No one likes musty basements. So, why send your team down to the basement with a clipboard to read the meter? Get your electrical power metering out of the basement to the web.
Step 1: Get Online With the Right Tools
If you don’t want to go to your building’s basement each time you need to read your meters, you will need web-enabled meters. This requires 4 key elements:
- A power meter. This measures the current and voltage to calculate the energy consumption in kWh.
- An output. In order to access your meter data beyond the digital display, a meter should offer an output to other devices using an open communication protocol. Most commonly, you can use either a pulse output or a modbus output.
- A wireless transmitter. This reads the output from the meter and sends the data to the gateway wirelessly. By using wireless technology, you can significantly reduce the amount of time and money otherwise needed to install communication cables across your property. When internet connectivity is available near the meter, the wireless transmitter is not needed and the meter can be directly connected to the gateway.
- A gateway. This communicates the data to the internet through a wired connection.
Step 2: Choose the Best Electric Meter
A ) Using Existing Electric Meters
You can use your existing utility meter to collect your electric consumption data and transmit it online by requesting the utility company to install a pulse output. This method is both time and cost efficient.
Third party electric meters already on site may offer a pulse or Modbus output that can be used to collect data and transmit it to the web.
B) Installing New Power Meters
If you don’t have existing electric meters, you can install a new power meter. Power meters use current transformers (CTs) to measure the magnetic field emitted by the electric current in the cable and then calculate the energy consumption using the measured current and voltage. By using a wireless transmitter and gateway, the data can be sent to the web. Most power meters already have a pulse or modbus output, so all you need to do is to add a web-enabled pulse or modbus meter and a gateway.
See? Installing web-enabled electric meters isn’t as hard as it seems. With this technology, you’ll never have to meter read in the basement again.