Making Pulses Useful for your Customers

October 2010

We’re often asked by customers “What can I do with pulses?” Retail utility customers are not generally aware of what they can or can’t do with a KYZ pulse output installed on their meter. I tell them, “You can’t do anything with pulses alone. You need another piece of equipment that can interpret the pulses and turn them into information that you can use.”

There are two fundamental uses for pulses. You can either count them for consumption (in watt-hours or kilowatt-hours) or you can time them for demand (in KW). Unless you’re using pulses for an external interval data recorder, which is pretty rare these days, pulses are generally used for customer-owned energy or demand management systems. The vast majority of customers are using pulses for KW demand-related uses, like peak demand control. There are also utility system control applications where pulses are fed from a meter at a delivery point into a SCADA system for getting near real time demand and usage information. This information is relayed back to system control operators.

Pulses are the universal, non-proprietary format for exchanging instantaneous energy use information between systems. Pulses can be read by most energy management systems and don’t require the IT department. Remember, pulses are nothing more than a switch closure that represents a fixed value of kilowatt-hours that have passed the metering point.

For a customer to use pulses for demand, a demand monitor such as Brayden Automation’s Model 9321, or a demand controller such as Models 9388B or 9388C are required. These continually monitor the incoming pulses, time them, and automatically calculate the instantaneous demand of the building. The instantaneous demand is then averaged over the same demand interval that the electric meter is using to calculate demand for an accurate real-time display of the average KW demand.

If we can be of help to you or your clients or retail customers, please contact us at (888)BRAYDEN or visit our website at