I'm working on an initiative to replace some PDUs in my company's datacenter with Smart PDUs, however it will be a few weeks before the new units are in. In the meantime, we've got to rack two new appliances and we're slightly concerned about the power draw in the rack's PDUs. We want to stay under 80% of our 30 amp capacity, unfortunately until we get smarter PDUs we don't have a way of checking power draw in real time. I've been looking into using an ammeter or multimeter (the latter of which I have on hand) to measure the circuit from the breaker itself, but this is less than optimal due to where the breaker is and how it's positioned. My main question for the more electrically-inclined out there would be, is there a device available that would allow one to plug into a PDU and return usage data? I may just be showing my ignorance here but such a device/method would be ideal. Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.
One possible solution is to use current clamps. This will help you to measure the current w/o breaking the power circuit. The only disadvantage is you should have one wire alone to use the clamp, you can't use it on the power cord (check here, page 21).
P.S. No affiliate with the device manufacturer.