The Cost of Poor Power Quality and measures
Mar 28,2020

Power quality

Power quality” can seem to be a pretty abstract term – how does one judge the quality of such an unseen commodity as electricity? But, as commercial and industrial facility managers know, good power quality can boost both productivity and employee safety, while poor power quality can mean a drain on the bottom line, thanks to damaged equipment, lost productivity and product spoilage.

Following infographic illustrates just how extensive the consequences of poor power quality can be. And just as importantly, how beneficial improving power quality can be to an operation’s bottom line.

As the graphic states, poor power quality is estimated to cost the European economy up to €150 billion annually, according to the Leonardo Power Quality Initiative, and the U.S. sees losses ranging from $119 billion to $188 billion, according to research by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). But perhaps the most important statistic is the EPRI finding that 80 percent of power-quality disturbances are generated within a facility.

That’s right – the vast majority of voltage and frequency irregularities, among other power-quality problems, are created by equipment and processes within a facility’s own operations. There is a bright side to this information, however, because it means the solutions to any power-quality problems your facility might be experiencing likely lie within your control, as well.

Successfully addressing facility-side power-quality issues begins with an effort to track down their causes and locations. Fortunately, today’s advanced metering technology makes this job much easier than it used to can find power quality analyzer easily now.

power quality test

Energy costs

To reduce your power bill, you need to record consumption patterns and adjust the system and load timing to reduce one or more of the following.

  1. Actual power (kWh) usage
  2. Power factor penalties
  3. A peak demand charge structure

Until now, capturing the cost of energy waste caused by power quality issues was a task for the most expert engineers. The cost of waste could only be calculated by serious number crunching, a direct measurement of the waste and monetization was not possible. With the patented algorithms used in the power quality analyzer, waste caused by common power quality issues such as harmonics and unbalance can be measured directly. By inputting the cost of energy in to the instrument the cost is directly calculated.

You can reduce power usage by eliminating inefficiencies in your distribution system. Inefficiency sources include:

• High neutral currents due to unbalanced loads and triplen harmonics.

• Heavily loaded transformers, especially those serving non-linear loads.

• Old motors, old drives, and other motor-related issues.

• Highly distorted power, which may cause excessive heating in the power system

You can avoid power factor penalties by correcting for power factor. Generally this involves installing correction capacitors. But, first correct for distortion on the system—capacitors can present low impedance to harmonics and installing inappropriate PF correction can result in resonance or burned out capacitors. Consult a power quality engineer before correcting PF if harmonics are present.

You can reduce peak demand charges by managing peak loading. Unfortunately, many people overlook a major component of this cost—the effect of poor power quality on peak power usage—and thus

underestimate their over payments. To determine the real costs of peak loading, you need to know three things:

  1. “Normal” power usage
  2. “Clean power” power usage
  3. Peak loading charge structure

By eliminating the power quality problems, you reduce the size of the peak demands and the base from which they start. By using load management, you control when specific equipment operates and thus how the loads “stack on top of each other.”

Now your building averages 515 kWh and your peak load pegs at 650 kWh. But, you add load management to move some loads around and now fewer loads stack on top of each other at once—your new peak load rarely goes beyond 595 kWh.

power quality analysis

Right answer to poor power quality.

  1. Active power filter
  2. Static Var Generator
  3. MV Statcom
  4. Automatic power factor correction panels.

33kv outdoor statcom

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