Power-Mate: Plug-In Power Usage MeterA range of highly accurate & simple to use power consumption meters made in Australia
Power-Mate for Power measurement
Power-Mate is an accurate mains power meter that simply plugs into your power point, giving you instant measurements of what it’s costing to run your appliances. Ideal for saving power in the office, workshop and home – the money you can save on electricity will easily pay back the cost of a PowerMate.
The Power-Mate and Power-Mate Lite are ideal for short-term measurement, such as a few hours or days, but they also work very well for longer term power measurement. The Australian made Power-Mate range empowers you to discover the real running costs of your equipment and appliances. Accurate enough to measure tiny standby currents down to 1mA – rugged enough to withstand daily use.
Power-Mate 10A / 15A Model Quick Comparison
All models – Key feature: very good accuracy, even down to very low power measurements. Note that most cheap overseas made units have very poor accuracy at low power levels.
|10A max||10A piggy back plug||Low cost, full featured and good accuracy. Not rugged. Consumer/Domestic use.|
|10A max||10A piggy back plug||Rugged for professional/trade use. Full featured, good accuracy.|
Power-Mate 10A Heavy Duty
|15A max (short bursts), 10A continuous||10A piggy back plug||Good for measuring inrush currents or short bursts of high power. Rugged for professional/trade use. Full featured, good accuracy.|
Power-Mate 10A Heavy Duty Serial
|15A max (short bursts), 10A continuous||10A piggy back plug||Same as PM10AHD but with serial port & USB cable, you can log data into a PC. Requires PC to be connected all the time to actually log the data.|
|15A max||15A plug and 15A socket (15A plug won’t fit into standard 10A power outlets)||Suits high powered devices that have a 15A plug, like air conditioners, server racks, pumps. Rugged for professional/trade use. Full featured, good accuracy.|
Power-Mate Lite – simple, accurate & low cost
Power Mate Lite – Low cost digital power meter
For home or small office use. Designed for busy households, you simply input your kilowatt-hour rate shown on your last energy bill and you are ready to start measuring your home appliances.
The Power-Mate has been a very popular meter over the years but it is out of the price range of many people. The manufacturer has addressed this problem with the Power-Mate Lite, their new meter aimed specifically at the domestic market.
- A multi line backlit LCD display
- Intuitive three-button operation
- Simplified menus
- Excellent accuracy (similar to the professional Power-Mate) and
- Non-volatile memory, so the meter resumes after a power interruption without loss of data.
As well as instantaneous power, it displays energy used and the cost per hour, quarter and year, greenhouse gas production and some more technical figures such as power-factor, frequency and VA (volt-amperes).
You can also start and stop (or pause) a measurement period.
The meter also has preset measurement period timer choices of 1, 8, 12, and 24 hours and 2, 5, 7, 14, and 28 days.
Even better, unwanted display screens can be suppressed from view.
The Power-Mate Lite will display up to 10 amps of load, meaning it can measure all common loads in the average home or small office.
Accuracy error for all ranges is better than 2%, (typical accuracy is better than 1%)
Dimensions: 110 x 76 x 25 (without lead)
PML10A-P2Y Power-Mate Lite With Extended Warranty:
includes Power-Mate Lite, and 2 year extended warranty: $141+GST (07/2021)
PML10A Power-Mate Lite (standard warranty only): $126+GST
Power-Mate 10A & 15A – Rugged and accurate for frequent use
Power-Mate 10A Range
Power-Mate PM10A and PM10AHD – Rugged 10A power meters.
Power-Mate Serial PM10AHDS – With serial port, for data logging to a connected PC. Price guide: $186 – $392 (ex GST)
PM10A is the base model appliance power meter rated to 10A. With a simple piggy back 10A plug and a clear LED display, it couldn’t be easier to measure the power usage of your appliances.
PM10AHD (Heavy Duty) is the same as PM10A but internally its circuitry is rated to 15A, so it can cope with high inrush currents and temporary overloads. Ideal for monitoring power hungry appliances like heaters and pumps.
PM10AHDS (Heavy Duty Serial) is the heavy duty model plus it has a serial port and Windows software. This can do data logging, by keeping a computer attached all the time, to receive the power measurements from the instrument. The software saves the measurements to a CSV file, which can then be opened using Excel. Note that the PM10AHDS does not have recording memory inside it, so it needs a PC to be connected constantly in order to record the measurements over time. A USB to serial converter can be used if your PC doesn’t have a serial port.
