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Power Quality Meter Selection

Specifiers Club ZA Forum

This forum is specific to consulting engineers in South Africa where technical, commercial & legislative queries, comments, potential pitfalls and best practices can be shared.

Ensign Ensign

Power Quality Meter Selection

To understand what type of power quality equipment to use to correct or suppress the issue. It is crucial to run simulations or perform a physical measure to have a better understanding.


It is essential to select the correct power meters to measure certain disturbances. There are different disturbances that one might focus on when choosing a power meter to do the job. Disturbances include voltage sag or swell, voltage flicker, harmonics, transients, power factor, etc.


Selecting the correct meter for the above disturbance is important, this can help identify the issues that can cause further damage on site. Most entry range power meters in the Schneider Electric meters can provide typical measurements, i.e., voltage, current, power, energy, power factor, total harmonic distortion, etc. To get individual harmonics, one needs to select the meter that can measure those parameters (from PM2000 and above). More advanced meters (such as the PM8000 & ION9000) can do waveform capture. Depending on what one wants to measure, the PM8000 can capture voltage sag & swell waveforms. Whereas the ION9000 has a faster sample rate (1024 samples in a cycle) that allows this meter to capture transients as well. Having these advanced meters, one can always program the meter (via ION Technology) to capture specific data that is needed even if the meter is not recording by default.


It is recommended to have meters with onboard memory to log the data even if the meter loses communication with the software. The size of the memory is important, depending on the application. If an application requires the meter to log all the data because there is no software, it’s obvious to get a larger memory meter or a separate data logger. On the other hand, if a software collects the data, it is not necessary to have such a larger onboard memory. A few megabytes are sufficient to log a few months of energy data. The type of data that needs to be logged on the meter is a factor to consider, typical voltage and current logs at 15-minute intervals do not require a lot of storage. However, if waveform capture is required or an intense amount of data points are to be logged, then larger memory is recommended.


After installing the correct meter, the data that is logged can be analysed to better understand how one can improve the power quality on the site.


Advanced Metering


ION Technology