Power Quality Primer [4,63 MiB]

Power Quality Primer [4,63 MiB]
Power Quality Primer
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Power Quality Primer
Barry W. Kennedy
McGraw-Hill
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DOI: 10.1036/0071344160
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I dedicate this book to the Lord Jesus Christ for
giving me the discipline to write each day and to
my wife, Helen, for her emotional support and
getting up early each morning to fix my breakfast
so I could write.
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Contents
Foreword
xiii
Preface
xv
Chapter 1 Introduction
Power Quality Definition
Need for Power Quality
Sensitive Loads
Nonlinear Loads
Interconnected Power Systems
Deregulation
Who’s Involved in the Power Quality Industry?
Research and Development Organizations
Standards Organizations
Consultants
End-User Equipment Manufacturers
Monitoring-Equipment Manufacturers
Power Conditioning Equipment Manufacturers
Utilities
End Users
Lawyers
How Much Does Power Quality Cost?
How to Use This Book
References
Chapter 2 Power Quality Characteristics
Power Quality Theory
Types of Power Quality Problems
Voltage Sags (Dips)
Voltage Swells
Long-Duration Overvoltages
Undervoltages
Interruptions
Transients
Voltage Unbalance
Voltage Fluctuations
Harmonics
Electrical Noise
Sources of Power Quality Problems
Utility Side of the Meter
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Contents
End-User Side of the Meter
Effects of Power Quality Problems
Power Quality Problem-Solving Procedures
Power Quality Solutions
Summary
References
Chapter 3 Power Quality Standards
Power Quality Standards Organizations
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
Other Domestic Standards Organizations
Other International Standards Organizations
Purpose of Power Quality Standards
Types of Power Quality Standards
Voltage Sag (Dip) Standards
Transients or Surges
Voltage Unbalance
Voltage Fluctuation or Flicker Standards
Harmonic Standards
Transformer Overheating Standards
Neutral Conductor Loading Standards
Static Electricity
Telephone Power Quality Standards
Grounding and Wiring Standards
Sensitive Electronic Equipment Standards
Trends in Power Quality Standards
References
Chapter 4 Power Quality Solutions
Reduce Effects on Sensitive Equipment
Reduce or Eliminate Cause
Reduce or Eliminate Transfer Medium
Install Power Conditioning Equipment
How Does It Work?
Surge Suppressors
Noise Filters
Isolation Transformers
Line-Voltage Regulators
Motor-Generator Sets
Magnetic Synthesizers
Static VAR Compensators (SVCs)
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
Solid-State Switches
Harmonic Filters
Other Harmonic Solutions
Selection of Appropriate Power Conditioning Equipment
Grounding and Wiring Solutions
References
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Contents
Chapter 5 Wiring and Grounding
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Wiring Principles
Grounding Principles
Power System
Utility Power System Grounding
Telecommunication System Grounding
End-User Power System Grounding
Wiring and Grounding Problems
Ground Loops
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Noise
Loose Connections
Grounding for Lightning and Static Electricity
Attack of the Triplens
Solutions That Cause Problems
Wiring Solutions
Separation
Selection of Wire and Cables
Shielding
Grounding Solutions
Ground Rods
Ground Ring
Ground and Reference Signal Grids
Other Grounding Systems
Isolated Grounds
Multipoint Grounding
Separately Derived Source Grounding
Conclusions
References
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Chapter 6 Power Quality Measurement Tools
173
Kilowatt-Hour Meter
Multimeters
Average-responding versus True RMS Meters
Crest Factor and Bandwidth
Other Selection Considerations
Oscilloscopes
Disturbance Analyzers
Harmonic Analyzers
Power Factor Measurement
Static Meters
Electric Field Strength and Magnetic Gaussmeters
Infrared Detectors
Flicker Meters
Wiring and Grounding Instruments
Receptacle Circuit Testers
Ground Circuit Impedance Testers
Earth Ground Testers
Permanent Power Quality Monitoring
Need for Power Quality Monitoring
Evolution of Power Quality Monitoring
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Contents
Deregulation’s Effect on Power Quality Monitoring
Power Quality Monitoring System
Monitoring and Analysis to Evaluate Compliance
Monitoring to Characterize System Performance
Monitoring to Characterize Specific Problems
Monitoring as Part of an Enhanced Power Quality Service
Summary
References
Chapter 7 Power Quality Surveys
Purpose of a Power Quality Survey (Checkup or Examination)
Assess the Power Quality (Health)
Identify the Power Quality Problem (Symptom)
Determine the Cause (Disease)
Analyze the Results of the Survey (Diagnose) to Determine
a Solution (Cure)
Planning a Power Quality Survey
Identify the Participants and Performer of the Survey
Ask Questions
Coordinate the Parties
Know Facilities
Survey Forms
Choosing the Right Power Quality Instruments
Conducting a Power Quality Survey
Step 1: Collect Information at Coordination Meeting
Step 2: Conduct On-Site Visual Inspection
Step 3: Set Up Test Instruments
Step 4: Collect Test Measurements
Analyzing Power Quality Survey Results
Input Data into Diagnostic Model
Identify Alternative Solutions
Preventing Power Quality Problems
References
Chapter 8 Power Quality Economics
Total Power Quality Improvement Cost
Steps in Performing an Economic Analysis
Step 1: Determine Base Power Quality Problem Cost
Value-Based Economic Analysis
Cost of the Disturbance
Interruptions
Voltage Sags
Weighting Factors for Interruptions and Voltage Sags
Harmonic Distortion
Flicker
Step 2: Determine Power Quality Improvement Cost
End-User Power Quality Improvements
Utility-Side Power Quality Improvements
Step 3: Determine Reduced Power Quality Problem Cost
Interruption and Voltage Sage Reduction Technologies
Benefit of Filters to Reduce or Eliminate Harmonics
Benefits of Reducing Flicker
Step 4: Determine Economic Analysis Method and Assumptions
Power Quality Improvement— Purchaser Perspective
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Contents
Life Cycle
Time Value of Money
Equivalent First Cost
Present Worth Method
Benefit-to-Cost Method
Step 5: Perform Economic Analysis
Uncertainty
Sensitivity Analysis
Computer Programs
References
Chapter 9 Future Trends
United States Electric Utility Deregulation
United States Electric Power Industry
1992 Energy Policy Act
Unbundling
Requirements for Power Quality Contracts
Contracts between TRANSCO and DISTCO or Direct-Service Customer
Contracts between DISTCO and End Users (or End-User Representative)
Contracts between RETAILCO or ESCO and End User
Enhanced Power Quality Requirements to Improve Productivity
Contracts between DISTCO and Small IPP
Deregulation versus Regulation
Power Quality Standards
International Utility Competition
Research and Development
Power Quality Parks
References
Glossary 303
Bibliography 347
Index 355
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FOREWORD
Deregulation of the electric power industry is making the quality of
the power delivered a topic of increasing importance. It is no longer
just an issue for a technical group within the utility that investigates
unusual problems of interaction between the power system and customer facilities. It is a problem related to basic system design issues,
system maintenance issues, investments that are required to protect
equipment within customer facilities, and the implementation of new
technologies. Unfortunately, no one has figured out who should be
responsible for this power quality.
We are creating a new industry structure where there are many different entities with different responsibilities. The objective is to
achieve deregulation of the electric power generation and realize the
benefits of efficiency and innovation that result from competition. This
is a good objective and consumers should benefit from this approach to
generating power. However, there is still the problem of getting the
power from these generators to the consumers. This involves a portion
of the electric utilities that will still have to be regulated because
putting in redundant systems for the transmission and distribution
functions will never be the optimum approach for society. Regulation
of the transmission and distribution portions of electric utilities (“the
line companies”) will have to consider power quality in some form.
Regulators are already looking at the issues of reliability and consumers have already experienced reliability impacts associated with
the new structure. Reliability is really just one part of the overall power quality issue—many other aspects of power quality can also have
important impacts on customer operations. Many of these are quite
complicated and involve interaction between the transmission system,
distribution system, and even customer facilities.
What are these power quality concerns and how should we address
them? When you are finished with this book, you should have a basic
understanding of the important concerns. You will also understand that
there is no simple method of dealing with them. Different customers
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xiv
Foreword
have different needs with respect to power quality. It would not be fair
to increase the costs of distributing power to all customers to meet the
power quality requirements of the most sensitive customers. These
leads to the concept of differentiated levels of power quality, or “custom
power.” There should be many opportunities for individual contracts
that define the power quality to be delivered for specific customers and
regulation of the transmission and distribution companies should support this concept.
First of all, we need standards that define the basic requirements,
the responsibilities of the different parties, and the methods of characterizing the power quality so that everyone starts at the same point.
There are many different standards efforts under way, both in North
America and internationally. This book will help you understand some
of these important activities so that you can keep track of the developments and provide your input where it is appropriate.
Barry Kennedy had been involved in the power quality area for a
number of years. His background in energy efficiency is particularly
appropriate because many of the same devices that are appropriate for
improving the energy efficiency of a facility also have important
impacts on the power quality levels and concerns. For instance,
adjustable-speed motor drives save energy and provide important
advantages in controlling processes but they also can be very sensitive
to small variations in the voltage supplied and they can introduce harmonic distortion which may affect other loads on the system. Our policies in promoting energy efficiency technologies must also address the
associated power quality issues. Barry recognized this many years ago
and managed a project for EPRI and BPA to develop a workbook that
addresses these concerns. It is still one of the best references in the
industry on this topic.
Barry’s perspective on the problem should be valuable for many people. This book is designed to complement more advanced books on
power quality issues and should become an important reference for
everyone’s power quality library. It should provide a basic understanding for the wide variety of people that may now be impacted by
power quality issues—utility engineers, regulators, all types of customers, equipment manufacturers,and even politicians. In this sense,
it fills a very important need for the whole industry.
Mark McGranahan
Electrotek Concepts
PREFACE
The term power quality seems ambiguous. It means different things to
different people. So, what is power quality? Is power quality a problem
or a product? It depends on your perspective. If you are an electrical
engineer, power quality expert, or electrician, you may tend to look at
power quality as a problem that must be solved. If you are an economist, power marketer, or purchaser of electrical power, you may look
at power as a product and power quality as an important part of that
product. Whatever your background, if you are involved in the sale or
purchase of electrical power, you will benefit from this book.
I have designed this book to be a technical book for both a nontechnical and a technical audience. Electric utility staff can use this book
as a reference. I have written it to help them understand how to compete in the new deregulated, competitive utility industry—not just on
the price of electricity but through better customer service and power
quality. It will also help utility engineers to provide better customer
service to their customers. It will provide the consumer of electricity
with important guidelines on how they can get better customer service
and power quality from their servicing utility.
Four factors cause an increased need to solve and prevent power quality problems: (1) the increased use of power quality–sensitive equipment, (2) the increased use of equipment that generates power quality
problems, (3) the increased interconnectedness of the power system, and
(4) the deregulation of the power industry. All of these factors influence
utilities’ ability to compete with each other to gain new—and keep
existing—customers. They also affect the consumers’ end users of electricity ability to succeed at their business. Utilities can cause end users
to experience costly disruption of production. I discuss each one of these
factors in more detail in Chap. 1.
Traditionally, utilities avoided involvement in power quality problems
that occurred on a customer’s system, and only got involved when their
customers complained about power quality problems. Utilities would only
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xvi
Preface
react to customer complaints. When they received a confusing complaint,
they would first try to determine the cause of the problem and who caused
it. Utilities in a competitive environment have found that this reactive
approach makes customers unhappy. In today’s electricity market, most
utilities want to keep their customers happy and satisfied. At the same
time, many utility customers expect high-quality power and cannot afford
the cost and bother of power quality problems. Consequently, utilities
have discovered that a proactive approach to power quality problems
works better in satisfying and keeping their customers happy. Utilities
and their customers have found the need to look at each other’s side of the
revenue meter when encountering power quality problems. Even though
utilities cause many power quality problems, such as voltage sags, recent
studies by research organizations, like the Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI), have found that utility customers cause 80 to 90 percent
of their own power quality problems.
Many utilities and their customers have discovered the importance of
solving and preventing power quality problems. They have found the
need to prevent the cost of lost production caused by poor power quality.
They have learned that they need to understand the cause
and effect of power quality problems in order to prevent them. More and
more utilities are working with their customers on the “other side” of the
meter to help them solve power quality problems. Yes, both providers and
purchasers of electricity need to know the causes and solutions to power
quality problems. I have designed this book to provide both suppliers and
consumers of electricity not only with a clear understanding of the cause
and effect of power quality problems but also the solutions to those problems as well.
Several books about power quality are available, but none is dedicated solely to providing the reader with the solutions to power quality
problems or help them to understand how to sell or buy power high in
quality. Other books define the technical problems and solutions associated wth power quality, while this book is a power quality primer
that will help both the provider and consumer of electrical energy to
cope with the customer service and power quality impact of the deregulated electric utility industry. My goal in writing this book is to help
providers and users of electricity to understand the basics of power
quality. If you are new to power quality, you will find that Chap. 2 provides you with the necessary fundamentals on power quality theory,
power quality variations, and power quality solutions. If you are familiar with power quality, you will find the later chapters on new power
quality monitoring and diagnostic tools informative and valuable. And
for both the beginner and advanced provider and user of electricity,
Chapt. 3 provides a clear explanation of all the many and often confusing international and national power quality standards.
Preface
xvii
Power quality standards have been changing over the years. They
will become even more important as the utility industry restructures
and becomes more competitive. Chapter 3 discusses the various power
quality standards developed by IEEE, IEC, EPRI, and other organizations. In addition to understanding power quality standards, you need
to know how to solve power quality problems.
Chapter 4 outlines how to solve power quality problems. The various
types of power conditioning equipment available on the market are presented, along with an explanation of how they can solve your power
quality problem.
Because poor wiring and grounding cause many power quality problems (80 to 90 percent), Chapter 5 is devoted to identifying and solving wiring and grounding power quality problems.
I organized this book into logical steps to help you obtain easily the
information you need to either develop a power quality program or just
to understand power quality in general. I explain how to use this book
in Chap. 1.
Whether you are a power quality expert or end user experiencing
power quality problems, you need to decide how to use the many types
of meters on the market today for measuring power quality. What meter
should you use to solve your—or your client’s—power quality problem?
Just like doctors and their patients need to understand how to use
instruments for diagnosing health problems, power quality experts and
their clients need to understand how to use instruments for diagnosing
power quality problems. You’ll learn to understand how they work and
how to use them from this book. Chapter 6 shows you the inner workings of power quality meters and how to apply them to solve your
power quality problem. Not only will I show you how to use power quality meters but also how to determine what type of power quality meter
is best for your situation.
Many utilities and their customers are looking for permanent power
quality monitoring systems that allow them to respond quickly to
power quality problems. Several systems are available today. Chapter
6 explains these systems and how to use them. Once you have determined the cause of power quality problems, you need to know what
solution best fits your power quality problem. To help you to determine
the various solutions available, I cover the technology and equipment
being used to prevent or solve power quality problems in Chap. 4.
Many power quality problems are so complex that a computer simulation is required to solve them. Not only do computer simulations provide an opportunity to look at alternative technical solutions but they
also allow you to evaluate the economics of various solutions. Then you
can pick the solution that solves your problem with the least amount
of cost. The various tools for power quality simulations and how to use
xviii
Preface
them, as well as the steps in performing a power quality survey, are
discussed in Chap. 7.
Often, the analysis of power quality problems requires extensive
experience in looking at the power quality signature obtained from
your monitoring equipment and the ability to recognize the cause of
the problem. This is not unlike a doctor looking at laboratory results
and being able to identify the medical problem that is making you
sick. Obtaining the necessary experience can be expensive and time
consuming. Computer diagnostic tools developed by EPRI and others
can be real assets in identifying and isolating a particular power quality problem. I present these tools and how to use them in Chap. 7.
Deregulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry will
have an effect on power quality. What will the restructured utility industry look like and how will it effect power quality? Deregulation’s effect
and other future trends, described in Chap. 9 provide you with the structure of the new utility industry and how it will affect power quality.
Changes in technologies and the structure of the power industry
will make the need for continuous power quality training essential.
Chapter 9 is devoted to the type of training available today from utilities, EPRI, IEEE, and consultants, along with the steps for developing your power quality training if you so choose.
Once you have examined the various components that make up a
power quality program, you are ready to develop your own power
quality program. Your program could include any of the modules I discuss in Chap. 9. I have tried to present to you with the parts of a power quality program in modules to allow you to create a program that
meets your needs.
The cost of power quality problems and solutions needs to be evaluated not only from the utility’s perspective but also from the utility
customer’s perspective. The economics of power quality programs
need to be evaluated as well. In Chap. 8 I show you how to evaluate
the cost of power quality problems, solutions, and programs.
Can power quality be treated as a business? Whether you wish to
sell power quality as a service bundled with your power rates or as a
separate unbundled service, you need to develop a business plan. In
Chap. 9 I discuss how various companies are treating power quality
as a business and how to write the technical components of a business
plan for a power quality, industrial, or commercial organization.
Deregulation and restructuring the electric utility industry will
make the use of power quality contracts imperative. These contracts
will not only involve agreements between the servicing utility and
their customers but also between power consumers, transmission and
distribution companies, power quality servicing companies and their
customers, and between generators and their customers. I discuss how
to write these contracts in Chap. 9.
Preface
xix
When the utility industry becomes deregulated, users of electricity
will need to evaluate their supplier of power not only on the basis of
the power cost but also on power quality. How to evaluate providers
of power quality services, and transmission and distribution services,
is the subject of Chap. 9.
Research and development of new tools for diagnosing and solving
power quality problems is constantly changing. New technologies that
result in power quality problems will require new methods for diagnosing them. I discuss the status of research and development in
Chap. 9.
What are the future trends in technology and organizational structure in the power industry? How will these trends affect the end user
of electricity and the utility industry? I look into my crystal ball and
present in Chap. 9 what I think will be the important trends in power
quality.
In order to help you sort through the jargon and technical language
in the power quality and electric utility industry, I provide an extensive glossary of terms and abbreviations. Often you might have a
desire to do further research on power quality. To meet that need, I
provide a bibliography that includes references to several Internet web
sites that deal with power quality.
You, the users and providers of electricity, benefit from the selection
and operation of a power system that provides power that is high in
power quality. You have the data on the cost of power quality problems
and the cost of power quality solution to make the decision that benefits you and your customers. With this book, you have the knowledge
and methods for evaluating the cost effectiveness of power quality solutions that meets your needs to serve your customer and save money.
Acknowledgments
The author would like to thank the following individuals who provided help during preperation of the manuscript and production: Wayne
Beaty, Roger Dugan, Gerry Fahey, John Fenker, Tom Key, Alex
McEachern, Mark McGranahan, David Muller, Dan Sabin, and
Frances-Crystal Wilson.
Barry W. Kennedy
Credits
Table 3.2 reprinted with permission from IEEE Std. 1159-1995 “IEEE
Recommended Practice for Monitoring Electric Power Quality”
Copyright © 1995, by IEEE. Tables 3.7 and 3.8 and quote on page 83
reprinted with permission from IEEE Standard 519-1992 “IEEE
Recommended Practices and Requirements for Harmonic Control in
Electrical Power Systems” Copyright © 1992 by IEEE. Page 87,
Equation 3.2; Table 4.1; quotes on pages 151, 152, and 194; and Figs.
5.29, 5.30, and 7.7 reprinted with permission from IEEE Standard 11001992 “IEEE Recommended Practices for Powering and Grounding
Sensitive Electronic Equipment. (The Emerald Book)” Copyright ©
1993, by IEEE. Quote on page 76 reprinted with permission from IEEE
Standard 493-1990 “IEEE Recommended Practice for the Design of
Reliable Industrial and Commercial Power Systems (The Gold Book)”
Copyright © 1991, by IEEE. Definition on page 89 reprinted with permission from IEEE Standard C62.47-1992 “IEEE Guide on Electrostatic
Discharge (ESD): Characterization of the ESD Environment” Copyright
© 1993, by IEEE. Quote on page 166 reprinted with permission from
IEEE Standard 142-1991 “IEEE Recommended Practice for Grounding
of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems (IEEE Green Book)”
Copyright © 1992, by IEEE. Equation on pages 248–250 reprinted with
permission from IEEE Standard 446-1995 “IEEE Recommended
Practice for Emergency and Standby Power Systems for Industrial and
Commercial Applications (The Orange Book)” Copyright © 1996 by
IEEE. Form on Table 8.2 reprinted with permission from IEEE
Standard 1346-1998 “IEEE Recommended Practice for Evaluating
Electric Power System Compatibility With Electronic Process
Equipment” Copyright © 1998, by IEEE.
IEEE disclaims any responsibility or liability resulting from the
placement and use in the described manner.
Copyright © 2000 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
Chapter
1
Introduction
It’s Friday. Your boss gave you a deadline to have that report done by
close of business. You’re almost done with the report. So you don’t
bother to save it. Then your computer “freezes.” You’re upset. You take
a deep breath, say a prayer, and reboot your computer. You’ve lost several hours of work. You may have lost a promotion and certainly a
chance to impress your boss. You decide to work overtime and vow to
back up your material more often. You’re not alone. What may have
been an annoyance to you and your boss multiplied many times has
become a costly problem throughout the United States and the world.
In many cases where offices and factories have become dependent on
the smooth operation of computers, a single outage can be very costly. For example, a glass plant in 1993 estimated that an interruption
of power of less than a tenth of a second can cost as much as $200,000,
while for a computer center that experienced a 2-second interruption,
it can cost $600,000 and a loss of 2 hours of data processing. According
to Science (“Editorial: Magnetic Energy Storage,” October 7, 1994),
costs due to power fluctuations in the United States range from $12
to $26 billion. Consequently, the United States market for power quality services and equipment has grown to over $5 billion in 1999.
Figure 1.1 shows how the cost of power quality disturbances have
increased over the last 30 years.
Electrical power engineers have always been concerned about power
quality. They see power quality as anything that affects the voltage,
current, and frequency of the power being supplied to the end user,
i.e., the ultimate user or consumer of electricity. They are intimately
familiar with the power quality standards that have to be maintained. They deal with power quality at all levels of the power system,
from the generator to the ultimate consumer of electrical power.
They are not the only ones who need to be aware of power quality.
1
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2
Chapter One
$1,000 Million/Year
1000
900
Millions of Dollars/Year
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
$100 Million/Year
100
$10 Million/Year
0
1970’s
1980’s
1990’s
Years
Increase in the cost of power quality in the United States. (Courtesy of
www.powerqualityinc.com)
Figure 1.1
They share their concern with other professionals who sell and buy
electrical power as well as those who sell and buy electricity-consuming appliances and equipment. They see that the market has expanded to include suppliers and consumers of equipment that mitigates
power quality problems. That is why, as an electrical engineer, I see a
need to communicate to others the importance of understanding power quality and power quality problems.
Power quality problems occur when the alternating-voltage power
source’s 60-Hz (50-Hz in Europe) sine wave is distorted. In the past,
most power-consuming equipment tolerated some distortion. Today,
highly sensitive computers and computer-controlled equipment
require a power source of higher quality and more reliability than
standard, less sensitive electricity-consuming equipment of the past,
like motors and incandescent lights. Figure 1.2 illustrates how a
voltage sine wave can become distorted.
The undistorted alternating-voltage sine wave repeats itself every
cycle. The time required to complete one cycle is called a period.
Because it repeats itself it is referred to as a periodic wave. The flow
of electrons is called current and is measured in amperes. Current
times voltage equals electrical power. Our beating heart pumps
3
Volts
Introduction
sin (t) (Fundamental)
–.33 sin (3t) (Third Harmonic)
Time
Volts
0
sin (t) –.33 sin (3t) (Combination)
0
Time
Figure 1.2 Distorted voltage sine wave.
blood that produces a periodic wave that can be seen on a heart monitor. The flow of electrons in a conductor is analogous to the flow of
blood in an artery. The transmission and distribution systems that
deliver electrons to the consumer are somewhat analogous to the
arteries and veins that deliver blood to the vital organs of the body.
Blood pressure is like voltage or the potential for the current to flow
to the consumer. Voltage is a force or pressure and is measured in
volts. The frequency of the heartbeat is like the frequency of electrical power. And the organs of the body are the various types of electrical loads distributed throughout the electrical power system. In
the supply of electrical power, frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz;
cycles per second). The United States uses 60-Hz power while
Europe and Asia use 50-Hz power (by comparison the human heart
normally beats at about 75 beats per minute). Figure 1.3 shows
the similarity of a heart monitor to a power quality monitor for an
electrical power system.
4
Chapter One
As loads have become more sensitive to variations in the quality of
power, the definition of power quality has become important but somewhat confusing. This has caused utilities and their customers to take
a look at the definition of power quality.
Power Quality Definition
Power quality can be defined from two different perspectives,
depending on whether you supply or consume electricity. Power quality at the generator usually refers to the generator’s ability to generate power at 60 Hz with little variation, while power quality at the
transmission and distribution level refers to the voltage staying
within plus or minus 5 percent. Gerry Heydt in Electric Power
Quality defines power quality as “the measure, analysis, and
improvement of bus voltage, usually a load bus voltage, to maintain
that voltage to be a sinusoid at rated voltage and frequency.” The
type of equipment being used by the end user affects power quality
at the end-user level. Roger Dugan, Mark McGranaghan, and Wayne
Beaty in Electrical Power Systems Quality define a power quality
problem as “any power problem manifested in voltage, current, or
frequency deviations that results in failure or missed operation of
utility or end user equipment.” Figure 1.4 illustrates the different
meanings of power quality. Economists and power marketers see
power as a product and power quality as a measure of the quality of
that product. The definition of power quality becomes even more
unclear when the roles of utility and customer become blurred as the
utility industry is restructured and deregulated. Because of the
changing roles of the utility and the customer, I will try to present
power quality from a power system standpoint rather than an ownership point of view. The evolution of the power system and the types
of loads it serves is the major cause of an increased need for power
quality.
