PPA500 – Compact Power Analysis

High Performance Compact Power Analysis

The PPA500 joins Newtons4th’s Precision Power Analyzer range addressing a need for high performance power analysis at low cost. Primarily aimed toward applications that require precision measurement without complex features, the PPA500 series is ideally suited to a production or test environment. The unit benefits from a full colour TFT display that provides greater flexibility than fixed numeric displays and combines a level of performance, ease of use and value beyond any comparable product. Sharing many of the techniques utilised in the PPA1500 series, the PPA500 achieves a level of performance previously available only in much more costly instruments, while maintaining the intuitive operation and clarity of measurement presentation for which the PPA series has become renowned. While being only half rack width and 2U high, the PPA500 is available in 1, 2 or 3 phase configurations. There is also the option to install the unit in a 19in rack where two units can be positioned side by side to provide a 2U 6 Phase solution see our accessories page for more details.

As a result of innovative design, the PPA500 is able to deliver high performance at low cost. Features such as the planar shunt (A shunt design topology developed by N4L) and FPGA based real time no gap analysis technique all contribute to the PPA500’s fantastic offering. The low cost of the PPA500 Power Analyzer presents a great opportunity to system integrators looking for accurate, traceable, reliable power analysis.

All PPA500 units are supplied with UKAS ISO17025 certification as standard, this is performed at N4L in the UK in our accredited ISO17025 Laboratory.

Product Images

ISO17025 Calibration and Verification

Every PPA500 Power Analyzer supplied by N4L is provided with both a UKAS Accredited calibration certificate up to 850Hz, as well as a UKAS Traceable calibration certificate up to 500kHz. N4L have developed a number of bespoke power calibrators in order to verify the accuracy of every power analyzer supplied over its entire frequency range, this is surprisingly uncommon within the instrumentation industry. Furthermore, development of an ISO17025 (UKAS) accredited Closed Loop Calorimeter in partnership with Oxford University (UK) has verified the performance of the N4L custom designed power calibration rigs with a very low uncertainty level, providing absolute confidence that the wide band performance of all N4L power analyzers is market leading.

Calibration Options

1. Standard Recalibration - Included with new instruments – Included with RMA Calibration
Wideband calibration (DC-2MHz) with optimisation of measurements on all ranges over the complete instrument bandwidth. Traceable to UKAS but not ‘accredited’.
2. UKAS (ISO17025) Calibration – Included with new instruments – Optional with RMA Calibration
UKAS Accredited calibration of Voltage, Current, Phase (PF) and Power on all ranges from 55-850Hz.
This option includes option 1 calibration.
In addition to the calibration certificates, the PPA will be fitted with a UKAS calibration label.
3. System Calibration – Standard - Optional with new instruments or RMA calibration
UKAS accredited calibration of a PPA together with an external sensor.
This option is separate to option 1 which must also be ordered when system calibrating.
Note: This is end-to-end calibration of the of the PPA+sensor ‘system’ at an N4L defined test point or points and does not include UKAS calibration of the PPA alone (option 2).

4. System Calibration – Non-Standard - Optional with new instruments or RMA calibration
As Option 3 but applied at customer requested test points. This will be UKAS only for frequencies between 16-850Hz.

5. UKAS IEC61000 H+F Calibration - Optional with new instruments or RMA calibration
UKAS accredited calibration of PPA55x1 series units that includes all prevailing type test protocols for fully compliant Harmonic and Flicker testing.
This option includes option 1 and option 2 calibration.
6. PPA55xx-TE Calibration – Included with PPA-TE order – Optional with RMA Calibration
Custom UKAS calibration that includes a series of low power factor tests down to 0.01 PF over the frequency range of 16-450Hz.
This option includes option 1 calibration.
7. UKAS calorimeter power calibration – Optional with new instruments or RMA calibration
UKAS accredited power calibration via calorimetry. Available at customer requested frequency(s) and with sinusoidal or harmonically distorted wave shapes within a frequency range of 45Hz to 2MHz.
This option includes options 1 and 2.

Features & Benefits

0.05% Basic accuracy (Traceable to ISO17025) Frequency range DC and 10mHz to 500kHz
High precision internal shunts Superior accuracy to any external shunt 10 millidegree phase accuracy – Necessary for low power factor applications
20 Arms (300 Apk) & 1000 Vrms (2500 Vpk) direct input Unique x10 gain mode for Standby Power measurement
High speed sampling on all channels True real time analysis with no measurement gap
1, 2 or 3 phase versions High contrast full colour graphic display
Simple BNC connection of N4L shunts for high current applications RS232, USB, LAN, Extension and Auxiliary ports


PPA5_1500_Blk_ PDF, 1Mb
PPA500_1500 Dimensions PDF, 76kb
PPA5xx PPA15xx Rack Dimensions PDF, 65kb
PPA Datalogger User Manual PDF, 3.31Mb



