10-Step Checklist for Power Meter Verification [Download Available]

INTRODUCTION:

Whether this is your first metering project or you’re a seasoned facilities manager, it’s important to remember that a little planning up front can go a long way in making your project easier.

As part of deploying a new power meter, such as the DENT ELITEpro XC, there are several tasks you will need to accomplish to ensure the meter is configured properly for your project. Before leaving the job site, it’s cruical to verify that the meter is installed properly and is recording as expected. After installation, take a few moments to follow the 10 Steps of Meter Verification.


Scroll to the bottom to download a PDF version of this list.

Step 1: Record important information about the installation for future reference.

Keep track of important installation information in one place. Use the list in the downloadable PDF (bottom of post) to jot down important details about each meter that’s installed. Key information to keep track of includes

  1. Installation date,
  2. Installer’s name
  3. Site location
  4. Meter serial number
  5. Communication setup (IP addresses & port number)
  6. Description of the load being measured.

Be sure to provide this information to any other personnel who need to access the meter for data downloads.

Step 2: Take photos.

No excuses – everybody has a cell phone in their pocket! Photos are an easy way to remember important details about the installation without having to go back to the project site. If you ever have an issue and need to contact technical support, the photos can make it simple to explain your installation. Take photos of:

  1. Outside the electrical room to aid in locating the electrical panel for the next person
  2. Inside the electrical room
  3. Of the meter installed along with the CT installation and voltage connections

Step 3: Using ELOG software, verify the logger’s Setup Table. Make sure…

  1. The correct data interval is selected (15 minutes is typical)
  2. V-high and V-low match the voltage phases the CTs are installed on
  3. CT type selection matches the CTs used
  4. CT amp selection matches the CTs used
  5. CT Phase Shift matches what’s listed in the ELITEpro XC Operator’s Guide
  6. Recorded values are selected as needed for the project

Step 4: Using ELOG software, verify the logger’s internal clock is set right.

You can verify the logger’s clock by viewing Real-Time Values and synchronizing the time to the PC or manually setting it.

When reading the logger clock or viewing data files, ELOG reads the windows settings and converts the UTC time stamps in the logger to the local time zone of the PC. If the two PCs in different time zones retrieve a data file from the logger, or read the logger clock, they will see different times.

Step 5: Check to make sure all the PhaseChek LEDs are green, which indicates all phase kW are positive and PF > 0.55

  1. If any LEDs are blue (ELITEpro XC only), the kW will be negative which is most likely caused by the CT being installed backwards.
  2. If LEDs are red, the PF is less than 0.55, which is most likely caused by the CT being placed on the wrong phase or not matching the Setup Table. It could also be caused by the load’s PF being less than 0.55.
  3. If the LED flashes red and blue, it indicates that the CT is on backwards and on the wrong voltage phase and not matching what’s listed in the Setup Table
  4. Note: If using the optional Delta 2-CT connection, it is common for an LED to be red when the system PF is <0.87 and an LED to be blue when the PF is <0.5

Step 6: Using ELOG software, view Real-Time values. Do the numbers make sense?

  1. Are the load current and watt measurements reasonable for the load?
    • Example: If the current reads are 12 Amps for a 100 HP motor, the readings are obviously too low.
    • Possible issues could be that the CTs are on the wrong wire, the CT value in the Setup Table is incorrect, or the CT type in the Setup Table is incorrect.
    • NOTE: It’s best to choose a CT in which the load will be between 10% and 100% of the CT full scale rating.
  2. Are the phase currents relatively close to each other (within about 20%) on a load that should be balanced?
    • Possible issues might include that the CTs are on the wrong wire, the CT value int he Setup Table is incorrect, or the CT type in the Setup Table is incorrect
  3. For Wye loads, are the phase watts relatively close to each other (within about 20%)?
    • Check for possible problem in phase currents were balanced: The CTs might be placed on the wrong phase, not matching the Setup Table or the CT type in the Setup Table is incorrect.
  4. Are the phase watts positive?
    • If not, it is likely that the CT is installed backwards or the wire connection at the meter is reversed. Check these conditions.
    • NOTE: It is possible when using the 2-CT method on a Delta load that one channel/phase can be negative on loads that have poor PF.
    • NOTE: Negative values could be correct for co-generation applications such a wind or solar during power generation.
  5. For WYE loads, are the phase PF readings relatively close to each other when monitoring a balanced load?
    • If not, this can be caused by the CT being placed on the wrong phase or not matching the Setup Table
  6. If available, compare to external references (within a percent or two – no two meters will read exactly the same).
    • See if the meter phase voltages match a Digital Volt Meter (DVM)
    • Check the meter phase currents with a clamp-on Amp Meter
    • Compare the meter phase watts with a clamp-on Power Meter

Step 7: Is the “Logging On” LED flashing green?