Figure 1.3 Heart monitor (left) and power quality monitor. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI.)
Introduction
5
Figure 1.4 Power quality definitions. (Courtesy of Bonneville Power Administration.)
Need for Power Quality
Historically, power quality and reliability were synonymous. In the
early days of the development of the power system, electrical engineers were mainly concerned about “keeping the lights on.” They
designed the power system to withstand outages by using lightning
arresters, breakers and disconnect switches, and redundancy. The
main concern was to prevent the frequency of the power system from
deviating from 60 Hz during outages. Various devices were utilized to
maintain the reliability of the power system. For example, if an outage
of a major transmission line caused a large load to be dropped, there
was concern about the generator “running away” and the frequency
increasing above acceptable limits. Then, the whole power system
would collapse. Large “dynamic brakers” consisting of many stainless
6
Chapter One
Figure 1.5 Dynamic braking resistors. (Courtesy of Bonneville Power Administration.)
steel wires were utilized to keep the generators from spinning out of
control. These “giant toasters” are pictured in Figure 1.5.
Electrical engineers have always been concerned about the possibility
of an outage of a transmission line or substation causing a cascading
effect. This cascading effect would cause the various parts of the system
to fall like dominos. This is what happened during the New York blackout of 1965. The failure of a relay in Canada to operate caused this particular blackout. Since then, electrical engineers have made great efforts
in analyzing weaknesses in the system, using high-speed computers to
perform steady-state power flow studies and transient stability studies.
Even with all these efforts, major outages have occurred in various
parts of the world. For example, in 1997, the West Coast experienced a
major blackout caused by a tree growing into a high-capacity 500-kV
line on the Bonneville Power System in the Pacific Northwest. A contributing factor was that one of the major dams on the Columbia River
was generating electricity at less than full capacity in order to allow
salmon to migrate up the river to spawn. Even more recently, a large
outage occurred in Canada and Northeastern United States because of
extended cold weather and icing on power lines. In 1998, in New
Zealand, a nationwide power outage occurred as a result of extremely
hot weather and an inadequate power system. These are all examples of
the need for reliable power. The need for reliable electrical power continues to grow throughout the world as the use of electricity increases.
However, brownouts (an extended reduction in voltage of more than 10
percent) and blackouts (total loss of all electrical power for more than a
Introduction
7
minute) make up only 4.7 percent of the total disturbances that may
occur on a power system. Short-term changes in voltage called transients
account for the other 95.3 percent. Power quality problems caused by
transients have become an increasing concern since the 1980s.
The emphasis has shifted from concern about the reliability at the
transmission and distribution level in the 1980s to concern about power quality at the end-user level. The biggest cause of this shift is the
growing computer use since the 1980s. This is because computers are
more sensitive to deviations in power quality.
Sensitive loads
Computers and microprocessors have invaded our homes, offices, hospitals, banks, airports, and factories. It is hard to imagine any industry today that is not impacted by computers and microprocessors.
Microprocessors have even become a part of today’s toys and consumer
appliances. Figure 1.6 shows examples of microprocessor-controlled
equipment that can be affected by poor power quality.
Why do computers cause loads to be more sensitive? The brains of
all computers are integrated circuit (IC) chips. They are the source
of this sensitivity, which has increased over the last 25 years as more
transistors have been placed on a micro chip. The number of transistors on a chip has increased significantly from the two transistors on
the first microchip invented in 1958 to 7.5 million on Intel’s Pentimum
II microchip in 1995, as illustrated in Figure 1.7 (mips refers to millions of instructions per second). In fact, the computer industry has
observed that each new chip contains roughly twice as much capacity
as its predecessor and each chip is released within 18 to 24 months of
the previous chip. This principle has become known as Moore’s law
and was named after an Intel founder, Gordon Moore, who made this
observation in a 1965 speech.
As computer chip manufacturers seek to increase the density of electrical components on a chip, the chips become even more sensitive to
changes in the electrical power supply. The density of these components
in a very small package causes computers to have a low tolerance for
voltage deviations. They are prone to current flowing from one conductor
to another if the insulation is damaged. As more components are jammed
in a small area, they will tend to generate more insulation-damaging
heat. Figure 1.8 shows the density of the electrical components in an IC.
In addition, computers use the on and off voltages and the timing
provided by the power supply to store and manipulate data in the
microprocessor. Any deviations from the voltage that is specified can
cause the data to be corrupted or erased. This is what often causes
your computer to “freeze up.” These disturbances affect not only your
personal computer, but also any industrial or commercial office process
8
Chapter One
Digital clock
Personal computer
Cell phone.
Heart monitor
Figure 1.6 Examples of microprocessor-controlled equipment.
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
Micro
500
2000
1M
80486
80388
100K
Pentium
Processor
25
1.0
Mips
Transistors
10M
80286
8086
10K
0.1
8080
4044
0.01
Figure 1.7 Graph of increased integrated circuit density. (Courtesy of Intel Corp., copy-
right Intel Corp. 2000).
Introduction
9
Figure 1.8 Integrated circuit components. (Courtesy of Intel Corp.,
copyright Intel Corp. 2000.)
that uses microprocessors. These include electronically controlled
devices, such as adjustable-speed drives, scanners, cash registers in
grocery stores, fax and copy machines in offices, telecommunication
equipment, and medical equipment.
Power quality has probably not deteriorated over time, but instead
the equipment requirements for higher power quality have increased
in the 1990s. In the past, most equipment could tolerate a voltage disturbances of ±5 percent of nominal voltage. For example, nonelectronic equipment, like motors, incandescent lights, and resistance heaters,
could tolerate decreases and increases in voltage of 6 V on a 120-V
receptacle. Table 1.1 from the American National Standards Institute
(ANSI) 84l1 shows the voltage tolerances in the secondary system, i.e.,
120 V in a residence and 480 V in a factory, of the end user.
Even though more equipment have become more voltage-sensitive,
most electricians show very little concern about power quality. Often
their only concern is with safety and that the wiring and grounding
meet National Electrical Code (NEC) standards. The NEC standards
deal with personal safety and fire protection and not with the fact that
microprocessors use on and off logic voltages of 0.5 to 1 V. Someone
needed to develop standards that deal with voltages disturbances on
the power system that cause the logic voltage in the microprocessor to
either dip below or rise above these levels. Otherwise, an erroneous
data signal could be sent to the microprocessor and cause data to be
corrupted and computers to freeze up. Something had to be done.
10
Chapter One
TABLE 1.1
ANSI C84.1 Secondary Voltage Standards
Type of secondary
system measure
Normal
conditions, V
Contingency
conditions, V
127–110
220–191
120/208 V,
3 phase,
4 wire
Phases to neutral
Phase to phase
126–114
218–197
126–114
120/208 V,
3 phase,
3 wire
Line to neutral
Line to line
127–110
254–220
252–228
277/480 V,
3 phase,
4 wire
Phase to neutral
Phase to phase
291–263
504–456
293–254
508–440
SOURCE: Reprinted from ANSI C84.1 by permission from National Electrical
Manufacturers Association. Copyright © 1996 National Electrical Manufacturers
Association.
The Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers Association
(CBEMA) recognized this problem. They decided to communicate to
electrical utilities the kinds of voltage variations that sensitive microprocessors could not tolerate. The association developed the so-called
CBEMA curve. The United States Department of Commerce published
in 1983 Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication
94, containing the CBEMA curve. The CBEMA curve in Figure 1.9
shows the susceptibility limits for computer equipment.
The Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) replaced the
Computer and Business Equipment Association. The ITIC has created
its own curve that illustrates the tolerances of voltage variations of
microprocessors. Figure 1.10 shows the new ITIC curve. The ITIC
plans to revise even this graph. Chapter 3, “Power Quality Standards,”
discusses this graph in more detail. While the computer and utility
industries were trying to respond to the increased sensitivity of microprocessors to voltage variations, they were confronted by another problem: Utility customers, i.e., end users, were using equipment that in
itself caused power quality problems. For example, more and more
utility customers were using equipment that caused nonlinear loads.
Nonlinear loads
In the last decade, industrial end users of electricity have bought and
installed the latest technology for saving energy in their factories.
Utilities, state, and federal government agencies have even provided
financial incentives to encourage the use of energy-saving devices, like
adjustable-speed drives.
Adjustable-speed drives have become one of the most popular technologies for saving energy in factories and some commercial facilities.
Introduction
11
Unacceptable
Acceptable
Steady State Limits
Noise and
Voltage
Breakdown
Problems
Unacceptable
0.001
0.01
0.1 1.2 1.0
100 s 1 ms 8.33 ms
10
100
0.1 0.5
2
1000 Cycles
Seconds
Figure 1.9 Simplified CBMA curve. (Courtesy of the Information Technology
Industry Council.)
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0.001
0.01
0.1
1
10
100
Voltage Magnitude (pu)
2.5
0.0
1000
Event Duration (seconds)
Figure 1.10 ITIC curve. (Courtesy of the Information Technology Industry Council.)
These devices use the latest electronic controls to control the speed of
motors to match the requirements of the load. However, they have
been a source of trouble. They trip off inadvertently. They cause nearby transformers to overheat and trip off. What is causing this to happen? The adjustable-speed drives produce nonlinear loads. Nonlinear
loads, such as adjustable-speed drives, electronic ballasts for fluorescent lamps, and power supplies for welding machines, as shown in
Figure 1.11, have become sources of poor power quality. What are nonlinear loads and how do they cause poor power quality?
Nonlinear loads are simply any piece of equipment or appliance that
increases and reduces its consumption of electricity over time in a nonlinear fashion. With nonlinear loads the current and voltage do not
follow each other linearly. In Article 100 of the NEC, a nonlinear load
12
Chapter One
(b) Electronic ballasts lighting
(a) Adjustable speed drive
(c) Arc welder
Figure 1.11 Examples of nonlinear loads.
is defined as “a load where the waveshape of the steady state current
does not follow the waveshape of the applied voltage.” This usually
occurs when the load is not a pure resistance, capacitance, or inductance, but instead contains electronic components to control the function of the equipment to meet the requirements of the load. Often the
nonlinearity of the load results in the generation of harmonics that
cause overheating of electrical equipment. Figure 1.12 shows how harmonics add to the fundamental 60-Hz power and cause overheating.
Programs to improve the efficiency of production have resulted in the
use of nonlinear equipment such as adjustable-speed drives, fluorescent
lighting, induction heating, electron beam furnaces, static power converters, and power-factor-improving shunt capacitors. These devices
often generate or amplify existing harmonic currents that distort the
voltage wave. These voltage distortions can be transmitted to the utility’s system and from the utility’s system to nearby interconnected end
Introduction
13
1.5
1
0.5
0
–0.5
–1
–1.5
Figure 1.12 Harmonics effect.
users. In addition, increased use of arc furnaces causes voltage flicker,
i.e., dips, that in turn cause lights to flicker and irritate people.
New types of loads that generate harmonic voltage distortion are
becoming more common, such as electron beam furnaces for melting
titanium and induction furnaces for processing aluminum. A large
inrush current, as much as 6 times normal current, is required to start
up large horsepower motors. This large inrush current causes the voltage to sag (dip). Chapter 2, “Power Quality Characteristics,” explains
in more detail how these loads cause power quality problems.
All these types of loads result in one customer causing power quality
problems for another customer. Utilities cannot afford to allow such
problems to continue; they affect the utilities’ and their customers’ competitiveness. Utilities need to identify the customers causing a power
quality problem and require them to fix it. Utilities and their customers
also need to have procedures that prevent power quality problems.
They need to have power quality contracts that require the end user
causing power quality problems to be responsible for fixing them.
Chapter 8, “Future Trends,” explains how to write power quality contracts. The need for power quality has become more complicated as
power systems have become more interconnected.
Interconnected power systems
As utilities have increased the number of interconnections in their
power systems to meet growing loads and reliability standards, they
14
Chapter One
have built a increasingly complex and interconnected power system in
the United States and throughout the world. The increasing interconnectedness of the power systems often results in the power quality
problems of one utility or end user causing another utility or end user
to have power quality problems. This is why it has become more difficult to isolate the cause of a power quality problem. For example, an
end user’s facility can cause a power quality problem and transmit the
problem to the servicing utility power system, which then transmits
the problem on another utility’s power system to another end user’s
facility. Harmonics and flicker are good examples of power quality
problems that are transferred from one utility to another through
interconnected power systems. Figure 1.13 shows how the high-voltage transmission system of a utility is interconnected with its own distribution system or the distribution system of another utility serving
homes, offices, and factories.
In the past, in many parts of the United States and throughout the
world, one utility provided generation, transmission, and distribution
services to its customers. This is called a full-service, vertically integrated utility. One utility will no longer provide all these services
when the electric utility industry becomes deregulated and restructured. Different companies will supply generation, transmission, and
distribution services. How will the restructuring and deregulation of
Power Plant
Transformer
Dams
HV Grid
Industries
Homes
Transformer
Substation
Businesses
Distribution
Figure 1.13 Interconnection of utility power systems (Courtesy of Bonneville Power
Administration.)
Introduction
15
the electric utility industry affect its ability to deliver quality power
to its customers? Who will the utility customer contact when it has a
power quality problem? Deregulation will have a complicating effect
on the utility customer.
Deregulation
The restructuring and deregulation of the utility industry will cause
many customers to choose utilities that can supply high-quality as
well as low-cost power. Consequently, utilities will be able to retain
existing customers and attract prospective new customers if they are
able to demonstrate that they can deliver power with high quality.
Utilities with power quality programs, including power quality monitoring and site surveys, will be better able to convince existing and
prospective customers that they see power quality not as a problem
but as an opportunity to provide customer service and help their customers be more competitive. Chapter 6, “Power Quality Measurement
Tools,” discusses the various types of power quality monitoring systems available today and how to use them to prevent and solve power
quality problems on both sides of the meter. Chapter 7, “Power Quality
Surveys,” shows how to plan, conduct, and analyze power quality surveys. The utility customer sees that it can be more competitive if it has
assurance that its power supply is high in quality and reliability. How
will utilities and their customers deal with increasing power quality
problems as the utility industry becomes deregulated and more competitive? Experience with the deregulation of the utility industry in
various parts of the world can help answer this question.
Deregulation has been in effect for several years in many parts of
the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand,
and South America. Deregulation in the United States is a relatively
new phenomenon. In fact, many United States utilities are purchasing
deregulated foreign utilities in order to get experience in how to compete in the upcoming deregulated utility market. The deregulation
process began in the United States with the passage of the 1992
Energy Policy Act. Passage of this act was soon followed by the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) introducing on April 7, 1995,
the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Mega-NOPR).
With Mega-NOPR, FERC requires utilities to provide open transmission access and separate their power business from their transmission and distribution (T&D) business. This has an effect on the
electric utility industry in the United States. In the past, so-called vertically integrated monopolies dominated the electrical utility industry.
This means that utilities owned generation, transmission, and distribution facilities and provided electrical energy to designated fran-
16
Chapter One
chised customers. They were guaranteed a customer base and a profit
by the various state regulatory commissions throughout the United
States. The adoption of Mega-NOPR has caused the state legislatures
and regulatory agencies to pass laws and rules to deregulate the electric utility industry.
The process of deregulation is progressing steadily. Many states are
passing legislation to break up the utility monopolies. They are trying
to encourage competition by allowing end users to choose electrical
suppliers. Several states have begun the process of deregulating the
utility industry. For example, in California, the California Public
Utilities Commission (CPUC) has proposed to implement deregulation
with a phased approach. The CPUC allowed the large industrial end
users to choose their suppliers of electricity on January 2, 1996. The
CPUC plans allow the various segments of the electrical utility market to participate in the deregulation process according to the following schedule: small industrial end users in 1997, commercial
customers in 1998, and residential customers in 2002.
In a deregulated environment, utilities will be divided into separate
companies. The generation companies will be called GENCOs. The
transmission companies will be called TRANSCOs. The distribution
companies will be called DISTCOs or DISCOs, while the companies
providing unbundled energy services will be called ESCOs. Most utilities will become TRANSCOs or DISTCOs, while the great majority of
public utility districts, municipalities, and cooperatives will become
DISTCOs. The TRANSCOs’ and DISTCOs’ primary and sometimes
only source of revenue will come from GENCOs. GENCOs will pay
TRANSCOs and DISTCOs for the right to “wheel” (transmit electricity on someone else’s power system) on their transmission and distribution systems.
The GENCOs will expect reliable and high-power-quality T&D systems. A reliable and high-power-quality T&D system offers many benefits, including making the TRANSCOs and DISTCOs more
competitive, reducing the threat of end users building their own generation capability, and satisfying regulators that the T&D system is
high in power quality.
The TRANSCOs and DISTCOs will most likely continue to be regulated monopolies. It is expected that the formation of an independent system operator (ISO) will be necessary to coordinate the
operation of the various T&D systems. TRANSCOs and DISTCOs will
probably find that the regulators will set standards on power quality.
In the United States the regulators will probably adopt standards
developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEE) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). That means
TRANSCOs and GENCOs will need power quality monitoring sys-
Introduction
17
tems to assure they are adhering to those standards. Otherwise the
TRANSCOs and DISTCOs will not be able to show their customers
and regulators that they are not affecting the quality of power. This
should provide an incentive for TRANSCOs and DISTCOs to improve
the quality of power. Figure 1.14 illustrates how the utility industry
will change when it becomes deregulated.
Chapter 8, “Future Trends,” discusses in more detail deregulation of
the utility industry and how it will affect power quality and the roles
of the utilities and their customers in providing and receiving quality
power. Other stakeholders besides the utilities and their customers
participate in the power quality industry.
Who’s Involved in the Power Quality
Industry?
The primary participants in preventing and solving power quality
problems include the utility, the end user, and the equipment manufacturer. In addition to these three primary participants, the power
quality industry includes several other participants, including the
power conditioning equipment manufacturers, standards organizations like IEC, IEEE, and ANSI, research organizations like EPRI and
PEAC, consultants, monitoring and measuring equipment manufacturers, and architect/engineer facility designers. All these organizations need to work together to ensure that the end users get the power
Functional business types
in a competitive market
Power Production Companies
(GENCOs or IPPs)
Traditional vertically
integrated electric utility
monopoly
Regional Transmission Network
Operators (TRANSCOs)
Generation
Transmission
Distribution
Disaggregation
and industry
restructuring
Customer service
Bulk Power Traders
(POWERCOs)
Distribution System Operators
(DISTCOs)
Retail Power Marketers
(RETAILCOs)
Energy Service Companies
(ESCOs)
Figure 1.14 Effect of deregulation on utility structure.
18
Chapter One
Standards
Organizations
(IEEE, ANSI)
Power Conditioning
Equipment
Manufacturers
Consultants
Utility
Customer
Manufacturer
Monitoring Equipment
Manufacturers
Research
Organizations
(EPRI)
Architects/Engineers
Facility Designers
Figure 1.15 Relationship of organizations involved in power quality.
quality they need to operate their equipment. Figure 1.15 illustrates
how these various organizations need to work together. Each chapter
in the book discusses them in more detail.
Research and development organizations
Government agencies, universities, and manufacturing industries contribute in varying degrees to power quality research and development.
EPRI has been a major contributor to power quality research and
development. In the 1970s, the electric utility industry founded EPRI
as a nonprofit research arm of the electric utility industry. Member utilities fund EPRI from their revenues. It has been in the forefront of
research to study and solve power quality problems. It has developed
Power Quality Service Centers throughout the United States and the
Power Electronic Application Center (PEAC) in Knoxville, Tenn., to
provide information and training on the use of EPRI power quality
products. EPRI has developed power quality studies, guidebooks, training, mitigation hardware, and diagnostic software. This book describes
the various EPRI power quality products and services; each chapter of
the book deals with the various contributions EPRI has made in power
quality. Chapter 9, “Future Trends,” describes EPRI’s contributions to
Introduction
19
power quality research and development. EPRI has, as well, helped
develop power quality index standards. In addition, the Institute of
Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the International
Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have contributed significantly to
the development of power quality standards.
Standards organizations
The power quality standards organizations seem like a confused mix
of alphabet soup with the various acronyms such as IEEE, IEC, ANSI,
NEC, etc. The Glossary at the end of the book reduces this confusion
by explaining these and other acronyms used in this book and in the
power quality industry. Chapter 3, “Power Quality Standards,” clarifies and explains how all these organizations work together to set
standards and guidelines for the power quality industry. It is important to understand how these organizations develop and deliver standards so that you know what standard to refer to in solving your
particular power quality problems.
In the United States, several organizations have developed power
quality standards. The IEEE is the most prominent of these organizations. The IEEE is the largest professional organization in the world.
It has over the years developed standards for the electrical and electronic industries. It has been especially active in developing power
quality standards. Table 1.2 describes the various IEEE power quality
standards as well as those IEEE power quality standards adopted by
the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), identified as
ANSI/IEEE standards. In addition to the IEEE power quality standards, Table 1.2 presents power quality standards developed by the
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA), the National Institute for Standards
and Technology (NIST), and the Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
Chapter 3, “Power Quality Standards,” describes in more detail the
IEEE and other United States organizations and their power quality
standards, as well as international power quality standards organizations, like the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Consultants
The number of consultants in the power quality industry have grown
considerably in the 1990s, as power quality problems have become
more prevalent. They have traditionally been involved in providing
power quality training, although universities and utilities have
become more involved in training recently. Many consultants and utilities are providing training on how to solve power quality problems.
Consultants have provided the tools that are necessary to diagnose
20
Chapter One
TABLE 1.2
United States Power Quality Standards Synopsis
Title/Subject
Industrial Electric Power Systems (Red Book)
Industrial & Commercial (I&C) Power System Ground (Green Book)
Commercial Electric Power Systems (Gray Book)
I&C Power System Protection (Buff Book)
I&C Power System Analysis (Brown Book)
I&C Power System Emergency Power (Orange Book)
I&C Power System Reliability (Gold Book)
Control of Noise in Electronic Controls
Harmonics in Power Systems
Electric Systems in Healthcare Facilities (White Book)
Energy Management in I&C Facilities (Bronze Book)
Interconnection Practices for Photovoltaic Systems
Interfacing Dispersed Storage and Generation
Test Procedures for Interconnecting Static Power Converters
Grounding of Power Station Instrumentation and Control
Guides and Standards on Surge Protection
Voltage Ratings for Power Systems and Equipment
Guides and Standards for Relay and Overcurrent Protection
Transformer Derating for Supplying Nonlinear Loads
Electromagnetic Compatibility
Wire Line Communication Protection in Power Stations
Power and Ground Sensitive Electronic Equip. (Emerald Book)
Monitoring and Definition of Electric Power Quality
Guide on Equipment Sensitive to Momentary Voltage Disturbances
Guide on Compatibility for ASDs and Process Controllers
Uninterruptible Power Supply Specification
National Electric Code
Protection of Electronic Computer Data Processing Equipment
Lightning Protection Code for Buildings
Electric Power for ADP Installations
Overview of Power Quality and Sensitive Electrical Equipment
Standard for Safety of Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors
Standards
ANSI/IEEE 141
ANSI/IEEE 142
ANSI/IEEE 241
ANSI/IEEE 242
ANSI/IEEE 399
ANSI/IEEE 446
ANSI/IEEE 493
ANSI/IEEE 518
ANSI/IEEE 519
ANSI/IEEE 602
ANSI/IEEE 795
ANSI/IEEE 929
ANSI/IEEE 1001
ANSI/IEEE 1035
ANSI/IEEE 1050
ANSI C62
ANSI C84.1
ANSI C37
ANSI C57.110
ANSI C63.18
IEEE P487
IEEE 1100
IEEE 1159
IEEE 1250
IEEE P1346
NEMA UPS
NFFA 70
NFFA 75
NFFA 78
NIST 94
NIST SP678
UL 1449
power quality problems, such as power quality monitoring systems
discussed in Chapter 6, “Power Quality Measurement Tools,” and power quality computer simulations and diagnostic tools discussed in
Chapter 7, “Power Quality Surveys.” They are highly involved in
research and development as well as in helping utilities and their enduser customers solve power quality problems.
End-user equipment manufacturers
End-user equipment manufacturers include manufacturers of
motors, adjustable-speed drives, lighting, computers, capacitors,
transformers, and any other type of electricity-consuming equip-
Introduction
21
ment. They play a definite role in determining the level of power
quality required by the end user. When they design and build equipment, they determine the sensitivity or robustness of their
equipment to power quality variations.
Purchasers of electrical equipment need to be aware of the power
quality robustness of the equipment they plan to purchase. “Robust”
means equipment that has less sensitivity to power quality variations.
European equipment tends to be more robust than equipment made in
the United States. This is especially true of computers. Some manufacturers of equipment that generate harmonics, like fluorescent
lights and adjustable-speed drives, install harmonic filters in their
equipment to keep harmonics from affecting other equipment on the
end user’s system. The old adage of “Buyer beware” applies just as well
to the purchase of electrical and electronic equipment. Buyers of electronic equipment today need to know the tolerance of the equipment
they are buying. Smart buyers specify the power quality requirements
of the equipment before buying it.
Monitoring-equipment manufacturers
Historically, power quality monitoring-equipment manufacturers
provided monitors that were installed by the power quality engineer
in the field at the point of common coupling. The point of common
coupling is the point where the utility connects to the end-user customer. The power quality engineer would have to go to the site and
download the data that had been measured and recorded over a period of time. The power quality engineer would take the data back to
the office and analyze the data to determine the cause of the power
quality problem. This approach worked when there were a few temporary meters. Recent meters allow the power quality engineer to
access the data remotely through a modem and telephone line.
