Remote Power Monitoring: A Closer Look
Remote monitoring can help you address power quality and reliability issues across multiple locations, saving time and money.
Power quality issues, outages and electrical system problems can lead to costly downtime, equipment damage and loss of critical data. Facilities use power monitoring systems to track equipment conditions and power status in real-time and collect historical data. This information provides valuable insights that can be used to increase reliability, improve power quality and reduce maintenance and operating costs.
Organizations with multiple locations should consider remote power monitoring technologies. Remote monitoring can help integrate data among various locations to ensure that equipment is operating properly while reducing staff and travel time, as well as travel costs.
What remote monitoring can do
Remote monitoring can be used in a variety of applications, such as power quality analysis, peak demand reduction, power factor control and circuit optimization. You can evaluate and compare utility rate structures, schedule predictive and corrective maintenance based on trends, and troubleshoot problems to avoid repeat interruptions.
For organizations with data networks, power monitoring systems can carry out these important functions:
- Detailed monitoring of the power supply to detect spikes, brownouts, sags and other variations.
- Controlled shutdowns of critical equipment, including selected load segments of a network that need to run longer.
- Maintenance checks of UPS equipment, including status of batteries and readiness of the equipment to take over during an outage.
- Recording of events so that a pattern of power problems can be established.
- Automatically alerting those responsible for the network whenever power problems arise.
How remote monitoring works
Power monitoring systems typically consist of a communications network, smart metering devices, protective relays, circuit breaker units and motor starters. The communications network can be an installed software platform or online, enabling real-time power system monitoring of multiple sites from a central location. If new communications devices are required, legacy equipment may need to be retrofitted with smart breakers, power monitors, transformer temperature monitors and other intelligent devices.
In a typical scenario, a facility may need to reduce peak demand without interrupting operations while maintaining good power quality. A remote monitoring system can track a variety of loads, including electrical mains, breakers and process equipment, as well as selected critical feeders. Examples of these include data centers, where it's critical to keep servers and air conditioning running, and manufacturing, where it pays to monitor for process control.
In certain situations, it may be a good idea to monitor transformers or generators, or motor temperature levels if overload conditions are likely. Facilities can also track HVAC systems, selected lighting loads or production processes by monitoring their supply breakers.
How remote monitoring can benefit your organization
Remote power monitoring and control enables the exchange of critical information across organizational boundaries through easily accessible channels and consolidates resources from multiple locations. This advanced technology not only helps you increase power reliability and improve power quality, but it saves you time and money as well by eliminating the need to staff multiple sites and travel between them.