Metering Application: Integrating the ELITEpro XC Meter with a Cellular Communication Module for Remote Metering

By Francisco Sotela, Director of Iotech


The objective of this solution is to manage the ELITEpro XC Power Meter from the office without having to perform a site visit to collect the metered data, increasing efficiency and reducing project costs. Learn how the ELITEpro XC was integrated in the ideal remote solution.


The power company in Costa Rica has customers throughout the country, many located in remote areas. Often, the power company needs to perform a temporary study (energy audit) with a customer who reports electrical problems, such as excessive consumption or short circuits. The audits are performed using an ELITEpro XC power meter at the customer site.

Because of the distances involved, it was important to develop a remote communication solution for the ELITEpro XC meter. Although the ELITEpro XC can be purchased with a Wi-Fi option, wireless internet is not always available at the customer site. Therefore, it was determined that cellular communications would be required.

Iotech, DENT’s Authorized Distributor in Central America, developed a solution where the ELITEpro XC was integrated with a cellular router in a weatherproof control cabinet. The ELITEpro XC meter was connected to the cellular router via the Ethernet port, allowing the auditors to connect to the ELITEpro XC meter from anywhere in the world using the Internet. Metered values, as well as harmonics, could be viewed in real-time using this solution.

The control cabinet used was weatherproof and could withstand direct sunlight – adding an effective layer of protection to the ELITEpro XC and cellular router. Cables for voltages and current sensors traveled through separate conduits in the side of the cabinet. The cellular communication module was powered by an extension that traveled through the side of the cabinet.

This solution has benefited the power company by saving countless trips into the field to gather data from the energy meters. It has also allowed the engineers in charge of the audit to verify meter setup prior to the installer leaving the field, ensuring proper configuration and reducing the number of field visits.

For more information about this application, please contact Francisco Sotela at Iotech.

Do you have a question about communicating with your ELITEpro XC remotely? If so, contact our technical support department at

NIST Teams Up with Sparks Dynamics to Drive Down Energy Costs


Founded in 1901 and now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST is one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories. Congress established the agency to remove a major handicap to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time—a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of the United Kingdom, Germany, and other economic rivals. Today, NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies—nanoscale devices so tiny that tens of thousands can fit on the end of a single human hair—to the largest and most complex of human-made creations, from earthquake-resistant skyscrapers to wide-body jetliners to global communication networks.


Faced with an antiquated, inefficient compressed air system and the challenge of fully benchmarking the existing system performance, NIST knew they needed a professional energy ally so they could focus on what they do best—technology and standards development.


NIST chose to work with Sparks Dynamics, who had the latest cloud monitoring technology and industry expertise to design, develop, operate and maintain the central compressed air plant serving the NIST campus. A month’s worth of compressed air system operating data was baselined using the ReMaster system and then a new compressed air system was designed and engineered to maximize energy efficiency and provide enhanced reliability for the plant.

The ReMaster system offers industrial customers a way to capture and analyze their system’s data. ReMaster uses Modbus communication and can collect data on energy, flow, pressure, and temprature, as well as control panel data. Energy data is captured using the PowerScout 24 Power Meter, which is built into the ReMaster system.

“Sparks Dynamics selected the PowerScout 24 for its ReMaster Cloud Monitoring Energy Management system for several reasons. We needed a cost-effective, multi-channel meter that was Modbus-capable and could handle 480V, 3-phase motors on compressors, chillers, pumps, blowers, and vacuum pumps,” says Mac Mottley, CEO of Sparks Dynamics. “The PowerScout 24 can monitor eight 3-phase motors for kW, Volts, Amps, and Power Factor and had a small form factor PCB design that could be easily mounted inside our ReMaster Panel.”

Sparks Dynamics managed the entire project and completed an energy study that resulted in a large Pepco (utility) rebate. The central compressed air plant was also designed with expansion in mind—33% more capacity to be exact, making it possible for NIST to supply compressed air to more laboratories as they are built and come online.


The new state of the art compressed air plant system was completed on time and on budget. In addition, Sparks Dynamics’ seamless integration and collaboration with the NIST’s contractors throughout the process helped ensure the project’s success – as the campus had to maintain compressed air service throughout the installation. As a result, Sparks Dynamics role has been expanded to include a remote monitoring contract utilizing the ReMaster cloud based monitoring and analytics solution.


Sparks Dynamics funded this project through two separate sources to ensure a totally complete system was provided. The first was using the standard government procurement RFQ process and the second was a Pepco rebate that paid for half of the total compressed air system equipment costs.


