A power monitor, or electricity meter, is a device that is primarily used for measuring the energy consumption of a household, business or an individual appliance. Electricity meters typically use the kilowatt hour as its unit of measurement. These devices may be installed by the consumer or a utility.
How Do They Work?
Modern electricity meters operate continuously to give an accurate measurement of instantaneous voltage and current. It calculates the product of the voltage and current to come up with the total instantaneous output. That figure is then integrated with the factor of time to find the final energy consumption figure.
What are the Different Types?
There are two basic types, or classifications, of meters. The most common is the electromechanical meter, which was invented in 1888 by Elihu Thomson. Its operation is rather uncomplicated, involving a simple calculation of how many revolutions an aluminum disc inside the meter actually makes. The rotation of the disc is proportional to the speed of the power used. The second type is the solid-state meter. This device is equipped with an LCD that displays the electricity usage. It is also able to record several other parameters.
What are Their Different Uses?
Other than simply measuring the energy consumption of a home or appliance, electricity meters also have other functions. For instance, if a household or business wants to cut down on electricity costs, they can refer to these devices periodically to identify which appliances use the most electricity. Some households even use individual electricity monitors for each one appliance they have in their home.
Meters are also used to check if an appliance is as energy-efficient as its manufacturer claims it to be. Energy monitors can also determine what time of day electricity is used the most.
Who uses These Devices?
Utilities use a customer's power monitor as a basis for the customer's bill. Typical monitors have the basic feature of logging the amount of electricity a home or office is consuming. Utilities then send meter readers to an address to record and interpret the amount of kilowatt hours of electricity the address has used.
On the other hand, there are also monitors that are able to send usage details and other relevant information to the utility remotely. Time and usage statistics supplied by these devices are essential for energy plants, and are used for the purposes of output management and billing. The end consumers, like households and business enterprises, also use these meters to monitor their electricity usage, as well as for an assortment of other purposes.