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Analyser makes on-site power loss detection so much easier for PQE

01 May 2009

Data logger manufacturer, Outram Research has “revolutionised” the way in which global power-loss trouble-shooter, PQE takes on-site measurements, enabling its commercial and industrial customers to reduce their energy costs by identifying power losses in their electricity supplies

PQE provides its customers world-wide with a power correction service that locates and identifies costly and wasteful power losses and power disturbances. Now, thanks to Outram Research’s latest power-quality analyser, PQE has greatly simplified the way it carries out on-site measurements of harmonic distortion, supply interruptions and load-profiles, as managing director, Harold Birtwistle explains.

“Outram’s Ranger PM7000 out-performs all of our previous recording equipment. We can now measure harmonic distortion in its totality, as well as individual harmonic currents and voltages in KW, KVAr and KVA, not to mention power factor, voltage dips, sags, spikes and flicker. The great beauty is that it measures these parameters simultaneously and it has a prodigious memory. This means that it doesn’t have to be downloaded before it is used again and saves all the trouble of taking a laptop to site to prevent new recordings overwriting old data.

“Most recorders will catch spikes when they create over-voltages, but catching these is dependent on when they hit the sine wave and whether their polarity is the same as that of the waveform,” Mr Birtwistle continues. “If a spike’s polarity is opposite to that of the sine wave, the resulting voltage is the difference between the two, so there is no over-voltage and the events will not be detected by a run-of-the-mill recorder. However, the Ranger’s high-speed recording process looks for, and captures, distortion over all of the waveform and it has revolutionised the results we get. Recordings can be used to confirm a site’s compliance (or otherwise) with the harmonic distortion limits stipulated in engineering recommendation G5/4.” John Outram, managing director of Outram Research, explains the operation of the PM7000.

“Our units offer three sampling speeds of 19.2k, 153.6k and 1.23Ms/s. We have designed the PM7000 to make data management and analysis easier. Not only do we capture the distortions at any part of the cycle but we identify and then rank them in order of severity, discarding the least interesting as more are captured. This eliminates the laborious and reiterative process of manually setting thresholds, and during analysis users can go straight from one disturbance to the next.”

An industry first
Outram believes that its Ranger PM7000 power-quality analyser is the industry’s only Cat IV 600V Phase A-powered instrument of its kind, offering the most comprehensive range of power quality measurements of any instrument in its class. Moreover, the recent addition of USB compatibility allows data to be downloaded automatically to a USB memory-stick for offline analysis, in practice giving the user the benefit of virtually unlimited memory combined with fast, convenient data retrieval which requires no skill or special training.

Released earlier this year, the latest version, of the Ranger PM7000 captures data to the emerging IEEE 1459 standard and IEEE 100, providing PQE with an improved measurement tool for correctly sizing power-factor correction capacitors. The Ranger PM7000 also measures parameters to the IEC61000-4-30 standard, including harmonics and inter-harmonics to IEC61000-4-7, and flicker to IEC61000-4-15. IEEE 1459 defines more effective ways of measuring the parameters that provide detailed information on power consumed due to losses caused by imperfections in current and voltage waveforms.

Indeed, PQE is so taken with results from its first Ranger PM7000 acquisition, that it has already secured a second instrument.

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