Posted: 5/19/16

Performing An Energy Audit

Performing an energy audit of your building is the first step toward understanding how to lower your energy consumption. Data from power meters is crucial to learn how energy is used in your building (such as load trends, consumption, peak demands, power factor, etc.). However, some meters don't provide the required flexibility and tools to integrate seamlessly with your building automation system.

Here are five features every power meter should have in order to provide the highest accurate energy information. 

Electrician looking at a wall

5 Features Crucial To Power Monitoring

1. ANSI Approved

The American National Standards Institutes oversees the creation, promulgation, and use of thousands of norms and guidelines directly impacting businesses in every sector. With power meters, the ANSI accuracy requirements helps to guarantee accuracy when used in conjunction with revenue-grade CT's in applications such as submetering and tenant billing.  Be sure to check the job specification to determine if a certain level of ANSI accuracy is required and whether your meters / CTs meet the spec.  ACI offers power meters that meet both ANSI Class 0.2 and 0.5% accuracy.

2. Multiple Protocols

Having field-selectable Serial and/or Ethernet Modbus and BACnet® communication protocols provide a versatility that can lessen the number of meters you'll need to stock.  This will help you stock other necessary CT's and devices to meet the application requirements. In addition, it’s important to ask if other outputs are needed, such as relay contacts or energy pulse and whether your power meter offers

3. Simple Configurations

Using a USB-RS485 or Ethernet-USB cable with your ACI power meter, you can directly connect your PC and power meter. This feature will significantly decrease the overall installation/setup time by licensed electricians or technicians.  Also, the KW320 and KW1850 can communicate programming info wirelessly via WIFI.

4. Back-Lit LCD

After installing your power metering device, being able to see real-time values ensures the device was properly installed. The scrolling function of the LCD screen will allow you to monitor your data as well as to lock in on a particular subset of data if needed.  Being able to view this data and configure the meter without accessing while the meter is enclosed in a panel is an additional time-saver.  ACI has complete packaged solutions for power meter & enclosures in one easy-to-install unit.

5. Numerous CT Options

Proper CT selection is crucial in the overall system design because they can vary in accuracy, cost, and ease of installation.  Use of the flexible Rogowski Coils in applications greater than 600 amps is recommended, however, CT's should be selected based upon number of conductors and/or wired gage as well as the minimum and maximum amperages of the load being monitored.  

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