Power Quality Analyzer

Electrical distribution system is the most important of any industrial process, Its the heart of plant. Power distribution from main source to each of load depend on power needed every load connected to the electrical distribution system. The quality of electrical power based on load profile and the drive device of load. Since the increasing of usable load with switching process inside will decrease of electrical power quality.

Power Quality Analyzer
Power Quality Analyzer (Logging and reporting of power quality at our client)

What is electric power quality?

(source: Wikipedia)

Electric power quality, or simply power quality, involves voltage, frequency, and waveform. Good power quality can be defined as a steady supply voltage that stays within the prescribed range, steady a.c. frequency close to the rated value, and smooth voltage curve waveform (resembles a sine wave). In general, it is useful to consider power quality as the compatibility between what comes out of an electric outlet and the load that is plugged into it. The term is used to describe electric power that drives an electrical load and the load’s ability to function properly. Without the proper power, an electrical device (or load) 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 (Whether the electrical power is subject to voltage drops or overages below or above a threshold level thereby causing blackouts or brownouts)
  • Variation in voltage magnitude (see below)
  • Transient voltages and currents
  • Harmonic content in the waveforms for AC power

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.

Power Quality Deviations

No real-life power source is ideal and generally can deviate in at least the following ways:

Voltage

  • Variations in the peak or RMS voltage are both important to different types of equipment.
  • When the RMS voltage exceeds the nominal voltage by 10 to 80% for 0.5 cycle to 1 minute, the event is called a “swell”.
  • A “dip” (in British English) or a “sag” (in American English the two terms are equivalent) is the opposite situation: the RMS voltage is below the nominal voltage by 10 to 90% for 0.5 cycle to 1 minute.
  • Random or repetitive variations in the RMS voltage between 90 and 110% of nominal can produce a phenomenon known as “flicker” in lighting equipment. Flicker is rapid visible changes of light level. Definition of the characteristics of voltage fluctuations that produce objectionable light flicker has been the subject of ongoing research.
  • Abrupt, very brief increases in voltage, called “spikes“, “impulses”, or “surges”, generally caused by large inductive loads being turned off, or more severely by lightning.
  • “Undervoltage” occurs when the nominal voltage drops below 90% for more than 1 minute.[4] The term “brownout” is an apt description for voltage drops somewhere between full power (bright lights) and a blackout (no power – no light). It comes from the noticeable to significant dimming of regular incandescent lights, during system faults or overloading etc., when insufficient power is available to achieve full brightness in (usually) domestic lighting. This term is in common usage has no formal definition but is commonly used to describe a reduction in system voltage by the utility or system operator to decrease demand or to increase system operating margins.
  • Overvoltage” occurs when the nominal voltage rises above 110% for more than 1 minute.

Frequency

  • Variations in the frequency.
  • Nonzero low-frequency impedance (when a load draws more power, the voltage drops).
  • Nonzero high-frequency impedance (when a load demands a large amount of current, then suddenly stops demanding it, there will be a dip or spike in the voltage due to the inductances in the power supply line).
  • Variations in the wave shape – usually described as harmonics at lower frequencies (usually less than 3 kHz) and described as Common Mode Distortion or Interharmonics at higher frequencies.

Waveform

  • The oscillation of voltage and current ideally follows the form of a sine or cosine function, however it can alter due to imperfections in the generators or loads.
  • Typically, generators cause voltage distortions and loads cause current distortions. These distortions occur as oscillations more rapid than the nominal frequency, and are referred to as harmonics.
  • The relative contribution of harmonics to the distortion of the ideal waveform is called total harmonic distortion (THD).
  • Low harmonic content in a waveform is ideal because harmonics can cause vibrations, buzzing, equipment distortions, and losses and overheating in transformers.
 
Waveform Capture
Waveform Capture

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; the higher the level of the fault, the greater the number affected. A problem on one customer’s site may cause a transient that affects all other customers on the same subsystem. Problems, such as harmonics, arise within the customer’s own installation and may propagate onto the network and affect other customers. Harmonic problems can be dealt with by a combination of good design practice and well proven reduction equipment.