Introduction

About PowerMonitor #

An open source device designed to continuously monitor the power quality and energy delivered to a load or power circuit.

Energy Monitoring #

With PowerMonitor the energy delivered to a load can be tracked over time, enabling users to understand how and when is this energy used. Parameters such as power (active, reactive and apparent), power factor, energy (active, reactive and apparent) and instantaneous current and voltage, RMS current and voltage, provide deep insights into the type and time distribution of energy consumed, efficiency of the load and any abnormalities that could indicate a fault is or is about to happen.

Power Quality Monitoring #

PowerMonitor constantly analyzes the current and voltage waveforms and computes the harmonic distortions of all the harmonics up to the 40th order. This information is instantly and continuously accessible, such that users can monitor for excess distortions of the voltage and take appropriate action to mitigate the detrimental effects, or monitor for excess distortions of the current used by a load and evaluate if it is still healthy or even if its efficiency is dropping due to age for example.

Safety #

While PowerMonitor is not intended to replace protection devices, it is able to supplement them and provide users with the complete picture of what happened before and after a safety event was triggered. Users can also set up alert triggers on both simple parameter thresholds (such as brown out detection, over current detection, etc.) and on advanced parameters such as harmonic distortion levels, anomalous current and voltage waveforms, etc.

The device itself is designed to withstand transient power events, is powered by a source that can be backed up and does not depend on the measured power circuit to operate, enabling multiple monitoring scenarios and automation.

Ease of Use #

A lot of attention has been given into how PowerMonitor will be deployed and used. With a small footprint of only 2 modules for it’s primary form, and the use of shunts for small to medium nominal current variants, PowerMonitor enables easy deployment of multiple units to monitor multiple circuits/loads. With NFC configuration working without the device powered on, configuration can be performed before installation, making the process simpler.

Data Access #

With 4000 readings per second, PowerMonitor provides a comprehensive set of new data in real time. The main way of accessing this data is via an RS485 link running at up to 2.8MB/s, using the Modbus protocol. Access is provided to all the parameters the device keeps track of and to the actual instantaneous current and voltage values enabling external processing of the full current/voltage waves.

Open Source Hardware #

Since we are focused on highest quality and safety for PowerMonitor, the best way of enabling users to not only trust the device but to also understand how it works is by having it open source, both hardware and software. Anyone can then explore how the device is designed, how it is built and, should they consider it necessary and have the skills, how to modify it to better suit their individual needs.