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. It is often easier to
look at logger readings than attempt to decipher electricity bills
(which are often estimated) or meter readings! 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 can sometimes lead to very 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
Ireland's 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
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.