November 1, 2021

The wattmeter is more common than you imagine and is found everywhere we go, because even if we do not know it, it is immersed in homes, offices, premises, industries, among many other places.

Since its creation, it has become a fundamental pillar for the control of the use of electrical energy, because in simpler terms, it is the one that allows to measure the electrical supply that a device has, which is translated into the electrical consumption that it occupies in the national electricity system.

However, its use does not lie there as it is used in workshops and physical laboratories , for which, it is necessary to know all the benefits that this unique measuring instrument has.

What is a wattmeter?

The wattmeter is nothing more than the union between the potentialities enjoyed by ammeters and voltmeters.

In this case, it is responsible for measuring watts or watts, which has a current determined by a unit of time.

The watts are a power unit , in other scales equivalent to one joule per second, it really means that are very powerful. In addition, they can be used in direct and alternating currents.

It is also known as the name of Wattmeter , because in the English system, the watt is translated as Watts, that is why it is used with both names, depending on how they use it in the place where you are.

In general, it is a very simple instrument to use , that is why you do not have to worry, there are even people who make this instrument at home, to count in their experiments.

What is a wattmeter for?

The Wattmeter is an instrument that is used to measure the electrical power and also the current supply that a certain appliance has.

As it is a fusion of the ammeter and voltmeter , it can determine the difference between the two, in order to later reveal the number of watts per unit of time, which are given to the appliance by either direct or alternating current.

How does a wattmeter work?

The wattmeter works with a system of coils to be able to make the measurement, two of them are fixed and are connected to an electrical circuit in series, these are called amperometric coil.

On the other hand, there is the moving or voltmeter coil , which like a voltmeter is connected in parallel with the circuit.

Each of them will make their respective measurements, then an internal processor will multiply their values , in order to obtain the total power or the number of Watts.

Uses of the Wattmeter

The use of the wattmeter is wide, first on a large scale, it is an essential component in power generators or electrical systems , either local, regional or national.

On a small scale, it can be used as a meter in homes, which is important to determine energy expenditure and thus national companies, budget prices for consumption of it.

It can be used to measure, like a mobile device, the watts consumed by a specific equipment , a circuit or any other device that receives electrical charges.

Types of Wattmeter

The Wattmeter has a wide classification, as it is a simple element that fulfills specific but varied functions, however, what makes the difference is the technological contribution and specialization. The Wattmeter classification is as follows:

  • According to the operating mechanism

It refers to the degree of technology that this type of wattmeter has internally, since one works mechanically, while the other electronically.

Analog Wattmeter

In this case, its internal mechanism has a coil, which when rotating sends signals to the needle, causing it to move according to the intensity of the rotation. The needle system is pointing to a measurement scale, with which you can locate the exact measure that the potential of a given device or electrical system has.

Wattmetro digital

It has the additional ability to store energy , as a way of always keeping the gravitational field active.

This wattmeter, inside it has a system of plates, which receive that potential difference and by another internal system of the wattmeter, transform it into an intensity that will be processed by a microprocessor, in order to obtain an exact amount , which is reflected digitally on a screen.

  • According to the type of current with which they work

Current is always important in an electrical circuit , which is why there is a model for each type or a model for both.

Wattmeter for direct current

This is the primitive model, the one that was used to measure exclusively the direct current that circulated through a certain device.

Wattmeter for alternating current

They are the most recent models and are born from those that use direct current, as you could see in the history of the Wattmeter. This model makes measurements only in alternating current.

Dual function wattmeter

They are the models that are currently used, since most of them have this dual characteristic, that is, they work with both direct and alternating current.

  • According to the type of installation in which it operates

Installations differ according to current inputs and how they can present variations in current flow.

Wattmeter for single-phase connections

This model works when the system is single-phase, that is, the current travels through a single conductor, hence its mono prefix.

Wattmeter for three-phase connections

Based on the previous concept, in this case, it does not travel by a single conductor but by three conductors, therefore, more variations can be presented, which are taken by the wattmeter.

Wattmeter for dual connection

They are a current specialization, where a wattmeter has the ability to act on both single-phase and three-phase current.

As you can see, thanks to the historical bed, these instruments have been able to evolve and specialize in specific tasks , in order to obtain better measurement results.

Characteristics of a Wattmeter

The wattmeter is a simple tool, therefore it does not have an extensive range of features, but the few that it does have summarize the essence of this instrument.

  • It uses three coils to be able to make the measurement of the electrical supply.
  • It works internally with electromagnetic fields.
  • Its unit of measurement is the Watt or Watt , the name differs according to the locality where you are.
  • It is the union of a voltmeter and an ammeter.
  • It can be used in any appliance that has a constant power supply.

The wattmeter is an element that is worth delving into, because there is still much to discover, in terms of operation, specialization and application.

Importance of the Wattmeter

The wattmeter is a transcendental instrument in the electrical world, as it promotes the strengthening of research in the area of ​​physics and electricity in general.

In addition, that it is present in the daily life of all the people of the planet, since it is at any point where electricity is generated, distributed and supplied, it must have the control of a Wattmeter.

From there, derives the relevance of this instrument, as a control, measurement and security agent , since it provides the person with the necessary information to carry out any of these procedures.

History of the Wattmeter

The beginnings of the Wattmeter dates back to the 19th century, when JB Fuller specifically in the year 1878, registered a patent for a device that had the ability to measure the use of current in a lamp.

By 1881, it had diversified into the market, finding devices that measured the watts of direct current in numerous devices, since at that time there had been no alternating current boom.

The first alternating current wattmeter was born in 1886 in the city of London. Three years later, Elihu Thompson, creates the first wattmeter, capable of measuring watts per hour, working with both direct and alternating current.

Then for 1892, Induction wattmeters were born , which was patented by the Fort Wayne Electric Company, at a lower price and easier to use. It remained this way for many years, until 1970.

With the birth of electronic components in this decade, it was to be expected that this boom would motivate everyone to improve all electrical appliances, giving birth to digital wattmeters and with them a complete universe yet to be explored.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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