  • 1,000 CFM of additional compressed air
  • Energy cost savings of $140,000 achieved per year
  • Received $370,000 Pepco Energy Rebate
  • Less than a 4-year simple payback


Sparks Dynamics is a compressed air management company that provides audits, remote monitoring and analytics services that notify and recommend corrective actions, enhanced control algorithms, equipment sourcing and energy financing.

Learn more at

Energy Management Case Study: Retro-Commissioning Service Cuts Energy Use

Two prominent grocery chains in the Upper Midwest are reducing their energy use and cutting energy cost by retro-commissioning their stores. The chains have done so with the help of SINGH360, a service provider that specializes in working with grocery chains, and the PowerScout 24 power meter.

The retro-commissioning process identifies opportunities to improve energy efficiency for stores that have been in operation for several years. The process is valuable because such stores tend to become less energy efficient with time, says Abtar Singh, president of SINGH360.

Strack and Van Til, a 37-store chain in Indiana and Illinois, recently hired SINGH360 to retro-commission 16 locations. As part of that process, the company upgraded system controllers to the latest software version. They put the energy-management system (or EMS) for each store on a network so that they can check and manage them remotely. They also implemented a system to control store lighting on an Energy Management System.

“In the last four months we’ve seen savings of 8% to 12% on average,” says Don Erminger, director of energy and maintenance. “Before the project, we expected a payback of two years. But after our first four months, we now think we’ll achieve full payback in 12 to 14 months. That’s twice as fast as we first projected, thanks to opportunities SINGH360 identified.”

Coborn’s, a 54-store chain headquartered in St. Cloud, Minnesota and operating in six states across the Midwest, recently retro-commissioned its first store. In addition to reducing energy costs and improving environmental sustainability, the company also benefited from addressing many maintenance issues, says Chris Braun, refrigeration project manager.

With the opportunities SINGH360 identified, plus a 75% utility incentive from Dakota Electric, the company expects payback in less than six months, Braun says. The project also identified added capital projects that could cut the company’s energy use by 20% to 25% during retro-commissioning, he says.

Such utility rebates often make retro-commissioning even more attractive.

Xcel Energy (, an electric and natural gas utility that serves customers in eight states, provides attractive incentives for its customers. “Recommissioning can be a good way for supermarkets to save energy,” said Renae Wrich, Xcel Energy recommissioning program manager in Minnesota. “As an incentive for supermarkets to take action, we offer rebates to subsidize the cost of identifying and implementing energy-saving HVAC and refrigeration projects,” She said. Xcel offers recommissioning rebates in Colorado and Minnesota.

SINGH360’s retro-commissioning process is especially tailored to the needs of supermarkets, says Abtar Singh, president.

“We always involve a three-person team. They include a commissioning engineer, a refrigeration technician, and an electrician. They use a mobile app we developed to make the process thorough and consistent.

A DENT PowerScout 24 was used to submeter the mains, lighting, HVAC, refrigeration compressors, and condensers. The submetered data helped in three ways during the retro-commissioning:

  1. To quantify energy savings achieved during retro-commissioning
  2. To identify anomalies and help determine that lighting and HVAC were operating on the proper schedule
  3. To find optimum operating control parameters for the refrigeration system using the metered data

“The building owner uses that same data to protect their savings by continuous monitoring,” says Singh. “We selected the PowerScout because it provides easy installation and provides a rich set of data, such as voltage, current, and power factor.”

Each store takes about three weeks to recommission, Singh says. “First we dial in remotely to analyze the store’s energy management system (EMS). We prepare a game plan. Then our team spends a week in the store diagnosing and fixing problems. While we’re on site, we also fine-tune the EMS.”

“Then we further adjust the EMS remotely and monitor its performance to verify the changes are producing their intended effects,” Singh says.

“We create an issue list so the store owner can hire a refrigeration contractor to fix any problems that go beyond the solutions we provide. We also identify additional energy projects and initiatives that can further reduce energy consumption.

“Finally, we issue a commissioning report. The report summarizes the work we’ve done. It identifies and recommends new opportunities for savings. And it forecasts likely savings from the recommended projects.”

About SINGH360 Inc.

SINGH360 ( specializes in facility management. The principals have worked with the supermarket industry for 20 years, providing objective counsel that helps operators find and implement the best solutions to energy and maintenance challenges. The company’s solutions often incorporate the latest technologies. Services range from building-envelope assessments to complete design of mechanical and electrical systems (including HVAC, lighting and refrigeration systems) for new and existing buildings. The company help organizations set priorities for efficiency projects based on sustainability goals, speed of payback, and the return on investment. For more information, contact Abtar Singh, or 651-605-1093.