PPA5xx_15xx User Manual v3.02PDF, 661kb
Register for Product Updates
Enter your email to register for firmware, software and other product related updates

PPA5xx_15xx Comms Manual v3.02PDF, 861kbk
PPA5xx_15xx-Start-up-guide-v3.00.pdf PDF, 3.1Mb
Power_Analyzer_Product_Selector PDF, 236kb

PPA500 Options, Software and Accessories

COMMS_ICON Communications Interfaces:
  • Standard: USB,  RS232 and LAN Communication Ports
  • Optional:  GPIB Communication Port
PROBE_ICON Probes and Probe Accessory Options:
  • ULCP Ultra Low Capacitance Probes (Active, For use with DUT’s susceptible to capacitive loading) – 1.5pF, 1000Vrms, dc to 2MHz, 1000:1
  • TT-HV 250 High Voltage Probe (Passive) – 2.5kVpk, 100:1
  • TT-HVP 15HF High Voltage Probe – 15kVpk, 1000:1
  • ATT10 – 10:1 Attenuator (For use when voltage probe output does not meet PPA ext. input 3Vpk max rating) – For connection to PPA ext input and external attenuating probes.
  • ATT20 – 20:1 Attenuator (For use when voltage probe output does not meet PPA ext. input 3Vpk max rating) – For connection to PPA ext input and external attenuating probes.
EXTENSION_ICON Extension Port and Accessory Options:
  • PCIS – Phase controlled inrush for (Use when control of DUT source with respect to phase angle is required)
CONNECTOR_ICON Leads, Connection and Interface Options:
  • 20A Connection lead set for one phase (supplied as standard) – 20Arated, 1.5m long + Alligator Clips
  • 36A Connection lead set for one phase – 36A rated, 1.5m long + Alligator Clips
  • Voltage Breakout Lead set – 3 x 2m BNC to BNC with 4mm Banana Voltage break out leads + 2 x voltage low shorting leads (For use when distance between analyser and DUT is large and HF series external shunt is being used, facilitates short voltage connections.
  • Universal Breakout Box – Single Phase 10Arms Universal Breakout box
  • RS232 Cable (Supplied as Standard) – 9 Pin null modem cable
  • USB Cable (Supplied as standard) – 2m long A Male to B Male USB Cable
CASES_ICON Carry Cases:
  • PPA5/15xx Soft Carry Case – Black Nylon Padded Case with accessory space, handle and strap
  • PPA5/15xx Hard Carry Case – PPA5/15xx Hard Aluminium Flight Case with accessory space, handle and lock (Ideal for Aircraft Hold)
RACK_ICON Rack Mounting Kit Options:
CALIBRATION_ICON Calibration and Documentation (Unit supplied with UKAS ISO17025 certificate as standard when new):
  • Standard Recalibration (ISO17025 Traceable) – Single Phase PPA (PPA510)
  • Standard Recalibration (ISO17025 Traceable) – Two and Three Phase PPA (PPA520 & PPA530)
  • ISO17025 UKAS Calibration + Standard Calibration – Single Phase PPA (PPA510)
  • ISO17025 UKAS Calibration + Standard Calibration – Single Phase PPA (PPA520 & PPA530)
  • PPA5xx Loan Instrument available upon request during Calibration or Repair (Available in Europe only)
  • Spare set of user manuals – Hard copy of user and communications manual
CLAMP_ICON Current Measurement Options:
PC_ICON PC Software (Free of charge):

Application Notes and Related Articles

Video Tutorials

Tutorial 1 : Power Analyzer Turn on and External Shunt Configuration

Tutorial 2 : PWM Motor Drive Efficiency Measurements

Tutorial 2a : PWM Motor Driver Efficiency Measurements (Extended version)

Tutorial 3 : Standby Power Measurement of a USB Mains Adaptor

Tutorial 4 : AC/DC Converter Efficiency Measurements

Application Notes

APP012 – N4L’s Unique Current Shunt Design Topology Explained

APP013 – AC-DC Switch Mode Power Supply Efficiency Measurements

APP014 – 3 Phase 2 Wattmeter Power Analysis Explained

APP015 – IEC62301/EN50564 Standby Power Testing the N4L Power Analyzers

APP017 – PWM Inverter Drives – Pulse Wide Modulation Theory

APP018 – Transformer Loss and Efficiency testing with N4L Power Analyzers

APP019 – RMS and Peak range consideration in Precision Power Analyzers

APP021 – Master/ Slave Efficiency testing with N4L Power Analyzers

APP023 – Harmonic analysis in Power Applications

APP025 – High Speed PWM Motor Drive Analysis


PPA500 Full Instrument Specification

Frequency Range
DC, 10mHz ~ 500kHz

x10 DC, 10mHz ~ 100kHz

Voltage Input
Internal Ranges
Normal : 1Vpk ~ 2500Vpk (8 ranges = 1V, 3V, 10V, 30V, 100V, 300V, 1KV, 3KV)

x10 100mVpk ~ 300Vpk (8 ranges = 100mV, 300mV, 1V, 3V,10V,30V,100V,300V)