Present and future power quality monitoring will require several
meters at many sites, installed permanently to monitor the power
quality for statistical or diagnostic analysis. The power quality engineer can use statistical analysis to determine the relationship
between the power system configuration and the level of power quality or to show deviations from power quality standards. The power
quality engineer can use diagnostic analysis to determine the source
of a particular power quality problem. Chapter 6, “Power Quality
Measurement Tools,” presents the various types of power quality
meters available today and how they measure power quality. It also
shows how power quality monitoring-equipment manufacturers
have developed sophisticated systems that allow the utilities and
their customers to monitor the power quality status of critical loads
by using the Internet and pagers.
22
Chapter One
Power conditioning equipment
manufacturers
Power conditioning equipment manufacturers include manufacturers
of surge suppressers, isolation transformers, filters, uninterruptible
power supplies (UPSs), static VAR (volt-amperes reactive) controllers,
and superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) devices. They
have designed these devices to protect critical equipment from being
damaged or not operating correctly because of a variation in power
quality. A whole industry has developed to provide these devices.
EPRI’s 1994, Power Quality Market Assessment report concluded that
the “United States power quality mitigation equipment market will
grow from approximately $2 billion in 1992 to $5.6 billion in 2002.”
Frost and Sullivan in a June 1999 Power Quality Assurance magazine
article indicated that the power conditioning market, including UPS,
had become a $4.3 billion industry in 1999. Chapter 4, “Power Quality
Solutions,” explains how this equipment works and discusses who are
the various suppliers of power quality mitigation equipment.
Utilities
Since electric utilities supply, transmit, and distribute electric power to
residential, commercial, and industrial end users, they are intimately
involved in power quality. Figure 1.16 shows the amount of energy electrical utilities sold to the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors
in 1996. Their role has become more complicated today as many utilities
find it necessary to get involved in power quality on both sides of the
meter. As mentioned earlier, the continuing specter of deregulation of
the electric utility industry will change the role of the utilities significantly. This changing role will be a theme throughout this book. One
thing is certain: The role of the electric utility will continue to serve end
users with electrical power of a quality that meets their needs.
End users
End users include any user of electricity. They can be categorized into
residential, commercial, and industrial. Those end users most concerned
about power quality have increased significantly and will continue to
increase every day. It mostly depends on whether they use microprocessors. EPRI projects that over half of the electric load in the twenty-first
century will use microprocessor-based equipment. Some of the end users
especially concerned about power quality are hospitals with all their
high-tech electronics (magnetic radiation imaging, CAT scans, and heart
monitors); home-based businesses that use personal computers, fax
machines, and copiers; all types of industries from potato chip to electronic chip manufacturing; retail stores with computer-controlled cash
Introduction
Residential
23
35%
29%
Sectors
Commercial
Industrial
33%
Total Sales
3,098 Billion Kilowattsthours
3%
Other
0
200
400
600
800
1,000
1,200
Sales (billion kilowatthours)
Figure 1.16 Total United States electric utility sales by sector in 1996. (Courtesy of
Energy Information Administration.)
registers; banks with electronic automatic teller machines (ATMs), commercial office buildings and shopping centers, and even farms that use
electronic equipment to milk their cows or control their irrigation systems. All the information provided throughout this book is targeted
toward meeting the needs of the ultimate customer, the end user of electricity, and helping the electric utilities and manufacturers of power conditioning and power quality measuring instruments meet the needs of
the customer. Both the end user and the utility are finding it necessary
to seek legal advice from lawyers to protect their interests.
Lawyers
Lawyers increasingly play an important role in power quality because
of legal issues. Malfunction of equipment can not only cost money but
human suffering as well. A patient being treated for cancer in his arm
experienced overradiation from a computer-controlled cobalt machine.
He had to have his arm amputated. He sued the utility and hospital
for several million dollars. Further investigation revealed that the
copy machine in the room next to the cancer treatment room caused
the cobalt machine to malfunction. Lawyers are also needed for
preparing contracts between the various participants in power transactions. Chapter 9, “Future Trends,” provides guidance in how to prepare the technical language in a power quality contract. These power
quality contracts help buyers, sellers, and distributors of electricity to
hold a person who causes a power quality problem responsible for paying the expense of mitigating the power quality problem.
24
Chapter One
How Much Does Power Quality Cost?
The common denominator of any power quality problem is the cost.
How do you measure that cost? Is the cost measured by the loss of production? Or is the cost measured by potential legal consequences of not
fixing the power quality problem? Or is the cost measured by the cost
to mitigate or prevent the problem from ever occurring? Chapter 8,
“Power Quality Economics,” discusses these issues.
How to Use This Book
The book is organized to make it easy for a reader to find an answer to
any question about power quality. The first five chapters provide background information on power quality, while the next three chapters
provide ways to diagnose and solve power quality problems. Chapter 8
explains how to evaluate the economics of alternative power quality
solutions and choose the most cost-effective solution. Chapter 9
explains how to treat power quality as a business from the utility perceptive and provides guidelines on how to write power quality contracts. Chapter 9 also explains how to segment the power quality
market and provide the consumers of electricity with information to
help them make wise choices in getting the power quality they need. It
provides information on the latest power quality research and development projects. Figure 1.17 illustrates in flowchart form how the various chapters of the book build on one another.
With new and existing electronic technologies and the effect of utility
deregulation, power quality becomes increasingly important. Using the
techniques and knowledge described in the chapters of this book will
allow all suppliers, distributors, and consumers of electricity to deal
with power quality problems in a way that makes economic sense for
them. The next chapter will lay the framework for understanding power quality. If you are familiar with power quality already, you can skip
Chapter 2 and go on to Chapter 3, “Power Quality Standards.”
References
1. Ibrahim, A. Rashid and K. Seshadri. 1995. “Power Quality for Beginners.” IAEEL
Newsletter 3-4/95. URL address:
http://www.stem.se/iaeel/IAEEL/NEWSL/1995/trefyra1995/LiTech_b-3-495.html. Available from Public Utilities Board, Singapore.
2. McCluer, Stephen W. 1997. “Defining Power Quality in the Age of Solid-State
Electronics.” Plant Engineering, vol. 51, no. 7, July, pp. 81–85.
3. Sabin, Daniel D. and Ashok Sundarram. 1996. “Quality Enhances.” IEEE Spectrum,
February, pp. 34–41.
4. Douglas, John. 1985. “Quality of Power in the Electronics Age.” EPRI Journal, pp.
7–13.
5. Vassell, Gregory S. 1990. “The Northeast Blackout of 1965.” Public Utilities
Fortnightly, vol. 136, no. 8, October 11, pp. 12–17.
Introduction
25
Background:
Introduction—Chapter 1
Characteristics—Chapter 2
Standards—Chapter 3
Solutions—Chapter 4
Wiring and Grounding—Chapter 5
Power Quality Tools:
Measurement Tools—Chapter 6
Site Survey—Chapter 7
Economics—Chapter 8
Future Trends
Chapter 9
Reference Material:
Glossary
Figure 1.17 Flowchart of book chapters.
Bibliography
6. Casazza, John. 1998. “Blackouts: Is the Risk Increasing?” Electrical World, vol. 212,
no. 4, April, pp. 62–64.
7. Beaty, Wayne. 1994. “Clean Power Requires Cooperative Effort.” Electric Light &
Power, vol. 72, no. 8, August, pp. 20–24.
8. Douglas, John. 1993. “Solving Problems of Power Quality.” EPRI Journal, vol. 18,
no. 8, December, pp. 8–15.
9. Gilker, Clyde. 1999. “Investigating Power Quality Problems: A Systematic Approach
Is the Best Way to Track Down Power Quality Problems.” Design Extra. URL
address: http:www.csemag.com/SquareD/topic/investigating.asp. Available from
Square D.
10. Ahuja, Anil. 1997. “Power Quality from the Bottom Up.” Consulting-Specifying
Engineer, May, pp. 68–74.
11. Fleishman, Barry J., et al. 1997. “Power Quality and Products Liability Law:
Emerging Issues and Concepts.” Power Quality Assurance. URL address:
http://www.powerquality.com/art0034/art1.html
12. Hof, Robert D. 1991. “The Dirty Power Clogging Industry’s Pipeline.” Business Week,
no. 3207, April 8, p. 82.
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Chapter
2
Power Quality
Characteristics
The invention of alternating current electricity caused a controversy that
waged in the nineteenth century. The outcome of this controversy would
influence the use of electricity to this day. The controversy centered on
whether electricity should be delivered as direct current (dc) or alternating current (ac). On the surface, the difference between dc and ac didn’t
seem controversial. DC delivers electricity at a constant voltage and current over time, while ac delivers electricity at a varying voltage and
current over time, as shown in Figure 2.1.
The great American inventor Thomas Edison promoted dc. By late
1887, he had built 121 central stations distributing dc power at 110 V
that powered more than 300,000 of his incandescent lamps. Edison
argued that dc was safer than ac. He even tested the safety of ac versus dc by electrocuting a horse. He seemed to ignore dc’s inherent disadvantages.
DC can operate only at generator voltage. This is inefficient. This inefficiency of dc can best be understood by first understanding how voltage
and current affect the efficiency of an electrical power system. Current is
the flow of electrons in a conductor, measured in amperes and identified
by the letter I. Voltage is the force or pressure that causes electrons to
flow in a conductor, measured in volts, and is represented by the letter V.
Electric power is measured in watts and represented by the letter P.
Power is equal to the amount of voltage multiplied by the amount of current, i.e., P V I. When electric power is used over time, it becomes
electric energy and is calculated by multiplying power in watts by time
in hours. Electric energy is measured in watt-hours and is represented
by the letters Wh. Thus, by raising the voltage and lowering the current,
27
Copyright © 2000 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
28
Chapter Two
dc current and voltage
Current and Voltage
ac current and voltage
0
Time
Figure 2.1 Alternating versus direct current and voltage.
the same amount of electrical energy can be transmitted with less current. The magnitude of the current determines the size of the conductor.
Therefore, a high-voltage line can transmit a large amount of power with
a smaller current carried on a corresponding smaller, less expensive conductor. Just as a bigger pipe is needed to transmit large volumes of
water, a bigger conductor is needed to transmit large amounts of current.
By increasing the pressure of the water in the pipe, you can increase the
volume of water that can be transmitted without increasing the size of
the pipe. The same thing is true of electricity. By increasing the voltage
you can increase the amount of transmitted power without increasing
the size of the conductor.
Also, losses in an electrical conductor are equal to the square of the
current in the conductor multiplied by the resistance in the conductor.
Resistance in a conductor resists the flow of electrons and requires a
greater voltage or force to keep the electrons flowing. Resistance is
measured in ohms () and represented by the letter R. Losses reduce
the efficiency of the conductor and waste energy and money. This concept is illustrated in the following formula:
Power Quality Characteristics
W I 2R
29
(2.1)
where W power loss in watts (W)
I current in amperes (A)
R resistance in ohms ()
George Westinghouse saw the advantages of ac over dc. He promoted the use of ac. He argued that ac had an economic advantage over
dc. AC allowed the generator voltage to be transformed to a higher
voltage. The higher voltage would reduce losses and increase the
amount of power the electrical system could transmit. Westinghouse
knew that the transformer was essential to the economic advantage
of ac over dc. He knew that the transformer’s ability to increase voltage for economic transmission and lower voltage for safe use was
essential to the economic success of ac. He knew that the higher voltage would reduce losses and increase the amount of power the electrical system could transmit. Westinghouse knew that for ac to be a
viable alternative to dc, there needed to be a standard way of delivering ac and that the electrical equipment needed to be designed to
accept ac. He knew that for alternating current to be practical it had
to have electrical equipment that used alternating current. He found
a practical use for ac with the invention of the induction motor by
Nikola Tesla.
Nikola Tesla, a brilliant but eccentric physicist, discovered in 1888
that the induction motor, especially the three-phase motor, served by
an ac-powered system was the most economic design. He used the
same basic design of a generator to convert mechanical energy into
electrical energy for the motor to convert electrical energy into
mechanical energy. This required a rotating magnetic field. Tesla convinced his fellow scientists that a rotating magnetic field that produced a 60 cycle per second (hertz or Hz) alternating current was the
most practical. This rotating field can easily be represented by a sinusoidal wave by using the principles of trigonometry, as shown in
Figure 2.2.
Tesla designed a system that consisted of three phases. He designed
the voltage to be 120° out of phase with the voltage of each phase. He also
discovered that the current flowing in one phase was 120° out of phase
with the current in each of the other phases. The relationship between
the voltage or current of the three phases is illustrated in Figure 2.3.
From Tesla’s simple design of the polyphase induction motor evolved
the modern 60-Hz power system. The following formula illustrates the
relationship between voltage and time for a power system operating at
a frequency of 60 Hz:
e Ep sin (380.44t)
(2.2)
30
Chapter Two
3
2
4
Rotation
M
5
1
1
6
2
3
4
5
6
7
8 1
8
7
Vertical axis
Figure 2.2 Sinusoidal wave derivation.
A
A
C'
B'
N
S
C
C'
A'
B'
B
A'
C
B
(a)
(b)
A
B
C
A
t
120
240
(c)
Figure 2.3 Three-phase voltage and current relationship. (Reproduced from Schaum’s
Electric Circuits, copyright 1965, by Joseph A. Edminster with permission of The
McGraw-Hill Companies.)
where e instantaneous voltage
Ep peak voltage
t time
The same type of formula would apply to the instantaneous current:
i Ip sin (380.44t)
(2.3)
where i instantaneous current
Ip peak current
t time
An electric power system is like a hydraulic power system. The voltage is analogous to the pressure. The current is analogous to the flow
Power Quality Characteristics
31
of water in the pipes, while the electric power transmission and distribution system is analogous to the pipes in a hydraulic system.
Figure 2.4 compares a hydraulic system to an electrical power system.
In a hydraulic system the consumers of water are concerned about
the quality of water they drink. In an electric power system the consumers of electricity are concerned about the quality of power they use.
Power Quality Theory
The quality of power has often been characterized as “clean” or “dirty.”
Clean power refers to power that has sinusoidal voltage and current
without any distortion and operates at the designed magnitude and
frequency. Dirty power describes power that has a distorted sinusoidal
voltage and current or operates outside the design limits of voltage,
current, and/or frequency. Natural and man-made events in the power
Figure 2.4 Hydraulic system versus electrical power
system.
32
Chapter Two
system provide sources or initiating events that cause clean power to
become dirty. Categories of dirty power quality sources include power
system events, nonlinear loads, and poor wiring and grounding.
Examples of dirty power quality sources include lightning, adjustablespeed drives, and loose connections. Power quality experts prefer not
to use the term dirty power but like to instead use the term power
quality problems. Therefore, this book will use the term power quality
problems when referring to poor power quality.
The source of a power quality problem often causes a disturbance or
power quality variation. The disturbance can then affect the operation
of end-user equipment. This may seem confusing. To make sense of the
confusing causes and effects of power quality problems, the power
quality engineer breaks down a power quality problem into three
parts: sources (initiating events), causes, and effects of power quality,
as shown in Figure 2.5.
In solving power quality problems, the power quality engineer uses
classical problem-solving techniques. The engineer is usually contacted because some piece of equipment has failed or is not operating properly. The engineer initially asks questions and collects information
about the problem before conducting an on-site power quality survey
or audit of the facility. The on-site survey includes a visual inspection
and electrical measurements of the affected equipment. The engineer
sets up instrumentation to measure the disturbance that caused the
equipment to malfunction, and collects and records data for later
analysis. The engineer often categorizes the disturbance by the “signature” it leaves on power-quality-measuring instruments. A power
signature refers to the wave shape of the power quality disturbance.
From the power signature, the power quality engineer can determine
the type of power quality problem. After diagnosing the type of power
quality problem, the engineer can determine possible sources. The
engineer isolates the source of the power quality problem and identifies alternative solutions to the problem. The engineer performs an
economic evaluation of alternative solutions to determine the most
cost-effective solution and recommends solutions to the customer.
Most books or articles about power quality problems categorize the
problems by the type of disturbances. This book will categorize power
quality problems by the following disturbances: voltage swells, voltage
sags, various types of interruptions, overvoltage, undervoltage, harmonics, and transients. Alexander McEachern’s Handbook of Power
Signatures, published in 1989 by Basic Measuring Instruments, contains
detailed examples of various power signatures. IEEE Recommended
Practice for Monitoring Electric Power Quality (IEEE Standard 11591995, Copyright © 1995) provides official definitions of power quality disturbances. I have included these and other definitions of power quality,
electric utility, and electronic terms in the Glossary of this book. Table 2.1
Power Quality Characteristics
33
Determine Power Quality
Symptom (Effect)
Identify Disturbance
(Source)
Determine Cause of
the Power Quality
Problem
Determine Cost of
the Power Quality
Problem
Determine Cost of
Alternative
Power Quality Solutions
Determine
Most Cost Effective
Power Quality Solution
Implement Power Quality
Solution
Figure 2.5 Problem-solving flowchart.
provides an overview of the causes, sources, effects, and solutions to various types of power quality problems and disturbances.
Types of Power Quality Problems
The ability to define and understand the various types of power quality
problems provides the necessary background needed to prevent and
solve those problems. The power quality signature, or characteristic, of
34
Chapter Two
TABLE 2.1
Summary of Power Quality Problems
Example waveshape
or RMS variation
Causes
Sources
Effects
Examples of
power
conditioning
solutions
Impulsive
transients
(Transient
disturbance)
- Lightning
- Electrostatic
discharge
- Load switching
- Capacitor
switching
- Destroys computer
chips and TV
regulators
- Surge arresters
- Filters
- Isolation
transformers
Oscillatory
transients
(Transient
disturbance)
- Line/cable
switching
- Capacitor
switching
- Load switching
- Destroys computer
chips and TV
regulators
- Surge arresters
- Filters
- Isolation
transformers
Sags/swells
(RMS
disturbance)
- Remote system
faults
- Motors stalling and
overheating
- Computer failures
- ASDs shutting down
- Ferroresonant
transformers
- Energy storage
technologies
- Uninterruptible
power supply
(UPS)
Interruptions
(RMS
disturbance)
- System protection
- Breakers
- Fuses
- Maintenance
- Loss production
- Shutting down of
equipment
- Energy storage
technologies
- UPS
- Backup
generators
Undervoltages/
overvoltages
(steady-state
variation)
- Motor starting
- Load variations
- Load dropping
- Shorten lives of
motors and
lightning filaments
- Voltage regulators
- Ferroresonant
transformers
Harmonic
distortion
(steady-state
variation)
- Nonlinear loads
- System resonance
- Overheating
transformers and
motors
- Fuses blow
- Relays trip
- Meters misoperate
- Active or passive
filters
- Transformers
with cancellation
of zero sequence
components
Voltage flicker
(steady-state
variation)
- Intermittent loads
- Motor starting
- Arc furnaces
- Lights flicker
- Irritation
- Static VAR
systems
the disturbance identifies the type of power quality problem. The nature
of the variation in the basic components of the sine wave, i.e., voltage,
current, and frequency, identifies the type of power quality problem.
Voltage sags are the most common type of power quality problem.
Voltage sags (dips)
Voltage sags are referred to as voltage dips in Europe. IEEE defines
voltage sags as a reduction in voltage for a short time. The duration
of a voltage sag is less than 1 minute but more than 8 milliseconds
(0.5 cycles). The magnitude of the reduction is between 10 percent and
90 percent of the normal root mean square (rms) voltage at 60 Hz. The
Power Quality Characteristics
35
rms, or effective, value of a sine wave is the square root of the average of the squares of all the instantaneous values of a cycle and is
equal to 0.707 (1/兹2
苶) times the peak value of the sine wave, as shown
in Figure 2.6. A more detailed discussion of rms follows in the section
on harmonics.
How do voltage sags differ from other voltage reduction disturbances? Other voltage reduction disturbances often occur intermittently, like voltage flicker, while voltage sags occur once, for a short
time. Figure 2.7 shows the voltage returning to normal after a 0.12second voltage sag.
What causes voltage sags? Utilities and end users can cause voltage
sags on transmission and distribution systems. For example, a transformer failure can be the initiating event that causes a fault on the
utility power system that results in a voltage sag. These faults draw
energy from the power system. A voltage sag occurs while the fault is
on the utility’s power system. As soon as a breaker or recloser clears
the fault, the voltage returns to normal. Transmission faults cause
voltage sags that last about 6 cycles, or 0.10 second. Distribution faults
Peak value
Current or Voltage
RMS value
Average value
0
Time
For a true sine wave only the following ratios apply:
RMS value = 0.707 x peak value
RMS value = 1.11 x average value
Peak
1
=
= 1.414
Crest factor =
0.707
RMS
Figure 2.6 Sine wave values.
36
Chapter Two
Percent Volts
Phase A Voltage
RMS Variation
120
110
100
50
30
10
Percent Volts
Trigger
150
100
50
0
–50
–100
–150
0
0.1
0
25
0.2
50
0.3
0.4
0.5
Time (Seconds)
0.6
75
100
125
Time (m Seconds)
0.7
150
0.8
Duration
0.117 Sec
Min 74.70
Ave 94.11
Max 98.58
Ref Cycle
48462
175
BMI/Electrotek
Figure 2.7 Voltage sag plot. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI/Electrotek.)
last longer than transmission faults, while large motor loads can cause
voltage sag on utility’s and end user’s power systems.
Compared to other power quality problems affecting industrial and
commercial end users, voltage sags occur most frequently. They
reduce the energy being delivered to the end user and cause computers to fail, adjustable-speed drives to shut down, and motors to stall
and overheat.
Solutions to voltage sag problems include equipment that protects
loads that are sensitive to voltage sags. Examples of these types of
equipment include ferroresonnant, i.e., constant voltage transformers; dynamic voltage restorers (DVRs); superconducting energy storage devices; flywheels; written pole motor-generator sets; and
uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). Chapter 4 discusses in more
detail these types of devices. Voltage swells are another type of power
quality problem.
Voltage swells
Voltage swells, or momentary overvoltages, are rms voltage variations
that exceed 110 percent of the nominal voltage and last for less than 1
minute. Voltage swells occur less frequently than voltage sags. Singleline to ground faults cause voltage swells. Examples of single-line to
ground faults include lightning or a tree striking a live conductor. The
increased energy from a voltage swell often overheats equipment and
Power Quality Characteristics
37
reduces its life. Figure 2.8 illustrates a typical voltage swell caused by
a single-line to ground fault occurring in an adjacent phase. Figure 2.9
illustrates an example of a single-line to ground fault caused by a tree
growing into a power line.
Long-duration overvoltages
Long-duration overvoltages are close cousins to voltage swells, except
they last longer. Like voltage swells, they are rms voltage variations
that exceed 110 percent of the nominal voltage. Unlike swells, they
last longer than a minute.
Voltage (Percent)
150
100
50
0
–50
–100
–150
0
25
50
75
100
125
150
175
200
Time (ms)
Figure 2.8 Voltage swell plot. (Courtesy of IEEE, Std. 1159-1995. Copyright ©
1995. All rights reserved.)
Faults
Figure 2.9 Single-line to ground fault caused by a tree.
38
Chapter Two
Several types of initiating events cause overvoltages. The major cause
of overvoltages is capacitor switching. This is because a capacitor is a
charging device. When a capacitor is switched on, it adds voltage to the
utility’s system. Another cause of overvoltage is the dropping of load.
Light load conditions in the evening also cause overvoltages on highvoltage systems. Another common cause of overvoltage is the missetting
of voltage taps on transformers. Extended overvoltages shorten the life
of lighting filaments and motors. Solutions to overvoltages include
using inductors during light load conditions and correctly setting transformer taps. Figure 2.10 shows a plot of overvoltage versus time.
Undervoltages
Undervoltages occur when the voltage drops below 90 percent of the
nominal voltage for more than 1 minute. They are sometimes referred
to as “brownouts,” although this is an imprecise nontechnical term
that should be avoided. They are recognized by end users when their
lights dim and their motors slow down.
Too much load on the utility’s system, during very cold or hot weather, for example, or the loss of a major transmission line serving a
region can cause undervoltages. Overloading inside an end user’s own
distribution system can cause undervoltages. Sometimes utilities
deliberately cause undervoltages to reduce the load during heavy load
Figure 2.10 Overvoltage plot. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI/Electrotek.)
Power Quality Characteristics
39
conditions. Reducing the voltage reduces the overall load, since load is
voltage times current (kW V I). Undervoltages can cause sensitive
computer equipment to read data incorrectly and motors to stall and
operate inefficiently. Utilities can prevent undervoltages by building
more generation and transmission lines. Figure 2.11 shows a typical
plot of undervoltage versus time.
Interruptions
Interruptions are a complete loss of voltage (a drop to less than 10 percent of nominal voltage) in one or more phases. IEEE Recommended
Practice for Monitoring Electric Power Quality (IEEE Standard 11591995, Copyright © 1995) defines three types of interruptions. They are
categorized by the time period that the interruptions occur: momentary, temporary, and long-duration interruptions.
Momentary interruptions are the complete loss of voltage on one or
more phase conductors for a time period between 0.5 cycles, or 8 milliseconds, and 3 seconds. A temporary, or short-duration, interruption
is a drop of voltage below 10 percent of the nominal voltage for a time
period between 3 seconds and 1 minute. Long-duration, or sustained,
interruptions last longer than 1 minute. Figure 2.12 shows a momentary interruption.
Loss of production in a business costs money. Any kind of interruption can result in loss of production in an office, retail market, or
industrial factory. Not only does the loss of electrical service cause lost
production, but the time required to restore electrical service also
Voltage Per Unit
+1
0
–1
Time
Figure 2.11 Undervoltage plot. (Courtesy of IEEE, Std. 1159-1995,
Copyright © 1995. All rights reserved.)
