Industrial Power Monitoring from
CubeRoot Ltd.

Overview Installing Instruments Scripts Logs Utility Tariffs

Power Monitoring Overview

VID (Virtual Instrument Desktop) is an industrial strength control and monitoring system and is used in conjunction with ModBus or NetCommander monitoring hardware. For power monitoring we can use clamp on current transformers (see left) which require no direct electrical connection to the monitored circuit, these do not need to be installed by a qualified electrician. The easiest current transformer to use provides a DC output of 0 to 5 Volts which represents the RMS current flowing in the monitored circuit. The Netcommander measures this voltage and communicates the values to VID over the LAN or even World Wide Web ... hence the VID software can be geographically separated from the monitored plant, or collect data from several sites, and the system provides a real time graphical display of power consumption, whilst maintaining historical data for later analysis. The software has been tested using Windows ® 2000/XP/Vista/7, however, the windows may be rendered slightly differently to those illustrated depending on operating system.

Installing VID

Double click on the file Setup.exe which can be found on the Installation CD (this should auto-start)
You will almost certainly want all the default settings, keep clicking "Next" and finally "Install" to install VID on your computer.

Un-Installing VID

Un-installing is performed by navigating to "Uninstall VID " from the Start Menu or using the "Add/Remove Programs" dialogue from the Control Panel. Any logs or configuration files generated after the installation will not be deleted, if you want to remove these as well simply delete the installation directory (by default C:/Program Files/VID) after the un-install completes .



The instruments available are 270, 180 and 120 degree meters, horizontal and vertical meters, horizontal and vertical bar indicators, a representation of various tanks with varying liquid levels, thermometer, a numeric value indicator and a graph plotter. many power monitoring scenarios are covered in the supplied configurations, these may be used, as is, or modified to suite your application. Instrument characteristics may be changed from the (right click) properties selection panel (left).

Graph Plotter

The Graph Plotter has extra configuration options concerning data logging. By specifying a "log file" for the instrument, chart data is logged to a disk file. There are 60 plotted points to a graph division, so if an hour per division is specified each point represents one minute and an entry is logged every minute. The log scale can be specified from one day per division down to five minutes. Right clicking on a graph brings up the usual properties selection panel with the addition of "logger tool " this produces an historical log analyses tool, this will open with the log file analyses tool, this will allow comparison of historical and current logs to monitor power usage changes over time.


Log Analyses Tool

his form allows the configuration and display of a historical chart of instrument data over time. The start time of the chart can be adjusted with the slider. The graph window is re-sizeable, and multiple graphs can be on-screen at once. An instrument chart can be accessed from the right click instrument properties menu. Two log files can be compared, for example two logs from different weeks, only one channel of the (up to eight channels) in the log files can be compared at once, selected by "Cmp Ch.", "Fill Ch." specifies which channel is made into a solid colour (channel 2, yellow, is selected above), you can also use the "fill Ch." to remind yourself which channel colour is associated with which channel. The dates on the X axis represent the dates for "Log File", the comparison log file data will be synchronized to the same time, but typically a different date. When comparing Weekly logs as above the comparison data will be aligned to the same day of the week, and in the case of Monthly logs, the same day of the Month. Comparing files with no log cycling is fairly meaningless, but will be aligned by time of day. information about a particular plot can be had by left clicking on the chart and a hint box will pop-up as shown above. The X-Axis time resolution can be changed, if the time period is longer than the recorder time period data will be averaged between plots, where the specified time resolution is shorter, the data will be interpolated between plots. the chart can be dragged to the left or right to change the time period (sufficient data permitting) use the down arrows to access the calender for dates, highlight the hours/minutes and use the up and down arrows or directly edit the time. "Excel Chart" and "Excel Log" allow the export of .csv Microsoft Excel spreadsheet data for the chart or the entire log respectively. Note the Chart Plot Information box, this pops up when clicking on any chart whether live or recorded and displays the values and any annotations at the cursor position (highlighted vertical yellow line). The log files must be of .clg file extension or a zipped log file in which case the ".clg" is replaced by ".zip", by their nature log files contain many repeated elements and are so eminently compressible! The "Zip?" buttons allow a outdated log to be converted to compressed zip format, you cannot zip an "in date"active log file.
The "Histogram" checkbox, when checked, causes the chart to be displayed as a histogram, averaging the values over each division as in the clip (right), (hint) set 1 hour per div, then the Histogram bar heights will be "units"/Hour. The chart total "units"/Hour is also displayed top left, this only has a meaning for charts showing consumption rates ir power, gas flow etc. The "Tariffs" button, invokes the Tariff Tool


