The Tinytag Energy Logger is a portable data recorder which monitors electricity consumption typically in premises with high consumption equipment. Power monitoring can help achieve energy efficiency targets and lead to cost savings.
energy monitoring not only assists with reducing energy
consumption and costs, but is of particular relevance for
organisations aiming to achieve or maintain the ISO 14001
environmental standard. ISO 14001 states that objectives
and targets shall be measurable, where practicable, and that an
organisation should regularly monitor and measure the key
characteristics of its operations that can have a significant
environmental impact - of which electricity consumption can be
electricity consumption with tools such as the Tinytag
Energy Logger can be highly effective. Typically used
in plants with high-consumption equipment, the
Energy Logger uses non-invasive flexible coils to
monitor the current in each phase of a three phase supply, while
voltage information may be obtained via a standard 13A wall socket.
Safe and easy to use, the logger
records data which is downloaded to a PC to help identify times of
peak load and to identify power hungry or inefficient
equipment. The unit also records 'Power Factor' (PF) data,
a measure of power transmission efficiency: this can be significant
because power companies typically charge a higher rate for
industrial or commercial customers with a low PF.
Energy monitoring often leads to direct
savings. For example, in Gemini Data Loggers' own
production facility, recorded data revealed that the reflow oven
accounted for about 15% of the full electricity bill. Gemini was
able to initially reduce this by carefully controlling its use, and
ultimately replacing it with a more efficient
device. Similarly, analysis of results revealed one of the
space heaters was coming on unnecessarily during the night.
Monitoring can also lead to more unexpected discoveries. In one
case, temperature monitoring by school caretakers revealed
that central heating had sometimes been set to come on over the
weekend. In another example, an employer, using an Energy
Logger, discovered his employees were switching off their equipment
and leaving early on a Friday.
'Before and after' monitoring, can help in the evaluation of,
for example, replacement LED lighting or Building Environmental
Management Systems. Similarly, some energy suppliers such as
Energia, offer a monitoring service to commercial customers to
provide them with information about key areas of their energy
usage, helping them to make informed decisions about
altering their energy behaviour. Typically loggers are
left in place for a minimum of one week and the data used to
compare it to the quarter hourly metering data from the incoming
meter if possible.
Energy monitoring and careful analysis of results can lead to
specific, straightforward and practical ways of cutting
energy consumption and meeting environmental management
targets. And with costs rising all the time, it is likely
to become even more of a priority for high level consumers.