To start saving energy, use your Power-Mate to monitor various appliances & equipment around the premises one by one, leaving the unit connected for a few days to 1 week on each piece of equipment. The data that’s collected will tell you the power usage over time. You can then calculate the cost of running each appliance. Armed with this vital information you can change the way you use your appliance, or upgrade your appliance, to minimise your power usage.
- The world’s most accurate, portable energy usage meter
- Suitable for small offices and businesses, or for libraries to lend to the public
- Ideal for the energy use professional, energy auditors, contractors and installers
- Displays power use in Watts, Dollars, Carbon
- Instantly displays calculated power use over Day, Month, Year
- Flying lead allows use in difficult locations
- Accurately measures very low energy (0.01W) – unlike almost all other products
Models with 2 year extended warranty:
PM10A-P2Y Power-Mate 10A With Extended Warranty,
includes: Power-Mate 10A, and extended 2 year warranty: $201+GST (07/2021)
PM10AHD-P2Y Power-Mate 10A Heavy Duty With Extended Warranty,
includes: Power-Mate 10A Heavy Duty, and extended 2 year warranty: $256+GST
PM10AHDS-P2Y Power-Mate 10A Heavy Duty Serial With Extended Warranty,
includes: Power-Mate 10A Heavy Duty Serial with RS-232 interface and software, storage pouch, and extended 2 year warranty: $392+GST
Base models with standard 1 year warranty:
PM10A Power-Mate 10A unit only, with 12 month warranty: $186+GST (07/2021)
PM10AHD Power-Mate 10A Heavy Duty unit only, with 12 month warranty: $237+GST
PM10AHDS Power-Mate 10A Heavy Duty Serial, with 12 month warranty, RS-232 cable and software: $363+GST
The Power-Mate 15A has a 15 amp plug and socket on separate cables from the unit, with wider earth pins.
Hence it is not compatible with standard 10A power points.
In addition to the POWER-MATE™ features, the PM15A accurately measures sustained energy use in 15A applications. e.g. ovens, water pumps, air conditioners, computer server rooms and electrical motors where the current is up to 15A continuous.
It also measures inrush currents of electrical items like electrical motors and water pumps, where the inrush currents can exceed 15A.
- The worlds most accurate, portable energy use meter
- Displays power use in Watts, Dollars, Carbon
- Instantly displays power use over Day, Month, Year
- Flying leads allows use in difficult locations
- Accurately measure very low energy (0.01W)
PM15A-P2Y Power-Mate 15A With Extended Warranty,
includes: Power-Mate 15A, and extended 2 year warranty: $272+GST (07/2021)
PM15A Power-Mate 15A unit only (1 year warranty): $252+GST
More Details of Power-Mate
The Power-Mate range lets you measure:
Watts – Volts – Amps, Cost & Cost/Hr, Cost/Qtr, Cost/Yr, Energy Greenhouse-Gas generation – Run Time
In these days of occupational health and safety, safety awareness and litigation re unsafe work-practices, the Power-Mate fills another important role.
Appliance technicians, whether they work on TVs, toasters or instruments and electricians are renown for the dangerous practice of attaching 3 alligator clips to a 3 pin plug in order to place a multimeter into the circuit to check current consumption or applied voltage whilst the unit is running.
With a Power-Mate this is totally unnecessary as these measurements can be safely and simply displayed.
The Power-Mate accurately covers the range of loads from 100mW to 2.4kW, or currents from 1mA to 10 Amps. With the units Max and Min feature, start up and surge currents of electrical items are automatically captured for display.
Larger picture (opens in a new tab or window)
The Power-Mate has several main menu modes;
- Instantaneous Volts, Current, Power, Energy, Cost, Greenhouse Gas and Elapsed Time.
- When in these main modes extra information is available from 3 other colour-coded buttons.
- Whilst in Volts, Current and Power modes, the maximum and minimum values can be displayed.
- When in the Cost, Energy and Greenhouse Gas modes, the hourly, quarterly and yearly amounts can be displayed.
