According to the US Department of Energy, plug loads – or energy used by equipment plugged into an outlet – can account for up to 50 percent of a building’s total electrical load. While minimizing plug loads can be an effective energy reduction strategy in buildings, it is often difficult for energy auditors and building management professionals to determine how much energy individual pieces of equipment such as computers, monitors, printers and other devices consume. This, in turn, makes it difficult to prove out the return-on-investment for energy management and control strategies, or even educate building occupants on the impact of equipment shut-down best practices.
To help solve these issues, Onset has announced the HOBO Plug Load Logger, a high-accuracy, easy-to-deploy data logger that measures and records the power and energy consumption of 120V plug loads from office equipment, vending machines, and other devices.
The HOBO Plug Load Logger provides 0.5 percent measurement accuracy with a measurement resolution of 1 watt, making it well suited for building audits where detailed energy use data is required. The logger can measure up to six parameters (True RMS Voltage, True RMS Current, Watts, Watt-hours/Kilowatt-hours, Apparent Power, and Power Factor) to provide a comprehensive plug load profile. And its rugged housing is designed to withstand the rigors of real-world handling, providing reliable performance despite bumps, drops, and use under desks.
The HOBO Plug Load Logger streamlines energy auditing applications in a number of ways. For example, it features an easy-to-view LCD that visually confirms logger operation and battery status, and displays real-time plug load variables without having to connect the logger to a computer to view the information. The logger’s large memory capacity is capable of storing 1.9 million measurements, enabling faster logger intervals for more comprehensive plug load profiles, as well as longer deployment periods between offloads. And the logger’s “meter mode” allows users to quickly get a read on the current energy use of a particular area of interest with zero software setup; this can be very useful for walk-through audits or to identify which equipment is the best candidate for longer-term monitoring.
Once load data has been recorded with the HOBO Plug Load Logger, it can be easily viewed in graph form and analyzed using Onset’s HOBOware graphing and analysis software for Windows and Mac. The software makes data readout hassle-free, provides powerful plotting tools , and enables plug load data sets to be easily combined with data from other types of HOBO data loggers commonly used in building energy audits, including Onset’s HOBO UX90 Occupancy/Light loggers and HOBO UX100 Temperature/Relative Humidity loggers.