40
Chapter Two
120
100
Voltage (%)
80
60
40
20
0
0
2000
Time (Milliseconds)
4000
6000
Figure 2.12 Momentary, temporary, and long-duration interruption plots. (Courtesy of
Dranetz-BMI/Electrotek.)
causes lost production. Some types of processes cannot “ride through”
even short interruptions. “Ride through” is the capability of equipment
to continue to operate during a power disturbance. For example, in a
plastic injection molding plant, for a short interruption of 0.5 second it
takes 6 hours to restore production.
The common methods of reducing the impact of costly interruptions
include on-site and off-site alternative sources of electrical supply. An
end user may install on-site sources, such as battery-operated uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) or motor-generator sets, while a utility may provide an off-site source that includes two feeders with a
high-speed switch that switches to the alternate feeder when one feeder fails. Chapter 4, “Power Quality Solutions,” discusses these devices
in more detail.
Transients
Transients can destroy computer chips and TV. Transients or surges
are sometimes referred to as “spikes” in less technically correct language. A sudden increase or decrease in current or voltage characterizes them. They often dissipate quickly. There are basically two types
of transients: impulsive and oscillatory.
The time it takes impulsive transients to rise to peak value and
decay to normal value determines their identity. For example, page 13
of IEEE Standard 1159-1995, Copyright © 1995 describes an impulsive
transient caused by a lightning stroke. In this example the transient
current raises to its peak value of 2000 V in 1.2 microseconds (s; onemillionth of a second) and decays to half its peak value in 50 s.
Resistive components of the electrical transmission and distribution
Power Quality Characteristics
41
system dampen (reduce) transient currents. The most frequent cause
of impulsive transients is lightning strokes. Figure 2.13 illustrates an
impulsive current transient caused by lightning.
What kind of device prevents damage to electrical equipment caused
by impulsive transients from lightning strokes? Utilities use lightning
arresters mounted on their transmission and distribution systems and
in their substations, while many utility customers use transient voltage surge suppression (TVSS) or battery-operated uninterruptible
power supplies in their homes, offices, or factories. If not stopped,
impulsive transients can interact with capacitive components of the
power system. Capacitors often cause the impulsive transients to resonant and become oscillatory transients.
Oscillatory transients do not decay quickly like impulsive transients. They tend to continue to oscillate for 0.5 to 3 cycles and reach
2 times the nominal voltage or current. Another cause of oscillatory
transients, besides lightning strokes going into resonance, is switching
of equipment and power lines on the utility’s power system. Figure
2.14 illustrates a typical low-frequency oscillatory transient caused by
the energization of a capacitor bank.
Voltage unbalance
Voltage unbalance or imbalance is the deviation of each phase from the
average voltage of all three phases. It can be calculated by the formula:
Figure 2.13 Impulsive transient plot. (Courtesy of Drantez-BMI/Electrotek.)
42
Chapter Two
2.0
34.5 kV Bus Voltage
Capacitor Switching
1.5
Voltage (PU)
1.0
0.5
0.0
–0.5
–1.0
–1.5
0
20
40
60
80
100
Time (Milliseconds)
Figure 2.14 Oscillatory transient plot. (Courtesy of Drantez-BMI/Electrotek.)
max. deviation from average voltage
Voltage unbalance 100 (2.4)
average voltage
where average voltage (sum of voltage of each phase)/3.
Most equipment, especially motors, can tolerate a voltage unbalance
of 2 percent. A voltage unbalance greater than 2 percent will cause
motors and transformers to overheat. This is because a current unbalance in an induction device, like a motor or transformer, varies as the
cube of the voltage unbalance applied to the terminals. Potential causes of voltage unbalance include capacitor banks not operating properly,
single phasing of equipment, and connecting more single-phase loads
on one phase than another. Installing monitors to measure the voltage
unbalance provides the necessary data to analyze and eliminate the
cause of the unbalance.
Voltage fluctuations
Voltage fluctuations are rapid changes in voltage within the allowable
limits of voltage magnitude of 0.95 to 1.05 of nominal voltage. Devices
like electric arc furnaces and welders that have continuous, rapid
changes in load current cause voltage fluctuations. Voltage fluctuations can cause incandescent and fluorescent lights to blink rapidly.
This blinking of lights is often referred to as “flicker.” This change in
light intensity occurs at frequencies of 6 to 8 Hz and is visible to the
human eye. It can cause people to have headaches and become
stressed and irritable. It can also cause sensitive equipment to malfunction. What is the solution to voltage fluctuations (flicker)?
Power Quality Characteristics
43
The solution to voltage fluctuations is a change in the frequency of
the fluctuation. In the case of an arc furnace, this usually involves the
use of costly but effective static VAR controllers (SVCs) that control
the voltage fluctuation frequency by controlling the amount of reactive
power being supplied to the arc furnace. Figure 2.15 shows voltage
fluctuations that produce flicker.
Harmonics
What are harmonics? Harmonics are the major source of sine waveform
distortion. The increased use of nonlinear equipment have caused harmonics to become more common. Figure 2.16 shows the architecture of
a standard sine wave. An analysis of the sine wave architecture provides an understanding of the basic anatomy of harmonics.
Harmonics are integral multiples of the fundamental frequency of
the sine wave shown in Figure 2.16; that is, harmonics are multiples
of the 60-Hz fundamental voltage and current. They add to the fundamental 60-Hz waveform and distort it. They can be 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc.,
times the fundamental. For example, the third harmonic is 60 Hz times
3, or 180 Hz, and the sixth harmonic is 60 Hz times 6, or 360 Hz. The
waveform in Figure 2.17 shows how harmonics distort the sine wave.
What causes harmonic currents? They are usually caused by nonlinear loads, like adjustable speed drives, solid-state heating controls, electronic ballasts for fluorescent lighting, switched-mode power supplies in
Figure 2.15 Voltage fluctuation (flicker) plot. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI/Electrotek.)
44
Chapter Two
Figure 2.16 Sine wave architecture.
Fifth harmonic waveform
Fundamental (60 Hz) waveform
Third harmonic waveform
Resultant nonlinear current wave
Figure 2.17 Composite harmonic waveform.
computers, static UPS systems, electronic and medical test equipment,
rectifiers, filters, and electronic office machines. Nonlinear loads cause
harmonic currents to change from a sinusoidal current to a nonsinusoidal current by drawing short bursts of current each cycle or interrupting the current during a cycle. This causes the sinusoidal current
Power Quality Characteristics
45
waveform to become distorted. The total distorted wave shape is cumulative. The resulting nonsinusoidal wave shape will be a combination of
the fundamental 60-Hz sine wave and the various harmonics. Figure
2.18 illustrates the various nonlinear loads and the corresponding harmonic waveforms they generate.
Harmonic voltages result from the harmonic currents interacting
with the impedance of the power system according to Ohm’s law:
I
V (2.5)
Z
where V voltage
I current
Z impedance
Harmonic currents and voltages have a detrimental effect on utility
and end-user equipment. They cause overheating of transformers,
power cables, and motors; inadvertent tripping of relays; and incorrect
measurement of voltage and current by meters. Harmonic voltages
cause increased iron losses in transformers. Harmonics cause motors
to experience rotor heating and pulsating or reduced torque. Table 2.2
shows the effect of harmonics on various types of equipment.
Not only can harmonics cause power quality problems on the end
user or the utility serving the end user, but they can cause problems on
other end users. For example, a third harmonic generated by
a transformer was injected into a utility’s system and transmitted to a
city miles away and caused the digital clocks to show the wrong time.
Because of the increased adverse effects of harmonics, the IEEE adopted a standard for harmonics in 1992. This standard is referred to as
IEEE Recommended Practices and Requirements for Harmonic Control
in Electrical Power Systems (IEEE 519-1992, Copyright © 1993).
Section 6 of IEEE 519 discusses the effects of harmonics. This section
describes how harmonic currents increase heating in motors, transformers, and power cables. The extent of harmonics’ harmful effects is
related to the ratio of harmonic current or voltage to the fundamental
current or voltage. For example, IEEE 519 sets an upper current distortion limit of 5 percent to prevent overheating of transformers. The
maximum overvoltage for transformers is 5 percent at rated load and
10 percent at no load. Harmonic voltages can cause increased iron losses in transformers. Harmonics reduce the torque and overheat the
rotor in motors. Electronic equipment cannot tolerate more than a 5
percent harmonic voltage distortion factor, with the single harmonic
being no more than 3 percent of the fundamental voltage. Higher levels of harmonics result in erratic malfunction of the electronic equipment. Harmonics can cause relays and meters to malfunction. Concern
about the effects of harmonics comes not by an occasional deviation
from IEEE 519 standards but by periodic frequent deviations.
46
Chapter Two
Figure 2.18 Nonlinear loads and their current waveforms. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
IEEE 519 sets limits on total harmonic distortion (THD) for the utility side of the meter and total demand distortion (TDD) for the end-user
side of the meter. This means the utility is responsible for the voltage distortion at the point of common coupling (PCC) between the utility and
the end user. Total harmonic distortion is a way to evaluate the voltage
distortion effects of injecting harmonic currents into the utility’s system.
The formula for calculating THD (for a voltage waveform) is as follows:
Power Quality Characteristics
TABLE 2.2
47
Effects of Harmonics on Equipment
Equipment
Harmonic effects
Results
Capacitors
- Capacitor impedance decreases with
increasing frequency, so capacitors
act as sinks where harmonics converge; capacitors do not, however,
generate
- Supply system inductance can resonate with capacitors at some harmonic frequency, causing large currents and voltages to develop
- Dry capacitors cannot dissipate heat
very well, and are therefore more susceptible to damage from harmonics
- Breakdown of dielectric material
- Capacitors used in computers are particularly susceptible, since they are
often unprotected by fuses or relays
- As a general rule of thumb, untuned
capacitors and power switching
devices are incompatible
- Heating of capacitors due to
increased dielectric losses
- Short circuits
- Fuse failure
- Capacitor explosion
Transformers
- Voltage harmonics cause higher
transformer voltage and insulation
stress; normally not a significant
problem
- Transformer heating
- Reduced life
- Increased copper and iron
losses
- Insulation stress
- Stress
Motors
- Increased losses
- Harmonic voltages produce magnetic
fields rotating at a speed corresponding to the harmonic frequency
- Motor heating
- Mechanical vibrations and
noise
- Pulsating torques
- Increased copper and iron
losses in stator and rotor
windings, from 5–10%
- Reduced efficiency
- Reduced life
- Voltage stress on insulation
of motor windings
Electromechanical
induction disk
relays
- Additional torque components are
produced and may alter the time
delay characteristics of the relays
- Incorrect tripping of relays
- Incorrect readings
Circuit breakers
- Blowout coils may not operate properly
in the presence of harmonic currents
- Failure to interrupt currents
- Breaker failure
Watt-hour
meters,
overcurrent
relays
- Harmonics generate additional
torque on the induction disk, which
can cause improper operation since
these devices are calibrated for accurate operation on the fundamental
frequency only
- Incorrect readings
Electronic and
computercontrolled
equipment
- Electronic controls are often dependent on the zero crossing or on the
voltage peak for proper control;
however, harmonics can significantly
alter these parameters, thus
adversely affecting operation
- Maloperation of control and
protection equipment
- Premature equipment failure
- Erratic operation of static
drives and robots
SOURCE:
Ontario Hydro Energy Inc. (www.ontariohydroenergy.com).
48
Chapter Two
冪莦 冪冢莦莦莦莦
冣 冢 莦
冣 莦莦
冢 莦冣
50
冱
h2
VTHD V1
V2
V1
2
Vn
V3 2
V1
V1
2
(2.6)
where V1 fundamental voltage value and Vn V2, V3, V4, etc. harmonic voltage value.
The THD can be used to characterize distortion in both current and
voltage waves. However, THD usually refers to distortions in the voltage wave. For example, calculate the THD for a complex waveform with
the following harmonic distortion as a percentage of the fundamental
component for each harmonic: third harmonic distortion = 6/120 100% 50%, fifth harmonic = 9/120 100% 7.5%, and seventh harmonic = 3/120 100% 2.5%. The THD would be calculated as follows:
THD 兹苶
(0.5) 2 苶
(0.7苶
5) 2 苶
(0.25) 2苶 0.093
or
0.3%
This exceeds the IEEE 519 limit of 5 percent and would require some
type of mitigating device, like filters, to reduce the harmonics to
acceptable levels.
TDD, on the other hand, deals with evaluating the current distortions
caused by harmonic currents in the end-user facilities. The definition is
similar to that of THD, except that the demand current is used in the
denominator of TDD instead of simply the fundamental current of a particular sample. TDD of the current I is calculated by the formula
冱 莦
冪莦
h∞
v
TDD h1
(Ih)2
IL
(2.7)
where IL rms value of maximum demand load current
h harmonic order (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.)
Ih rms load current at the harmonic order h
Chapter 3, “Power Quality Standards,” discusses in more detail THD
and TDD limits as contained in IEEE 519, 1992, Copyright © 1992.
There are several ways to reduce or eliminate harmonics. The most
common way is to add filters to the electrical power system. Harmonic
filters or chokes reduce electrical harmonics just as shock absorbers
reduce mechanical harmonics. Filters contain capacitors and inductors
in series. Filters siphon off the harmonic currents to ground. They prevent the harmonic currents from getting onto the utility’s or end user’s
Power Quality Characteristics
49
distribution system and doing damage to the utility’s and other end
users’ equipment. There are two types of filters: static and active.
Static filters do not change their value. Active filters change their value to fit the harmonic being filtered. Other ways of reducing or eliminating harmonics include using isolation transformers and detuning
capacitors and designing the source of the harmonics to change the
type of harmonics. Chapter 4, “Power Quality Solutions,” discusses
these mitigating methods in more detail.
Electrical noise
When you think of electrical noise, you may think of the audible
crackling noise that emanates from high-voltage power lines. Or you
may imagine the low throbbing hum of an energized transformer.
This type of noise can affect your life quality as much as your power
quality. In fact, one man complained that the corona noise from a
nearby 500-kV power line drowned out the babbling of a brook in his
backyard. When power quality experts talk about electrical noise,
they do not mean these audible noises. They mean the electrical noise
that is caused by a low-voltage, high-frequency (but lower than 200Hz) signal superimposed on the 60-Hz fundamental waveform. This
type of electrical noise may be transmitted through the air or wires.
High-voltage lines, arcing from operating disconnect switches, startup of large motors, radio and TV stations, switched mode power supplies, loads with solid-state rectifiers, fluorescent lights, and power
electronic devices can all cause this type of noise. Electrical noise
adds “hash” onto the fundamental sine wave, as shown in Figure 2.19.
Electrical noise can degrade telecommunication equipment, radio,
and TV reception, and damage electronic equipment as well. How do
you reduce or eliminate electrical noise?
There are two ways of solving the electrical noise problem. One solution is to eliminate the source of the electrical noise. Another way is to
either stop or reduce the electrical noise from being transmitted. For
example, the use of multiple conductors or installation of corona rings
can reduce electrical noise from high-voltage lines. Grounding equipment and the service panel to a common point can eliminate electrical
noise from ground loops. This prevents the ground wires from acting
as a loop antenna and transmitting a “humming” type noise that interferes with communication signals.
The electromagnetic interference (EMI) type of noise is reduced by
shielding the sensitive equipment from the source of the electrical
noise. Another way of protecting sensitive equipment from EMI is to
simply move the source of the EMI far enough away so that the EMI
becomes too weak to affect the sensitive equipment. For example,
the electromagnetic field from a tabletop fluorescent lamp near a
50
Chapter Two
Figure 2.19 Electrical noise plot.
computer screen will cause the lines on the screen to wiggle. Move
the fluorescent light far enough away, and the wiggles will stop.
Sources of Power Quality Problems
Power quality experts find it a challenge to analyze any power quality
problem and determine the source of the problem. They usually measure the effect of the problem and draw on their experience to identify
the type of disturbance from the measurement. Even experienced power quality experts often find it is difficult to determine the source of the
power quality problem. They know they need to understand the basic
reasons why different devices and phenomena cause power quality
problems. One common characteristic of sources of power quality problems is the interruption of the current or voltage sine wave. This interruption results in one of the disturbances discussed at the beginning
of this chapter.
The major sources of power quality problems can be divided into two
categories, depending on the location of the source in relationship to
the power meter. One category is on the utility side of the meter and
includes switching operations, power system faults, and lightning. The
other category is on the end-user side of the meter and includes non-
Power Quality Characteristics
51
linear loads, poor grounding, electromagnetic interference, and static
electricity. So let’s first examine the characteristics of utility-caused
power quality problems.
Utility side of the meter
Sources of power quality problems on the utility side of the meter
involve some type of activity on the utility’s electrical power system.
They can be either man-made or natural events. They all involve some
type of interruption of the current or voltage. The most common manmade causes are switching operations.
Utilities switch equipment on and off by the use of breakers, disconnect switches, or reclosers. Usually some type of fault on the power system causes a breaker to trip. Utilities trip breakers to perform routine
maintenance. They also trip breakers to insert capacitors to improve the
power factor. Lightning striking a power line or substation equipment,
a tree touching a power line, a car hitting a power pole, or even an animal touching an energized line may cause the fault. The tripping of the
breaker and the initiating fault can cause the voltage to sag or swell,
depending on when in the periodic wave the tripping occurs. Utilities set
breakers and reclosers to reclose on the fault to determine if the fault
has cleared. If the fault has not cleared, the breaker or recloser trips
again and stays open. Figure 2.20 shows a utility breaker.
Another type of utility activity that can cause oscillatory transients
is the switching of power factor improvement capacitors. As shown in
Figure 2.21, utilities use power factor improvement capacitors to
improve the power factor by adding capacitive reactance to the power
system. This causes the current and voltage to be in phase and thus
reduces losses in the power system. When utilities insert capacitors in
the power system, they momentarily cause an increase in the voltage
and cause transients. Capacitors, if tuned to harmonics on the power
system, can also amplify the harmonics. This is especially true if the
utility and end user both switch their capacitors on at the same time.
Figure 2.20 Utility breaker.
52
Chapter Two
Utility power factor improvement capacitor.
Figure 2.21
Utility system faults occur on power lines or in power equipment.
They are usually categorized by single-phase faults to ground, phaseto-phase faults, or three-phase faults to ground. On the utility side of
the meter, the type of fault often determines the type of disturbance.
On the end-user side of the meter, the type of load or wiring and
grounding conditions determine the type of power quality disturbance.
End-user side of the meter
Sources of power quality problems on the end-user side of the meter
usually involve a disruption of the sinusoidal voltage and current
delivered to the end user by the utility. These disruptions can damage
or cause misoperation of sensitive electronic equipment in not only the
end-user’s facilities but also in another end-user’s facilities that is
electrically connected. The following is a list of power quality problems
caused by end users: nonlinear inrush current from the start-up of
large motors, static electricity, power factor improvement capacitors
amplifying harmonics, and poor wiring and grounding techniques.
Nonlinear loads. There are today many types of nonlinear loads. They
include all types of electronic equipment that use switched-mode power supplies, adjustable-speed drives, rectifiers converting ac to dc,
inverters converting dc to ac, arc welders and arc furnaces, electronic
and magnetic ballast in fluorescent lighting, and medical equipment
like MRI (magnetic radiation imaging) and x-ray machines. Other
devices that convert ac to dc and generate harmonics include battery
Power Quality Characteristics
53
chargers, UPSs, electron beam furnaces, and induction furnaces, to
name just a few. All these devices change a smooth sinusoidal wave
into irregular distorted wave shapes. The distorted wave shapes produce harmonics.
Most electronic devices use switched-mode power supplies that produce harmonics. Manufacturers of electronic equipment have found
that they can eliminate a filter and eliminate the power supply transformer (shown in Figure 2.22) by the use of a switched-mode power supply (shown in Figure 2.23). What is a switched-mode power supply?
How does it produce harmonics? The switched-mode process converts
ac to dc using a rectifier bridge, converts dc back to ac at a high frequency using a switcher, steps the ac voltage down to 5 V using a small
L
+
T
C
Input
DC to load
Bridge rectifier
–
Rectifier — can be diodes or thyristors (SCRs)
T — step-down transformer (from core)
L — filter choke (from core)
C — filter capacitor
Figure 2.22 Power supply without switched mode. (Reprinted with permission from
March 1988 issue of EC&M Magazine, Copyright 1988, Intertec Publishing Corp. All
rights reserved.)
C
Input
+
DC to load
Switching
regulator
–
Bridge rectifier
Rectifier — can be diodes or thyristors (SCRs)
C — filter capacitor
Switching regulator — high-speed switcher (20 to 100kHz, some in MHz range)
with control circuitry.
Figure 2.23 Power supply with switched mode. (Reprinted with permission from March
1988 issue of EC&M Magazine, Copyright 1988, Intertec Publishing Corp. All rights
reserved.)
+
–
54
Chapter Two
transformer, and finally converts the ac to dc using another rectifier.
Electronic equipment requires 5 V dc to operate. Go inside a switchedmode power supply and you’ll find a switching circuit that takes stored
energy from a capacitor in short pulses and delivers voltage at a frequency of 20 to 100 kHz to a transformer in the form of a square wave.
The high-frequency switching requires a small and light transformer.
However, the pulsed square wave distorts the sine wave and produces
harmonics.
EPRI has stated that “by the year 2000, over half of all electricity
produced in the United States is expected to flow through power electronic equipment.” Electronic equipment in the office includes computers, copiers, printers, and fax machines.
Adjustable-speed drives save energy by adjusting the speed of the
motor to fit the load. Residential heat pumps, commercial heating and
ventilating systems, and factories that use motors in their processes
benefit from the use of adjustable-speed drives. However, adjustablespeed drives cause harmonics by varying the fundamental frequency
in order to vary the speed of the drive.
Arc furnaces use extreme heat (3000°F) to melt metal. The furnace
uses an electrical arc striking from a high-voltage electrode to the
grounded metal to create this extreme heat. The arc is extinguished
every half-cycle. The short circuit to ground causes the voltage to dip
each time the arc strikes. This causes the lights to flicker at a frequency typically less than 60 Hz that is irritating to humans. Arc furnaces also generate harmonic currents. Figure 2.24 illustrates the
configuration of a one-electrode dc electric arc furnace.
Most nonlinear loads not only generate harmonics but cause low
power factor. They cause low power factor by shifting the phase angle
between the voltage and current. What is power factor and why is low
power factor bad?
Power factor. Power factor is a way to measure the amount of reactive
power required to supply an electrical system and an end-user’s facility. Reactive power represents wasted electrical energy, because it does
no useful work. Inductive loads require reactive power and constitute
a major portion of the power consumed in industrial plants. Motors,
transformers, fluorescent lights, arc welders, and induction heating
furnaces all use reactive power.
Power factor is also a way of measuring the phase difference
between voltage and current. Just as a rotating alternating current
and voltage can be represented by a sine wave, the phase difference
between voltage and current can be represented by the cosine of the
phase shift angle. Figure 2.25 illustrates the relationship between
power factor and the phase shift between current and voltage.
Power Quality Characteristics
55
Figure 2.24 One electrode dc arc
furnace. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
Current
Voltage
1 Hz
Figure 2.25 Power factor and phase shift (power factor = cos ).
56
Chapter Two
Nonlinear loads often shift the phase angle between the load current
and voltage, require reactive power to serve them, and cause low power factor. Linear motor loads require reactive power to turn the rotating magnetic field in the motor and cause low power factor. Nonlinear
and linear loads that cause low power factor include induction motors
of all types, power electronic power converters, arc welding machines,
electric arc and induction furnaces, and fluorescent and other types of
arc lighting.
Power factor is defined as the ratio of active power to apparent power:
active power in kW
Power factor apparent power in kVA
(2.8)
It is often represented by the power triangle shown in Figure 2.26.
Active power is the power to do useful work, such as turning a motor
or running a pump, and is measured in kilowatts (kW). Electrical
equipment needs active power to convert electrical energy into
mechanical energy. Reactive power is the power required to provide a
magnetic field to ferromagnetic equipment, like motors and transformers, and does no useful work. Reactive power is measured in kilovolt-amperes–reactive (kVAR)s. Apparent power or demand power is
the total power needed to serve a load. It is measured in kilovoltamperes (kVA) and is the vector sum of reactive and active power:
(kVA)2 (kW)2 (kVAR)2
(2.9)
Reactive power takes up capacity on the utility’s and end-user’s electrical distribution systems. Reactive power also increases transmission and distribution losses. Reactive power is frequently described as
analogous to the foam in a beer mug. It comes with the beer and takes
up capacity in the mug but does not quench the beer drinker’s thirst.
As can be seen from the power triangle in Figure 2.26, power factor
measures the reactive efficiency of a power system. At maximum efficiency the reactive power is zero, and the power factor is unity.
kW
kVAR
kVA
Figure 2.26 Power triangle (power factor =
cos
= kW/kVa).
Power Quality Characteristics
57
At a power factor of unity, kVA equals kW and there is no reactive
power component in the system. An example of low power factor would
be a 1600-kW load requiring 2000 kVA of total power. The power factor in this case is 80 percent.
As a general rule, an electrical system using motors exhibits a low
power factor. Low power factors result in overall low power system efficiency, including increased conductor and transformer losses and low
voltage. Low power factor also reduces line and transformer capacity.
Utilities must supply both the active and reactive power and compensate for these losses. For this reason, most utilities charge their customers a penalty for low power factor. Many utilities increase the
demand charge for every percent the power factor drops below a set
value, say 95 percent. However, more and more utilities are charging
for kVAR-hours just like they charge for kW-hours. These charges provide utility customers an incentive to increase their power factor by
the use of power factor improvement capacitors. Otherwise, the utility
has to install power factor improvement capacitors on its own power
system. But how do capacitors improve power factor?
It is generally more energy-efficient and cost-effective to improve
the power factor of the electrical system at an industrial plant than to
require generators to provide the necessary reactive requirements of
the plant’s loads. Improving power factor can be accomplished through
the addition of shunt capacitors.