It’s last measurement is kept in memory if the unit is disconnected from the power. When re-connected, it will continue measuring from where it last left off. To start a new measurement, the memory must be cleared via the menu (using the buttons on the front).
|The Power-Mate will accurately measure & calculate to display the following information:|
|Greenhouse Gas||Gas/actual produced||Gas prod./hour||Gas prod./quarter||Gas prod./year|
|The Power-Mate does not use batteries; it uses a small amount of power (0.5W) from the outlet it is plugged into.
The Power-Mate has a maximum capacity of 10 Amps or 2.4 kilowatts
Accuracy spec. is 1%, typically accuracy is better than 0.5%.
Each time the “Mode” key is pressed, the Power-Mate will advance to the next mode. The modes are Power, Cost, Energy, G-Gas, Volts and Amps (CUrr). Extra information is available in each mode by pressing one of the other 3 keys. When in Power, Volts or Amps modes, the Maximum or Minimum values since the test was started can be displayed. In the Energy, Cost or G-Gas modes, hourly quarterly or yearly values can be displayed.
The last two modes are “CLEAR?” and “SETUP?”.
When Clear is selected, pressing the “Enter” key clears the totals for time, cost, energy and G-Gas.
When Setup is selected, pressing the “Enter” key allows entry of the unit cost for energy (cents/kilo-Watt-hour), and the ratio of energy to G-Gas emission (1.2kg per kWh is a commonly accepted value).
Some appliances (such as mobile phone chargers) consume a very small amount of energy. In the Cost mode it could take many hours before even 1 cent has registered. When checking low power items, the Power-Mate’s display of cents to four digits is very useful and gives confidence that the Power-Mate is measuring.
When measuring low power items (say less than 5 watts) to calculate quarterly or yearly running cost, greater accuracy can be achieved by measuring the consumption for 24 hours. The Cost function will then display the actual cost in dollars and cents to four decimal places. Multiplying the 24- hour result by either 91 or 364 will yield an accurate cost/quarter or cost/year.
Power, Energy, etc:
Energy is the amount of power that flows during a given time.
Power is basically, voltage x current, however, due to various factors, just multiplying AC voltage and AC current together does not give the correct power that is flowing.
Allowance needs to be made for the following:
Power factor (the phase angle between the voltage and current waveform), and Wave distortion caused by, for example, rectification to DC, or switching mode power supplies (which alter the waveforms of current & voltage).
The Power-Mate calculates the power usage thousands of times in each second, and integrates these to achieve very realistic and accurate measurements. Power-factor and wave distortion is therefore taken into account in the result. All calculations (per hour / per quarter / per year) are based on historical data and are not just snapshot values.
The Power-Mate displays energy as kiloWatt-hours, the same units used by electricity utility companies. The supply voltage for Australian households is 230V AC, although it is commonly referred to using the older term of 240V.
When the power utility produces Energy, a side effect is the production of Greenhouse Gases (G-Gas) which is mainly
Carbon Dioxide (CO2). The ratio of Energy produced to the amount of CO2 gas created varies between different generator fuel sources: Coal, Diesel or Natural Gas. If the ratio of Energy to G-Gas is entered into the Power-Mate, it can display the amount of G-Gas that is created by the energy use of an appliance. The accepted value of greenhouse gas liberated per kilo-Watt-hour, for a fossil-fuelled electricity generator is 1.2kg per 1kWh.
Other Features of the Power-Mate:
When in Volts or Amps (CUrr) mode, the Power-Mate will display the maximum and minimum voltages or currents recorded whilst in use. Both of these modes are very handy aids for service technicians. The Voltage max and min feature can be used to determine the quality of voltage from the power outlet; a load does not need to be connected for this purpose.
Cost & Cost Hr
Cost Qtr, Yr
|0 – 2,500.0 W
0 – $99.9999
0 – $9999.99
0 – 999.999 kWh
0 – 999.999 kg
99Hr, 59Min, 59Sec
170.0 – 270.0V RMS
00.000 – 10.000A RMS
Accuracy for all ranges is better than 1%, (typical accuracy is below 0.5%)
Data Sheet on Power-Mate range (pdf, opens in a new tab)
Data Sheet on Power-Mate (pdf, opens in a new tab)
User Manual, 10A version (pdf, opens in a new tab)
Energy Auditors Guide (pdf, opens in a new tab)
Standard Warranty: 12 months
Failsafe design ensures safety of the operator and appliance at all times, for both 10A and 15A versions.
