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Products4Automation (P4A) has launched a low-cost power monitoring system that can be programmed to collect data from external devices, centrally monitoring all types of energy-intensive operations.

The power monitoring system helps to determine areas where savings can be achieved.

It can be programmed to identify 15-20 per cent annual energy savings, which, according to energy industry estimates, are available by reducing the costs of lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and the operation of plant and machinery.

The power monitoring system is based upon P4A’s low-cost Monitouch range of flat-panel, programmable human-machine interfaces (HMIs).

Offering Scada-like performance at HMI prices, the Monitouch range is capable of interfacing to a range of external devices.

It can also provide multiple screens, depicting all aspects of power monitoring.

Finally, it delivers data logging in CSV format.

With the Monitouch-based system, it is possible to monitor values from up to 31 distributed nodes (power monitors), such as power, voltage, current and power factor.

These values can then be logged at user-defined intervals and saved in the CSV format.

This data can be saved to an Excel spreadsheet on a PC by saving it on a CF card or a USB memory stick.

The Monitouch provides three levels of screen imaging, starting with Simplified Power monitoring graphs, which plot simulated demand expectancy, based on current power values, and which display accumulated power values.

The second level is Batch Monitor; this shows measured values from multiple power monitors at a glance.

The third and final level, Accumulated Power Monitor, shows accumulated power data for each month, displayed as a bar graph.

Paul Hurst, managing director of P4A, said: ‘If you can measure your energy usage, then you can effectively manage it and reduce costs.

‘Usually, though, the investment that has to be made in energy management systems to obtain this data is really quite high.

‘In contrast, the initial investment with our system need not be expensive.

‘That’s because the modular nature of our power monitoring system means that users can start with a single centralised Monitouch and just a few nodes.

‘This pilot package will be enough to enable users to prove the value of the system by obtaining a picture of their energy usage.

‘Once this is achieved, the ability of our system to expand seamlessly means that new nodes can be added as required, bringing all energy-consuming activities under the umbrella of one centralised, easy-to-use system,’ he added.

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