Speed and accuracy. The speed with which voltage output can be varied and current be measured affects the total output capacity, especially for a large production system. Some power supplies are provided with test extensions that provide high-speed reading with good accuracy, especially for viewing high-speed transient or pulse events.
Buying a power sensor
As mentioned earlier, a high-end power meter generally has an external power sensor associated with it. Due to the large variance in product offerings and specifications, a detailed comparison is the best way to evaluate power sensors before making a purchase decision. Listed below are some of the factors to consider while buying a power sensor.
1. Basic factors like frequency range, power range, dynamic range, accuracy and speed of measurement required for the potential application(s)
2. Type of power to be measured—continuous wave (CW), average or peak power
3. Pulse width, pulse repetition interval (PRI) and other pulse parameters requirement in case of pulse signals
4. Internal zero and calibration support
5. Voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) specification
6. Triggering modes
7. PC-connectivity software and tools
Boosting efficiency and clean energy
We are seeing several initiatives across the globe with an aim to use power more efficiently—the ‘20-20-20’ goal put forward by the European Union (EU) to reduce the present primary energy consumption by 20 per cent by the year 2020, and the transition of places like Djibouti, Tuvalu and many parts of Germany into 100 per cent energy-efficient regions, to name a few. This drive for a new, stable and affordable energy landscape, along with the changing policies, has opened up immense possibilities for the near future and has compelled many big players in the test and measurement industry to join the power sector. With such enormous trends happening in the industry, we can expect more innovations and breakthroughs in power measurement sector.
The authors are from EFY Bengaluru