There are several brands of power analyzers out there in the market. You’re probably curious to know what sets the PowerSight power analyzers from Summit Technology, Inc. apart from the rest of the field. They all pretty much make the same power and power quality measurements, so there’s no significant distinction in terms of what they measure. The difference is in how the meter or power monitor helps you perform your power studies smoothly, successfully, and safely. Its all to do with the “user experience” – getting power studies done right, first time, and with ease. Let’s explain:
We should start by first appreciating that performing a power study is a process; a process that involves several steps as follows:
- Suit up for safety as required by Arc Flash labels – or NFPA 70E rules.
- Install monitor at monitoring location.
- Connect voltage and current probes, and power supply, turn on.
- Set up or program the power monitor to monitor power parameters, and set up power quality trigger limits.
- Leave the monitor to record – for an hour, or day or two, or weeks.
- Before retrieving the monitor suit up again with safety gear.
- De-install the monitor and connections.
- Download the recorded data to PC.
- Analyze data, view graphs and events.
- Generate a final report.
All the meters on the market do an adequate job in step 5 – the recording of data. PowerSight analyzers are superior because they also address all the steps in the process in more helpful and productive ways. For example, in step 1, it is difficult to work comfortably when encumbered in an arc flash safety suit. The new NFPA70E safety rules demand that workers wear personal protective equipment (PPE). See this: Electrical Testing Safety Paper. These new requirements have radically changed how electrical maintenance work is carried out nowadays. To comply with these new requirements can be very confronting and onerous. Wearing heavy, claustrophobic PPE is no picnic! It’s not easy to see clearly through the hood or visor. Thick-fingered gloves interfere with dexterity and tactile feel when handing tools or locating and pushing tiny buttons on a keypad. The PowerSight approach provides welcome relief from these challenges. PowerSight analyzers can be controlled by Bluetooth wireless up to 25 feet away. After installing the meter and connections workers can move to a safe distance to remove cumbersome safety gear, and operate the meter remotely. From a notebook PC the operator can view waveforms, check connections, set up and program the analyzer, download and view power measurement data – all in improved comfort, and in greater safety!
Many a power study has been wasted or done incorrectly because of operator error in the connections and meter setup. PowerSight analyzers incorporate intelligent software, SureStartTM, to check for errors and alert the operator with a specific error message before monitoring is started. This feature makes a big difference in making sure every study gets perfect results, first time! For more details go here to read about: the benefits of SureStartTM.
After the recording session is over the data is downloaded from the power analyzer and analyzed on a PC, steps 8 and 9. Summit Technology offers excellent PC software to control PowerSight meters, analyze the data and plot graphs – PowerSight Manager software (PSM). PSM also allows one-click export of data to Excel, and it will create final reports in Word or pdf files. It is free of license restrictions and anyone can download it here: PSM Software. This makes the sharing of data and collaboration much easier as log files and power quality study files can be emailed and opened in PSM for analysis and reporting by others.
The Report Writer function is a tremendous boon to productivity for completing a power study. It may not be readily appreciated that many loggers and power meters leave users stranded with large files of raw data. To compile into a report takes multiple cutting and pasting operations which is tedious and time consuming. Not so with the PowerSight Manager software. This example of a final report with graphs and tabular data was done in a few seconds and a couple of mouse clicks: Power Study Report. If you need to repeat the study because you made changes to the load or circuit or panel, or have implemented an energy savings improvement and you need to verify how much kWh you saved, PSM is doubly helpful. The Report Writer can take two studies and compare them automatically and calculate the differences. Talk about improved productivity! A “Before and After” comprehensive report is done in just a few clicks, instead of otherwise plodding through hours of manual analysis and calculations.
Once the report has been generated you have now successfully completed all the steps in the power monitoring process. Congratulations! Consider how smoothly it all went with a PowerSight meter that guides you along the way, checks your connections, enhances your safety, and creates a final report in a snap! Oh, and did we mention that all the power data was captured too, with high accuracy and in great detail.
PowerSight technology is designed to assist the user with each step in the process to ensure overall success and therefore provides a far better “user experience”. We have paid attention to the human details of how the user behaves with a meter in the real world. We understand the practical implications and safety challenges of installing and setting up a power monitor. These factors, plus the ease of reporting, small size and weight, CAT-IV safety rating, and SD card storage, distinguish the PowerSight analyzers from all others.