Measuring and monitoring energy consumption using OPC and Siemens technology

May 3, 2011
Using Softing's OPC Server with Siemens PAC 3200 for intelligent energy management can help determine where the “energy guzzlers” are in any industrial automation environment.

Rising energy prices aren’t just a problem for the automotive industry. These days, the management and conservation of energy is of growing concern to manufacturers in all sectors as well as to cities, local authorities and private households.

Intelligent energy management starts with measuring energy consumption to determine where the “energy guzzlers” are in a building or production area and whether certain machines use a particularly large amount of energy.

The SENTRON PAC3200 is a powerful compact power monitoring device that is suitable for use in industrial, government and commercial applications where basic metering and energy monitoring are required. The meter may be used as a stand alone device monitoring over 50 parameters or as part of an industrial control, building automation or global power monitoring system.

The SENTRON PAC3200 provides open communications using Modbus RTU/TCP and PROFIBUS-DP protocols for easy integration into any local or remote monitoring system. In combination with a visualization-program such as WinCC to display and record the data this can become a somewhat expensive solution.

A much simpler and more cost-effective solution for basic metering and energy monitoring are the OPC servers from Softing in combination with an off-the-shelf application like Microsoft Excel or Visual Basic. Softing's dedicated and high-performance OPC Servers for Modbus/TCP and PROFIBUS DP automatically read the desired data cyclically from the PAC3200 and make it available to Excel or Visual Basic, where it can be further processed, graphically displayed, or stored using standard Excel or Visual Basic functions. A graphical representation of consumption data makes it possible to identify areas where energy can be saved and initiate appropriate measures.

Softing's Modbus/TCP and PROFIBUS DP OPC Server offer the following advantages:
• High-Performance: Softing’s OPC Servers benefits from Softing’s unique and proprietary algorithm to optimize the data throughput between the OPC Server and field devices by automatically re-combining Read and Write Requests for optimal performance. This feature renders Softing’s OPC Servers as the best-in-class product in the data throughput category.
• Reliability through automatic connection monitoring
• Convenient use
• Display and evaluation of measurement values in Excel or Visual Basic using the included OPC ActiveX controls
• Use out-of-the-box with preset OPC configuration for PAC3200

Softing's OPC servers are an elegant solution helps to significantly cut costs by utilizing the capability of the OPC servers to communicate with Modbus/TCP or PROFIBUS DP devices from Schneider, Siemens, Wago, Beckhoff, and other manufacturers.

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