If the LED is not flashing, the meter is not recording any data! Make sure the LED is flashing prior to leaving the jobs site.

Step 8: If a remote communication method is being used (like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth), is the meter communicating?

Wi-Fi troubleshooting:

  1. Verify the Port Number in the Network Connection window in ELOG matches the meter setting
  2. The laptop Wi-Fi adapter needs to be in DHCP for use in Access Point mode (DHCP is the default setting)
  3. The ELITEpro XC IP address in Access Point mode is 192.168.1.1
  4. If a password is being used in Access Point mode, ensure the correct password is entered. If unsure, re-enter the password using ELOG
  5. If communication is lost, try:
    • Disconnecting the meter from ELOG and reconnecting
    • Disconnecting the computer Wi-Fi from the meter’s Wi-Fi

Step 9: Make sure all cabinet doors are closed and locked and all panel screws are tightened

Step 10: Ensure all trash is picked up and the site is left as clean as when you first arrived.


CONCLUSION:

Avoid the common meter installation pitfalls! Download a copy of this checklist (PDF) to take with you during your next field installation.

We would also love your feedback on this list. What do you do to ensure your meter installation is successful? Comment below with your ideas.

Using the Analog Channels on the ELITEpro XC to Correlate Your Consumption of Electricity to Environmental, HVAC, or Other Processes

Some features that are often overlooked on the ELITEpro XC Portable Energy Meters are the analog input channels.

Analog inputs are especially helpful when used in conjunction with power measurements to correlate the consumption of electricity with environmental, HVAC plant performance, or other process conditions. Typical uses might include logging ambient temperature, building temperatures, solar insolation, tank pressures, duct flows, etc.

The ELITEpro XC has four analog input channels that can be configured for voltage or current input in any combination among channels. The limiting specifications for anlog input are show in the table below.

Analog Input Technical Specifications
Maximum Input Voltage30 VDC, Unipolar Measurements Only.
Maximum Input Current23 maNote: the current limit will be exceeded before 30 volts of applied potential when selected for current mode or connected with reverse polarity.
A/D16 bit
Input Impedance50.0 K (voltage mode), 499 ohm (current mode)
Sampling Frequency4 HZ – per channel, 16 HZ total throughput
Accuracy<0.2% typical

COMPATIBLE SENSOR TYPES

The following sensor types are supported and selected through the ELOG software interface:

  • 0/4-20 mA externally powered current loop
  • 0-30 VDC single-ended, non-isolated

Note: The ELITEpro XC can measure input voltages up to 30.0 volts. The polarity protection circuitry, however, can only withstand 15 volts of reverse-applied polarity without permanent damage to the meter. The maximum allowable current flowing into the analog input terminal is 23 mA.

CAUTION: Ensure that the sensor current/voltage is within range and the channel is correctly configured using ELOG 15 before connecting external sensors. Sustained exposure to elevated signals may damage the ELITEpro XC and this will void your warranty.
CAUTION: Observe the correct signal polarity when connecting voltage sensors to the ELITEpro XC above 10 volts. Damaging currents may flow from the connected sensor in the event of reverse polarity or misconfiguration and this will void your warranty.

Channel types (voltage or current) should be configured using the ELOG software prior to connecting external sensors. This sequence will prevent the unexpected/unpredictable combinations of voltage transducers connected to low impedance loads (499 ohm) or current transducers with an open circuit.

The first set of Sensor and Output fields on the screen represent the Physical Range. This is where the user enters the low and high process values from the sensor. This data can typically be found on the data plate or data sheet of the sensor (typical sensor image, right). The second set of Sensor and Output fields represent the Electrical Output. This is where the user enters the minimum and maximum electrical output values of the sensor, also listed on the data plate or data sheet.

