Power Quality in Electrical Systems
Power quality designates electric power’s quality status. The term refers to the electric power that drives an electrical device and the device’s corresponding ability to function with that power. Power flow should remain within specified frequency and voltage tolerances and adopt a pure sinusoidal waveform.
Because no real-life power source is ideal, divergences from perfect conditions are frequent due to increasing loads disturbing the grid in today’s electrical networks. Power generation is also becoming more complex as new technologies and players enter the business. Therefore, maintaining a quality flow of electricity is crucial, as this energy stands at the center of the power industry.
The Need for Power Quality
Investing in your power’s quality is ultimately an investment in your business, as ensuring a high-quality supply of electricity will give you peace of mind that your machines are set to function properly. It is therefore critical that power quality be assessed as part of any energy management strategy, as energy management is an essential consideration for any business.
Good power quality means availability and reliability of a supply network and is a key building block of a greener, smarter and stronger grid. In addition, it creates lower carbon emissions, enables energy efficiency and reduces transmission losses.
How Can Good or Bad Power Quality Affect Costs?
Poor power quality can lead to a number of issues that negatively impact electrical equipment’s efficiency, such as voltage instability, poor power factor and electrical harmonics.
Other consequences of poor power quality include:
- Equipment failure or instability.
- Higher maintenance costs.
- Higher energy usage.
Good power quality, on the other hand, will help your business save money and energy.
Ways to Identify Power Quality Issues Within Your Business
There may be an issue with your organization’s power supply if you notice:
- Harmonic distortion.
- Damage from lightning.
- High-speed transients.
- Voltage surges or sags.
- Noisy electrical equipment.
- Short or extensive power interruptions.
Causes of Poor Power Quality
Instigators of insufficient power quality may include:
- Load imbalance.
- Voltage variation.
- Low power factor.
- Harmonic pollution.
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As an energy auditor, you know repercussions of insufficient power quality can inflict severe losses on the economy, so you’re always seeking to help businesses make their energy usage more efficient and their power more reliable.
Left unchecked, poor power quality can have a negative impact on any organization — system failures and equipment breakdown at industrial plants can potentially result in damaged equipment, considerable losses, high penalties and soaring energy bills.
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