Measuring electric power consumption of mechanical and lighting equipment is a useful method to establish energy consumption, verify energy savings from a project, or determine the electric load on distribution panels and transformers in commercial buildings. The Tool Lending Library at the Smart Buildings Center in Seattle Washington has portable power meters from Fluke and Dent Instruments that are simple to use and provide a wealth of data for electric energy consumption and load studies.  These instruments are available for loan free of charge to building owners, electrical contractors, and energy service providers in Washington and Oregon. If you aren’t located in OR or WA, check with your local utility as libraries are also available in California, Idaho, New York and other locations throughout the US.

FLUKE 1730 Energy Logger

The Fluke 1730 Energy Logger provides a simple method to measure and log energy use of single and three phase electrical equipment and systems. The integral color display provides a convenient method to perform in-the-field analysis and data checks.  The logger can be powered by an integral battery pack for short term studies up to 4 hours. For longer term studies, the logger can be powered directly by the measured circuit.  More than 20 separate logging sessions can be stored on the instrument. All measured values are automatically logged and can be reviewed during logging and before downloading for on-the-go analysis.

The Fluke 1730 Energy Logger includes flat cables for reference voltage and 10-inch flexible rocoil type current transducers rated at a maximum of 1500 amps up to 600 volts. The logger includes a USB port for downloading the energy data for analysis using the Fluke Energy Analyze software. The data can also be exported for use in spreadsheet programs for further analysis.

Fluke 1730 Energy Logger with voltage cables, rocoils and carrying case
Photo courtesy of the Smart Buildings Center


The Dent Instruments ELITEpro XC is a complete solution for pinpointing electrical usage and quantifying energy usage. It is capable of measuring, storing, and analyzing electrical consumption data which is derived from the voltage and current inputs. These meters can capture kWh/kW energy and demand data as well as virtually all relevant energy parameters for diagnostics and monitoring on three-phase and single-phase circuits. The meter’s fast sampling rate allows for real-time display of voltage, current waveforms and harmonics.

The portable meter measures up to four channels of energy metrics with currents ranging from 0-6,000 amps. The meter also has the capability of recording analog data with a configurable input range for voltage (0-10 VDC) or current transducers (0-20 or 4-20 Ma). These analog inputs are used for process or environmental correlation studies with power.

The meter is easily configured using ELOG software. A Setup Table is the file that programs the logger for the project. When the Setup File is sent to the logger the meter is ready for deployment. The meter is powered directly from the phases of the service being measured. Measurements are stored in on-board memory which allows for long term logging sessions. The Tool Lending Library has a wide range of current transducers (CT’s) for use with the ELITEpro XC. These include 25 and 50-amp split core, 150-amp clamp-on, and 16” to 36” rocoils rated at 5-5000 Amps. At the end of the project you connect the meter to a computer with ELOG software and download the data file. Analyze the data and create graphs with ELOG or export the data file for use in spreadsheet programs.

Dent Instruments ELITEpro XC with voltage cables, available current transducers and carrying case.
Photo courtesy of the Smart Buildings Center

This article was written by Duane Lewellen- BOC instructor and Senior Project Manager-Tool Lending Library at the Smart Buildings Center

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