CURRENT LOOP CONNECTION

Sensors using current loops are widely used in industry to communicate analog signals in the presence of electromagnetic interference. Both 2- and 3-wire current loops (often referred to as loop powered or separately excited, respectively) are commonly used in industry. Both types of current sensors are illustrated in this section. Internally, the ELITEpro XC uses 0.1% precision 499 ohm resistors to measure the voltage drop impressed by the external current source. Current loop sensors will typically be powered from a 24-volt DC supply. The ELITEpro XC has four measurement channels. The negative terminals of each channel are common to each other and connected to the reference plane for power measurements. For this reason it is imperative that the ELITEpro XC be connected as the last component in the current loop rather than the first if multiple channels are used. Best practices are to use a single power supply for all sensors to reduce the occurrence of ground loop current between supplies.

VOLTAGE CONNECTION

Voltage output sensors and 3-wire current loops will typically use one voltage for powering the sensor and a second voltage (or current) for sending an output signal. Sometimes the power supply ground and signal reference conductor is shared between two circuits resulting in a three wire device. This economy usually comes at the installer’s expense of having to form a junction at the power supply, sensor, or meter. Sensors having four terminals are also popular and are simply connected to the meter by observing the indicated polarity between sensor and meter.

Connect to a Remote ELITEpro XC Using Port Forwarding

What happens if your ELITEpro XC Portable Electric Data Logger is on a local area network at a remote project site, but you’re hundreds of miles away, at your office, and need to download data off the meter? Port Forwarding makes it possible to complete the download. And, with a little planning, you probably already have everything you need to successfully download your data.

Port forwarding is a name given to the combined technique of:

  1. Translating the address and/or port number of a packet to a new destination
  2. Possibly accepting such packets in a packet filter (firewall)
  3. Forwarding the packet according to the routing table

Port forwarding allows remote computers (for example, computers on the Internet) to connect to a specific computer or service within a private local area network (LAN). In the case of the ELITEpro XC  (or ELITEpro SP) with Ethernet, port forwarding allows remote connection between the ELITEpro XC and a computer on another network through the firewall via ELOG software.

For instance, if the ELITEpro XC is on the local area network at a remote project site, but you wish to download data off the meter from the office, you can remotely access the ELITEpro XC from any computer with an Internet connection through ELOG.

REQUIREMENTS

Prior to beginning, confirm the following information:

  1. Know the external IP address of the router on the network with the ELITEpro XC. This address is usually assigned by the ISP and is typically static. However, it may be dynamic, changing the address every other day. This can be easily found by someone inside the network by visiting www.whatsmyip.com.
  2. Confirm that your router can be configured for port forwarding. Verify this with your router’s documentation or by visiting the manufacturer’s website.
  3. Know the ELITEpro XC meter’s IP address.
Note: The ELITEpro XC itself does not need to be configured for Port Forwarding. All the configuration takes place on the router.

Each router manufacturer uses slightly different software. Check your router’s documentation for specific directions on how to port forward with your router’s software. Regardless of what software is on your router, you’ll be required to enter the same general information.

  1. A text field where you can type the name of the application or service (in this case, it’s helpful to reference the “ELITEpro XC” or the EXC’s serial number).
  2. Incoming port the router should watch for.
  3. The protocol to watch for: TCP or UDP. Choose “both” if you’re unsure.
  4. The IP address that is the destination for this port’s request (i.e., the EXC’s IP address).
  5. Which port the request should be targeted to on the destination IP. The default is 3001.

INSTRUCTIONS

Here are the steps to connecting your networked ELITEpro XC from a different network:

  1. Obtain an internal IP address that is routable to an external IP address. If you are unsure of which IP address to use, check with your IT department.
  2. The external IP address gets forwarded to the internal IP address. For instance, the external IP address 212.45.67.89 may be forwarded to internal IP address 192.168.1.50.
  3. Determine which port should e used to connect to the ELITEpro XC. The default port is 3001. Check with your IT department if you are unsure.
  4. Using ELOG on the remote PC, go through the menu: Logger > Communication > Network Connect.
  5. Enter the external IP address for the network you wish to connect to in the Network IP address box.
  6. Enter the Port Number for the logger you wish to connect to.
  7. Click OK.
  8. You should now be connected to the remote ELITEpro XC.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

You may download a PDF copy of this document to take with you into the field here.

