Outram Research – a specialist manufacturer of leading-edge power quality analysers – announces the development of four new memory extensions available in the PM3000 Analysers. Outram can now offer the PM3000 with a choice of 8MB, 16MB, 32MB or 64MB integrated memory over and above the standard 1 MB. The larger memory capacities allow more detail to be recorded over longer recording periods. The extended memory will give enhanced profiles of disturbances such as dips, sags, surges and overall harmonic levels, whilst also providing better resolution of phenomena such as Instantaneous Flicker Sensation.

The new extended memory options enhance the capabilities of Outram’s renowned Single Cycle Adaptive Store™ recording regime which eliminates the need to set trigger levels when recording power quality parameters such as voltage, current, harmonics, flicker, unbalance, power factor etc. Adaptive Store intelligently chooses when to record in detail, i.e. during disturbances, using a complex predictive algorithm. It records down to a single cycle without the user needing to set thresholds. Configuration of the unit and analysis of the data is much faster and simpler than with other loggers.

The larger memory capacities allow potentially problematic occurrences to be recorded in more detail for longer with the 64MB version able to record and store data down to single cycle detail for up to at least 2 months at a time, across 16 channels simultaneously.

“Power quality engineers are recording over longer timescales,” said John Outram, managing director of Outram Research. “A seven day period used to be typical, but today recording periods are often 14 days or more, which requires larger capacity power quality analysers to record all observed disturbances in the same detail.”

A key benefit of the increased memory is the ability to observe the relationships between Voltage and Current RMS in more detail, enabling power quality engineers and consultants to determine if problems are caused upstream or downstream of the point of measurement. They can then determine if it is the electricity supply or something in the installation that is the cause of the problem.

“The new memory extensions in the PM3000 analyser enable engineers to identify and resolve problems in less time,” continued John Outram. “The combination of our Single Cycle Adaptive StoreTM technology with larger memory capacity makes troubleshooting 3-phase power quality issues quick and easy in any commercial, industrial or power distribution situation.“

A further example of how this extended memory will help to solve power quality problems more quickly is when measuring Flicker. Flicker is the name given to changing light intensity caused by voltage fluctuations. It is the second most common power quality problem causing both irritation and possible medical consequences to those exposed to its effects.

Where you have a possible source of flicker, e.g. a motor start up, furnace start up or the introduction of a piece of equipment intermittent in its use of current, monitoring and managing its effect on the network is critical to its acceptability. Standard analysers can measure the straight-forward excursion observed on voltage, or flicker averages over 10 min (Short Term Flicker Perceptibility, Pst) or 2 hr (Long Term Flicker Perceptibility, Plt) intervals, but these measurements are not always enough.

There is another parameter – Instantaneous Flicker Sensation, also known as Pfs, which is the very short term assessment of how the (i.e. a model of the) eye and brain respond to flickering incandescent lights. It is the ideal parameter with which to assess the flicker consequences of imposing voltage fluctuation on a network.

Although all of the Outram analysers measuring Flicker give you Instantaneous Flicker Sensation, the extended memory in the PM3000 enables even more detailed recordings than before, giving more visibility to the user. With a more detailed Pfs measurement, closer correlations can be seen between the Flicker and the RMS voltage which produced it, thus enabling the user to pinpoint the cause more easily.

Below is a Detailed Flicker Report. Notice how all four parameters can be viewed together on the same graph for comparison in the Outram software, Pronto for Windows.

Adherence to the Flicker Standard IEC61000-4-15 requires the measurement of Instantaneous Flicker Sensation, yet Outram believe they are the only manufacturer able to record and view it. This is made possible thanks to their Single Cycle Adaptive StoreTM recording regime. Pronto for Windows displays and prints Pfs for the entire length of a recording making it readily available for analysis.

PM3000 Power Quality Analysers with the new 8MB, 16MB, 32MB and 64MB memory extensions are available today from Outram Research and its distributors. Current PM3000 users can also take advantage of the new capabilities as existing PM3000 analysers of recent build can be upgraded to the larger memory capacities.