Internal Accuracy
Normal : 0.05% Rdg + 0.1% Rng + (0.005%xkHz) + 5mV

x10 : 0.05% Rdg + 0.1% Rng + (0.01%xkHz) + 1mV

External Voltage BNC Input Ranges1mVpk ~ 3Vpk [BNC Connector 3Vpk Max Input] 8 Ranges = 1mV, 3mV, 10mV, 30mV, 100mV, 300mV, 1V, 3V
External Voltage Input Accuracy0.05% Rdg + 0.1% Rng + (0.005%xkHz) + 5uV
Current Input
PPA500 20Arms Shunt, 4mm Safety Connectors
Normal : 100mApk ~ 300Apk (20Arms) (8 ranges = 100mA, 300mA, 1A, 3A, 10A, 30A, 100A, 300A)

x10 : 10mApk ~ 30Apk (8 ranges = 10mA, 30mA, 100mA, 300mA, 1A, 3A, 10A, 30A)
PPA500-HC 30Arms Shunt, 4mm Safety Connectors
Normal : 300mApk ~ 1000Apk (30Arms) (8 ranges = 300mA, 1A, 3A, 10A, 30A, 100A, 300A, 1KA)

x10 : 30mApk ~ 100Apk (8 ranges = 30mA, 100mA, 300mA, 1A, 3A, 10A, 30A, 100A)
Internal Shunt Accuracy 20Arms
Normal : 0.05% Rdg + 0.1% Rng + (0.005% x kHz) + 500uA

x10 : 0.05% Rdg + 0.1% Rng + (0.01% x kHz) + 100uA

Internal Shunt Accuracy HC 30ArmsNormal : 0.05% Rdg + 0.1% Rng + (0.005% x kHz) + 1mA

x10 : 0.05% Rdg + 0.1% Rng + (0.01% x kHz) + 300uA
External Current BNC Input Ranges1mVpk ~ 3Vpk 8 Ranges = 1mV, 3mV, 10mV, 30mV, 100mV, 300mV, 1V, 3V
External Current Input Accuracy0.05% Rdg + 0.1% Rng + (0.005%/kHz) + 5uV
Phase Accuracy
Normal0.01deg + (0.01deg/kHz)
x100.01deg + (0.02deg/kHz)
Power Accuracy
Normal[0.1% + 0.1%/pf + (0.01%/kHz)/pf] Rdg + 0.1% VA Rng
x10[0.1% + 0.1%/pf + (0.02%/kHz)/pf] Rdg + 0.1% VA Rng
40Hz ~ 850HzAs above with range error reduced from +0.1% V,A,VA Rng to +0.05% V,A, VA Rng
Crest Factor
20 (Voltage and Current)
Sample Rate
1Ms/s on all channels, real time No-Gap
IEC Compliant Modes
IEC62301/EN50564 Standby Power Mode
Application Modes
Ballast, Inrush, Standby Power
CMRR - Common Mode Rejection Ratio250V @ 50Hz – ≥ 1mA (150dB)
100V @ 100kHz – ≥ 3mA (130dB)
Measurement ParametersW, VA, Var, pf, V & A – rms, rectified mean, AC, DC, peak, surge, crest factor, form factor, star to delta conversion, delta to star conversion
Frequency (Hz), Phase (deg), Fundamentals, Impedance
Harmonics, THD, TIF, THF, TRD, TDD
Integrated Values, Datalog, Sum and Neutral Values
Datalog (Up to 4 user selectable measurement functions (60 with PC software)
Datalog windowNo-Gap analysis, Minimum Window 10ms
MemoryRAM up to 16,000 records
Communication PortsRS232, LAN, USB, Extension (Aux)
Standard Accessories
Power, RS232, USB
Connection Cables
20A (Std Version) or 30A (HC version) 1.5m long 4mm stackable terminals. 1x red, 1x yellow, 2x black per phase
Connection Clips
4mm terminated alligator clips – 1x red, 1x yellow and 2x black per phase
Instruction manual
User manual, Communications manual
Other documents
Calibration certificate, Quick start guide
Mechanical and Environmental
480×272 dot full colour TFT, White LED backlit
92H x 215W x 312D mm excluding feet
3.3kg (1 Phase), 4kg (3 Phase)
Safety Isolation
1000Vrms or DC (CATII), 600Vrms or DC (CATIII)
Power Supply
90 ~ 265Vrms, 50 ~ 60Hz, 40VA Max
Operating Conditions
5 deg to 40 deg ambient temperature (or air intake temperature when rack mounted), 20-90% Non-condensing relative humidity.

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