How To Monitor Your Energy Usage

blog 07 Jun 2022

The sharp rise in the price of energy over recent months – and the projected further increase later this year - means people in homes and businesses around the country are likely to be looking at ways to monitor their energy usage and reduce expense as much as possible.

fluke monitor

Times may be tough for millions of families at the present time, but there are a range of affordable smart plugs and ‘plug and play’ devices available which give users a good idea of which appliances within the home may be using the most energy.

These devices can be a good starting point for identifying so-called ‘Vampire Devices’. 

What are Vampire Devices?

Vampire devices are devices which can use a surprisingly significant amount of energy, such as TV boxes. They can be a substantial source of energy inefficiency even when not being actively used.

For example, a widely used TV set-top box can use around 30W of electricity a year on standby, which works out at about £73 a year.  Whilst it could be argued that for some, this amount spread across the year isn’t immediately noticeable, in the current climate any potential savings are welcome. 

This is a simple example of one device in a domestic setting. Even on a small scale, the benefits of energy monitoring can be substantial. When you look towards the commercial, construction and manufacturing industries the potential for excess energy usage increases greatly.

Guide to Energy Use Monitors

The Sunbelt Rentals Test and Monitoring department has a range of Power Analysers and Energy Monitors designed to help you conduct energy surveys, identifying optimisations that can be made to save your facility money and help in achieving environmental targets. You can hire our full range of calibrated products with next day delivery.

Power quality and demand is assessed by power analysers which measure reactive VA, harmonic distortion, frequency, transients, brownouts, power factor and phase angles in single and three-phase systems.

By using a device that can monitor these factors, an engineer can cross reference the recorded value with the ideal value and begin to troubleshoot the problem. This may locate sources of harmonic distortion, optimise load balance over three phases, eliminate or reduce excessive neutral currents, earth leakage and reduce costs by identifying power wastage.

By rectifying imperfections in your power supply system, you can reduce costs incurred in utility bills, reduce the risk of catastrophic failure and help to comply with the latest environmental standards.

The Fluke 435 Power Quality Analyser is amongst the most popular instruments in our range. The Fluke 435 is specifically designed to help calculate how much money a facility is losing due to waste energy.

This comes in the form of Fluke's new patented energy monetisation function. This function quantifies classic active and reactive power measurements, unbalance and harmonic power to pinpoint true energy losses in pounds. This is useful when conducting an energy survey, giving you a concrete figure that can be used to justify any improvements to be made.

elcomponentAnother popular model within our range is the Elcomponent SPC Pro 2. This instrument is the easiest instrument to use within our range and is suitable for a wide range of projects where usage needs to be monitored. Helpful features include a two-week battery which often makes this device popular on rail projects.

Alongside that, the device is often used to carry out tests on multiple circuits simultaneously such as on multiple floors in a high rise building or different departments in an office block. The SPC Pro does not measure power quality but does measure phase angle and power factor. It is the ideal choice for simple Kw and KVa measurements.

In addition, to the Fluke 435 Series 2 and Elcomponent SPC Pro 2 we also stock instruments from Chauvin Arnoux such as the C.A8336, and a range of models from Fluke including the 1736,1735,1734 & 1732.

For more information about our product range, please contact the Test and Monitoring department>>

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