Power factor improvement
capacitors improve the power factor by providing the reactive power
needed by the load. They also reduce the phase shift difference
between voltage and current. Like a battery, they store electrical
energy. Unlike a battery, they store energy on thin metal foil plates
separated by a sheet of polymer material. They release the energy
every half-cycle of voltage. They cause the current to lead the voltage
by 90°. This subtracts from the phase angle shift of induction loads
that cause the current to lag the voltage by 90°. This is how capacitors reduce the phase shift between current and voltage and provide
the magnetization that motors and transformers need to operate.
Therefore, capacitors are an inexpensive way to provide reactive
power at the load and increase power factor. This is illustrated in
Figure 2.27.
They supply the reactive, magnetized power required by electric loads,
especially industrial loads that use inductive motors. Motors with their
inductive, magnetizing, reactive power cause current to “lag” behind
voltage. Capacitors create “leading” current. Capacitors act in opposition
to inductive loads, thereby minimizing the reactive power required.
When carefully controlled, the capacitor lead can match the motor lag,
Power factor improvement capacitors.
58
Chapter Two
kW
'
New kVA
Old kVA
Power Factor = COS
Corrected
kVAR
New
kVAR
= kW
kVA
Uncorrected
kVAR
Capacitive kVAR
1.0
Figure 2.27 Capacitors increase power factor.
eliminate the need for reactive power, and increase the power factor
toward unity.
Both fixed and dynamic shunt capacitors applied to inductive loads
increase the power factor. Fixed capacitors are switched on manually
and apply a constant capacitance; dynamic capacitors can be switched
on automatically and adjust their capacitance according to the inductive load. Both types have advantages and disadvantages, but both
types provide similar benefits. In raising the power factor, shunt capacitors release energy to the system, raise system voltage, reduce system
losses and, ultimately, reduce power costs. However, capacitors have a
downside. They can amplify harmonics through harmonic resonance.
Electrical harmonic resonance occurs when
the inductive reactance of a power system equals the capacitive
reactance of a power system. This is a good thing at the fundamental frequency of 60 Hz and results in the current and voltage being
in phase and unity power factor. However, it is not so good when it
occurs at a harmonic frequency. If resonance occurs at a harmonic
frequency, the harmonic current reaches a maximum value and
causes overheating of transformers, capacitors, and motors; tripping
of relays; and incorrect meter readings. How does resonance occur at
a harmonic frequency?
The amount of inductive and capacitive reactance are dependent on
the frequency of the current and voltage. Thus, resonance can occur at
various harmonic frequencies. The formulas for inductive and capacitive reactance illustrate this relationship:
Harmonic resonance.
XL 2fL
where XL inductive reactance in ohms
3.14
f frequency in cycles per second
L induction of the power system in henries
(2.10)
Power Quality Characteristics
1
XC 2fC
59
(2.11)
where XC capacitive reactance in ohms
3.14
f frequency in cycles per second
C capacitance of the power system in farads
Capacitors can cause two types of resonance: parallel and series
resonance. Since most power factor improvement capacitors are in
parallel with the inductance of the power system, as shown in the
schematic of a parallel resonant circuit (Figure 2.28), parallel resonance occurs most often.
When capacitive and inductive reactance connect in parallel in the
power system, the magnitude of the total reactance or impedance
becomes
XT 兹苶
R2 苶
(XL 苶
XC)2
(2.12)
where XT total reactance
R resistance
XL inductive reactance 2fL
XC capacitive reactance 1/(2fC)
Harmonic resonance occurs when XL XC and XT becomes a pure
resistance (R) and from Ohm’s law (I V/XT) the harmonic current I
reaches a maximum. Therefore, the following formula determines the
harmonic resonance frequency (fresonant):
Untuned
capacitor
bank
Step-down
transformer
Harmonic
current
XC
XL
Oscillating
current
Figure 2.28 Parallel resonant circuit.
IH
60
Chapter Two
1
fresonant 2
1
兹L
苶
C
(2.13)
How do you prevent resonance? You prevent resonance by sizing and
locating capacitors to avoid the harmonic resonance frequency or by
using filters. A filter is simply an inductor (reactor) in series with a
capacitor, as shown in Figure 2.29. Filters detune the capacitor away
from the resonant frequency. Filters usually cost twice as much as
capacitors. Filters also remove the effect of distortion power factor and
increase the true power factor.
True power factor. True power factor is the power factor caused by har-
monics and the fundamental, while the standard or displacement power factor described previously is caused by the fundamental power at
60 Hz. It is not measured by standard VAR or power factor meters. It
is measured only by so-called true rms meters (see Chapter 6, “Power
Quality Measurement Tools,” for an explanation of true rms meters).
The diagram in Figure 2.30 and the following formula define it:
Real power in kW
True power factor Total power in kVA or Vrms Irms
(2.14)
As can be seen from the diagram, the true kVA is larger than the displacement kVA because of the effect of the harmonic distortion. Even
though there is no penalty associated with true power factor, it still has
a detrimental effect on the power system. Low true power factor means
increased losses and reduced system capacity. True power factor is
Step-down
transformer
Tuned
capacitor
bank
Harmonic
current
IH
XC
Figure 2.29 Detuning resonant circuit with a reactor (inductor).
Power Quality Characteristics
61
kVAR
kVA, with harmonics
Distortion
kW
Figure 2.30 Distortion power factor power triangle.
increased not by the addition of capacitors but by the elimination of harmonics through the use of filters. The addition of capacitors can cause
the true power factor to be worse by magnifying the harmonic distortion.
Another cause of power quality problems is poor wiring and grounding.
Poor wiring and grounding. An EPRI survey found poor wiring and
grounding in the end-user’s facilities cause 80 percent of all power
quality problems. Why does poor wiring and grounding cause most of
the power quality problems? The National Electrical Code (NEC)
determines the design of the wiring and grounding. However, the
NEC, as described in Section 90-1(b), is intended to protect people
from fire and electrocution, not to protect sensitive electronic equipment from damage. As a consequence there is a great need to establish
guidelines for wiring and grounding that not only protects the public
but prevents power quality problems.
When poor wiring and grounding cause equipment to fail, utility customers often attribute the failure to the utility. They may even buy
expensive power conditioning equipment that only treats the symptom
of the power quality problem and does not solve the underlining cause of
the problem. They should, instead, identify the effects of poor wiring and
grounding, determine the cause of the power quality problem, and find a
simple way to correct the problem.
62
Chapter Two
Symptoms of poor wiring and grounding include computers that
lose data or stop operating; telephone systems that lose calls or are
noisy; industrial processes that suddenly stop; breaker boxes that
get very hot; neutral leads that catch fire; and even power conditioning equipment, like transient voltage surge suppressors
(TVSSs), that catch fire. What kinds of poor wiring and grounding
practices cause these problems? How can you prevent these problems from happening?
Some simple guidelines will help you identify and prevent problems
caused by inadequate wiring and grounding. These guidelines can be
divided into three categories: (1) wiring, (2) grounding, and (3) lightning protection.
Intermixing loads can cause power quality problems in any facility.
When nonsensitive and sensitive loads are connected to the same circuit, they often interact with one another. For example, when a large
motor on an elevator or an air conditioner starts, it causes a large
inrush current that can cause a voltage sag. The voltage sag inside a
facility has the same effect that a voltage sag has outside of the facility. It causes lights to dim and computer equipment to malfunction. The
solution is to not connect nonsensitive loads that will interact with
sensitive loads. Wiring sensitive loads to separate circuits connected to
the main electrical service panel separates sensitive loads from nonsensitive loads.
Poor grounding can cause voltage potential differences, excessive
ground loops, and interference with sensitive electronic equipment.
Proper grounding not only protects people from shock but provides a
reference point and a path for large currents caused by faults, like
switching surges and lightning strokes. Remember reference points
are critical to computers, because 5 V dc represents “1” and 0 V dc represents “0.” Article 100 of the NEC defines ground as “a conducting
connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical
circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that
serves in place of the earth.” One effective method recommended by
the IEEE Green Book for grounding equipment is a ground ring surrounding the affected area and “tied to the building steel at suitable
intervals.” Bonding the ground wire to the neutral wire, i.e. the white
wire that is normally at or near the voltage of the ground wire, only at
the service panel prevents ground loops.
Poor grounding can result in lightning destroying equipment in a
home, office, or factory. Lightning surges will take the path of least
resistance. Wiring and grounding should be designed to divert lightning current away from sensitive equipment to ground through lightning protection devices, such as lightning arresters and surge
protectors as shown in Figure 2.31, from FIPS Publication 94.
Power Quality Characteristics
63
Figure 2.31 Lightning path of least resistance. (Courtesy of National Institute of
Standards and Technology.)
Electromagnetic interference (EMI). Another source of power quality
problems is electromagnetic interference (EMI). Some devices, like a
large motor during start-up, emit a magnetic field that intersects with
an adjacent sensitive device, like a computer or telephone. Michael
Faraday’s transformer law explains this phenomenon. Faraday’s
transformer law says that when an alternating magnetic field cuts
across an adjacent conductor, it will induce an alternating current and
voltage in that conductor. The induced current and voltage can damage sensitive electronic equipment or cause it to malfunction.
Sensitive equipment in hospitals often experiences EMI problems. For
example, in one open-heart-surgery training center, electromagnetic
fields from an adjacent electrical equipment room were causing heart
monitors to read incorrectly. Moving cables emitting the electromagnetic fields a safe distance from the cables feeding the heart monitors
solved this problem.
Static electricity. Another cause of power quality problems is static electricity. Static electricity occurs when the rubbing of one object against
another causes a voltage buildup. For example, you can build up an
electric charge on your body when you rub your shoes on a carpet. A discharge of static electricity can occur when you then touch a grounded
object, like another person or a metal object. Although static electricity
64
Chapter Two
power quality problems are infrequent, they are often overlooked.
Static electricity can create voltages of 3000 V or more and damage sensitive electronic equipment. You can minimize static electricity problems by increasing the humidity, changing the carpet, clothing, and
furniture to nonstatic types, and by grounding the person working on a
piece of equipment to the equipment with a wrist strap.
Effects of Power Quality Problems
The effects of power quality problems are many and varied. Often a
utility customer calls the utility in an attempt to determine the cause
of a power quality problem. This chapter has discussed the various
types of power quality problems. However, most power quality problems manifest themselves as some effect on an end-user’s electrical
equipment. These symptoms include motors overheating, adjustablespeed drives tripping off, computers shutting down, flickering lights,
and stopped production. The effects of power quality problems can be
best be understood by looking at the various types of loads that are
affected by power quality problems, including computers, consumer
products, lighting, meters, ferromagnetic equipment, telephones, manufacturing processes, and capacitors.
Computers and computer-controlled equipment are most subject to
power quality problems. They freeze up and lose data. Most power
quality problems on computers are caused by voltage variations.
Consumer products include digital clocks, microwave ovens, television sets, video cassette recorders, and stereo equipment. Most consumer products are affected by voltage sags and outages causing the
electronic timer to shut down. This problem manifests itself by the
blinking clock.
Lighting includes incandescent, high-intensity discharge, and fluorescent lights. Incandescent lights often dim during a voltage sag. All
lighting will flicker when arc furnaces and arc welders cause the voltage to fluctuate.
Meters will give erroneous readings in the presence of harmonics.
Ferromagnetic equipment include transformers and motors. They
overheat and lose life when harmonic currents increase the loading on
them.
Telephones will experience noise induced by adjacent electrical
equipment.
Adjustable-speed drives not only cause harmonics but are affected
by them. The frequent shutdown of an adjustable-speed drive is usually an indication of excessive harmonics.
Many manufacturing processes experience frequent shutdowns due
to voltage sags.
Power Quality Characteristics
65
Capacitors can amplify as well as draw harmonic currents to themselves. This often causes the capacitors to fail or be tripped off-line.
Power Quality Problem-Solving Procedures
Performing a power quality survey can often prevent power quality
problems. It is essential to determining the causes and solutions to an
existing power quality problem. A power quality survey is a step-bystep process for identify existing and potential power quality problems. A qualified power quality expert often performs a power quality
survey. However, end users can perform preliminary surveys. Chapter
7, “Power Quality Surveys,” discusses in detail how to plan, conduct,
and analyze a power quality survey.
Power Quality Solutions
Power quality solutions fall into two categories: prevention and diagnosing. Preventing power quality problems is preferable to trying to
find a solution to a preexisting problem. It involves designing equipment so that it does not add to a potential problem. It involves wiring
and grounding sensitive equipment so that electromagnetic interference or ground loops do not affect it. It involves installing power conditioning equipment, such as filters, isolation transformers, UPSs, and
TVSSs, to protect sensitive equipment from damage caused by power
quality problems. Chapter 4, “Power Quality Solutions,” discusses in
detail how equipment design and different types of power conditioning
equipment solve power quality problems.
Summary
You now have a basic understanding of the steps in solving a power
quality problem and how to recognize various types of power quality
problems. How do you determine whether you have a problem and the
extent of the problem? Power quality standards developed by recognized organizations will help you identify the problem. The next chapter will explain who develops power quality standards and the status
of those standards.
References
1. Wolff, Jean-Pierre. 1998. “Power Quality: How Bad Is Bad?” EC&M Electrical
Construction & Maintenance, vol. 97, no. 9, August, pp. 28–35.
2. Stanislawski, James J. 1994. “Power Quality under the Microscope.” Telephony, July
18, pp. 32–55.
3. Waller, Mark. 1992. Surges, Sags, and Spikes. Indianapolis, Ind. PROMPT
Publications.
66
Chapter Two
4. “Voltage Sags & Swells.” 1998. URL address: http://www.scana.com/sce&g/business_solutions/powerquality/qcifvss.htm.
5. Adams, R. A., et al. 1998. “Solving Customer Power Quality Problems due to
Voltage Magnification,” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 13, no. 4, October,
pp. 1515–1520.
6. Ray, Larry. 1998. “Don’t Let Sags and Interruptions Disturb You.” EC&M Electrical
Construction & Maintenance, vol. 97, no. 9, August, pp. 42–46.
7. Owen, Edward L. 1996. “Power Disturbance and Quality: Light Flicker Voltage
Requirements.” Industrial Application Magazine, vol. 2, no. 1, January/February, pp.
20–27.
8. Bingham, Rich. 1998. “All You Want to Know about Harmonics.” Power Quality
Assurance, vol. 9, no. 1, January/February, pp. 23–27.
9. Waggoner, Ray. 1994. “Electrical Noise and EMI—Part 1.” EC&M Electrical
Construction & Maintenance, vol. 93, no. 2, February, pp. 14–15.
10. Barber, Thomas L. 1996. “Handling Nonlinear Loads.” Consulting-Specifying
Engineer, pp. 59–61.
11. Bonneville Power Administration. 1991. Reducing Power Factor Cost. DOE/CE0380. U.S. Department of Energy.
12. Seufert, Frederick J. 1990. “Capacitors Improve Power Factor and Reduce Losses.”
EC&M Electrical Construction & Maintenance, vol. 89, no. 8, August, pp. 63–66.
13. Waggoner, Ray. 1993. “How Harmonics Affects Power Factor—Part 1.” EC&M
Electrical Construction & Maintenance, vol. 92, no. 10, October, pp. 22–24.
14. Ballo, Jourjal. 1985. “Take Charge of Static Electricity.” Production Engineering,
vol. 32, October, pp. 66–68.
15. Holt, Mike. 1999. “Introduction to Grounding.” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 10, no.
3, May/June, pp. 48–50.
Chapter
3
Power Quality
Standards
Power quality standards are needed in the power quality industry. How
can utilities deliver and their customers receive the quality of power
they need without power quality standards? How can the electronics
industry produce sensitive electronic equipment without power quality
standards? How can the power conditioning industry produce devices
that will protect sensitive electronic equipment without power quality
standards? They can’t.
The power quality industry recognizes that power quality standards are critical to the viability of the industry. Therefore, stakeholders in the power quality industry have developed several power
quality standards in recent years. They recognize that the increased
interest in power quality has resulted in the need to develop corresponding standards. They realize that the increased use of sensitive
electronic equipment, increased application of nonlinear devices to
improve energy efficiency, the advent of deregulation, and the
increasingly complex and interconnected power system all contribute
to the need for power quality standards. Standards set voltage and
current limits that sensitive electronic equipment can tolerate from
electrical disturbances. Utilities need standards that set limits on
the amount of voltage distortion their power systems can tolerate
from harmonics produced by their customers with nonlinear loads.
End users need standards that set limits not only for electrical disturbances produced by utilities but also for harmonics generated by
other end users. Deregulation increases the need for standards so
that the offending organization causing poor quality problems is held
accountable for fixing the problems. As power systems become more
67
Copyright © 2000 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
68
Chapter Three
interconnected, contracts based on standards will be needed to protect the offended party. Standards also allow utilities to provide different levels of power quality service.
Several national and international organizations have developed
power quality standards. There are a confusing number of different
organizations that set power quality standards. The first step in sorting through the confusing number of standards and standards organizations is to examine the primary power quality standards
organizations.
Power Quality Standards Organizations
The organizations responsible for developing power quality standards in
the United States include the following: Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American National Standards Institute
(ANSI), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Electrical
Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Electric Power Research Institute
(EPRI), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Outside the United States,
the primary organizations responsible for developing international power quality standards include the following: International
Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Euronorms, and ESKOM for South
African standards. What is the role of each of these organizations in
adopting power quality standards? What organization has the final
authority in applying power quality standards? The roles of the three primary organizations involved in developing power quality standards—
IEEE, ANSI, and IEC—provide answers to these questions.
Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers (IEEE)
The IEEE was founded in 1963 from two organizations: the American
Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) and the Institute of Radio
Engineers (IRE). It is a not-for-profit association that has grown to be
the largest professional organization in the world, with more than
330,000 members in 150 countries. Members of the IEEE have varied
technical backgrounds, ranging from computer engineering, biomedical
technology, and telecommunications, to electric power, aerospace, and
consumer electronics, among others. It has participated in the development of electrical industry standards of all kinds, including power quality. Its membership’s interest in power quality focuses on solving
particular power quality problems. Its members have developed power
quality standards for several years. It presently has at least four societies and dozens of committees, subcommittees, and working groups
Power Quality Standards
69
developing and revising power quality standards. In fact, in 1991, IEEE
formed the Standards Coordinating Committee (SSC-22) to coordinate
and oversee the myriad of IEEE power quality standards under development or revision.
IEEE power quality standards deal primarily with the power quality limits of disturbances at the point of common coupling (the point
where the utility connects to its customer or end user). IEEE power
quality standards have a great impact in the electrical utility industry but lack official status, while the American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) has the official responsibility to adopt standards for
the United States.
American National Standards Institute
(ANSI)
Five engineering societies and three government agencies founded
ANSI in 1918. It is a private, nonprofit organization with member
organizations from the private and public sectors. It does not develop
standards, but facilitates standards development by qualified groups,
like the IEEE. Consequently, many officially authorized IEEE standards have the dual designation of ANSI/IEEE. It is the sole United
States representative to the two major international standards organizations, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
International Electotechnical Commission
(IEC)
The genesis of the IEC occurred in 1890 at the Electrical Exposition and
Conference held in St. Louis during a meeting of several famous electrical pioneers. It has since evolved into an organization with membership
from 43 countries. The IEC Council heads the IEC and oversees 200
technical committees, subcommittees, and working groups. IEC power
quality standards working groups are concerned mainly about standards that will enhance international trade. They refer to power quality standards as so-called electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
standards. IEC’s reference to power quality standards as electromagnetic compatibility standards illustrates that IEC’s primary concern is
the compatibility of end-user equipment with the utility’s electrical supply system. Figure 3.1 shows examples of electromagnetic compatibility.
The IEC has adopted many EMC standards that seem to duplicate
IEEE power quality standards. This duplication of standards has
caused confusion in the power quality industry. Consequently, several
power quality experts have tried to “harmonize” the IEC standards
with the IEEE standards. In the meantime, the users of power quality
70
Chapter Three
Lightning
Power
Lines
Mobile
Radio
Ignition
Conducted Noise
AS Power Circuit
Electric Motors
Figure 3.1 Some factors affecting electromagnetic compatibility.
standards must become familiar with both IEC and IEEE standards to
determine what standards best meet their needs. In addition to the primary power quality standards organizations of ANSI, IEEE, and IEC,
there are other important power quality standards organizations.
Other domestic standards organizations
In the United States, other organizations, like EPRI, UL, NEMA,
NFPA, NIST, and some public utility commissions, have also developed power quality standards. For example, EPRI, the research arm of
the electric utility industry, has developed reliability indices for utility distribution systems and sponsored the System Compatibility
Research Project to enhance the specifications of appliances and
equipment to be more compatible with their electrical environment.
Underwriters Laboratories is concerned about the safety of various
electrical appliances and has developed a standard for the safety of
transient voltage surge suppressors, UL 1449. NEMA has set power
quality standards for motors, generators, and uninterruptible power
supplies (UPSs). NFPA has always been concerned about electrical
standards for fire safety. Consequently, it has developed power quality
standards to protect computer equipment (NFPA-75) and building
lighting (NFPA-780-95) from electrical fires. The National Institute of
Standards has developed an information poster on power quality
Power Quality Standards
71
(NIST-SP768).
Even public utility commissions have adopted power quality standards. For example, the New York Public Utility Commission adopted
in 1991 standards of reliability and power quality. The reliability standards address sustained interruptions lasting 5 minutes or more,
while the power quality standards address all other disturbances. The
New York commission did not set any numerical values but required
each utility to set its own power quality standards and file an annual
power quality report to the commission.
Other international standards organizations
While the IEC is the primary developer of international power quality
standards, other organizations have developed their own standards.
For example, ESKOM, the South African utility, has developed power
quality standards based on the best of those in the United States and
the rest of the world, plus new requirements that other organizations
have not developed yet. These standards have allowed ESKOM to provide enhanced power quality service at a premium cost. In addition to
IEC and ESKOM, The European Standards Community Standards
Organization (CENELEC) has developed power quality standards
called Euronorms. The International Union of Producers and
Distributors of Electrical Energy (UNIPEDE) published, in 1995,
“Measurement Guide for Voltage Characteristics.” The French standards organization, Union Internationale d’Electrothermie (UIE), is
preparing a power quality guide on voltage dips, short-duration interruptions, harmonics, and imbalances.
International standards tend to require more specific measurements
of power quality than United States standards. International standards’ purpose is to ensure electromagnetic compatibility between utilities and their customers to help commerce and business, while United
States standards’ purpose is usually to solve a power quality problem.
Thus, international standards require more specificity than United
States standards.
If you need further information on various power quality standards
contact the appropriate organization. Table 3.1 provides names,
addresses, and telephone numbers of organizations publishing power
quality standards.
Purpose of Power Quality Standards
The purpose of power quality standards is to protect utility and enduser equipment from failing or misoperating when the voltage, current,
or frequency deviates from normal. Power quality standards provide
72
Chapter Three
TABLE 3.1
Organizations Publishing Power Quality Standards
Organization
Type of standards
Address
ANSI
Steady-state voltage
ratings (ANSI C84.1)
American National Standards Institute
11 West 42nd St., 13th Floor
New York, NY 10036
(212) 642-4900
e-mail: [email protected]
CENELEC
Regional standards
European Union Standards
Organization
CISPR
International
standards
International Special Committee
on Radio Interference
EPRI
Signature newsletter
on power quality
standards
Electric Power Research Institute
Attn: Marek Samotyj
3112 Hillview Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(650) 855-2980
IEC
International standards
International Electrotechnical Commission
31 rue de Varembc
P.O. Box 131
CH-1211 Geneva 20 Switzerland
441229190265
e-mail: [email protected]
IEEE
International and United
States standards
Color Book Series
Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers
445 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331
(732) 981-0060
e-mail: [email protected]
ITI (formerly
CBEMA)
Equipment guides
Information Technology Industry
Council
1250 I St. NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 737-8888
Web address: www.itic.org
NEMA
Equipment standards
National Electrical Manufacturers
Association
1300 N 17th St., Suite 1847
Rossslyn, VA 22209
(703) 841-3258
Web address: www.nema.org
NFPA
Lighting protection
National Electric Code
National Fire Protection Association
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02269-0101
(800) 344-3555
Web address: www.nfpa.org
NIST
General Information on
all standards
National Center for Standards
and Certification
National Institute of Standards
and Technology
Bldg. 820, Room 164
Gaithersburg, MD 208997
(301) 975-4040
e-mail: [email protected]
UL
Safety standards for
equipment
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
333 Pfingsten Rd.
Northbrook, IL 60062-2096
(849) 272-8800
e-mail: [email protected]
Power Quality Standards
73
this protection by setting measurable limits as to how far the voltage,
current, or frequency can deviate from normal. By setting these limits,
power quality standards help utilities and their customers gain agreement as to what are acceptable and unacceptable levels of service.
On both sides of the revenue meter, utilities and their customers
need power quality standards. On the utility side of the meter, standards help utilities keep electrical disturbances from affecting their
equipment and their customer’s equipment. On the end-user side of
the meter, end users need standards that keep user-created electrical
disturbances from affecting the operation of equipment owned by the
utility, other end users, and themselves. Manufacturers of sensitive
electronic equipment need standards to keep their customers satisfied. Finally, the purchasers and manufacturers of power conditioning
equipment need standards developed by independent organizations,
like UL, to assure themselves that their power conditioning equipment does protect end-user equipment from electrical disturbances.
Types of Power Quality Standards
What types of power quality standards do utilities and their customers need to protect their equipment from damage? They need not
only standards that set limits on electrical disturbances that utility
and end-user equipment can withstand, but also standards that allow
their various types of equipment to operate effectively. United States
standards deal mostly with voltage quality, while international standards deal with compatibility limits between the electric utility power
supply and the end-user equipment. There are standards on the performance of power conditioning equipment needed to prevent power
quality disturbances from causing end-user equipment to misoperate.
