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Power Quality Problems and Their Solutions

Power Quality Problems and Their Solutions

Power quality problems are among the main causes for business downtime, equipment malfunction and damage. The different  types  of  power quality disturbances,  their impact on equipment and electric installation, as well as possible  mitigation  solutions  are  well  known  today. However,  there  are  no  standards,  recommendations or guidelines  on  how  to  implement,  manage  and continuously improve the power quality in an electrical network.

Power  Quality  is  an  area  of  growing  concern  for  end users due to  the  frequency of power quality issues and their financial impact. Today, it is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of all business downtime is related to power quality problems. In some sectors, like Industry the cost of poor Power Quality can reach 4% of annual turnover

Worldwide  customer  surveys  show  that  complaints  on power  quality  related  disturbances  (harmonics,  voltage dips,  flicker,  and  etc.) are increasing  every  year.

World Wide Survey For Harmonics

Fig. Worldwide  Customer  Survey (Power Quality)

Customer loads are changing, including more and more electronic equipment and switching devices. Simultaneously, the same equipment is far more sensitive to power quality problems and will fail more often due to power quality events. Due to the increasing awareness of the  impacts  of  variations  in  the  quality  of  electrical supply  customers  expect  a  better  quality  of  electrical service. There are different types of solutions to manage the power quality problems that exist. However, there is no internationally recognised power quality management methodology. This generates a barrier for facilities who want to improve their power quality, as they do not know how  to  address  critical  aspects  of  their  power  quality performance  –  including  measurement,  monitoring, documentation,  reporting,  analysis,  preventive  and corrective actions.

To perform Power Quality Measurements, a system should be equipped with power quality metering devices. They  should  be  able  to  capture  and  record  short  term power  quality  events,  provide  current  and  voltage, continuous disturbance measurements and power quality compliance evaluations.

Power Quality Process

Fig. Energy Management Model

A key for continuous improvement of power quality and power  system  health  is  to  gather  and  connect  the information of all available sources into one system and provide  tools  to  evaluate,  analyze,  report  and  alarm  on power quality issues.

Based on interpretation results and conclusions, different solutions can be considered. They may include equipment for  the  mitigation  of  Power  Quality  Disturbances, Settings  Modification,  Design  and  Architecture modification  or  even  selection  of  Equipment  less-sensitive to Power Quality Disturbances.

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