In electricity metering, the term "single phase power meter" refers to a meter that is capable of measuring voltage and current in a single wire system. This type of meter is used to measure power consumption on single-phase systems, which include all residential and domestic services and some industrial services, such as those in commercial buildings.
There are many different types of power meters available for a wide range of applications. They can be used for non-contact voltage detection, open-jaw current testing, and more advanced functions such as data-logging. Some products feature USB ports or RS-232 interfaces for transferring the measurement data to a computer for further processing.
How to Read an Electricity Meter
An electricity meter is a device that continuously measures voltage (volts) and current (amperes) to give energy usage, such as watts or kilowatt-hours. The meter then displays this information on an electronic display. Its operating technology can be based on induction, solid state or hybrid, and it can communicate via manual or remote means.
Electrical tampering is common, and many utility meters are protected against it by sensors that report tampered connections or flags dropped by ambient magnetic fields or large DC currents. Some of these counter-measures are mechanical, such as a locking mechanism that shuts the meter when tampered with. Newer computerised meters typically have more sophisticated sensors and counter-measures.
The most popular type of meter is the digital electronic meter, or DEMS. It uses an RF Mesh network to communicate with an AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) to provide key values, metrics and information. It is typically installed on a pole or wall near the utility service.
A digital electronic meter is a more accurate and efficient form of metering. It is designed to save power by not having to run a commutator or relay to generate a reading. It also allows for more accurate measurement of load and is less expensive than a traditional mechanical meter.
There are several ways to read an electric meter, including using a multimeter with a probe that can be placed on the meter's supply and load terminals, which is often called a wattmeter. Most wattmeters are designed to measure voltage and current in the meter's supply wires, and then convert the results to watts and kilowatt-hours.
Some wattmeters, such as the N30P model from PCE Instruments, have an inbuilt KYZ relay. The relay changes state with each full or half rotation of the meter's disc, which indicates the amount of usage. This pulse can be interpreted to determine kW and kWh usage, as well as other power quality and performance measurements.
In most cases the wattmeter will also display a temperature indicator and a power factor display. A low power factor will result in high energy losses and higher energy costs for the utility.
In the United States, most wattmeters are designed to read in watts and kilowatt-hours, but some also display amps and volts. The conversion between these measurements is simple. Just remember to make sure the watts and volts are displayed in kilovolts and kilowatts.
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