There are even standards for the equipment that measures and monitors electrical disturbances. And finally there are general standards
that define power quality terms.
In order to help the power quality industry compare the results of
power quality measurements from different instruments, the IEEE
developed IEEE Standard 1159-1995 copyright © 1995, Recommended
Practice for Monitoring Electric Power Quality. This standard defines
various power quality terms and categorizes IEEE standards by the
various power quality topics of grounding, powering, surge protection,
harmonics, disturbances, life/fire safety, mitigation equipment,
telecommunications equipment, noise control, utility interface, monitoring, load immunity, and system reliability. Table 3.2, from IEEE
Standard 1159-1995, provides a summary of the various types of IEEE
power quality standards.
How do you determine the appropriate IEC power quality standard
74
Chapter Three
United States Power Quality Standards by Topic
TABLE 3.2
Topic
Relevant standards
Grounding
IEEE 446, 141, 142, 1100; ANSI/NFPA 70
Powering
ANSI C84.1; IEEE 141, 446, 1100, 1250
Surge protection
IEEE C62, 141, 142; NFPA 778; UL 1449
Harmonics
IEEE C57.110, 519, P519a, 929, 1001
Disturbances
ANSI C62.41; IEEE 1100, 1159, 1250
Life/fire safety
FIPS Pub. 94; ANSI/NFPA 70; NFPA 75; UL 1478, 1950
Mitigation equipment
IEEE 446, 1035, 1100; 1250; NEMA-UPS
Telecommunication
equipment
FIPS Pub. 94; IEEE 487, 1100
Noise control
FIPS Pub. 94; IEEE 518, 1050
Utility interface
IEEE 446, 929, 1001, 1035
Monitoring
IEEE 1100, 1159
Load immunity
IEEE 141, 446, 1100, 1159, P1346
System reliability
IEEE 493
SOURCE:
IEEE Standards 1159-1995 copyright © 1995. All rights reserved.
to use in a given situation? What are the various types of IEC power
quality standards? Table 3.3 provides a simple user guide to IEC standards by organizing them according to general, environment, limits,
testing and measurement, and installation and mitigation categories.
How do you reconcile the differences and similarities of United
States and international standards? Tom Key, vice president of technology of EPRI’s Power Electronic Application Center (PEAC), saw the
need to compare and categorize United States and international standards by electrical disturbances. He, therefore, developed Table 3.4,
which compares the United States and international standards by disturbance and the corresponding purpose of the standard.
The many United States and international power quality standards
can cause much confusion. In order to sort through the confusion so
that you can use these standards to solve and prevent power quality
problems, this chapter categorizes them in the same way that Chapter
2 categorizes power quality characteristics. Chapter 2 categorizes the
type of disturbance along with the subsequent effect of the disturbance
on equipment and the corresponding mitigation solution to the power
quality disturbance. Table 3.5 uses this approach to categorize the various United States power quality standards.
This method of organizing power quality standards provides you
with a more logical and effective way to utilize power quality standards. First, Chapter 3 discusses both United States and international standards categorized by electrical disturbances. Next, it discusses
the corresponding subcategories of standards organized by the effect
Power Quality Standards
TABLE 3.3
IEC Power Quality Standards by Topic
Topic
Description
IEC number
General
-Fundamental principles
-Definitions
-Terminology
IEC Pub. 1000-1
Environment
-Description
-Classification
-Compatibility limits
IEC Pub. 1000-2
Limits
-Emission and immunity
limits
-Generic standards
EIC Limits 1000-3
Testing and
measurement
Techniques for
conducting tests
IEC Pub. 1000-4
Installation and
mitigation
-Installation guidelines
-Mitigation methods
-Mitigation devices
IEC Guide 1000-5
TABLE 3.4
Comparison of IEEE and IEC Power Quality Standards
Disturbance
IEEE standard
IEC standard
Harmonic environment
Compatibility limits
Harmonic measurement
Harmonic practices
Component heating
Under-Sag-environment
Compatibility limits
Sag measurement
Sag mitigation
Fuse blowing/upsets
Oversurge environment
Compatibility levels
Surge measurement
Surge protection
Insulation breakdown
None
IEEE 519
None
IEEE 519A
ANSI/IEEE C57.110
IEEE 1250
IEEE P1346
None
IEEE 446, 1100, 1159
ANSI C84.1
ANSI/IEEE C62.41
None
ANSI/IEEE C62.45
C62 series, 1100
By product
IEC 1000-2-1/2
IEC 1000-3-2/4 (555)
IEC 1000-4-7/13/15
IEC 1000-5-5
IEC 1000-3-6
IEC 38, 1000-2-4
IEC 1000-3-3/5 (555)
IEC 1000-4-1/11
IEC 1000-5-X
IEC 1000-2-5
IEC-1000-3-7
IEC 3000-3-X
IEC 1000-4-1/2/4/5/12
IEC 1000-5-X
IEC 664
SOURCE:
75
EPRI’s PEAC Corp. (Courtesy of EPRI’s “Signature.”)
electrical disturbances have on equipment. Finally, it discusses standards for mitigation solutions and measurement procedures categorized by electrical disturbances.
Voltage sag (dip) standards
Standards for voltage sags or dips use reliability indices to set voltage
sag limits (IEEE uses the term sag or momentary interruption, but
IEC uses the term dip or short-time interruption to refer to the same
phenomenon). Voltage sags are typically the most important power
76
Chapter Three
TABLE 3.5
Summary of United States Power Quality Problems
Example waveshape
or RMS variation
Disturbance
Description
Disturbance
Sources
Effects
Standards
Mitigation
standards
ANSI/IEEE
C62.41
ANSI/IEEE
C62.45
UL 1449
IEEE 1100
ANSI/IEEE
C62.41
ANSI/IEEE
C62.45
UL 1449
IEEE 1100
RMS disturbance
IEEE P1346
IEEE 493
ANSI/IEEE C84.1
IEEE 446
IEEE 446
IEEE 1100
IEEE 1159
Interruptions
ANSI/IEEE C62.41
ANSI/IEEE C62.45
UL 1778
UL 1449
IEEE 1100
ANSI C84.1
Load variations
Load dropping
Shorten lives of
motors and lighting
filaments
Voltage regulators
Ferroresonant
transformers
Steady-state
variation
ANSI/IEEE
ANSI/IEEE
ANSI/IEEE
ANSI/IEEE
ANSI/IEEE 519
ANSI/IEEE C57.110
ANSI/IEEE C84.1
ANSI/IEEE
C57.110
ANSI/IEEE C37
Steady-state
variation
Voltage flicker
ANSI/IEEE C84.1
IEEE 141
IEEE 141
Lights flicker
Irritation
IEEE 519
Impulsive
transients
Transient
disturbance
Oscillatory
transients
Transient
disturbance
Sags/swells
RMS disturbance
Undervoltages/
overvoltages
Steady-state
variation
Harmonic
distortion
519
929
1001
1035
quality variation affecting industrial and commercial customers. The
IEEE Gold Book (Standard 493-1990, copyright © 1990, p. 38) already
includes voltage sags in the definition of reliability:
Economic evaluation of reliability begins with the establishment of an
interruption definition. Such a definition specifies the magnitude of the
voltage dip and the minimum duration of such a reduced-voltage period
that results in a loss of production or other function of the plant process.
The most basic index for voltage sag performance is the system average rms (variation) frequency index voltage (SARFIx). SARFIx quantifies three voltage sag parameters into one index. The three parameters
are the number of voltage sags, the period of measurement, and the
number of end users affected by the voltage sag. Consequently, SARFIx
represents the average number of specified short-duration rms variation events per customer that occurred on a specific power system during a measurement time period. For SARFIx, the specified
disturbances are those rms variations with a voltage magnitude less
than x for voltage drops or a magnitude greater than x for voltage
Power Quality Standards
77
increases. SARFIx is defined by Eq. (3.1):
∑Ni
SARFIx NT
(3.1)
where x rms voltage threshold; possible values 140, 120, 110, 90,
80, 70, 50, and 10
Ni number of customers experiencing voltage deviations with
magnitudes above Y% for x 100 or below Y% for x 100
due to event i
NT number of customers served from the section of the system
to be assessed
SARFIx is calculated in the same way as the system average interruption frequency index (SAIFI) value that many utilities have used for
years (proposed IEEE Standard P1366). The two indices are, however,
quite different. SARFIx assesses system performance with regard to
short-duration rms variations, whereas SAIFI assesses only sustained
interruptions. SARFIx can be used to assess the frequency of occurrence of sags, swells, and short-duration interruptions. Furthermore,
the inclusion of the index threshold value x provides a means for
assessing sags and swells of varying magnitudes. For example,
SARFI70 represents the average number of sags below 70 percent experienced by the average customer served from the assessed system.
Subindices of SARFI can be categorized by the causes of the events or
by the duration of the events. For instance, a subindex of SARFI is the
index related to voltage sags that are caused by lightning-induced
faults. Other subcategories of indices include indices for instantaneous,
momentary, and temporary voltage sags, as defined in IEEE 1159, 1995.
Indices have been developed for aggregated events. Examples of
aggregated events are multiple voltage sags that often occur together
because of reclosing operations of breakers and characteristics of distribution faults. Once a customer process is impacted by a voltage sag,
the subsequent sags are often less important. To account for this effect,
SARFIx uses an aggregate event method that results in only one count
for multiple sags within a 1-minute period (aggregation period).
How do utilities estimate these indices? Utilities can use historical
fault performance of transmission and distribution lines to estimate
these indices. However, utilities have discovered that system monitoring at specific system locations provides a more accurate way to determine these indices. In order to obtain a more accurate measurement of
these indices, many utilities (such as Consolidated Edison, United
Illuminating, Northeast Utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric, TVA,
Entergy, Baltimore Gas & Electric) have installed extensive monitor-
78
Chapter Three
ing systems that measure and record their systems’ performance on a
continuous basis. For example, Detroit Edison and Consumers Power
installed monitoring systems to track performance at specific customers (automotive plants) as part of the contractual requirements
associated with serving these customers.
Utilities and their customers find that the information they
obtained by using these indices can be valuable for many different purposes. For instance, United Illuminating (UI) has installed power
quality monitoring at all of its distribution substations. UI can use this
power quality monitoring data to provide real-time system performance information to customer engineers, protection engineers, and
operations engineers throughout the UI network. UI has used the data
to calculate performance indices and has included this information in
monthly and quarterly reports of the system performance. UI engineers use SARFI as one of UI’s company performance drivers along
with SAIFI, SAIDI, and CAIDI (interruption-based indices). They
have used the SARFI-based ranking of substations to prioritize substation expansion and maintenance. For example, if SARFI90 exceeds
specified thresholds in any period, the UI engineers recommend a power quality investigation to determine the reason. UI engineers plan to
include steady-state performance indices (voltage regulation, unbalance, harmonics) in their system performance reports.
Standards are needed for the effects of voltage sags on sensitive electronic equipment. A working group in the IEEE is developing such a
standard. It is called IEEE Standard P1346, Electric Power System
Compatibility with Electronic Process Equipment. This standard contains indices that will allow industrial engineers to evaluate how sensitive their industrial processes will be to voltage sags. In addition, IEEE
has included the CBEMA curve described in IEEE Standard 446—1995
(The Orange Book) to show equipment susceptibility to voltage sags. In
fact, the contract between Detroit Edison and its automotive customers
used language from IEEE Standard 446—1995 to set limits as to acceptable voltage sags. Sometimes the CBEMA curve sets voltage sag limits
that are not restrictive enough to protect some types of sensitive equipment. For example, Figure 3.2 shows an adjustable-speed drive that is
more sensitive to voltage sags than indicated by the CBEMA curve.
Transients or surges
ANSI/IEEE C62.41-1991, IEEE Guide for Surge Voltages in Low
Voltage AC Power Circuits, deals with transients in a building. This
standard is concerned with the effect of transients on the load side
of the meter. It categorizes the location of the transients and types of
transient waveforms. The three locations are: category A, anything on
the load side of a wall socket outlet; category B, distribution system of
Power Quality Standards
100
Running
Voltage (percent normal)
90
ASD
Stopped
80
79
Sag
CBEMA
70
60
Contractor
50
40
30
Normal Fault Clearing Time
(-20 Cycles)
20
10
0
0
10
20
30
Time (cycles)
Figure 3.2 Example of equipment sensitivity to voltage sags.
the building; and category C, outside the building or on the supply side
of the main distribution boards for the building. Their duration and
frequency categorize the five types of transient waveforms:
1.2/50–8/20-s combination wave
0.5-s, 100-kHz ring wave
10/1000-s unidirectional wave
5-kHz ring wave
Electrical fast transient
Transient voltage surge suppressor (TVSS) standards. The most popular
way to protect your computer and other sensitive electronic equipment
is to use a transient voltage surge suppressor or TVSS. This device
“clamps” the voltage from a voltage transient or surge and keeps it
from damaging your equipment. Clamping the voltage means reducing
the voltage that enters the surge suppressor to a level that is safe for
voltage-sensitive equipment. Once the voltage is clamped, it rises to
what is called the “let-through” voltage. The let-through voltage is the
voltage that the protected equipment receives. Figure 3.3 illustrates
what is meant by clamp and let-through voltage. How surge suppressors work and how to evaluate their performance is discussed in the
next chapter. The primary standard for the TVSS is Underwriters
Laboratories Standard UL1449.
The original UL1449, developed in 1987, defines the requirements
for TVSS devices based on the two classes identified in IEEE Standard
C62.41: (1) permanently connected (category B) and (2) cord-connected
(category B or A). Using the transient waves defined in C62.41,
Underwriters Laboratories performs a series of tests. These tests are
80
Chapter Three
Figure 3.3 Clamp and let-through voltages.
designed to simulate the characteristics of voltage surges and the voltage that will pass through the TVSS. The tests included applying to the
TVSS a voltage transient of 6000 V, 500 A, in 20-s pulses. At the time,
UL believed that this was the largest voltage transient that could be
produced at a 120-V, 15-A outlet.
Since 1987, UL has revised UL 1449 for two reasons: open neutralground bonds cause 240 V to be applied to 120-V outlets and faults on the
utility transmission system can bring 10,000 V into a 120-V outlet. Table
3.6 compares the requirements of the old UL 1449 with the new one.
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system. The purpose of an uninterruptible power supply system is to protect sensitive equipment from
voltage surges and loss of power. A UPS often contains both a surge
suppression device and some type of power supply, like a battery or a
motor generator set. Most modern UPSs have a battery backup system
and an inverter to convert dc to ac to operate equipment during an outage. Consequently, the same standards that are applicable to a surge
protection device are applicable to UPSs, like UL 1449 and IEEE
C62.41. For safety reasons, Underwriters Laboratories has developed
a standard specifically for UPSs, UL 1778.
Voltage unbalance
The primary standard for voltage unbalance as well as steady-state
voltage requirements is ANSI C84.1-1995. It specifies that equipment
be designed to operate at voltages not to exceed 6 percent or less
TABLE 3.6
Comparison of Original and Revised UL 1449 Standard
Revised UL 1449
Original UL 1449
Protection against protector meltdown
Safe against catastrophic overvoltage
Safe against leakage/shocks after damage
Withstand two 3000-A and twenty
500-A surges
Specify protection modes
102pp
Not required
Not required
Not required
Withstand two 500-A and
twenty-four 125-A surges
Not required
39pp
Source: Richard L. Cohen. 1998. “The New UL1449 Standard for Transient Voltage
Surge Suppressors.” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 9, no. 4, July/August, p. 37.
Range B
Range A
128
600 V
Service Voltage
Service Voltage 120–600 V
Service Voltage
Utilization Voltage
116
Utilization Voltage
Voltage (120 V base)
120
Service Voltage 120–600 V
124
600 V
(b)
112
(a)
108
(a)
104
NOTE: The shaded area (a) does not apply to circuits supplying lighting loads. The
shaded area (b) does not apply to 120- to 600-V systems.
Figure 3.4 ANSI C84.1-1995 steady-state voltage limits. (Reprinted from ANSI 84.1 by
permission from National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Copyright © 1996
National Electrical Manufacturers Association.)
82
Chapter Three
than 13 percent of the nominal 120/240 system voltage. Figure 3.4
summarizes these voltage standards. Range A applies to normal conditions. Range B applies to short-duration or unusual conditions.
ANSI C84.1-1995 defines voltage unbalance as the maximum deviation from the average of the three-phase voltages or currents, divided by
the average of the three-phase voltages or currents, expressed in percent.
Unbalance of voltage and current can damage motors. To prevent any
damage to equipment, ANSI C84.1-1995 sets a maximum voltage unbalance at the meter under no-load conditions of 3 percent. Figure 3.5 provides an example of voltage unbalance statistics on a distribution feeder.
Voltage fluctuation or flicker standards
The primary United States standards for voltage fluctuation are contained in IEEE 519-1992, Recommended Practices and Requirements
for Harmonic Control in Electric Power Systems, and IEEE 141-1995,
Recommended Practice for Electric Power Distribution for Industrial
Plants (The Red Book). There are no United States standards for measuring flicker at this time. The international standard for measuring
flicker is IEC 1000-4-15, Flickermeter—Functional and Design
Specifications (formerly IEC 868), and for setting flicker limits for
individual appliances is IEC 1000-3-3, Disturbances in Supply
Systems Caused by Household Appliances and Similar Electrical
Equipment (formerly IEC 555-3). All these standards attempt to limit
the lighting flicker so that it does not irritate a person seeing it.
Figure 3.5 Voltage unbalance statistics. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
Power Quality Standards
83
Because of the subjective nature of light flicker, standards organizations have had difficulty correlating voltage fluctuation standards to
perceptible light flicker that is irritating to the observer. The two
IEEE flicker standards attempt to solve this problem by using the GE
flicker curve published in 1951, shown in Figure 3.6.
IEEE 519-1992 copyright © 1993, Recommended Practices and
Requirements for Harmonic Control in Electric Power Systems, page
80, says “sources of flicker in industrial power distribution systems
can be, for instance, the somewhat random variations of load typified
by an arc furnace melting scrap steel or an elevator motor’s starts
and stops. A flicker source may be nearly periodic, as in the case of
jogging or manual spot-welding. A source may also be periodic, as in
the case of an automatic spot-welder.” It mentions that static VAR
(volt-amperes reactive) compensators at the flicker source keep the
voltage steady under varying load conditions and therefore solve the
flicker problem. A person experiencing irritating flicker can sometimes get rid of the flicker by changing the light bulb type. IEEE-5191992 not only sets flicker standards but is the basis for setting
harmonic standards in the United States.
Harmonic standards
The harmonic standard for the United States, IEEE 519-1992,
Recommended Practices and Requirements for Harmonic Control in
Electric Power Systems, recognizes that the primary source of harRange of Arc
Furnace Operation
3.0
Percent Voltage Change
Objectionable
2.0
1.0
Satisfactory
0.5
0
1
5
No./hr
20
1
5
20
No./min
Fluctuation rate
Figure 3.6 Flicker sensitivity curve. (Source: GE.)
1
5 10 15
No./sec
84
Chapter Three
monic currents is nonlinear loads located on the end-user (utility customer) side of the meter. However, the same standard indicates that
capacitors located on the utility side of the meter can amplify the harmonic voltage. The utility can also transmit harmonic voltage distortion to other end users. IEEE 519-1992 sets current limits at the point
of common coupling (PCC). Figure 3.7 shows that the PCC is where
the utility connects to multiple end users.
IEEE 519-1992 defines harmonic limits on the utility side of the
meter as the total harmonic distortion (THD) and on the end-user side
of the meter as total distortion demand (TDD). This standard sets the
voltage distortion limits or THD that the utility can supply to the end
user at the point of common coupling. Table 3.7, from IEEE 519-1992,
sets THD limits on the utility system at various voltages. The same
IEEE standard sets limits on the harmonic current that the end user
can inject into the utility’s system at the point of common coupling.
Table 3.8 provides the TDD limits in IEEE 519-1992.
In contrast to the IEEE setting harmonic limits at the point of common coupling, the IEC sets harmonic limits on individual loads, like
adjustable-speed drives. These limits are contained in IEC 1000-3-2
(formerly IEC 555-2).
Harmonics cause electronic equipment to malfunction. Section 6 of
IEEE-519-1992 discusses the effects of harmonics on electronic equipment. Electronic equipment cannot stand more than 5 percent harmonic voltage distortion factor, with a single harmonic being no more
than 3 percent of the fundamental voltage. Higher levels of harmonics
result in erratic malfunction of the electronic equipment. In addition
to causing problems to sensitive electronic equipment, harmonics can
cause relays and meters to malfunction. The magnitude and frequency of occurrence of harmonics needs to be considered as well as the
duration of the harmonics.
Section 6 of IEEE-519-1992 also discusses the effects of harmonic
currents on electrical equipment, like motors and transformers.
Harmonics cause motors and transformers to overheat. IEEE 5191992 sets harmonic current limits to prevent them from overheating
motors and transformers. For instance, the upper current distortion
limit of 5 percent is to prevent harmonic currents from overheating
transformers.
Because of the potential damage to transformers caused by harmonics, IEEE developed a standard specifically to limit harmonics’ effect on
transformers. This is ANSI/IEEE C57.110-1996, Recommended
Practice for Establishing Transformer Capability When Supplying
Nonsinusoidal Load Currents.
Power Quality Standards
PCC
Utility System
IL
Customer Under Study
Other Utility
Customers
Utility System
PCC
IL
Other Utility
Customers
Customer Under Study
Figure 3.7 Point of common coupling (PCC).
TABLE 3.7
IEEE-519 Voltage Distortion Limits
Bus voltage
Maximum individual
harmonic component, %
Maximum THD, %
69 kV and below
69 kV to 161 kV
Above 161 kV
3.0
1.5
1.0
5.0
2.5
1.5
NOTE: High-voltage systems can have up to 2.0% THD, where the cause is
an HVDC terminal that will attentuate by the time it is trapped for a user.
SOURCE:
IEEE Standard 519-1992, Copyright © 1993, IEEE. All rights
reserved.
85
86
Chapter Three
TABLE 3.8
Ix Iz
IEEE-519 Harmonic Current Limits in Percent of IL
h 11
11 h 17
17 h 23
23 h 35
35 h
0.6
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
0.3
0.5
0.7
1.0
1.4
5.0
8.0
12.0
15.0
20.0
0.3
0.5
0.75
1.0
1.25
0.15
0.25
0.35
0.5
0.7
2.5
4.0
6.0
7.5
10.0
0.3
0.45
0.15
0.22
TDD
v 69 kV
20
2050
50100
1001000
1000
4.0
7.0
10.0
12.0
15.0
2.0
3.5
4.5
5.5
7.0
1.5
2.5
4.0
5.0
6.0
69 kV v 161 kV
20*
2050
50100
1001000
1000
2.0
3.5
5.0
6.0
7.5
1.0
1.75
2.25
2.75
3.5
0.75
1.25
2.0
2.5
3.0
v 161 kV
50
50
2.0
3.5
1.0
1.75
0.75
1.25
2.5
3.75
NOTE: All power-generation equipment is limited to these values of current distortion,
regardless of ISC/IL.
SOURCE: IEEE Standard 519-1992, Copyright © 1993, IEEE. All rights reserved.
Transformer overheating standards
ANSI/IEEE Standard C57 series addresses the problem of harmonics
causing transformers to overheat. It does this by setting so-called Kfactor ratings of transformers. Harmonics’ major effect on transformers is to increase losses and heating in transformers. They increase
both load and no-load losses. They increase load losses by causing skin
effects, increasing eddy-current, I2R, and stray losses. They increase
no-load losses by increasing hysteresis losses. IEEE and UL have
adopted standards to either derate regular transformers or to design
special transformers that can withstand the effect of harmonics. These
specially designed transformers are called K-factor transformers.
K factor. Purchasers of transformers can use the K-factor value to pick
a specially designed K-factor transformer or to derate a non-K-factor
transformer. They need to first calculate the K factor. Then, they can
decide whether to derate a standard transformer or purchase a specially
designed K-factor transformer. If they decide to purchase a standard
transformer, they use the K-factor to derate the standard transformer. If
they decide to purchase a specially designed K-factor transformer, they
use the K factor to pick the K-factor rating of the transformer.
A K-factor transformer has certain features that allow it to handle the
extra heating of harmonic currents. It may have a static shield between
the high- and low-voltage windings to reduce electrostatic noise caused
Power Quality Standards
87
by harmonics. It may use smaller-than-normal, transposed, and individually insulated conductors to reduce the skin-effect and eddy-current
losses. It may also have a neutral conductor in the secondary winding
large enough to carry the third-harmonic neutral currents. It may have
core laminations that are individually insulated to reduce eddy currents
in the core. It may have a larger core with special steel to reduce hysteresis losses and reduce the possibility of the transformer saturating
because of high voltage peaks on the distorted bus voltage waveform.
This special steel has less resistance to the changing magnetic fields. A
larger core increases the area of steel and thus reduces the flux density
and resistance to the changing magnetic fields. The transformer design
engineer can also reduce the K-factor transformer flux density by
increasing the number of turns in the winding. The K-factor transformer may have larger conductors than a standard transformer with
the same nameplate rating to reduce heating caused by increased I2R
losses. Often it has added cooling ducts in the windings to reduce the
increased heating effects of harmonics. Reducing the height of the conductor reduces eddy-current losses and decreases the flux density, as
discussed previously.