Closes the property selection form.


Log Tariff Analyses Tool

Tarrif Dialogue

This tool is for comparing actual utility usage, electricity, water, gas, or any other metered resource, against different suppliers' tariff structures, you can save files describing your own, and alternative suppliers, tariffs. All the data entered into the "Tariff Bands" panel will be saved on clicking "Save Tariff" allowing you to create new tariff files or modify existing ones. The tool will calculate the cost for the selected Tariff structure or can search through all tariffs (.trf files) in the folder specified to find the cheapest supplier for your particular usage pattern. The span of the data to process is initially taken from the underlying chart, you can select different start/end times by clicking on the chart at the appropriate position. The Start/End time selection boxes will be loaded from the chart cursor position with alternate clicks or use the "set start time" check box to specify which to update, alternatively. Remember you can get more data on the chart by reducing the X-Axis resolution. Some tariff files are provided with the VID installation, but these may well be out of date or not appropriate for your application, you should maintain your tariff files from the information on your utility bills.


Power Monitoring Scripts

Var Id Description Units
base+1 instantaneus power phase 1 Watts
base+2 instantaneus power phase 2 Watts
base+3 instantaneus power phase 3 Watts
base+4 day time total energy used phase 1 Watt/Hours
base+5 day time total energy used phase 2 Watt/Hours
base+6 day time total energy used phase 3 Watt/Hours
base+7 night time total energy used phase 1 Watt/Hours
base+8 night time total energy used phase 2 Watt/Hours
base+9 night time total energy used phase 3 Watt/Hours
base+10 Instantaneuos power phase 1 Watts
base+11 Instantaneuos power phase 2 Watts
base+12 Instantaneuos power phase 3 Watts
base+13 Instantaneuos power (combined phases) Watts
base+14 Maximum power demand (combined phases) Watts
base+15 Total energy used (combined phases) Watt/Hours
base+16 Total Cost (combined phases) Pence*
base+17 Minimum phase voltage Volts
base+18 Current phase voltage Volts
base+19 Maximum phase voltage Volts
base+20 Off peak time total energy used phase 1 Watt/Hours
base+21 Off peak time total energy used phase 2 Watt/Hours
base+22 Off peak time total energy used phase 3 Watt/Hours
base+23 Script Data Reset Button N/A**
base+24 Duration of data collection since last reset Seconds

All the pre-configured power monitoring scenarios use VID scripts, these are text files (that can be modified with MS NotePad) which use a programming language similar to "C". The screen shot at the top of this document is a 3 Phase 1000 Amp configuration. The script is associated with the "LED" just to the right of the "PowerMon" Logo. The LED flashes each time the script runs. The script monitors the output of the current transformers, the output of which represents the RMS current flowing in the monitored circuit. The script derives kW, kWh etc. per tariff band and exports the values via the internal variable set as in the table (left). The offset "base" is zero by default but can be changed in copies of the driving script if one instance of VID is required to run more than one power monitoring script. Scripts are provided for 50/100/400/1000 Amp scenarios, with and without voltage transformer support. Single phase examples are also provided which are useful for sub-metering of circuits.

* Monetary units are undefined, but should be in Pence/Euro cents etc.

** This variable is set to one by the Reset button and monitored by the script. The Reset button will zero all the collected stats.

Industrial Power Monitoring from
CubeRoot Ltd.

Overview Installing Instruments Scripts Logs Utility Tariffs