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Setting up Metering - via PULS (#ACCSAE01)

Last updated:   Applies to:   In industries:   Of versions:   Special contents:
20151215 (Andy)   Pro, MultiUser, MultiSite, MultiView   n/a   9.1.2 (and higher)   n/a
  • This article has been designed for PULS Installers and/or StorMan Support technicians.

What is PULS metering

This metering solution involves the installation of a PULS Controller to a utilities pedestal at a marina or caravan park. As water and power are used the controller records the consumption and sends it to the office PC for logging. Usage information is automatically fed into StorMan for quick & easy billing. This means no more reading individual meters manually! For more details on the PULS solution, visit their website.

 

Setting up PULS metering in StorMan

  1. In StorMan, select Maintenance, then Utilities.
  2. Turn the monitoring system on by enabling the checkbox labeled Turn utilities control system on when StorMan starts.
  3. In the Log file (import) section, browse to your PULS data folder and select the PULSReadings.txt file. If this folder or file doesn't exist yet, you can still enter the data info the field manually to read as follows: C:\Users\Public\Documents\PULS\StorMan\PULSReadings.txt (you may need to adjust this path if your Windows username is different).
  4. In the Output file (export) section, browse to your PULS data folder. If this folder doesn't exist yet, you can still enter the data info the field manually to read as follows : C:\Users\Public\Documents\PULS\StorMan\ (you may need to adjust this path if your Windows username is different).
  5. Upon initial setup click Download all to transfer berth information to PULS for the first time. This ensures that customer data appears in PULS (used in step 13, below).
  6. Click Save to continue.
  7. Next, we need to setup our power and water pricing. To do so, go to Maintenance, then Analysis Codes.
  8. Create a new Analysis Code for Power - give it a code, a name, a sell amount (per kWh) and select any other options that you require. In the Special options section, be sure to set this code as the Default for Power. Click OK to save & close.
  9. Create a second new Analysis Code for Water - give it a code, a name, a sell amount (per kl) and select any other options that you require. In the Special options section, be sure to set this code as the Default for Water. Click OK to save & close.
  10. Click Done to complete the setup of the Analysis Codes. The StorMan configuration is now complete.

 

Setting up PULS metering in the PULS Meter Manager software

  1. Launch the PULS Meter Manager software and navigate to the Configure tab, as shown below...
    • The Poll Frequency is the frequency (in minutes) when PULS hardware communicates with the PULS software; the standard time is 3 minutes (or 1/20 of an hour). This will also reflect the accuracy i.e. 1/20th of a KW hour.
    • The Default Voltage needs to be set correctly for the relevant country; i.e. 110 in the USA and 230 in Australia / New Zealand. If this is not set correctly then this will affect the Usage Alarm Points.
    • The Default Device Port should always be set to 2000 (unless otherwise specified by your authorised PULS installer).
    • The Usage Alarm Point section should be left as-is. This should be treated as a global load rating in Amps for the power sockets. Each meter has its own individual settings which may override these settings.
    • Ensure the Pricing section (bottom right) is left blank - this was configured in StorMan in steps 8 and 9.
  2. In the Interface section, select StorMan as the interface software and enter PULSReadings.txt as the Event Export Name.
  3. Next, setup your meters via the Meters tab (sample screenshot below)...

    • The left hand column shows controller box and its assigned IP Address appears on the right.
    • The port is the TCP/IP port (this MUST be the same for each controller box).
    • The default value for the port is 11060 and should match the Port setting found on the Configure tab. If it does not match and the software is NOT talking to the controller box, then set this port number back to the default (11060). If this does not rectify the the problem with 5- 6 mins then please contact the installer or the reseller.
  4. Next, setup the meters per customer / berth using the Berths tab.
  5. You can assign meters to the customer using the Metres for berth section on the right hand side (as shown below). Use the arrows provided to move the meters from the Meters Available section to the Meters for Berth section. Repeat for each berth / customer.

Note: The system will measure power & water from the day it's turned on. From a user perspective, you may want to install the system over a period of weeks (let’s say January) - and then start charging your customers come 1st February. In order to make the readings correct on the 1st February, StorMan support would need to manually delete all entries in the Utilities table so that only February transactions are recoded. If this is NOT done, then your customers will be charged to the total usage since the system was turned on. Please contact our Support Team for further details.

 

How to read a PULS log

  • Connected means that PULS has connected with the PULS controller (generally found in the pedestal). The controller box can control up to four different meters in total (these can be a combination of power and water meters).
  • Reading XX.XX kWh (or kL for water) is a reading log. The first number (outside the brackets) is the figure since the last read. The figure in the brackets is the total since the meter was commissioned.
  • Disconnected means the software has updated the reading within its internal database and has successfully disconnected from the controller box.
  • A reading of 00.00 on a meter means that there was no power or water used on that meter since the last read. If there is a 00.00 in brackets, then that will indicate that the meter has never been used (refer to item 2 above).
  • Disconnected Connection attempt has timed out means that there is communication issue between the controller box and the PULS software. This either means that a general power failure or a network failure has occurred.

 

Reading usage data in PULS

Note: Each controller box will handle a max of 4 meters. The meters can be a combination of power and water in ANY combination i.e. 4 power, 4 water, 2 power + 2 water, or 3 power + 1 water as examples.

 

How to bill for utilities in StorMan

There are two billing methods available; Manual or Automatic.

  • Manual billing is not recommended unless it's for finalising a customer's account. To do so, click Bill Next Charges (on the customer's Agreement in StorMan - on the Transactions tab) to bring through the latest charges for power or / and water.
  • Automatic billing is recommended, as it is done through daily processing. By default, they will be charged at the same frequency as the billing plan

 

Troubleshooting

There are no metering costs coming through into StorMan (on a customer's Agreement): The most likely cause is that there are no metres assigned. The staff at site (or the PULS installer) will need to advise StorMan Support which metres need to be assigned to which berth.

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If this article requires an update or needs more information, please contact support@storman.com.

Thank you for your assistance!

 

 


 

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