Power Quality Testing

 

Power Quality Testing is a hot topic that is becoming increasingly important to ensure the efficient use of electrical energy. The use of power meters can help in reducing energy losses and contribute to saving the environment!

Power quality testing is essential for ensuring the efficient generation, distribution and use of electrical energy. The power quality defines a set of limits that allow electrical systems to operate in their intended manner without, significant, loss of performance or product life.

The term is power quality used to describe electric power that drives an electrical load and the load's ability to function properly with that electric power. Without the proper power quality, an electrical device (or load) may malfunction, fail prematurely or not operate at all.

Also without the proper quality of supply, efficiencies in the power delivery and usage are compromised leading to wastage.There are many ways in which electric power can be of poor quality and many more causes of such poor power quality.

        Fluke 435 Power Analyzer

While "power quality" is a useful term, it is the quality of the voltage - rather than power or electric current - that is actually described. Power is simply the flow of energy, and the current demanded by a load is largely uncontrollable. Indeed the growth of non-linear loads on the electricity supply system has led to an increase in the current harmonics drawn from the mains. In an attempt to limit this problem, an IEC standard IEC61000-3-2 has been published that prescribes limits on the harmonics that an electrical appliance can draw from the mains supply.

Broadly speaking, ‘power quality’ may be described by a set of parameters such as:

  • Continuity of service
  • Variation in voltage magnitude
  • Transient voltages and currents
  • Harmonic content in waveforms.

 

A number of measurements on the supply or the load can be made to determine these factors. These include:

  • RMS Voltage: The normal measure for sinusoidal AC signals.
  • Peak Voltage: The peak voltage reached (positive or negative)
  • RMS Current: The normal measure for sinusoidal AC signals.
  • Peak Current: The peak current reached (positive or negative)
  • Power: VA
  • Power Factor: efficiency of use
  • Harmonics: Affecting the efficiency and wave shape
  • Flicker: Spurious dips or surges causing the lights to flicker
  • Phase Angle: Effecting the power factor
  • Frequency: of the source
  • Wave Shape: Ideally sinusoidal, but will contain harmonics.
  • Inrush currents: Start up effects of motors and inductive loads.
  • Balance: The loading between phases on three phase sources.
  • Energy: Usage. 

 

Livingston offer a range of solutions for power quality testing in the field and for manufacturers of equipment. Please see below for some of these: 

 

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Livingston provides a range of equipment that can help installers and operators measure and therefore manage their network elements to achieve the required service levels:

  • Rent as long as you need the equipment
  • Only quality brands
  • No hidden costs
  • If equipment goes faulty, replacements will be supplied within 24hrs
  • When you have finished with the equipment, give us a call and we will arrange collection

 

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