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# TOPIC 5: POWER METERS

## EE101(MEASUREMENT) Page 5-1

TOPIC 5
POWER METERS

5.1 Introduction

Power meter may refer to:
Electricity meter - measures electrical energy (electrical power supplied to a
residence, business or machine over time)
Wattmeter - measures the electrical power circulating in any electric circuit
Optical power meter - measures energy in an optical signal
Google PowerMeter - is a tool to track a household's energy usage
A cycling power meter - measures the power output of a bicycle rider

5.2 Analogue Wattmeter
Electric power is measured by means of a wattmeter.

5.2.1 Symbol of Wattmeter

Figure 5.1 : Wattmeter symbol

5.2.2 Basic Principle of Analogue Wattmeter

Figure 5.2 (a) A simplified wattmeter circuit Figure 5.2 (b) Analogue Wattmeter
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5.2.3 Wattmeter consist of Voltage Coil and Current Coil
It consists of a pair of fixed coils, known as current coils, and a movable coil
known as the potential (voltage) coil. (See Diagram 5.2 (a))
The fixed coils are made up of a few turns of a comparatively large conductor.
The potential coil consists of many turns of fine wire. It is mounted on a shaft,
carried in jeweled bearings, so that it may turn inside the stationary coils.
The movable coil carries a needle which moves over a suitably marked scale.
Spiral coil springs hold the needle to a zero position.
The current coil (stationary coil) of the wattmeter is connected in series with
the circuit (load), and the potential coil (movable coil) is connected across the
line.
When line current flows through the current coil of a wattmeter, a field is set
up around the coil. The strength of this field is proportional to the line current
and in phase with it.
The potential coil of the wattmeter generally has a high-resistance resistor
connected in series with it. This is for the purpose of making the potential-coil
circuit of the meter as purely resistive as possible.
As a result, current in the potential circuit is practically in phase with line
voltage. Therefore, when voltage is applied to the potential circuit, current is
proportional to and in phase with the line voltage.
The actuating force of a wattmeter comes from the field of its current coil
and the field of its potential coil. The force acting on the movable coil at any
instant (tending to turn it) is proportional to the instantaneous values of line
current and voltage.
The wattmeter consists of two circuits, either of which will be damaged if too
much current is passed through them. This fact is to be especially emphasized
in the case of wattmeters, because the reading of the instrument does not
serve to tell the user that the coils are being overheated. If an ammeter or
voltmeter is overloaded, the pointer will be indicating beyond the upper limit
of its scale.
In the wattmeter, both the current and potential circuits may be carrying such
an overload that their insulation is burning, and yet the pointer may be only
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part way up the scale. This is because the position of the pointer depends upon
the power factor of the circuit as well as upon the voltage and current.
Thus, a low power- factor circuit will give a very low reading on the wattmeter
even when the current and potential circuits are loaded to the maximum safe
limit.
This safe rating is generally given on the face of the instrument. A wattmeter
is always distinctly rated, not in watts but in volts and amperes.

5.2.4 Wattmeter connection for power measurement

Figure 5.3: Various type of wattmeter connection

5.3 KWH Meter
The watt-hour meter is an instrument for measuring energy.

5.3.1 Basic Principles of analogue KWH meter
Since energy is the product of power and time, the watt-hour meter must take into
consideration both of these factors. In principle, the watt-hour meter is a small
motor whose instantaneous speed is proportional to the POWER passing through it.
The total revolutions in a given time are proportional to the total ENERGY, or watt-
hours, consumed during that time.
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5.3.2 Construction of KWH meter

Figure 5.4: KWH Meter Construction

5.3.3 KWH meter connection for power measurement

The following directions should be followed when reading the dials of a watt-
hour meter. The meter, in this case, is a four-dial type . The pointer on the right-
hand dial (fig 5.3) registers 1 kilowatt-hour, or 1,000 watt-hours, for each division of
the dial. A complete revolution of the hand on this dial will move the hand of the
second dial one division and register 10 kilowatt-hours, or 10,000 watt-hours. A
complete revolution of the hand of the second dial will move the third hand one
division and register 100 kilowatt-hours or 100,000 watt-hours, and so on.
Accordingly, you must read the hands from left to right, and add three zeros to the
reading of the lowest dial to obtain the reading of the meter in watt-hours. The dial
hands should always be read as indicating the figure which they have LAST PASSED,
and not the one they are approaching.

