport the systems in our compact SCAS4 soft carrying cases. The more systems you can carry on your shoulder or pile on a cart, the less trips you will need to get the gear where it needs to go.
✓ Additional Accessories
PowerSight has many accessories to insure your success in just about every situation. If you will be monitoring office equipment, our most practical measurement accessory is the 120ADP—for non-invasive monitoring for single phase plugged loads. The 120ADP takes almost no setup time and eliminates safety issues during setup and during monitoring.
Bring an extra SD card. It is small, cheap, and insures you have the redundant storage we recommend. If you are bringing your laptop, bring a USB cable and maybe a BTA Bluetooth radio adapter, in case you have trouble with Bluetooth communications.
The last thing you want is to waste time, effort, and money on a study that does not go as planned. Make sure you have all the essentials (and even the “non-essentials”) in this checklist and you will be well on your way to an efficient and error-free power monitoring session.