How to perform energy measurements inside an electrical panel? Can you make the electrical measurement on the mini-circuit breaker? In this article, we are going to present a multimeter model that is more than a simple multimeter, as it allows to do complete energy management in a simple and transparent way through a web interface. This multimeter provides measurements in real-time with graphs, individual consumption displays, reports, and other functions.
Components – Multidimer
Multidimmers are devices that measure various electrical quantities such as electrical current, voltage, power, etc. Our model of the multimeter is a multichannel system basically composed of three components:
The sensors are like small CTs ( current transformers ) that are installed in the cables, preferably at the outlet of the mini circuit breakers, to collect the current that passes through each cable. There are two sensor options for mini-circuit breakers, 40A and 63A.
The sensor bar is where we attach the sensors, it is responsible for transmitting the information collected by the sensors to the Data Manager. For this, the bus uses a specific communication, the Modbus RTU (RS-485) that facilitates the communication between the bus and the Data Manager with the daisy chain connection.
The bars have fixed quantities for 3, 6, 9 or 12 sensors, being able to switch between 40A and 63A sensors. The bars are connected in a “cascade” system, where they are connected in series.
The Data Manager is the brain of this whole system, it is the Data Manager that concentrates all the measurements made by the sensors, in addition to being the input of the system voltage, that is, it also feeds the system with the direct connection of the network.
The Data Manager can read up to 96 sensors simultaneously, that is, 8 bars with 12 sensors on each bar. It is worth mentioning that the reading of 96 cables that can be individually named, that is, can make the control according to the given nomenclature. It is also important to remember that because they are 96 cables, it means that if they are two-phase or three-phase mini-circuit breakers, the total number of mini-circuit breakers changes, but not the total number of sensors, that is, 96 monopolar circuit breakers, 48 bipolar circuit breakers or 32 three-pole circuit breakers.
Each sensor installed makes the individual measurement of a phase, but through the web interface, it is possible to group sensors to demonstrate monopolar, bipolar, tripolar and tetrapolar loads. The multimeter is able to communicate with supervisory systems or management systems through the Data Manager. For this communication, it uses the Modbus-TCP standard which is different from the standard of the sensors which is the Modbus-RTU.
Installation – Multimedidor
On the panel, the Data Manager will always be installed after the main circuit breaker at the entrance of the circuit distribution board (QDC). The Data Manager is installed on the DIN rail panel and it is possible to enter a direct supply of up to 400V between phase and phase.
The Data Manager is powered from the bottom and its output is from the top. In order to be powered, the L1 and N phases must always be connected, as the equipment is powered from these terminals. The sensors are connected to the sensor bars and you can connect one bar to the other for a total of up to 8 simultaneous bars.
The sensors are passed through the cables and do not get caught in the circuit breakers and this makes installation much easier. The cables support the sensors and the bar coupled to the sensors, always at the output of the circuit breakers. One very interesting thing is that due to this characteristic of the sensors not being fixed to the circuit breakers, this PAC system can be used in any circuit breaker on the market, and this facilitates that it can be installed in existing networks, including the oldest ones.
Internet Communication – Multimedidor
The Electric World always seeks to bring the news of the market and today practically everything communicates with the cell phone, this multimeter is no different, these technologies are part of industry 4.0 and the internet of things where everything communicates with the internet. The multimeter system has interaction with applications on both Android and iOS mobile phones, in addition to an internet interface, the applications are free and are found in the application stores.
In the Web Browser, which is the interface over the internet, it is possible to access all measurements that are being made by the sensors and Data Manager individually or even visualization of biphasic or three-phase loads.
It is possible to access data in memory, print reports and even have an estimate of electricity costs, in addition to the comparison between loads and consumption graphs, which are other information that can be found on the Web interface.
All configurations of the multimeter are also made through the web interface or through a configuration software which is Powerconfig, which can be downloaded free of charge.
The readings are stored for up to 1 year, depending on the number of measurements taken. Our multimeter has 1 Gb of internal memory for storage and after that it overwrites the latest readings, starting from the oldest to the most recent ones.
The applications for this type of equipment are the most diverse. It is common to use it in Datacenters, shopping centers, markets, bakeries, banks, industries, residential or commercial buildings that need to manage energy consumption.
It is certainly a more appropriate option to assist in the control and visibility of consumption. For example, a tenant can see on the mobile screen how much energy he consumed in that month, or a tenant in a condominium can find out how much energy he “spent” in that month, and whether he is out of the final consumption of the previous month or not.
For some, it may even seem that this type of technology is far from common, but this is a mistake because possibly that large condo that is close to your home already uses this type of technology, or has a great potential to have this type of equipment.
We live in an incredible world, and accessing energy information from a facility, using just a cell phone, is already possible. Digitization has even reached our home’s electrical network. The more you know about these new technologies, the greater your chances of standing out in the job market. In this video from the