5.4 Clamp meter
An electrical meter with integral current clamp is known as a clamp meter. The
clamp measures the current and other circuitry the voltage . The true power is the
product of the instantaneous voltage and current integrated over a cycle.
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5.4.1 Basic Principles of Analogue Clamp Meter

Figure 5.5 : Clamp Meter
In order to use a clamp meter, only one conductor is normally passed through
the probe; if more than one conductor were to be passed through then the
measurement would be a vector sum of the currents flowing in the conductors and
could be very misleading depending on the phase relationship of the currents. In
particular if the clamp is closed around a 2-conductor cable carrying power to
equipment the same current flows down one conductor and up the other, with a net
current of zero. The reading produced by a conductor carrying a very low current can
be increased by winding the conductor around the clamp several times; the meter
reading divided by the number of turns is the current, with some loss of accuracy
due to inductive effects.
Clamp meters are used by electricians, sometimes with the clamp incorporated
into a general purpose multimeter.
It is simple to measure very high currents (hundreds of amperes) with the
appropriate current transformer. Accurate measurement of low currents (a few
milliamps) with a current transformer clamp is more difficult.

5.4.2 Clamp meter construction for alternating current
When the load is connected (switched on), the leakage current measured
includes leakage in load equipment. If the leakage is acceptably low with the load
connected, then circuit wiring leakage is even lower. If circuit wiring leakage alone is
required, disconnect (switch off) the load.
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Figure 5.6: Measurement of Leakage Current to Ground
Test single-phase circuits by clamping the phase and neutral conductor. The
measured value will be any current flowing to ground.

Figure 5.7:
Test three-phase circuits by clamping around all three-phase conductors. If a
neutral is present, it should be clamped along with the phase conductors. The
measured value will be any current flowing to ground.

Figure 5.8: Measuring leakage current through the ground conductor
To measure the total leakage flowing to the intended ground connection, place
the clamp around the ground conductor.
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Figure 5.9: Measuring leakage current to ground via unintentional paths to ground.
Clamping phase/neutral/ground together identifies imbalance current that
represents leakage at an outlet or electrical panel via unintentional paths to ground
(such as the panel sitting on a concrete base). If other electrical bonding connections
exist (such as a connection to a water pipe), a similar imbalance may result.

Figure 5.10: Tracing the source of leakage current
This series of measurements identifies the overall leakage and the source. The
first measurement can be made on the main conductor to the panel. Measurements 2,
3, 4 and 5 are made subsequently to identify circuits carrying the larger amounts of
leakage current. j k l m n
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Figure 5.11

Leakage current can be an indicator of the effectiveness of insulation on conductors.
High levels of leakage current may be present in circuits where electronic equipment
with filters is used, and can cause voltages that disrupt normal operation of
equipment. It is possible to locate the source of leakage current by using a low
current leakage current clamp to take methodical measurements as described above.
If necessary, this enables you to re-distribute loads around the installation in a more
balanced way.

5.4.3 Instructions to use clamp meter
1. Step 1
Turn on the clamp meter and set the function for measuring current. There
will also be a selection knob or button to select whether you're measuring
alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) flow. Most household electric
devices use household voltage from an outlet, which will be AC current.

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2. Step 2
Clamp the meter onto the power cord. The ends of the clamp meter arms,
which resemble pincers, will have a recessed area through which the power
cord should be placed. Ensure that the clamp meter arms are stable with the
cord between them.

3. Step 3
Read the current flow on the clamp meter display. Most clamp meters have
automatic range finders, but if yours does not, increase the range of the
meter until you get a reading. Write down the reading, which will be numbers
that represent the amount of amperes, or amps, flowing through the cable.

4. Step 4
Measure the amount of current flow through an appliance such as a washing
machine by turning the appliance on and having it perform its functions. The
current flow will be much higher when the washing machine motor is turning.
The same applies for a dishwasher. For a refrigerator, turn down the
thermostat to turn on the cooling action, which will increase current flow.

5. Step 5
Adjust the position of the clamp meter to ensure you're getting accurate
current flow readings.

6. Step 6
Remove the clamp meter from the power cord.