If you need technical assistance with your ELITEpro or ELOG software, contact DENT Tech Support.

ELITEpro Mobile App: Interact with the ELITEpro Power Meter on Your Mobile Device

THE ELITEPRO MOBILE APP IS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD!

Have you used the ELITEpro Mobile App with your ELITEpro XC meter yet? Download today for free!

SETUP THE ELITEPRO XC FROM THE APP

No PC at the job site? No problem. Configure the Wi-Fi-enabled ELITEpro XC meter directly from the Mobile App on your tablet. Make changes to integration type, peak demand window, & channel configuration, including analog channels. Once you’re done, send the Setup Table to the logger. Feature available for tablets only.

TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION (THD)

If your readings in ELOG seem off, it may be due to harmonic distortion. There is now an easy way to see Total Harmonic Distortion using the ELITEpro Mobile App on your tablet and your ELITEpro XC. Harmonics an be seen as a percentage of the fundamental or as RMS for each channel.

PHASOR PLOT & REAL TIME VALUES

Returning to a job site to correct a meter setup issue costs time and money. Use the Phasor Plot diagram in the ELITEpro Mobile App on your phone or tablet to make sure CTs are on the right phase. See larger image here.

In addition, view voltage, current, kW, dpF, kVA, and kVAR in real time on on your tablet. Values are presented visually as gauges and numerical values. Colors can be customized for all channels to comply with regional electrical codes.

ELOG 15 & CURRENT FIRMWARE REQUIRED

ELOG 15 is required to use the Mobile App. Here is an overview of the features:

  • Visual CT Chooser: Take the guess work out of meter setup. Select the CT you wish to use and Amp and Phase Shift settings are input into the Setup Table. 
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) Tracking: Easily track Total Harmonic Distortion using ELOG and your ELITEpro XC. See THD in Realtime Values and Data File Summary screens. THD percentage shows up in a new column in both areas.
  • Load & Save Wi-Fi Settings: Speed up meter configuration by saving Wi-Fi Settings in ELOG. Use saved settings when configuring multiple loggers to save even more time.
  • Firmware Update: Bundled with new ELOG 15 is updated ELITEpro XC firmware. New firmware provides minor enhancements and fixes to the meter which allow it to work at peak performance. Once ELOG 15 is installed, you’ll be asked to update the logger firmware and be guided through the process.
  • Compatibility: Windows 10, Windows 8, & Windows 7

The use of the Mobile App requires ELOG 15 software, the latest ELITEpro firmware, and a Wi-Fi-enabled ELITEpro XC meter. Users can upgrade their software to the latest version by opening ELOG, clicking Help > Check for Updates or visiting the Download page on the DENT website.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE MOBILE APP FOR YOUR DEVICE!

How to Update the Firmware on the ELITEpro XC Power Meter

Firmware is software that is used as the control program for the microprocessor in your ELITEpro XC power meter. Firmware updates provide new features and bug fixes for the meter and can be field-installed on the ELITEpro XC (as opposed to needing to come back to the factory for an upgrade). Here’s how you can make sure your firmware is update-to-date & perform an update if needed.

New firmware files are generally bundled with updated ELOG software. Recent versions of ELOG check for software updates automatically. New software and firmware can be downloaded at no charge from the DENT website on the Software Download Page.

You can check the firmware version of your ELITEpro XC from the Tools menu in ELOG software. Select Tools > Update Logger Firmware. The Firmware Update dialog box displays. No update is required if your Firmware File version and the Logger Version are the same.


DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING FIRMWARE

To install firmware updates, first make sure that your logger is connected via USB cable. Then:

Step 1: Select Tools > Update Logger Firmware.

The following dialog box displays:

Step 2: If necessary, click the Browse button to locate the firmware update file.

Step 3: Click Update

Step 4: The Update Progress bar displays the progress of the firmware update.


If you’re having trouble updating the firmware for your logger, please contact DENT Tech Support for assistance.