Underwriters Laboratories, in UL 1561, Standard for Safety for DryType General Purpose and Power Transformers, developed the K-factor
constant to take into account the effect of harmonics on transformer
loading and losses. IEEE 1100-1992 copyright © 1992, Power and
Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment, (The Emerald Book), page
75, defines K factor as
∑ (Ihh)2
K ∑ (Ih)2
(3.2)
where Ih harmonic current and h harmonic value. This formula
shows how to calculate K factor by summing the product of each harmonic current squared and the harmonic order squared and dividing
by the summation of the harmonic current squared. Then, calculate
the increased eddy current losses due to harmonics by multiplying the
rated eddy current losses by the K factor.
The steps in calculating the K factor of a transformer are shown in
the flowchart in Figure 3.8. This flowchart provides a step-by-step
method for determining the K factor to be used either to derate a standard transformer or to specify the K rating of a K-factor transformer.
Chapter 10 of Energy Efficient Transformers by Barry Kennedy
explains how to calculate transformer K factor.
ANSI/IEEE C57.110-1986 does not mention K factor. However,
ANSI/IEEE C57.110-1986 does provide the methods for calculating the
losses and currents for a certain harmonic load that is the basis for
determining K-factor values. This standard was intended for application
88
Chapter Three
Determine Expected
Load Current
Harmonic Content
Determine
Load Current
K-Factor
K = Σ(Ihh)2/Σ(Ih)2
Determine
Eddy Current
Loss Factor
Determine
Transformer
Derating/K-Factor
Figure 3.8 K-factor calculation steps.
with liquid-immersed transformers, yet K factor as derived from this
standard is applied to dry-type transformers. This implies some inaccuracy in the calculation of K factor for dry-type transformers.
In summary, the purpose of the K-factor rating is to rank transformers for harmonics, reduce skin-effect losses, and reduce the possibility of core saturation. Transformer manufacturers design
transformers with a special K-factor rating. Transformers with a Kfactor rating have a note on their nameplates indicating that they are
designed for nonsinusoidal current load with a certain K factor.
A K-factor transformer may cost approximately twice as much as a
standard transformer and weigh 115 percent more than a standard
transformer. It is recommended that purchasers of transformers use
K-factor transformers rather than derate a standard transformer. This
is to avoid unforeseen hot spots. A derated transformer may still contain hot spots due to harmonics that could result in overheating and
transformer loss of life.
Harmonics not only can cause transformers and other equipment to
overheat but also can cause cables to overheat as well. The neutral
conductor in the cable is especially susceptible to overloading due to
harmonics.
Neutral conductor loading standards
Why are standards needed to limit the excessive neutral current
caused by harmonics and to size neutral conductors to carry them?
Power Quality Standards
89
Single-phase nonlinear electronic loads will draw current only during
the peak of the voltage waveform. These loads combined in a threephase circuit produce triplen harmonics (multiples of third-order harmonics, like third, ninth, fifteenth). Triplen harmonics do not cancel
one another but are additive and return exclusively through the neutral conductor. The resulting magnitude of the neutral current may
increase to 173 percent of the rms phase current. Thus, the neutral
current may exceed the capacity of the neutral conductor.
There are no United States standards for limiting harmonic currents
from single-phase loads and no standards for sizing neutral conductors
to accommodate them. The international community in IEC 1000 3-2,
Limits for Harmonic Current Emissions, has set limits for triplen harmonics generated by various classes of single-phase equipment.
Static electricity
Static electricity can often be the hidden cause of poor power quality.
A small discharge of 4000 V from a finger to ground is enough to damage sensitive electronic equipment. The National Institute of
Standards and Technology recognized this concern when it published
the Federal Information Processing Standards Publication (FIPS
Pub.) 94, Guideline on Electrical Power for ADP Installations, in 1983.
It defines static electricity as “electric discharges dislodged and
trapped when insulating materials touch and are forcefully separated.” Figure 3.9 from FIPS Pub. 94 shows a static discharge from a finger to a switch. A static discharge of 10,000 V can jump 0.5 inches,
while a discharge of 20,000 V can jump 1 inch. FIPS Pub. 94 mentions
that by keeping the humidity at least 50 percent, increasing the conductivity of carpeting, furniture, and upholstery, and treating shoes
and clothing with antistatic preparations, you can reduce static discharges considerably.
IEEE Standard C62.47-1992 copyright © 1993, Guide on Electrostatic Discharge (ESD): Characterization of the ESD Environment,
defines ESD as the peak current to the discharge voltage and sets limits
for various types of objects. For example, it sets ESD limits of 36 to 38
Figure 3.9 Static discharge.
90
Chapter Three
A/kV for various types of desks, cabinets, and telephones in the office
environment. Telephones can be affected by poor power quality. Some
standards have been developed to limit the noise of telephone lines.
Telephone power quality standards
The marriage of the telephone to computers and, in 1984, the divestiture of AT&T have increased the need for power quality standards in
the telephone industry. Just as computers are sensitive to variations
in power quality in other applications, they are sensitive to the same
variations in their applications to telephones. Telephone standards
were developed and implemented by AT&T prior to its breakup in
1984. Many of the standards developed after the divestiture of AT&T
applicable to telephone equipment are the same standards that are
designed to protect other sensitive electronic equipment. Table 3.9
lists some of those standards that are critical to protecting the smooth
operation of telephone equipment.
In addition to these telephone standards, utilities have IEEE
Standard 487, Recommended Practice for the Protection of Wire Line
Communications Facilities Serving Electric Power Stations.
Grounding and wiring standards
The primary standards for wiring and grounding are IEEE Standard
446, Emergency and Standby Power Systems for Industrial and
Commercial Applications (The Orange Book), IEEE Standard 141-1993,
Electric Power Distribution for Industrial Plants (The Red Book), IEEE
Standard 142-1991, Grounding of Industrial and Commercial Power
Systems (The Green Book), IEEE Standard 1100, Powering and
Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment, FIPS Pub. 94, and the
*National Electrical Code® (NEC)®, ANSI/NFPA 70. While the NEC is
concerned with providing adequate grounding that protects the public
from electrical shock, these other standards are concerned with setting
grounding standards that protect sensitive equipment from damage or
misoperation caused by extraneous ground current. They do this by specifying how to properly ground equipment to prevent ground loops, electrical noise, and static electricity from affecting sensitive electrical
equipment. In addition to grounding standards, there are standards
designed specifically for different types of sensitive electronic equipment.
Sensitive electronic equipment standards
Working through the various standards organizations, representatives
from industries that use sensitive electronic equipment have developed
*National Electrical Code® and (NEC)® are registered trademarks of the National
Fire Protection Association, Inc., Quincy, Mass. 02269.
TABLE 3.9
IEEE Power Quality Standards by Title Applicable to Telecommunications
Title
Recommended Practice on Surge Voltages in Low-Voltage AC Power Circuits
Guide for Application of Gas Tube Arrester Low-Voltage Surge Protective Devices
Surge Protectors Used in LV Data, Communications, and Signaling Circuits
Recommended Practice for Grounding of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems
Recommended Practice for Electrical Power Systems in Commercial Buildings
Recommended Practice for Powering and Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment
Recommended Practice on Monitoring Electric Power Quality
Guide for Service to Equipment Sensitive to Momentary Voltage Disturbances
Electric Power System Compatibility with Industrial Control Devices
Electrostatic Discharge: ESD Withstand Capability Evaluation Methods
Guide on ESD: Characterization of the ESD Voltage Environment
SOURCE:
IEEE Standards, copyright © IEEE, IEEE. All rights reserved.
Relevant standard
IEEE
IEEE
IEEE
IEEE
IEEE
IEEE
IEEE
IEEE
IEEE
IEEE
IEEE
C62.41-1991
C62.42-1987
C62.42
142-1991
241-1990
1100-1992
1159-1995
1250-1995
1346-1994
C62.38
C62.467-1992
91
92
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standards to protect their equipment from poor power quality. This is
especially true of the semiconductor industries.
The semiconductor industry needs power quality standards for the
design, operation, and maintenance of its facilities, like clean rooms.
The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST)
developed Recommended Practice-12, Considerations in Clean Room
Design. The semiconductor industry’s own Semiconductor Equipment
and Materials International (SEMI) has recently developed three
standards for electrical compatibility: SEMI E6-96, Facilities
Interface Specifications Guideline and Format, SEMI E33-94,
Specification for Semiconductor Manufacturing Facility EMC, and
SEMI E51-95, Guide for Typical Facilities Services and Termination
Matrix. Another industry that needs industry-specific power quality
standards is the health care industry.
The health care industry’s increased use of sensitive electronic
equipment to monitor, diagnose, and sustain the vital functions of
its patients has caused the IEEE, NFPA, and IEC to develop standards for the health care industry. These standards establish guidelines that prevent sensitive equipment from affecting each other
through radiated electromagnetic interference or improper wiring
and grounding and ensure the reliability of emergency backup systems. Some of these health care power quality standards are listed
in Table 3.10.
Other industries, such as the pulp and paper industry, need industry-specific power quality standards. They have instead relied on general power quality standards for electrical systems, such as
IEEE-519-1992. The IEEE doesn’t provide power quality standards
specific to equipment, while the IEC has established equipment-specific limits. For example, it has set harmonic current limits for lighting equipment in IEC 1000-3-2, Harmonic Limits for Low Voltage
Apparatus.
Trends in Power Quality Standards
Over the years, various standards organizations have developed power quality standards whenever a particular power quality problem
appeared. They started in the 1890s, setting limits for voltage and current. They have recently increased their activity. They will need to
develop even more standards in the future as the use of sensitive electronic and computerized equipment proliferates and deregulation of
the utility industry unfolds. Deregulation of the telecommunications
industry drove the need for more standards to replace the uniform
approach of monopolistic companies, like AT&T. Deregulation of the
TABLE 3.10
Health Care Facilities Power Quality Standards by Title
Title
National Electric Code
Healthcare Facilities
Electric Systems in Healthcare Facilities
Emergency and Standby Power Systems for Industrial and
Commercial Applications
Powering and Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment
Electromagnetic Compatibility
Medical Electrical Equipment
Electromagnetic Compatibility
Industrial, Scientific and Medical Equipment (ISM) Installed
on User’s Premises
Industrial, Scientific, and Medical Equipment
Radio Frequency, ISM Equipment
Guidance for Electromagnetic Compatibility of Medical Devices, Part 1
Medical Laser
Relevant standard
NFPA 90
NFPA 99
IEEE 602 (White Book)
IEEE 446 (Orange Book)
IEEE 1100 (Emerald Book)
IEC 1000-3,-4
IEC-601-01, Part 2
ANSI C63.18-1997
ANSI/IEEE 139-1988
FCC Part 18
CISPR 11
AAMI TIR 18
IEC 825-1
93
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Figure 3.10 Power quality standards historical trend.
electric utility industry likewise will cause an increased need for standards, as electric utilities can no longer act as monopolies that are able
to control the level of power quality for their customers. Figure 3.10
illustrates this historical trend.
One of the outcomes of utility deregulation will be the need to determine who is responsible for a particular power quality problem and
what is expected of them to mitigate that problem. Contracts based on
power quality standards will be essential to establish a satisfactory
level of power quality between utilities and their customers. Utilities
and their customers need contracts that describe how to resolve the
situation when the power quality isn’t satisfactory. They have already
written power quality contracts to cover various power quality issues.
The requirements of particular power quality contracts and the concerns that must be addressed will depend on the parties involved and
the characteristics of the system. Chapter 8, “Future Trends,” presents
the various types of power quality contracts and the participants in
those contracts when the utility industry is deregulated. Power quality
contracts will require the party responsible for causing a power quality problem to solve it. The next chapter discusses how to solve power
quality problems.
References
1. McGranaghan, Mark. 1998. “Part I—Overview of Power Quality Standards.” URL
address:
http://web.yuntech.edu.tw⬃wangyj/PQ/PQS/paper2.htm:Electrotek
Concepts, Inc.
2. Key, Tom. 1998. “Standards Update.” Signature Newsletter, vol. 8, no. 1,
winter/spring, p. 5.
3. O’Neill, Anne. 1996. “Why Develop Standards in IEEE If the Goal Is to Harmonize
Standards with IEC?” IEEE Standards Bearer, p. 6.
4. McGranaghan, Mark. 1998. “Part II—Standards for Different Types of Power Quality Variations.” URL address:http://web.yuntech.edu.tw⬃wangyj/PQ/PQS/paper2.htm:
Electrotek Concepts, Inc.
5. Bush, William. 1994. “Understanding the Proliferation of Power, Grounding and
Protection Standards.” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 5, no. 1, January/February, pp.
53–60.
6. Ray, Larry. 1998. “Don’t Let Sags and Interruptions Disturb You.” EC&M Electrical
Construction & Maintenance, vol. 97, no. 9, August, pp. 42–46.
7. Owen, Edward L. 1996. “Power Disturbance and Quality: Light Flicker Voltage
Requirements.” Paper presented at IEEE 1994 IAS Annual Meeting, Denver, Col.
Power Quality Standards
95
8. Martzloff, Francois D., Arshad Mansoor, and Doni Nastasi. 1998. “Reality Checks for
Surge Standards.” Power Quality Assurance. URL address: http://www.power quality.com/art0040/art1.htm.
9. Cohen, Richard L. 1998. “The New UL 1449 Standard for Transient Voltage Surge
Suppressors.” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 9, no. 4, July/August, pp. 32–37.
10. McDonald, James N. 1998. “Joules vs. Peak Amps: TVSS Lock-In Specifications Can
Be Misleading.” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 9, no. 2, March/April, pp. 48–50.
11. Gilligan, Sidney. 1992. “Using Standard Voltages Produces Satisfied Customers.”
Electric Light and Power, vol. 70, no. 2, February, p. 14.
12. Halpin, Mark S., et al. 1999. “Voltage and Lamp Flicker Issues: Should the IEEE
Adopt the IEC Approach?” URL address: http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/1453/
drpaper.html. Available from the IEEE.
13. Kennedy, Barry W. 1999. “Application of IEEE 519 Standards in the Restructured
Competitive Electricity Industry.” Power Systems World ‘99. Chicago, Ill., November
9–11, 1999.
14. “IEEE Recommended Practice for Establishing Transformer Capability When
Supplying Nonsinusoidal Load Currents.” ANSI/IEEE Standard C57. 110-1986.
Piscataway, N.J.
15. Kennedy, Barry W. 1998. Energy Efficient Transformers, New York: McGraw-Hill,
pp. 147–159.
16. “Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)—Part 3: Limits—Section 2: Limits for
Harmonic Current Emission (Equipment Input Current [≤] 16 A Per Phase).” IEC
1000-3-2. 1995.
17. “IEEE Guide on Electrostatic Discharge (ESD): Characterization of the ESD
Environment.” ANSI/IEEE Standard C62, 47-1992. Piscataway, NJ.
18. Clarke, Pat. 1991. “Telecom Power Quality Guidelines.” Power Quality, vol. 2, no. 5,
September/October, pp. 38–40.
19. Lewis, Warren. 1986. “Application of the National Electrical Code to the Installation
of Sensitive Electronic Equipment.” IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications,
vol. IA-22, no. 3, May/June, pp. 400–415.
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Chapter
4
Power Quality
Solutions
There are four ways to solve and prevent power quality problems:
1. Design equipment and electrical systems to prevent electrical disturbances from causing equipment or systems to malfunction.
2. Analyze the symptoms of a power quality problem to determine its
cause and solution.
3. Identify the medium that is transmitting the electrical disturbance
and reduce or eliminate the effect of that medium.
4. Treat the symptoms of the power quality problem by the use of power conditioning equipment. Power conditioning equipment mitigates a power quality problem when it occurs.
This chapter will deal with all four of these approaches to solving and
preventing power quality problems.
Reduce Effects on Sensitive Equipment
Manufacturers of sensitive equipment can reduce or eliminate the
effects of power quality problems by designing their equipment to be
less sensitive to voltage variations. For instance, they can simply
adjust an undervoltage relay or add some device, like a capacitor, to
provide temporary energy storage when the voltage sags too low. They
can alter their equipment to desensitize it to power quality problems.
For example, they can design special K-factor transformers that tolerate harmonics or use cables with neutrals large enough to carry triplen
harmonics.
97
Copyright © 2000 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
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It is usually more cost effective to prevent a power quality problem
before it occurs. Power quality problem prevention requires purchasers and manufacturers of electrical equipment to be aware of
potential power quality problems and how to prevent them. They need
to first examine the power quality of the existing power system before
installing new equipment. They must perform a power quality investigation of the current, voltage, and frequency on both sides of the electrical meter. The steps in performing this investigation are called a
power quality site survey. Chapter 7 describes in detail how to perform
a power quality site survey. Most power quality surveys require the
installation of power quality monitoring equipment to determine the
status of the power quality inside a specific site. Chapter 6, “Power
Quality Measurement Tools,” explains how monitoring equipment
works and how to use it. This chapter presents solutions to various
power quality problems. Usually the most cost-effective solution is at
the end-user level of the system, as illustrated in Figure 4.1.
A systematic approach to preventing a power quality problem is the
best approach. A systematic approach requires procedures for designing and installing equipment that is sensitive to electrical disturbances
as well as equipment that may cause electrical disturbances. The
Power Quality Workbook for Utility and Industrial Applications developed by EPRI and the Bonneville Power Administration provides procedures for evaluating potential power quality problems caused by
installation of new equipment or changes in the operation or wiring of
existing equipment. Figure 4.2 shows the basic steps involved in a power quality problem evaluation. The workbook provides worksheets and
flowcharts on how to prevent power quality problems caused by harmonic sources, voltage sags, interruption of electric service, flicker,
voltage unbalance, transients, and poor wiring and grounding. It is
designed to provide tools for advanced power quality evaluation. It also
contains guidelines for writing power quality contracts. The flowchart
in Figure 4.3 illustrates how the Power Quality Workbook for Utility
and Industrial Applications helps prevent power quality problems.
Reduce or Eliminate Cause
Before a power quality engineer can reduce or eliminate the cause of
a power quality problem, the engineer must diagnose the power quality problem to determine its source. The diagnostic procedure
requires the power quality engineer to perform a power quality survey (see Chapter 7) and answer some basic questions. Is the problem’s
source located in the utility’s transmission or distribution system? Or
is the problem’s source found inside the end user’s facility? Who is
responsible for causing the problem? Is it the utility or the end user?
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99
Figure 4.1 Increasing cost of solutions.
Figure 4.2 Basic steps involved in a power quality problem evaluation. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
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Chapter Four
Figure 4.3 Power Quality Workbook flowchart. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
The location of the disturbance usually determines who is responsible
for solving the power quality problem, as illustrated in Figure 4.4.
The type of power quality problem and its cause often determine the
solution. Changing the medium transmitting the power quality problem, whether wire or air, may be the best solution to a power quality
problem.
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101
M
an
uf
ac
Number of Disturbances
tu
re
rs
Many
lity
ibi
s
on
p
es
s
ser
U
nd
E
R
ies
Utilit
Few
Transmission
Distribution
Service
Entrance
Building
Wiring
Equipment
Location of Disturbance
Figure 4.4 Power quality solution responsibility. (Courtesy EPRI-PEAC System
Compatibility Research.)
Reduce or Eliminate Transfer Medium
Often the transmission and distribution system act as a conduit for
transmitting harmonics, transients, voltage sag, or flicker from one
end user to another. In that case, it is not practical to move the sensitive equipment to a location that is not connected to the system transmitting the power quality problem. For example, a transformer located
in Idaho was generating third harmonics that were transmitted by the
utility’s interconnected transmission and distribution system to digital
clocks in Washington and causing them to blink off and on. The best
solution was to eliminate the source of the third harmonics by replacing the transformers or installing filters on the transformers.
Inside a facility, a sensitive load and an electrical disturbance load
may be connected to the same circuit. Simply reconnecting the sensitive equipment to another circuit may be the solution to that type of
power quality problem. This solution requires a survey of the site,
including power quality monitoring, to determine the source of the
power quality problem and how it is being transmitted to the offended
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equipment. For example, a hospital used a radiation machine to treat
cancer patients. The radiation machine overradiated a patient whose
arm was cancerous. The arm had to be amputated. The patient sued
the hospital for several million dollars. A power quality engineer performed a power quality survey and discovered a laser copier in a room
next to the radiation machine. The engineer knew that the laser copier heated the toner each time it started. The heating process required
a large amount of current from the power supply. The large amount of
current caused the service voltage to dip. The dips in service voltage
caused the radiation machine to misoperate and overradiate. The engineer concluded that the source of the power quality problem was the
copier and decided that the best solution was to disconnect the radiation machine from the circuit connected to the copier and connect it to
its own dedicated circuit. This type of problem is called a wiring and
grounding problem. Chapter 5, “Wiring and Grounding,” discusses
these types of problems and solutions.
Also inside a facility, a sensitive load may be located in close proximity to a piece of equipment causing a disturbance to the sensitive equipment. The disturbance may be transmitted through the air. Simply
moving the sensitive equipment to another location may be the solution
to this type of power quality problem. This solution requires a survey
of the site, including power quality monitoring, to determine the source
of the power quality problem and how it is being transmitted to the
offended equipment. For example, a person complains that a computer
monitor wiggles and calls a power quality engineer to solve the problem. During a visual survey, the power quality engineer locates a
microwave oven in the room adjacent to the computer monitor. The
engineer measures the electromagnetic field (EMF) radiating from the
microwave oven. The engineer concludes from the measurements that
the microwave oven is the source of the monitor wiggles. Figure 4.5
shows that the solution to this problem is to increase the distance
between the monitor and the microwave enough to reduce the EMF to
a level where it does not interfere with the monitor’s output. Another
very common way to solve power quality problems is through the purchase and installation of power conditioning equipment.
Install Power Conditioning Equipment
Power conditioning equipment provides essential protection against
power quality problems. What is power conditioning equipment? Is it
the same as power quality mitigation equipment? Yes. Is it similar to
hair conditioners that soften hair after shampooing and keep static
electricity from causing hair to stand up? Or is it similar to the water
conditioners that soften water and make it “cleaner”? There are some
Power Quality Solutions
Monitor
Wall
103
Microwave Oven
(Source of Magnetic Field)
46
22
11
Distance from Source (In Inches)
2
10
36
Strength of Field (In Milligauss)
This diagram shows how the strength of a magnetic field rapidly decreases as the distance
from its source increases. As shown here, moving the monitor another 2 ft away from the
source eliminates the jitters caused by the oven on the other side of the party wall. (Data
source is from the 1991 EPRI EMF Science & Communication Seminar, ”Magnetic Field
Source Characterization,“ EPRI.)
Figure 4.5 Distance effect on EMF strength. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
similarities. Power conditioning equipment does refer to devices that
are supposed to make “dirty” power “clean.” Power conditioning
equipment improves the power quality just as water conditioners
improve the water quality. Technically, power conditioning equipment
includes devices that reduce or eliminate the effect of a power quality
disturbance. Depending on the type of equipment, it conditions (modifies) the power by improving the quality and reliability of the power at
any part of the power system. It can be used to condition the source,
the transmitter, or the receiver of the power quality problem. In other
words, utilities as well as residential, commercial, and industrial end
users use it. It often provides a barrier between electrical disturbances
and sensitive electronic equipment, as illustrated in Figure 4.6.
The most common types of power conditioning equipment include
uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), line conditioners, and surge
suppressors. Other types of power conditioning equipment include isolation transformers, passive and active filters, superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES), dynamic voltage restorers (DVRs),
constant-voltage transformers (CVTs), and various types of motor-generator sets. What are the theory and applications of power conditioning equipment?
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Figure 4.6 Power conditioning barrier.
How does it work?
Power conditioning usually involves voltage conditioning because most
power quality problems are voltage quality problems. Most devices condition or modify the voltage magnitude or frequency. They employ technology to reduce the effect of transient and steady-state voltage changes
or isolate the sensitive equipment from the disturbance. For example,
surge suppressors clamp, i.e., limit, the transient voltage amplitude, and
regulators keep the steady-state voltage from deviating from the specified nominal voltage. Isolation transformers keep power quality disturbances from reaching sensitive electronic equipment. Filters reduce or
eliminate voltages and currents that have frequencies other than 60 Hz.
The main types of voltage conditioners include voltage regulators and
tap changers of various types, ferromagnetic devices, harmonic filters,
solid-state surge suppressors, and static VAR compensators.
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Other types of power conditioners include devices that provide
alternative sources of energy. These types of power conditioners
include devices for energy storage or for switching to alternative
sources. Solid-state switches provide an alternative energy source
by quickly switching from a power supply feeder to an alternative
feeder during a disturbance. Energy storage systems include batteries, capacitors, superconducting magnets, motor-generator sets,
and flywheels. Each one of these technologies provides energy that
can be accessed during an electrical disturbance such as a temporary interruption or a voltage sag. They all have the advantage of
providing isolation from the disturbance. They have the disadvantage of providing only a limited amount of energy for a limited
amount of time.
Power conditioning equipment is sometimes referred to as mitigation equipment. The equipment can be divided into nine categories:
Surge suppressors
Noise filters
Isolation transformers
Low-voltage line reactors
Various line-voltage regulators
Motor-generator sets
Dual feeders with static transfer
Uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs)
Harmonic filters
The most popular power conditioning equipment is surge suppressors.
Surge suppressors
The most common devices for preventing power quality problems from
damaging equipment are surge suppressors. Surge suppressors protect sensitive equipment from being zapped by voltage surges or lightning strokes on the power system. They are the shock absorbers or
safety valves of electrical power systems. If they are located on the
utility side of the meter, they are called surge or lightning arresters. If
they are located on the end-user side of the meter, they are called transient voltage surge suppressors (TVSSs). They divert to ground or limit the transient voltage caused by lightning or switching surges to a
level that will not harm the equipment they are protecting. They are
connected so that the transient “sees” the surge suppressor before it
reaches the protected equipment.
