Graphical harmonic analyser for in-depth power waveform inspection

August 11, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Vitrek Corporation’s (San Diego) PA900 Precision Power Analyser is positioned as the first of a new class of affordable graphical power analysers.

Available via TTid, the PA900 integrates a high accuracy, wideband waveform digitiser with computational capability, a large hi-resolution display and a touch-screen user interface yielding, say its makers, confidence in the integrity of power measurement results. The unit’s intuitive touch-screen operation, with built-in data history, scope mode and waveform zoom allows users to explore many aspects of power measurement in greater detail than traditional power analysers.

The PA900 delivers waveform visualisation and measurement results necessary to validate the performance of power critical designs - such as LED lighting, solar power inverters, electric vehicles and aviation power distribution.

Paul Withers, pioneer in the use of DSP technology for power measurement and chief engineer at Vitrek, noted, “To gain an in-depth knowledge of the power consumption characteristics of their designs, engineers need to capture power signals with higher resolution, greater bandwidth and better accuracy than traditional power analysers can provide."

To meet a large variety of power measurement requirements, the PA900 can be fitted with three different types of channel cards. The A type is a precision 24-bit digitiser capable of capturing waveforms up to 1 MHz; the S type is an economical 22-bit 1 MHz version; and the W type is a wideband channel card offering 5 MHz bandwidth with 22 bits of resolution. Up to four cards can be fitted.

The heart of the PA900 is a 7-in. hi-resolution colour LCD with an intuitive touch interface that allows the user to view waveforms alongside standard or custom measurement data screens. The standard power data screen simultaneous displays V, A, W, VA, VAR, PF and more for selected channels.

The PA900 features a front panel located USB flash drive port for data logging test results, capturing waveform screen shots and for downloading customised power measurement screens. 2 GB of internal memory allows for high speed data logging without the need for an external drive. Standard Ethernet, high speed serial and USB