Diagnosing energy draining devices

I have been having good luck in helping my commercial and industrial customers reduce energy consumption by conducting portable energy
audits to track down energy draining devices. As a first step I connect the clamps and leads of my Fluke 434 power quality analyzer and select energy from the menu to measure measure the average watts of the equipment that I am suspicious of. Then I convert the average watts reading to watt-hours by multiplying by the amount of time over which the average was measured. This technique for measuring real power consumption (kWh) can also be applied to apparent power (kVA) and reactive power (kVAR) by setting the power meter to measure the running average kVA and kVAR and multiplying by the recording time.
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oatmealrunner wrote:

Around the house, I've used a Kill-a-Watt for the same purpose. I suspect it's cheaper than the Fluke.
daestrom
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daestrom wrote:

I have one of those, they are a LOT cheaper than a Fluke. They're not as good, but for home use they're plenty good enough.
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On Mon, 31 Aug 2009 21:17:12 -0700, James Sweet

Fluke power/energy meter? I suppose, but they must be a rarity.
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krw wrote:

Sure, Fluke makes them, IIRC they start at around $1200 though. Kill A Watt is closer to $20. Completely different class of instrument here. It's like comparing a $300 PC with a $20,000 server.
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On Mon, 31 Aug 2009 21:41:18 -0700, James Sweet

Kill-A-Watts work (mine is actually a "Power Angel" - same thing). I can't imagine a Fluke working 60x better. ;-)
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--
wrote:

The key thing is what the meter at the service entrance measures-You can, in theory, shut off everything in the house, except the suspect item - but if you are married and/or have children- forget that approach- and time x revolutions of the meter -using the KWh multiplier on the meter to calculate the drain. Cheaper than a Kill-a Watt but it is more accurately related to what you are paying for. The cost is increased marital/ sibling discord.
--
Don Kelly
snipped-for-privacy@shawcross.ca
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Come on! A Kill-A-Watt is all of $30. It's accurate enough.
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>The key thing is what the meter at the service entrance measures-You >can, in theory, shut off everything in the house, except the suspect >item - but if you are married and/or have children- forget that >approach- and time x revolutions of the meter -using the KWh multiplier >on the meter to calculate the drain. Cheaper than a Kill-a Watt but it >is more accurately related to what you are paying for. The cost is >increased marital/ sibling discord. >
Why on earth would anyone go through that much trouble when there exists a $20 device that you can simply plug in with the appliance in question and let it do its thing?
Would you shut off every other circuit in your house for 24 hours in order to see how much power the refrigerator uses in a day, or through an entire cycle of the washing machine, or an evening of TV watching or...
Many things use a variable amount of power, the KAW and clones are great for determining the real world consumption given your own usage pattern. In addition to cumulative kWH they tell you not only Watts, but VA and power factor which makes them useful as an actual instrument.
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Well Don, you're certainly right that the only meter that really counts is the one used to calculate your bill :-)
But the Kill-A-Watt is a nice tool for 'poking around the house' and seeing what's going on.
Much like cheap RS multimeters. Wouldn't use one to calibrate a nuclear instrument, but troubleshooting something around the house, they're fine.
daestrom
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krw wrote:

Well true to my analogy, I doubt the average home user would notice $19,700 difference between their low end PC and a high end enterprise server.
The Kill A Watt is indeed an impressive performer, especially for such a low cost consumer device.
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