Norman Bradshaw tries out the new SPC Pro 2 range of Data Loggers from Elcomponent.
Many of you will be probably wondering: “A Data Logger – is that really for me?” Well, as an electrician, have you ever come across any of the following scenarios?
- Your client has called you up as they have some new equipment coming and your job is to make it happen. What is the site’s current demand? Can it handle the extra load?
- Your client’s electric bill is very high and they want to know: Is it a mistake? What is pulling the extra load?
- Your ‘EICR’ has ﬂagged up that there are some possible load in balance issues and you want to try and balance the phases.
- Your client wants to know what their ‘carbon footprint’ is, and how they can take advantage of some of the government initiative schemes.
All the scenarios mentioned above could be solved in part by the use of a Data Logger. These instruments range from simple load and KW/H readers to complex data recorders which serve as a good pair of eyes for when you are not around.
Like a pro
I had the opportunity to review two such devices from Elcomponent’s SPC Pro 2 range. Both loggers do the same job but the main difference is that one of them has an IP 66 rating so is more suitable for testing under inclement conditions. The loggers come with a set of CT leads with the ability of testing either 230V or 400V. The CT leads are pre-labelled L1, L2, and L3 so there’s no confusion about which one goes where.
The loggers are surprisingly compact, so they can be located either at the origin of the installation or at a suitable point further downstream. They also come with an optional 13amp adaptor for testing individual pieces of equipment. Once set in place you simply hold down the SPC Pro 2 Logger’s ‘Start/Reset’ button, until the device counts down to zero – release it – then logging starts. You can now sit back and let the logger get on with its job.
The SPC Pro 2 also has the ability to monitor and record your installation under test without being plugged into a permanent electrical supply. Once its internal battery is charged the logger runs happily for the duration of its tests.
Another nice touch is the ability to insert a flash drive so you can upload and save your results to your computer as required. To see what you have recorded you need to go to Elcomponent’s site where you can download a ﬁle called ‘Power Pack Pro’ which will allow you to import the date from the ﬂash drive, and then start putting some meat on the bones. The ﬁle is very clear and easy to understand as it can display a range of results for you such as KVA, Power, and Power Factor, Current in Amps, Reactive Power, and KWh.
These can also be displayed using different colours and formats. The SPC Pro 2 will also record the duration of the test, let you know the mean and median values, the time of the maximum value, time of the minimum value, as well as the mean peak ration.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of what this machine can do for your business. It will allow you to give your client an easy to understand overview of what is going on within their installation and can also be used as a tool to help identify tripping issues or in-balances in the phases. The only limits being your skill, knowledge of the instrument and your imagination.
● Very small and versatile
● Can work without being connected to a power supply
● Very easy to set up
● Can be expensive to buy if you don’t do much work in this area
Now, these loggers are expensive pieces of kit and if you buy one you are going to want to get your money’s worth. For those who suspect they won’t need to use one that often, Elcomponent also provide a hiring service so you can choose how long you wish to use the Data Logger allowing you to add another worthy service within your business repertoire without making a large investment.
I hope this review has given you a taste for what Data Loggers can do for you and your client’s business. The main thing it will do is what Elcomponent have as their motto: ‘Making sense of your energy’. If you think you might want to go down this route with your business, why not give them a call?