Current transformer testingMeter testingTesting energy meters

CT Meter Testing Here is What You Should Know

Are you aware that Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist, was the first person to create a steady flow of electrical charge when he made the Voltaic pile (an electric battery)?

However, electricity was discovered and used centuries before that. Ancient texts suggest that Greeks had made the realization that an attraction would form after rubbing fur on amber. As such, they are credited with the discovery of static electricity.

As for the use of electricity, pots with sheets of copper inside, which were meant to produce light at ancient Roman sites, were discovered by archaeologists in 1930. But it was not until the 17th century that significant leaps in harnessing and using electricity were made.

Fast forward to the 21st century and electricity is arguably the most significant aspect of modern life. It is used for cooking, lighting, heating, and powering appliances at home. On an industrial level, electricity facilitates and speeds manufacturing processes.

As useful as electricity is, it can be hazardous if the current is not controlled. Electric power is measured in Watts, of which every thousand make a kilowatt. Different machines require different amounts of current to function.

Role of CT Meters

When it comes to monitoring electrical current or output, current transformers (CTs) are used. These devices ensure that electric current discharged is safe for its intended use.

An additional device called a CT meter is also installed to conduct CT testing for increased accuracy. To ensure that CT meters are always performing at peak levels, electric meter technicians use transformer test instruments to ascertain accuracy levels.

Regular CT meter testing is crucial as it ensures that the current discharged is safe and will not damage equipment or pose a threat to employees as well as help you avoid unnecessary costs.

In addition to having the best transformer test instruments, electric meter technicians must be prepared with CT meter installation as they can be challenging to configure. Read on to find some tips to help you.

Know Phasing

In an electrical system, one line of power is represented by a phase. In most electrical panels, the breakers are powered by multiple phases. For instance, you will find two phases in a 120/240VAC residential panel. These are usually referred to as phase A and phase B.

When doing power calculations, a voltage measurement is multiplied by a current measurement. However, the results will be inaccurate if the current measurement is multiplied by the voltage of a different phase.

As such, for accurate calculations, the current for a phase A breaker must be multiplied by the voltage on phase A and the same principle applied for phase B.

Among your transformer test instruments, you should have a handheld ammeter. This device will make it easy for you to identify the right voltage and current phases during meter testing.

An ammeter helps you check the voltage difference between lugs on the main breaker and at the current transformer. You will know they are in phase if the difference is zero.

Keep a Record of Everything

It is important to note down information as CT meters can, at times, serve dozens of Current transformers. This information makes your work organized and easier in the future.

Before leaving the site, write down all the relevant information. This includes:

  • The model number of CTs.
  • Location information.
  • The position where the CT connects to the meter.
  • Service voltage.

If possible, you should also take pictures with your phone.

Speak with the Network Administrator

If you start working on a system without the knowledge of the administrator, you may end up causing friction between the two of you. Instead, get in touch with your meter manufacturer and request a security whitepaper or a statement with the technical details of the network.

Hand this information to the network administrator before you come for meter testing to allow them to review it.

How Important Is Energy Meter Testing Equipment?

Electric meter technicians play a vital role in institutions. Their level of accuracy can guarantee the safety of employees, the longevity of equipment, and reduce energy costs. As such, the transformer test instruments used must be topnotch.

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November 2019
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