Pass the Remote

30 April 2020


Remote is a big word right now. A month or two ago, it was just a noun I used to describe the TV clicker or some far-off island, but now, oh it’s much more!

If it can be done remotely, we’re doing it. From remote work and online classes to virtual doctor’s office visits to live-streaming workout and cooking classes, it’s all remote now. We’re having virtual happy hours and birthday parties – hey – I am even taking a virtual dog training class right now with my puppy. Can’t say it’s going great, but we’re trying our best. Whether we like it or not, remote is a thing now, and it’s keeping us safe.

But what else is remote?

Well, in some industries, remote is nothing new. Remote monitoring has been around for a while even.

It can also range in complexity – from a baby monitor sitting on your kitchen counter to the technology that keeps trains from crashing into each other. It’s all remote monitoring.

In the healthcare industry, remote monitoring is a popular (and growing) practice. From sensors that measure a patient’s vitals, to technology that detects falls, to insulin pumps for diabetes, to home monitoring systems for heart failure – there’s a ton of remote monitoring technology out there.

Trains also use remote monitoring to control the movement of railway traffic and keep everyone safe. Pretty cool, right?

There’s even remote monitoring in the electric grid. Basically, electricity and information are exchanged between a utility and its customers. The electric grid was built in the 1890s, so it is constantly modernizing and becoming smarter to keep up with increasing demands and technology updates. Inexpensive sensors can be placed on electric meters or solar and wind controls, giving utilities the ability to remotely monitor and update equipment with enhanced accessibility and control.

What about the electrical test industry?

Fancy you should ask that – we’ve got remote monitoring here too! Specifically, when you’re monitoring a power quality issue. If you have a power quality analyzer, you can easily set-up remote monitoring with your PC. With the right software, you’ll be able to start and stop recordings, set-up files, and download data – all from the comfort of your bed. Okay, realistically, probably your office (or home office), but it’s remote, so you can really do it anywhere!


What are the benefits of remote monitoring?

Well, for starters, you’re going to save a lot of time. If you’re monitoring power quality issues from a remote location, you’ll definitely cut down on travel time (and gas money), since you don’t need to make trips back and forth to check out the data. Now, you can check the data right from your office or your kitchen table.

If you’re working with a location that has very intermittent power quality problems, you can avoid travelling the extra distance to those locations, as well – again, saving you more time.

With remote anything – especially remote monitoring – flexibility is key. You don’t want to be limited to a specific provider, plan, connection type, or network. With an advanced power quality analyzer, you can connect directly to a network via ethernet, Wi-Fi, or even a mobile hotspot. You don’t need special equipment and you can certainly use whichever provider you like.

There are also some features that simply make your life easier - it’s sort of like programming your coffee pot to start brewing before you get out of bed or setting up your Alexa, so she automatically reads you the latest headlines and weather for the day when you say “Good Morning”. With a power quality analyzer, you can program it to automatically transfer data on a schedule. For example, you can set-up the analyzer to automatically transfer the data every other day at midnight. Then, when you sit down at your desk in the morning – with your coffee, while you’re getting caught up on the news – you can easily pull up the data files from the previous two days. It’s so simple!

There you have it – remote monitoring for power quality issues. If you’re looking to waste less time, save more money, and protect the health of you and your employees, then remote monitoring might be the solution for your power quality needs. At the very least, I hope the next time you pass the remote, you’ll think about how far we’ve taken the word “remote” in the past few years, months, and weeks. While remote monitoring is not a new concept, we’re definitely taking remote everything to new, exciting heights.

Want to learn more? Download this application note on remote monitoring or check out our comprehensive guide to power quality testing.