Marking its entrance into the power analyzer market, Tektronix this week
debuted the PA4000 power analyzer. Based on intellectual property (IP)
gained from Tek’s agreement with Voltech, the new power analyzer
features a proprietary Spiral Shunt design, which includes dual internal
spiral shunts in each module for stable measurements from micro-amps to
high-current motor drives. A few weeks ago, I met up with Ken Price,
product planner for Tektronix, to discuss this new product.
some specifics: Basic voltage and current accuracy is specified at
0.04% with crest factors up to 10. The PA4000 offers a voltage input
range up to 1000V RMS, 2000 V peak. Its dual internal current shunts
include a 20A RMS shunt for current up to 30A RMS, 200A peak. For
low-current devices, each channel also includes a 1A RMS shunt. The
shunts help keep voltage and current phase aligned during measurements.
Sensing current accurately is challenging, and the IP in the instrument
as well as high-resolution 14-bit ADCs make this possible. The unit
measures up to the 100th harmonic.
Available with 1 to 4 inputs,
the power analyzer is modular, so it can be configured in multiple ways
(see Figure 1). For instance, designers working on single-phase devices
might order the PA4000 with two modules. Those working on three-phase
devices would likely want all four channels.
Figure 1: the PA4000 power analyzer from Tektronix equipped with four channels.
terms of analysis, the unit is equipped with USB, LAN, and RS-232
interfaces standard (GPIB is optional). PWRVIEW PC software is included.
Application-specific built-in automatic test modes include PWM motor
drive mode (which sets filters and timing for testing pulse-width
modulated motor drive outputs), standby current test (which configures
measurement timing to perform standby current measurements), electronic
ballast test (which synchronizes measurements for highly-modulated
electronic ballast waveforms), and integrator mode (which sets the
analyzer for energy consumption measurements). Price says that he
expects to add to these in the future in order to serve other
applications. In addition, designers can log their measurement data to a
flash drive using a front-panel USB port. PC software for data
download, analysis, and application specific testing is available as a
For current measurements above 30A RMS, Tektronix recommends the CT-S, CT-M or CL series of current transducers.
Pricing & Availability For
pricing, Tektronix decided to keep configurations simple. Most features
are standard, but there are two options, the GPIB interface and an
internal 15V power supply (for sensors above 30A). The unit comes with a
three-year warranty. PA4000 pricing: 1 channel $10,500; 2 channels $13,400; 3 channels $16,200; 4 channels $18,900.
January 2016 Cartoon Caption ContestBob's punishment for missing his deadline was to be tied to his chair tantalizingly close to a disconnected cable, with one hand superglued to his desk and another to his chin, while the pages from his wall calendar were slowly torn away.122 comments