Decoding the Electrical Watt Meter

News   •   Nov 01, 2011 16:07 IST

No doubt that each engineering discipline holds ground individually, but the success of the industrial revolution earlier and even during its iconic fight with the Information Technology sector, the thing that clicked for engineering was the good blending of all engineering designs. One such discipline is the good old electrical engineering; some of its devices that have revolutionized the scope like no other.

A good example is the watt meter which is an instrument that is used to measure the supply rate of electrical energy. In simpler words, it is used to measure electrical power of a circuit. Denoted in watts, there are many types of watt-meters available and some of the common types are discussed as below:

Electrodynamic Analog Watt Meter

One of the most conventional analog styled watt-meters is the electrodynamic instrument. This instrument or rather the arrangement uses a combination of coils to function. First being the fixed coils also called as current coils (held in series or in-line circuit) and second being the movable or potential coil that is connected in parallel.

Electrostatic Watt Meters

These types of watt-meters utilize the forces of attraction along with repulsion amid electrically charged bodies. Though a standard and widely used instrument at one time, electrostatic instruments have major problems in matching the capacitance based changes of the 2 elements along with the small forces that are available.


Ammeters used the following principle: whenever current is fed through a compass needle, it will stop to point north. In terms of electrical capacity, ammeters use the above principle to detect the current. The meter arrangement is such that a magnetized rod (even cables are used) is fed with a current; this will drag the rod away from magnetic north and will get portrayed via different degrees.

Digital Watt Meters

A watt meter is used to check the power supply with respect to the given power outlet for getting an estimating on the overall electrical costs. And like other devices, even the watt meter has moved from the good old analog sector to the digital segment because the latter combines a state of high resolution and the convenience of electronic signal processing.

Unlike the analog needle display, a digital watt meter manages to measure current passing through the cables at an impressive: thousand times a second, hence even small change can be measured. In a way, the average provided by this digital technology would be on par with the best. These digital watt-meters are also called as electronic meters.

There is also the professional watt meter, which is the best instrument for measuring power. For the working, it performs 2 tasks simultaneously as follows:

  • Measuring the amount of energy that is getting consumed

  • Recording the time slots when the electrical energy is getting consumed

The professional watt meter is generally used by electrical companies to measure electricity. And it is placed mostly outside of the place (can be inside as well) in the context. Lastly, with hundreds of manufacturers providing different types of watt-meters, the aspects which would help you to choose the best of the lot include accuracy of readings, convenience, quality etc.