Any energy meter has a pulse output option. The pulse output could be optical – a blinking diode (flashing led) used for calibrating the unit or electrical (so-called S0) pulse output.
Any energy meter has, the flashing led. Next to the led typically, you will see how many blinks are equal to a certain amount of energy.
For example in that picture 1000 blinks of the led are equal to 1 kWh.
S0 pulse outputs
S0 pulse outputs are also quite common. Typically, they are galvanically separated pulses produced by an option in the energy meter.
Galvanically separated means that you or the pulse counter that you will connect to the S0 pulse output can’t get some high voltage from the meter.
On the example above you have a 3 phase energy meter with S0 forward and reverse pulse outputs.
How do you take pulse from energy meter?
To take a pulse from an energy meter, you need a pulse counter data logger.
ThingsLog energy metering data logger can count S0 pulses or pulses generated by flashing LEDs.
For the first type of pulses, you can just directly connect the pulse output to the pulse input ports of the data loggers. For the second you will need an adaptor to convert led flashes into electrical pulses.
That method is always a bit riskier since most of the energy meters are not created in mind for putting such an adaptor there. Typically people place it with double-sided adhesive tape.
So as a final piece of advice if you are looking for correct pulse counting from an energy meter always buy such one with build-in S0 pulse output. If you need pulse counting in both directions, get such that have forward and reverse S0 pulse outputs.
How does energy monitoring look like?
In ThingsLog you will get an energy consumption profile that will look like this.
The graph above is called consumption profile and from it, you may reason for your daily energy consumption pattern. For example, to determine your minimum nightly consumption, how much any of your largest consumers add to the bill, and more.
Why pulse energy metering is important?
Pulse energy metering is the base and most universal method for energy monitoring. It allows energy data acquisition from almost any energy meter.
How can I do it?
If you have an existing energy meter the easiest option is to get an energy monitoring data logger with pulse input and to connect the pulse output of the meter to the pulse input of the logger.
Another option is to get directly an energy monitoring dataset that contains a logger, meter, and software for visualization and analysis.
Either approach is good for pretty much anybody from households up to large factories.