Case Study: Using the ELITEpro Power Meter to Measure Energy Savings

I belong to a church where we recently did a major lighting upgrade.  Old fluorescent and incandescent lights were replaced with LED lighting.  It was a great opportunity to use the DENT ELITEpro XC Portable Power Meter and RoCoil current transformers to monitor power consumption before and after the upgrade.  In case you are not familiar with the ELITEpro, it is a portable poly-phase power recorder.  Powered by the input voltage connection, it has available current transformers from 5A to 5000A full scale, and enough memory for years of recording.

The church has a 3-phase 240V delta service.  The ELITEpro Power Meter and RoCoil current transformers were connected at the main service entrance and programmed to record every 15 minutes for exactly 1 week, Midnight Friday to Friday.  Note that its sampling rate is 1/second, so the measured values have revenue grade accuracy.

The initial measurement were taken in late March of 2015.  Power consumption was 2981 KWH, the peak demand was 54 KW.

Lighting was upgraded in several stages, the last being completed in late October 2015.  A follow up recording was done for exactly the same time frame during the last week of October.  Power consumption was down to 1588 KW with a peak demand of 21 kW, a reduction of 48%.   Based on the electric rate, this upgrade should save around $7,000 per year.

The DENT ELITEpro Power Meter is an excellent, cost effective tool for measuring and documenting energy consumption.  In addition to what we’ve done here, other common applications include:

  • Energy audits on branch circuits or individual loads.
  • Documenting savings associates with lighting, motor, compressor, or other upgrades
  • Documenting savings associated with compressed air leak audits/repairs
  • Support for energy savings rebate filings
  • Load profiling
  • Sizing studies for backup generators or UPS’s
  • Green energy studies – it can record bi-directionally for solar/wind net metering.

Learn more about the ELITEpro XC Power Meter.

About I&E Central: I&E Central is an authorized DENT Instruments Distributor founded by Bob Dunn in 2001 and is based near Rochester, NY. I&E Central has grown over the past 13 years, expanding its portfolio and technological expertise in that time.  We currently maintain a physical presence in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, but I&E proudly supports customers throughout the US. Contact I&E Central here.

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

By Francisco Sotela, Director of Iotech

OBJECTIVE

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.

DESCRIPTION OF APPLICATION

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 support@dentinstruments.com.

Save Time + $$$ on Your Next Project: FREE Energy Metering Guide!

As an energy manager, you know one of the fastest ways to start saving on building and equipment costs is to perform an energy audit to identify savings opportunities. Unfortunately, that is sometimes easier said than done. Not only do you need to figure out the right metering equipment for your project, the installation itself can be tricky, too…

Did you know that one of the easiest ways to save money on your next audit was to simply be organized about the installation itself? A little planning can mean the difference between having the correct equipment before the site visit and multiple trips to a site to correct costly installation errors.

Multiple Site Visits = Time and $

For your next metering project, stay organized! The DENT Engineering Team has assembled a step-by-step Metering Project eBook to help you with your next project. Whether you’re facing your first metering project or you’re an experienced auditor, you’re sure to find useful planning information for your future projects. Don’t let important project details slip through the cracks – use the handy checklists in the guide to stay on track. 

Stop Overpaying the Power Company: Energy Audits are Key to Savings

Most companies want to decrease their energy consumption, either for financial reasons, or to be active in reducing their carbon footprint, or both–but some of them aren’t sure where to begin. When the only measure of a facility’s energy usage is the bill customers receive at the end of the month, they may feel their facility is more like the proverbial black hole: power goes in, business happens inside, but it’s not clear exactly how much energy is used where and when. Factory owners may want to know where the heavy usage is inside their plant–how much consumption is used to operate compressors, chillers, pumps, lighting, etc. Office building owners may want to break out the energy consumed in their HVAC vs. lighting systems.

To get an accurate breakdown of energy consumption, a common method is to conduct a short-term energy audit. In an audit, monitoring devices are installed for a period of time to measure all the circuits that are responsible for the overall energy usage of the facility. The resulting data are recorded, demonstrating what areas are consuming the most power. By comparing the consumption of these with industry averages, it’s possible to identify areas where energy can be saved. For example, lighting energy usage that is higher than typical for a business of its size could mean that the facility has unnecessarily high illumination levels or lights in use when not necessary.

