If you are at all familiar with PowerSight’s unique, efficient power analyzers, you probably know about the SureStart™ Expert System. For those that do not know about SureStart™, it is our patented rules-based knowledge system that you can use to check and verify connections and settings of a PowerSight analyzer at any time. It is like having an expert looking over your shoulder each time you hook up.

What SureStart does:

  • Analyzes the voltages and currents that are attached and decides what type of power system you are most likely attached to. (It is aware of just about any type of power system anywhere in the world.)
  • Examines the magnitudes and phase angles to judge if there are problems in the connections or if certain key settings in the analyzer are wrong for the power it is presented with.
  • Reports, clearly, what its findings are: the type of power system, any type of connection errors, and certain errors in the data setup, given the voltages and current that are present.

Typically, you’d use SureStart after connections have been made and just prior to starting a monitoring session, because the last thing you would want is to return after a month of monitoring, only to discover that the data is not right due to a simple connection mishap.

What Power Systems Does SureStart™ Detect?

  • North American and World-wide standard single-phase and split-phase systems (e.g. 120/240V)
  • Common and uncommon 3-phase wye/delta systems (from 69/120V to 7200/12470V)
  • 4-Wire Delta (e.g. 120/208/240V)
  • DC
  • Multi-single phase (for monitoring multiple single phase loads simultaneously)

What Errors Does SureStart™ Detect?

  • Missing voltages or currents (1, 2, 3, or all)
  • Multiple connections to the same signal
  • Switched voltages or currents (any combination)
  • Rotated currents (rotated left or right)
  • Reversed phase sequence of voltages or currents
  • Current probes on backwards (1, 2, or all)
  • Unbalanced voltages or currents
  • Voltages or currents inserted into the wrong phase input
  • Other suspicious phase lags
  • Non-standard phase angles between phases
  • Wrong frequency setup in the analyzer for the power detected

In every case, the reason for the suggested error is presented to the user in the form of the questionable data present. In the case of the PS5000, there is also a graphic of the error type to provide two methods of communicating the potential error.

PS5000 SureStart Details

Operating SureStart™


The SureStart™ system should be used before every monitoring session, but can be used at any time. After connecting all voltage leads/probes and current probes from the analyzer to the panel or equipment being tested, you can activate SureStart™ with the press of a button. In just a few seconds, the system will check the inputs to the analyzer and tell you, in plain English, what type of power you are hooked up to and what errors may be present.

Depending on your analyzer, SureStart™ is initiated in different ways. On the PS5000 power quality analyzer, the “Checkout” button will launch SureStart™. Press the “Next” soft key to examine possible errors, and when there are none, it will say “No Errors!”

For the PS3500-PS4550 analyzers, the “Verify Connections” button will begin SureStart™. If it says errors are present, repeatedly click the “More…” key to go through each of the errors. If there are no errors, the analyzer will say “No Errors Found”.

For the PS2500 power logger, the “Next” button will be your only option to run through SureStart™ and all the connection errors. If there are no errors, the PS2500 will say “Connections OK.”

This “expert” system does not have the final say, you do. SureStart™ will provide suggestions, based on what it thinks is most likely an error, but it is up to you to address or ignore them. SureStart™ will not get in the way of you starting monitoring and you can choose to launch it (or not) at any point. Nonetheless, we recommend that you run SureStart™ before each test to be sure your analyzer is collecting the right data. You can also verify connections during a test via the Remote Control function of the PSM-A software.


Consequences of Not Using SureStart™


Operating a PowerSight analyzer for a study without utilizing SureStart™ can be very costly. Most power studies are no small task, and it is not uncommon for a single test to require thousands of dollars and require coordination of several groups of people and the shutting down of important processes. Worse yet, a window of opportunity may not be available again. As a result, if the data that comes out of the project is not exactly what is needed, many players may lose large amounts of time, money, and effort and operational decisions may be made, based on faulty or missing data. If you are a testing service, you may lose your customer and your credibility. For some tests, the study requires a planned outage that must be scheduled weeks (or months) in advance. Too often, there is no guarantee there will be another opportunity to shut off power in the facility. Monitoring studies often last a month or more in duration. Losing data from such a long study would be a major setback, even if it can be redone. SureStart™ is designed to eliminate human error and prevent expensive do-overs, saving you and your company precious time, money, and hard work.


The Bottom Line


PowerSight is all about achieving success, and SureStart™ is a key tool for doing so. This unique system is patented and found exclusively in PowerSight analyzers and loggers. It comes standard in every meter, so you can have peace of mind in knowing that your test is geared toward success. SureStart™ is the easy to understand, common sense solution to error prevention that will give you an extra sense of confidence that your monitoring study will be successful. Prevent costly mistakes and do-overs by ensuring that your hookups are correct from the beginning.