Power Quality Analysis
Service Detail from Energy Control Systems
In its broadest sense, power quality is a set of boundaries that allows electrical systems to function in their intended manner without significant loss of performance or life. The term is used to describe electric power that drives an electrical device and the device's ability to function properly with that electric power. Without the proper power, an electrical device may malfunction, fail prematurely or not operate at all. There are many ways in which electric power can be of poor quality and many more causes of such poor quality power.
The quality of electrical power may be described as a set of values of parameters, such as:
* Continuity of service
* Variation in voltage magnitude
* Transient voltages and currents
* Harmonic content in the waveforms
It is often useful to think of power quality as a compatibility problem: is the equipment connected to the grid compatible with the events on the grid, and is the power delivered by the grid, including the events, compatible with the equipment that is connected? Compatibility problems always have at least two solutions: in this case, either clean up the power, or make the equipment tougher.
Each of these power quality problems has a different cause. Some problems are a result of the shared infrastructure. For example, a fault on the network may cause a dip that will affect some customers and the higher the level of the fault, the greater the number affected, or a problem on one customer's site may cause a transient that affects all other customers on the same subsystem. Other problems, such as harmonics, arise within the customer's own installation and may or may not propagate onto the network and so affect other customers. Harmonic problems can be dealt with by a combination of good design practice and well proven reduction equipment.
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