When starting an audit, there are many areas of a building that need to be investigated for potential savings. A good building energy audit will indicate how to reduce your energy costs by 10% to 40%, depending on the building. Energy audits typically focus on the following areas within a facility:

  • Lighting Systems
  • HVAC Systems and Controls
  • Compressed Air Systems
  • Renewable Energy Applications
  • Electric Motors and Drives
  • Process Systems
  • Steam Systems
  • Heat Recovery
  • Building Envelope Upgrades

A variety of tools are part of every energy auditor’s toolkit. These items may include an infrared camera, digital pressure and flow gauges, a gas leak detector, a carbon monoxide detector, a combustion analyzer, a moisture meter, and others.

But to determine if there has been a reduction in energy consumption, a recording power meter is also required. For example, the DENT ELITEpro XC, can capture kWh/kW energy and demand data as well as many other relevant energy parameters for diagnostics and monitoring on three-phase or single phase systems. The ELITEpro XC is also ideal for capturing baseline energy consumption before any changes are made to an energy program. This baseline information is crucial in determining the success of any program.

In many cases, a load study can last for a month or more. If a recording power meter is not already part of your toolkit, or if the study is a one-time event, the smart choice may be to rent this equipment instead of purchasing.

DENT Instruments has a network of authorized distributors around the United States, some of which provide equipment rentals. If your next project is short term, give the distributor in your area a call for rental pricing. In addition to the equipment, they are a fantastic resource for advice on how to get started with your measurement project.

HERE ARE THE DENT AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTORS WHO RENT EQUIPMENT:

        HANOVER TECHNICAL SALESMain Office: Virginia800-304-9043sales@hanovertechnical.comWebsite: http://hanovertechnical.com/
     PANEL COMPONENTS & SYSTEMS (PC&S)Main Office: New Jersey800-523-9194Bill Renshaw (ext 19): bill@pc-s.comRon Aloisio: raloisio@pc-s.comWebsite: http://www.pc-s.com/
 LAKELAND ENGINEERINGOffice Locations: Minneapolis (HQ), Denver, Kansas City, Omaha1-855-544-0321meck@lakelandengineering.comrkucksdorf@lakelandengineering.comWebsite: https://shop.lakelandengineering.com/brands/dent-instruments
 PQ TESTING & RENTALSMain Office: Florida407-421-0846pqtesting@yahoo.comWebsite: http://www.pqtesting.com/

Selecting a Power Meter: Find the Right Tool for the Job

“I need a meter.”

This is where the majority of customer conversations begin at DENT. When you learn that your project includes metering or logging energy consumption, it’s clear that you’ll need some piece of equipment to make that happen. Here’s a list of questions to help you decide which DENT meter is the right one.

QUESTION 1: HOW LONG WILL YOUR PROJECT LAST?

Is your project a 30-day load study or will you permanently be installing a meter within your building? The answer to this first question often dictates which meter is best for you.

If your answer is a 30-day load study, an energy audit, or a measurement and verification (M&V) project, the ELITEpro XC is a solid choice. The ELITEpro XC is portable and can be easily moved between panels or to a new location at the end of one project. This is why it’s often the best choice for a temporary study.

On the other hand, if you plan on permanently installing a meter for building submetering, tenant submetering, or demand response, the PowerScout 3037 or PowerScout 24 will be more suitable. The PowerScout is hard-wired into the panel (as opposed to connecting with croc or alligator clips), making it less portable than the ELITEpro.

QUESTION 2: HOW DO YOU WANT TO COLLECT THE DATA?

The ELITEpro and PowerScout instruments handle data collection in two different ways. How data is collected will likely have a large impact on which meter you decide to use.

The ELITEpro has 16 MB of on-board, non-volatile memory for data storage. Data is recorded as the metering session continues and, once the session is complete, the user can download the data from the meter using a USB cable, over Ethernet, or Wi-Fi (depending on meter configuration). Data is downloaded from the meter using a program called ELOG. Once downloaded, the data can be analyzed using ELOG or can be exported to Excel.

If you prefer walking up to the logger, connecting a laptop, and downloading your data, then the ELITEpro is the right choice.