Comments from the engineer who developed the Power-Mate products:
- PM10AHDS Power-Mate needs a serial port on the PC – or a USB port with a USB-serial adaptor.
- The serial Power-Mate maintains incredible accuracy and resolution to sub 10mW levels.
- With the supplied software the unit is capable of measuring power & calculating Energy cost down to ~10c per year or about .001 of a cent per hour.
- I am not aware of any cost energy meter in the world regardless of price that can offer performance like this – short of purchasing a full-on energy analyser – which is what we use to calibrate our unit.
- The software provides a heap of information as comma separated values that can easily be drawn into a database or spreadsheet program.
- There is volts(rms), amps(rms) true watts, apparent watts, power factor, energy etc.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions about Power-Mate
1. Why does the Power-Mate show a lower power reading than the multiplication of volts and current?
If you wish to know the apparent power (VA), simply multiply the RMS Voltage by the RMS current readings.
For a purely resistive load the results between true and apparent powers should be identical. For a capacitive or inductive load the apparent power will be higher than the real power – because of the phase difference between voltage and current.
To calculate power factor, simply divide the true power by the apparent power. You can also then calculate the phase angle if you wish.
When resistive loads are on the mains, I x E x pf = W (assume E = 240V, I = 10A, power factor pf = 1), therefore W=2400
When reactive loads are present, pf is not equal to one, Irms x Erms = VA (Apparent Power) assume E=240V, I = 20A, VA=4800
BUT we must take Power-Factor into account so although the apparent power is 4.8kW, due to say a pf = 0.5 the true power consumed would be actually half or 2400W, which is the same wattage as the first example with only 10A flowing ie. 240V x 20A x 0.5 = 2400W.
In the second case, the electricity company still has to supply the 20A of current, although 10A of the 20A current is actually consumed by the load, the other 10A is circulating current which is flowing through the energy suppliers conductors, mains transformers etc.
Because this extra current flows to the load and then returns from the load back to the mains supply, the supplier can’t charge for extra power as it was not consumed, it was supplied and then partly returned. The energy suppliers hate this because they have to generate the higher current required in the first place, and send extra current through their distribution system, transformers etc causing losses heat & stress etc. but they can’t actually charge for it so instead they charge a penalty rate (in other words they find a way to charge you for it !) due to the consumers poor power factor. I understand this does not apply to small domestic consumers yet, but does apply to larger industries.
Click here for more information on Power Factor. (Wikipedia, opens in a new tab)
2. Why does the Power-Mate show a lower current reading than the specification plate of the appliance?
3. Will the Power-Mate work with a 60Hz line frequency ?
4. Can you please tell me the time it takes for a Power-Mate to read the usage cost of an appliance such as a refrigerator. Is it immediate or does it have to be left connected for a certain time ?
The fridge cycles on and off, the Power-Mate has no way on knowing in advance how long the fridge will run for, as the ambient temperature, number of times the door is opened, the heat load of items put into the fridge or freezer, the thermostat setting, the efficiency of the cooling system etc all contribute to the total power used.
If the Power-Mate was connected to a fridge during its compressors rest or off state, it would appear as if the fridge cost nothing to run, conversely if the compressor was running when the Power-Mate was first connected, and you checked the quarterly or yearly cost it would indicate a much higher figure than the 24 hour measurement will yield, due to the number of stopped or rest cycles that will occur.
The measurement ideally should be done during winter and again during summer and the results averaged to give a more accurate yearly figure.
From my experience after being connected to a fridge for 6 hours, the results will typically be within 10% of the 24 hour measurement, so estimated quarterly and yearly results may well be accurate enough for your purposes.
5. I need to measure the total energy consumed by a piece of equipment over a short period of time (in the order of a minute).
The Power-Mate resolves & displays to 0.0001 kWh in standard form so it should easily meet & exceed your requirements, the kWh is measured/calculated and updated each second. It is good to see an application that initially sounds difficult, but which exploits to some degree the capabilities that the Power-Mate unit was originally designed for.
Esis Pty Ltd – Specialists in Power-Mate, providing accurate, reliable power monitoring