Digital instruments allow energy efficiency optimisation

05 July 2013

The first three power meters in the WT300 series from Yokogawa

Never has efficiency and low energy usage been more important. Rising utility costs driven by the high price of fuel, increasing legislation and environmental concerns put pressure on designers and integrators of consumer and industrial equipment and systems to make designs as efficient as possible.

Equipment intended to measure power must be both precise and accurate. The instrument that most engineers have experience with – the oscilloscope - is not accurate enough for power measurement. It is also important to have a wide power range to test different products

For many engineers, test may only play a small part of their role, so it is important that test takes as little time as possible. As the engineer is not working on test equipment all the time, equipment must be intuitive and easy to use, while still able to perform complex measurements.

Yokogawa has launched three new power meters, the first in the company’s WT300 series. This series is the fifth generation of power meters and is complements the existing WT200 series. The new meters are availlable from €2,500 up to €7,000.

The three new meters are the WT310, which has a single channel and the ability to measure up to 40A, and the WT332 and WT333 that have two and three channels respectively.

Communication options

The instruments combine accurate and reliable power measurement over a wide power range with flexibility, ease of use and a choice of communication interfaces. Key features include a basic accuracy of 0.1% of reading, guaranteed accuracy over the entire measurement range (from 1% to 130%), a wide measurement range from standby power levels of a few mA up to the 40 A currents used in induction cookers.

The range of communications interfaces allows the WT300 series to be integrated into laboratory test benches or automated test set-ups on production lines. USB and GPIB or RS232 is fitted as standard, and Ethernet is available as an option.

In addition to standard power measurements, the meters offer harmonic measurement capabilities, including the ability to carry out simultaneous measurement of normal power parameters such as RMS, mean or DC power along with measurement of harmonics up to the 50th order. As a result, overall measurement times are reduced.  

Other features of the new instruments include a bandwidth of DC and 0.5 Hz to 100 kHz (up to 20 kHz for 40 A on the WT310HC), plus an auto-range function for measurement and integration. Software is also available for testing equipment compliance to industry energy-saving standards such as IEC62301 Ed2.0 and IEC62018 for standby mode equipment or for dealing with waveforms having a crest factor of five or more.

The company claims a leadership position over other manufacturers as the only company to have its own calibration lab, outside of government and national organisations, that is able to offer traceable power calibration to national and international standards, at frequencies up to 100 kHz, which is required for higher harmonics measurement. The lab is located at Yokogawa’s European headquarters in the Netherlands.

Figure 1 The first three power meters in the WT300 series from Yokogawa


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