By comparison, the PowerScout does not have any on-board memory for data collection. Instead, data is sent from the meter via Modbus or BACnet communications to a separate data logger or building automation and controls system. The PowerScout can use either BACnet IP or MS/TP protocol or Modbus TCP or RS-485 protocol for sending commands or retrieving data.

If your preference is to interface with the meter through your building automation system or via a remote dashboard display, the PowerScout is right for you.

QUESTION 3: HOW MANY PHASES DO YOU NEED TO MEASURE SIMULTANEOUSLY?

Are you measuring single or three-phase loads? How many of each do you wish to monitor simultaneously?

With the ELITEpro or PowerScout 3037, you can measure single phase loads or one three phase load. The PowerScout 24 allows for up to 24 single phase or 8 three-phase or a combination of single and three-phase using any mix of CTs.

If you require on-board memory (ELITEpro), but need to measure more than one three-phase load at a time, using multiple ELITEpros may be your best option.

QUESTION 4: DO YOU REQUIRE REVENUE GRADE ACCURACY?

The PowerScout 3037 is a revenue grade meter with accuracy of 0.2% or better (ANSI C12.20-2010 qualified Class 0.2). The PowerScout 24 is revenue grade with accuracy of 0.5% or better (ANSI C12.20-2010 Class 0.5).

The ELITEpro accuracy is better than 1%, which is ideal for energy audits, load studies, and M&V work.

QUESTION 5: WHY CAN’T I JUST USE A SMARTLOGGER INSTEAD OF AN ELITEPRO OR POWERSCOUT?

Actually…you can, under certain circumstances. But it’s important to understand what the SMARTloggers were designed for and their limitations.

SMARTloggers are time-of-use loggers. They are designed to give you run-time information for a load. There are four different “flavors” of SMARTlogger:

  • CTlogger: Has an external CT for using on energy-consuming devices with a power cord
  • LIGHTINGlogger: Has an internal photo-sensor for measuring on-time of lights
  • MAGlogger: Measures on-time for motors (or anything generating a magnetic field)
  • CONTACTlogger: Has dry contacts for monitoring closures (such as with a door or switch)

Take the LIGHTINGlogger, for example. If you have the LIGHTINGlogger installed in your light fixture, it’s going to sense when the lights turn on and off. It will record that information with a time and date stamp. Once you download the data from the logger using SMARTware, you will see the on/off transitions for the light. Maybe your light was turned on at 12:38 AM and turned off at 12:58 AM. It’s easy to see exactly how long your light was on. Here’s a sample of the data output:

All SMARTloggers work in the same manner, but are designed to monitor other types of loads, as outlined above.

What happens when you want to know how much energy your light was consuming. The logger itself doesn’t tell you this information without doing some post-processing. You can set the connected load’s kW in SMARTware software to make an estimate on energy consumption.

This is the real difference between the SMARTloggers and a true power meter, such as the ELITEpro or PowerScout: The SMARTloggers will only be able to give you an estimate on energy usage based on the time a load is on multiplied by how many kW you input in the software. If your question is, “How long has my pump been running?” and not “How much energy is my pump consuming?” then the SMARTlogger is an excellent choice.

QUESTION 6: I’M STILL NOT SURE WHICH METER TO CHOOSE. HELP!

Give DENT Instruments a call and we will help you find a solution for your project. Also, be sure to download our  FREE Metering Project eBook for time & money-saving tips for your next project. The eBook also features multiple checklists to keep you project on track.

What Happens to the ELITEpro XC During a Power Outage?

One question that we’re frequently asked is this: “What happens to my ELITEpro XC during a power outage?”

The ELITEpro XC Portable Power Data Logger has 16 MB of non-volatile memory. It’s a line-powered device, which means that it’s powered by the L1 to L2 voltage under measurement.

During a power outage, the meter ceases to be energized because it’s powered by the voltage in the panel under measurement. Although the logger stops recording, the built-in memory means the logger maintains all its records and settings. Once power is restored, the meter will continue to record.

There is a feature in ELOG software to help with this scenario called “Fill Missing Records.” This feature detects gaps in the time sequence of the data and fills the missing records with 0 values. This feature is useful any time there are gaps in the time stamp records.

If you have any other technical questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Tech Support department at techhelp@dentinstruments.com or by clicking the Support button below.