Voltech Launches New Power Analyser Software

The Voltech PM1000+ and Voltech’s PMStudio software are ideal for measuring the efficiency of your lighting ballasts, and LED power supplies

In addition you can measure their harmonics to ensure that your circuits are not being strained.

Voltech provides a unique software solution for simultaneous input and output measurements on inverters and calculation of efficiency. Up to six Voltech PM1000+ power analysers can be controlled via USB and GPIB ports

The lighting load for commercial buildings, hospitals, time-share apartment complexes, shopping malls, etc is huge. The energy wasted by ballasts and power supplies is therefore a very important quantity to verify. The imposition of the Carbon Tax will impose an increase of the order of 2 cents per kilowatt-hour thus making the limitation of energy waste through the selection of optimum efficiency lighting components essential.

Efficiency is power out divided by power thus requiring input and output measurement. In a power supply for LEDs, for example—DC power out (complete with ripple)—and AC in with highly distorted current and somewhat distorted voltage, pose a challenge in terms of accurate efficiency measurement. Utilising two PM1000+ power analysers and two universal breakout boxes (Voltech 100-089) as well as the Voltech PMStudio software, a comprehensive set of measurements including

• frequency,
• crest factor for volts and amps
• input power,
• power factor,
• inrush current,
• harmonics,
• DC outputs,

can be combined in clear tabular reports including efficiency calculation.

Harmonics are also a very important efficiency issue. CFLs used domestically, in hospitals, and in retirement villages typically have 80% plus current distortion. Good quality electronic ballasts are at the 20% level but the older types have much higher numbers. Switch mode power supplies (LED drivers) are usually high harmonic contributors.

The Voltech PM1000+ provides a clear, highly readable harmonics bargraph display. The important harmonics to look for are the third and fifth: the third will overload neutrals, and the fifth can cause problems with air conditioners, freezers, fridges, and pool pumps. There can also be malfunctioning of MCBs and even RCDs. Solving the harmonics situation is not easy nor inexpensive—best to limit what devices like power supplies, ballasts, etc contribute.
The Voltech PM1000+ provide highly accurate power measurements to very low power levels and is capable of handling crest factors for both voltage and current of 20 (compare this with most commercially available analysers with maximum crest factor specifications of 3 to 5), and a bandwidth of 450 kHz (for harmonics). These features are essential for SMPS and generally for many other electronic loads such as PWM dimmers.
The Voltech PMStudio is available for Windows XP or Windows 7. The software displays waveforms, harmonic bargraphs, as well as numeric data, which can be saved in csv files. Wizards are available for efficiency determinations based on simultaneous power measurements for various power supplies. Software is also available for harmonics and flicker measurement according to IEC 62301 and IEC 61000-3-2/3. For your free copy of PM Studio please contact Westek Electronics on 1800WESTEK or sales@westek.com.au

For further information, please contact:
Westek Electronics Pty Ltd
51 Latitude Boulevard
Thomastown VIC 3074
Phone: 1300 WESTEK
Fax: (03) 9464 1300
Email: info@westek.com.au