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Utilities specify and locate arresters near equipment they wish to
protect, like transformers, distribution lines, and substation equipment. They install arresters on the high-voltage side of distribution
transformers. As shown in Figure 4.7, they use surge suppressors on
the high-voltage and low-voltage side of substation transformers.
Surge
Arresters
Figure 4.7 Transformer surge arresters. (Courtesy of Bonneville Power Administration.)
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107
End users locate surge suppressors or TVSSs inside their facilities,
between the power outlet and sensitive electronic equipment, such as
computers, adjustable-speed drives, and communication devices, or at
the main power supply panelboard. Figure 4.8 shows TVSSs located at
the power outlet and panelboard. There are two basic types of surge
suppressors: crowbar and voltage-clamping devices.
Crowbar devices. The term crowbar comes from the idea of putting a
crowbar across a line to short-circuit the current to ground. Surge
arresters short-circuit voltage transients to ground. How do they
work? They have a gap filled with a material that acts like a short circuit to voltage transients. These materials include air, special ionization gas, or a ceramic-type material like silicon carbide for low voltages
or zinc oxide for medium and high voltages. The gap acts as an nonconducting insulator when the voltage is normal. The gap becomes a
conductor when the transient voltage exceeds the breakdown voltage
of the material in the gap. The high transient voltage arcs across the
gap. The surge’s energy is then dissipated harmlessly to ground.
Figure 4.9 shows the operation of a crowbar arrester.
Figure 4.8 Panelboard and outlet TVSSs.
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Figure 4.9 Operation of a crowbar arrester.
Voltage-clamping devices. Voltage-clamping surge suppressors usually
contain a material that clamps the voltage of a transient. This material is a nonlinear resistor (varistor) whose resistance decreases as the
voltage across it increases. They usually contain metal oxide varistors
(MOVs) or silicon avalanche (zener) diodes that clamp, i.e., limit,
excessive line voltage and conduct any excess impulse energy to
ground. Clamping a voltage means that the top of the transient voltage will be looped off so that the protected equipment is not damaged
by the excessive voltage of the transient, as shown in Figure 4.10.
UL 1449 rates a TVSS according to its clamping voltage and energy
suppression in joules. A joule is a metric measurement of energy equal
to 0.7376 ft-lb. The joule rating depends on three variables: letthrough voltage, current, and pulse duration. A new and improved
TVSS can have a reduced let-through voltage, given the same peak
pulse current. Therefore, a TVSS with reduced let-through voltage will
have a reduced joule rating. Consequently, a reduced joule rating is not
an indication that a TVSS has reduced capabilities. This confusion
over joule rating has caused the power quality industry to move
toward specifying the peak pulse current rather than joule rating for
a TVSS performance. For example, the National Electrical
Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standards rate a TVSS not by
joules but surge current.
Often when a transient occurs, it destroys the MOV in the TVSS.
The green indicator light on the TVSS is supposed to go off when the
MOV has been destroyed. This means it is time to replace the old
TVSS with a new one. Many TVSSs contain a fuse or circuit breaker
Power Quality Solutions
109
Figure 4.10 Clamping a transient voltage.
that detects current overloads and automatically trips the unit off.
They also contain a master switch that controls power to all the receptacles. Figure 4.11 shows the various features of a TVSS.
TVSS manufacturers design plug-in type TVSSs to protect telephones as well as computers. High-voltage transients can come down
the telephone line and fry telephones as well as personal computers
and can even be transmitted in the air when computers are unplugged.
Figure 4.12 shows how the TVSS needs to be connected to the telephone line as well as the power circuit.
TVSSs are installed either at the site of the equipment being protected or at the main power panel. Many utilities are offering programs
that allow their customers to pay a monthly charge added to their power bill to lease panelboard-type TVSSs. TVSSs can cost as little as $20
and as much as $200. Be careful when buying surge suppressors. Many
of the cheap ones are fancy extension cords. Look at the specifications
marked on the suppressors. Has Underwriters Laboratories tested it to
meet UL 1449 or IEEE 587? What is the magnitude of the transient
voltage that the TVSS can clamp? It should be able to clamp transient
voltages up to 6000 V. Does it clamp the voltage down to an acceptable
level? It should clamp the voltage at 300 to 400 V for a 120-V outlet.
The specifications marked on the outside of the TVSS reflect the components inside the TVSS. Figure 4.13 shows the inside of a TVSS.
Manufacturers design surge suppressors to prevent the damage
caused by the excessive voltage from a transient. They do not normally
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Chapter Four
Side view
Breaker reset button
Indication/diagnostic lights
Power cord
UL 1449 on the back
Master switch
Modem connections
Figure 4.11 TVSS features. (Courtesy of NWPQSC.)
protect equipment from the damage caused by the high-frequency
noise in a transient. They usually add filters to surge suppressors to
provide protection from the noise. Filters made of capacitors and
inductors (chokes) keep high-frequency voltages from reaching sensitive electronic equipment.
The current diverted by a TVSS can cause common-mode noise problems that can damage sensitive electronic equipment. Noise filters are
needed along with the TVSS. Noise filters condition the frequency of
the voltage or regulate steady-state voltage rather than suppress
excessive voltages from reaching protected equipment.
Noise filters
All filters, including noise filters, prevent unwanted frequencies from
entering sensitive equipment. They do this by using various combinations of inductors and capacitors. Inductors produce impedances that
Power Quality Solutions
111
Telephone
line
Modem
Computer
Telephone
jack
TVSS
Outlet
Figure 4.12 TVSS connected to telephone line and power outlet.
increase proportionately to the magnitude of the frequency. Capacitors
produce impedances that reduce proportionately to the magnitude of
the frequency. Connecting inductors and capacitors in various configurations reduces and diverts voltages and currents of various frequencies. Noise filters are low-pass filters. Inductors in noise filters allow
the low-frequency fundamental signal of 60-Hz power to pass through.
The capacitors in parallel with the inductors divert the high frequencies of common-mode and normal-mode noise to ground. Figure 4.14
shows the components of a low-pass noise filter.
Noise is any signal that comes through the electrical wiring that is
not the primary 60-Hz signal. Normal-mode noise refers to the noise
between the hot wire and neutral. Common-mode noise refers to the
noise that occurs between the black hot wire and ground or the white
neutral wire and ground in a three-wire 120-V wall socket. Noise
comes from transient surges caused by lightning or switching on the
utility power system. It also can come from motors, laser printers,
resistive heating elements, transformers, and loose connections.
Figure 4.15 shows normal-mode noise and Figure 4.16 shows commonmode noise.
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Figure 4.13 Inside a TVSS (power tracker P1500ED by EFI Electronics Corp.). (Courtesy
of EFI.)
Noise filters are either stand-alone or are part of a TVSS. They
should be able to reduce noise by a factor of 100 over a frequency range
of 400 kHz to 30 MHz. They are not always effective in reducing noise.
They do not eliminate common-mode noise but only control it. A more
effective method for protecting equipment from high-frequency noise,
especially common-mode noise, is the use of isolation transformers.
Isolation transformers
Shielded isolation transformers are very popular power-conditioning
devices. They isolate sensitive loads from transients and noise caused by
the utility. They can also keep harmonics produced by end-user nonlinear equipment from getting onto the utility’s system. They especially
Power Quality Solutions
Inductor
113
Inductor
Source
Load
Capacitor
Ground
Figure 4.14 Noise filter components.
Figure 4.15 Normal-mode noise.
eliminate common-mode noise. How do they protect end-user equipment
from utility-caused power quality problems?
The isolation transformer, as its name implies, isolates sensitive
equipment from transients and noise produced by the utility. How does
the isolation transformer isolate sensitive equipment? The components of the isolation transformer provide a path for transients and
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Figure 4.16 Common-mode noise.
noise. Isolation transformer components include a primary and secondary winding with a magnetic core and a grounded shield made of
nonmagnetic foil located between the primary and secondary winding.
Any noise or transient that comes from the utility is transmitted
through the capacitance between the primary and the shield and on to
the ground and does not reach any sensitive equipment. Figure 4.17
shows the configuration of a single-phase isolation transformer.
Isolation transformers prevent common-mode noise from reaching
and damaging sensitive electronic equipment. If the secondary of the
isolation transformer is a grounded wye, then no common-mode noise
can reach the protected sensitive equipment. The NEC requires that
the secondary neutral be bonded to ground. This bond eliminates
any voltage that the load may see between the neutral and ground.
With the isolation transformer, the NEC allows the secondary to be
grounded.
In addition to protecting the end user from transients caused by the
utility, the delta-wye isolation transformer protects the utility from
triplen harmonics (third, ninth, fifteenth, etc.). How does the deltawye isolation transformer keep triplen harmonics from the utility’s
system?
The isolation transformer transfers the triplen harmonics from the
wye secondary to the delta primary of the transformer. The triplen harmonics remain in the delta primary circulating around and generating
heat in the transformer but not getting on the utility’s system. Figure
4.18 shows a diagram of a shielded delta-wye isolation transformer.
Shielded isolation transformers are often used in conjunction with
surge suppressors. They do not regulate the voltage or protect equipment from voltage sags. Various types of line-voltage regulators provide that type of protection.
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Figure 4.17 Single-phase shielded isolation transformer.
Building Ground
Figure 4.18 Three-phase delta-wye isolation trans-
former.
Line-voltage regulators
Line-voltage regulators are transformers specially designed to regulate, control, or hold the output voltage constant when the input voltage changes. They are based on the transformer principle that the
input voltage E1, when applied to the primary coil, induces a corresponding voltage E2 in the secondary coil with a magnitude that is
directly proportional to the ratio of the turns in the two coils. The current I1 flowing in the primary coil or conductor causes a corresponding
current I2 to flow in the secondary coil or adjacent conductor with a
magnitude that is inversely proportional to the ratio of the turns
(N1/N2) in the two coils or conductors. Equation (4.1) and Figure 4.19
illustrate this principle:
E
I
N
1 2 1
E2
I1
N2
(4.1)
Voltage regulators are used on the utility’s transmission and distribution system and inside an end user’s facility to prevent long-duration
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Chapter Four
Primary winding
(Resistance = r2)
φ/2
φ/2
Source
F1
V1
N1
Turns
I1
Load
F2
V2
φ
N2
Turns
I2
φ/2
φ/2
Secondary winding
(Resistance = r2)
Laminated
iron core
Figure 4.19 Magnetic effect of transformer. (Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.)
voltage sags, dips, and surges. Power transformers make big changes
in voltages by increasing the voltage to a more economical level to allow
power to be transmitted over long distances. Voltage regulators make
some small changes in voltage to keep the voltage relatively constant.
They come in various sizes and shapes. They use tap changers, buckboost regulators, or constant-voltage transformers (CVTs) to keep the
voltage constant. What are tap changers and how do they help keep the
voltage constant?
Tap changers on transformers allow utilities to regulate the voltage on their transmission and distribution systems.
They also allow end users to regulate the voltage that is being supplied to their sensitive electronic equipment. How do tap changers
regulate voltage?
Tap changers regulate the voltage by changing the ratio of turns
between the primary and secondary of the transformer. When the
input voltage drops, the tap changer changes to a tap that increases
the ratio. The increased ratio results in the transformer output voltage not changing. Figure 4.20 illustrates the configuration of a tapchanging transformer.
Tap changers.
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Figure 4.20 Tap-changing transformer configuration.
The two basic types of tap changers on utilities’ systems are load and
no-load tap changers. The load tap changer automatically senses the
need to change taps and usually makes the change when the alternating voltage reaches zero. A no-load tap changer requires the utility
operator to disconnect the transformer before engaging the tap changer. The utility operator can operate no-load tap changers manually or
by a motor. Load tap changers are often under oil to prevent arcing.
Tap changer manufacturers design load tap changers to change the
voltage at ±10 percent of the nominal voltage. Tap changer manufacturers design no-load tap changers to change the voltage at ±5 percent
of the nominal voltage.
End users can use tap-changing regulators to regulate voltage
applied to their sensitive electronic equipment. These tap changers
sense a need to switch taps on the voltage regulator and use thyristors
(solid-state switches) to switch the taps automatically. They are
referred to as electronic tap-switching regulators. They are often
included with the computer power supply. They can keep the output
voltage within ±3 percent for a 20 to 40 percent change in input voltage. Another type of regulator that performs like a tap-switching regulator is a buck-boost regulator.
Buck-boost regulators. Buck-boost regulators regulate a voltage by
adding transformer windings that either reduce (buck) or increase
(boost) the voltage. They compare the output voltage to the input voltage and use electronic solid-state switches, like thyristors, to switch
the windings from the buck to the boost state or from the boost to
buck state to keep the output voltage constant. They can maintain the
output constant within ±1 percent for a 15 to 20 percent change in
input voltage. They can provide isolation and common-mode noise
reduction like an isolation transformer if electrostatic shielding is
added in the buck-boost regulator. Figure 4.21 shows configuration of
a buck-boost regulator. Another type of transformer that keeps the
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Chapter Four
Figure 4.21 Buck-boost regulator configuration.
output voltage constant is a ferroresonant transformer or a constantvoltage transformer (CVT).
Constant-voltage transformer (CVT). The constant voltage transformer
does what its name says. It provides a constant output voltage when
the input voltage increases above or decreases below the nominal voltage. EPRI’s Power Electronics Applications Center (PEAC) performed
tests verifying that a CVT maintains a voltage output of 16 percent to
213 percent when the input voltage swings from 120 percent to 220
percent. It is the end user protection from voltage sags and transients.
It prevents increased currents from reaching sensitive equipment. It
an old and established technology. How does it keep the output voltage
constant?
It uses two basic electrical principles that transformer designers
usually try to avoid: resonance and core saturation. Resonance occurs
when the impedance of the capacitor equals the impedance of the
inductor. In this case a capacitor is in series with the induction of the
CVT coil. This causes the current to increase to a point where it saturates the steel core of the CVT. Transformer saturation means the
magnetic core (steel) cannot take any more magnetic field. Like a
waterlogged sponge, it stops absorbing current and produces a constant output voltage. In a transformer, a current in the primary winding produces a magnetic flux that induces a current and voltage in the
secondary winding. There is a point where increased current in the
primary saturates the core with too much magnetic flux. This is the
saturation point. At this point the transformer no longer transforms
the voltage or current according to the ratio of the primary and secondary turns. Figure 4.22 shows the configuration of a constant voltage transformer.
If not used properly, however, the CVT can cause its own power quality problems. It does not like harmonics and will overheat, like any other transformer, in the presence of harmonics. In fact, the CVT can
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119
Figure 4.22 Constant-voltage trans-
former configuration.
generate harmonics. It produces a square wave. This is a sine wave
that is clipped on the top and sides. So it is a good idea to include a
harmonic filter when a CVT is used. The CVT will also generate transients. Thus, a TVSS should be used in conjunction with a CVT. A CVT
can be inefficient: 80 percent efficiency at heavy load and 50 percent at
light load. A CVT can be hard on your ears when it goes into resonance.
Saturation causes the core to vibrate noisily. It doesn’t like high inrush
current. It needs to be sized to handle inrush currents. Even with all
these drawbacks, the CVT has been used extensively as protection for
advanced data processing equipment. Some claim that this technology
is becoming obsolete. Another type of power conditioning device that
has been used for many years is the motor-generator set.
Motor-generator sets
Motor-generator (M-G) sets provide an old (30 to 40 years) but reliable
and economic way to solve power quality problems. They isolate the
sensitive load from disturbances and provide backup during power outages. The motor connects to the utility supply power and runs the generator through a shaft or belt. The generator provides clean power to
critical equipment. The conversion from electrical energy to mechanical
energy and back to electrical energy isolates sensitive electronic equipment from voltage sags, harmonics, transients, overvoltage, and undervoltage disturbances. If power is interrupted, the generator keeps
supplying power to critical loads by using diesel or natural gas as the
fuel. Figure 4.23 shows a typical motor-generator set. Why are they not
used as extensively as they were used in the past?
One of the major drawbacks to M-G sets is their inability to provide
power during the initial loss of utility power. There is a delay between
the time the utility loses power and the M-G comes on line. This 5-second delay before the M-G set kicks in is called “ride-through.” There
are two basic ways of providing power during the ride-through period.
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Figure 4.23 Typical motor-generator set.
One way is to use a mechanical rotational device called a flywheel. A
flywheel is a rotating wheel located between the motor and the generator. It stores rotational energy and keeps the generator operating
during the critical ride-through time. Commercial flywheels can add
10 to 20 seconds duration time for loads up to 500 kW.
Another way is to use a rechargeable battery pack. A battery pack provides the power to critical equipment during the 5-second delay before
the M-G set comes on line. Battery packs can be expensive and large.
EPRI and Precision Power have developed a new type of M-G set. It
is called the “written-pole” M-G set. It provides ride-through by writing the poles on the stator (the stationary part of the motor) and using
a large rotor located on the outside of the stator. The rotor acts as a flywheel and stores enough energy to keep the M-G set running during
the ride-through time. Another type of power conditioner that provides
some energy storage is the magnetic synthesizer.
Magnetic synthesizers
Magnetic synthesizers combine power conditioning devices previously
discussed. They use resonant circuits made of nonlinear inductors and
capacitors to store energy, pulsating saturation transformers to modify the voltage waveform, and filters to filter out harmonic distortion.
They supply power through a zigzag transformer. The zigzag name
comes from the way the transformer changes the phase angle between
voltage and current. The zigzag transformer traps triplen harmonic
currents and prevents them from reaching the power source.
Applications of magnetic synthesizers include protection of large
computer installations, computerized medical imaging equipment, and
industrial processes, like plastic extruders, especially from voltage
sags. They protect sensitive loads not only from voltage sags but also
from transients, overvoltage, undervoltage, and voltage surges.
However, they can be bulky and noisy. The block diagram in Figure
4.24 illustrates the main components of a magnetic synthesizer.
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121
Figure 4.24 Magnetic synthesizer components.
Static VAR compensators (SVCs)
Static VAR compensators use a combination of capacitors and reactors
to regulate the voltage quickly. They replaced old-style synchronous
condensers. Synchronous condensers supplied continuous reactive regulation but were too expensive to buy, operate, and maintain. SVCs are
less expensive to operate and maintain. They use solid-state switches
that insert the capacitors and reactors at the right magnitude to keep
the voltage from fluctuating. Utilities use SVCs on their high-voltage
power systems.
Utilities use SVCs to keep the voltage from sagging during a fault
on a transmission line. They are quite large and expensive. For example, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a federal bulk power
marketing agency located in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, installed in
1994 two $25 million 350 million VAR capacitive reactance and 300
million VAR inductive reactance SVCs to counter voltage instabilities.
BPA installed them to provide voltage support during loss of transmission capacity to the highly industrialized Portland, Oregon, and
Seattle, Washington, areas. Another major SVC application is to prevent flicker caused by arc furnaces.
Industrial plants using electric arc furnaces to melt metal use SVCs
to reduce voltage flicker. Electric arc furnaces are notorious for causing voltage flicker. How do they cause flicker? The electric arc furnace’s energized electrodes cause flicker when they melt the scrap.
During scrap melting, the electrodes produce electric arcs that vary in
length and move around in the furnace. The variation in characteristics of the electric arcs cause the power line voltage to fluctuate. This
voltage fluctuation is called flicker and is very annoying.
Voltage flicker from arc furnaces affects lighting not only inside the
plant but outside the plant as well. Any end user’s lighting connected
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Chapter Four
to the same line feeding the arc furnace will flicker. Even though an
SVC installed at the arc furnace can cost as much as $1.5 million, it
usually is the lowest-cost alternative to reducing flicker to an acceptable level. Figure 4.25 shows a typical SVC at an arc furnace plant.
Distribution utilities use SVCs designed for reducing flicker on their
distribution systems. Westinghouse Electric Corp. and EPRI have
developed a distribution compensator called DSTATCOM (distribution
static compensator). It is an SVC installed on a distribution system to
reduce flicker originating from several sources. For example, as shown
in Figure 4.26, American Electric Power installed a DSTATCOM near
Swayzee, Indiana, on its 12.47/7.2-kV distribution circuit to mitigate
flicker caused by the starting up of large motors at three rock crusher
plants nearby.
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
What is a UPS? How does it work? A UPS conditions the voltage and
power. It conditions the voltage by providing a constant voltage even
during a voltage dip (sag). It conditions the power by providing a
source of power during an outage. It provides a constant voltage and
power source from a static or rotary source. The static source is usually
a battery but can be a magnetic source, like a ferroresonant transformer or a superconducting magnetic, while the rotary source is usually a diesel-fueled motor-generator set. Often motor-generators use
some technology, like a flywheel or “written-pole” motor, to provide
power during the time it takes to bring the motor-generator on line.
Typical UPS units have the battery charged continually by the main
source of power.
A UPS contains basic components or building blocks that can be connected in various configurations. The basic building blocks of a UPS
system include the battery, an inverter, and a rectifier. The battery is
usually lead acid with a 1- to 5-year usable life and 5- to 60-minute
backup capability, depending on the battery size. The inverter is a sol-
Figure 4.25 Typical SVC configuration for an arc
furnace plant.
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123
Figure 4.26 DSTATCOM installation. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
id-state device containing thyristors that convert dc to ac, usually with
a modified square wave. The rectifier or battery charger is similar to
the adapter that connects your Walkman to an ac circuit. It consists of
diodes or thyristors connected in such a way that they convert ac to dc.
These UPS building blocks or modules are usually connected together
with static switches that protect the UPS from overloads and the sensitive equipment from failures in the UPS. They are connected in three
different configurations: on line, off line, and line interactive.
An on-line UPS, as shown in Figure 4.27, provides a fully charged
battery backup available all the time. It has the advantage of conditioning the power from surges, sags, or outages continuously. It has
the disadvantage of shorter battery life because the continuous charging and discharging of the battery wears the battery out.
An off-line or standby UPS, as shown in Figure 4.28, turns off the
inverter connected to the battery during normal operation. The UPS
turns the inverter on to convert dc power to ac only during an outage.
Consequently, it saves battery life by not continuously charging and
recharging the battery. However, there is a time delay of 4 to 10 milliseconds to engage the UPS during an interruption.
Finally, the line-interactive UPS, as shown in Figure 4.29, is a
hybrid of the on-line and off-line configurations. It charges the battery
during normal operation. When there is an outage it reverses operation and converts the dc power from the battery to ac power to be used
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Chapter Four
Figure 4.27 On-line UPS configuration.
Figure 4.28 Off-line (standby) UPS configuration.
Figure 4.29 Line-interactive UPS configuration.
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125
by the sensitive electronic equipment. It has the advantages of requiring a minimal time to switch from ac to dc power and avoiding continuously discharging and charging cycles on the battery.
In highly critical areas, such as silicon fabrication plants and hospitals, an end user can add a rotary UPS module to the static UPS module, as shown in Figure 4.30, or can use a separate motor-generator set
in place of a battery-operated static UPS. The rotary module consists of
a motor-generator (M-G) set that provides ride-through and isolation
from voltage surges, impulses, and sags. The motor turns the generator during normal operation. Consequently, power is always conditioned by the M-G set, because the generator produces a voltage
waveform independent of the incoming voltage from the utility. During
an outage, the generator provides electrical power to the sensitive load.
Proper sizing and selection of a UPS system can be critical to its successful operation. Such things as size and type of load, whether the
load is single phase or three phase, installation location, and cooling
and lighting requirements of the load all need to be taken into consideration in selecting and purchasing a UPS system. The Northwest
Power Quality Service Center (NWPQSC) has developed a brochure
for selecting single-phase UPSs that are smaller than 2000-VA UPS
systems. The title of the brochure is Uninterruptible Power Supply
Specifications and Installation Guide. Information about this and similar brochures can be obtained from the NWPQSC Web site at
www.nwpq.com. Figure 4.31 shows a small UPS system for a personal
computer and a large UPS system for a commercial application.
Two new UPS technologies that have become commercially available
are the written-pole motor-generator set and the superconducting
magnetic energy storage (SMES).
Figure 4.30 Static and rotary UPS.
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Chapter Four
(a)
(b)
Figure 4.31 Small and large UPSs. (Courtesy of American Power Conversion.)
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127
Superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES). How do you store
electrical energy that is available in milliseconds? Superconducting
magnetic energy storage is one of the advanced technologies for storing electrical energy that has been commercially available for several
years. As the name implies, SMES uses superconductors, which virtually eliminate losses in electrical equipment. The media have recently
reported that high-temperature superconductors can function at 140
kelvins (K), or 133°C, rather than the normal low-temperature
superconductor requirement of 0 K (
273°C). SMES uses traditional
low-temperature superconductors. SMES stores electrical energy
within a magnet that contains superconducting coils. Figure 4.32
shows how the SMES works.
SMES provides a large amount of energy (750 kVA to 500 MVA) for
a short time (2 seconds) very quickly (within 2 milliseconds).
Depending on its size, utilities can use SMES to provide large bulk
energy storage in remote areas, emergency standby for loss of transmission and distribution capacity, and ride-through electrical energy
to critical loads during a voltage sag or outage. Figure 4.33 shows the
cryostat that contains a superconducting storage device and the trailer containing the cryostat, refrigerating equipment, and the inverter
for converting dc to ac. For example, Carolina Power & Light Co.
installed in 1994 a SMES at a 500-kW angleboard plant in Hartsville,
South Carolina. For 3 years the SMES protected the angleboard plant
from 283 of the 289 voltage sags and outages.
Figure 4.32 SMES components.
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Chapter Four
Figure 4.33 SMES cryostat and trailer. (Courtesy of American Superconductor.)
Written-pole, or Roesel, motor-generator sets. One of the major problems with M-G sets is their inability to maintain a stable frequency
during a disturbance. This occurs because the speed of the induction
motor is somewhat slower than the speed of the synchronous generator. One solution to this problem is the use of a synchronous motor
instead of an induction motor. One disadvantage of the synchronous
motor is that it takes at least 100 milliseconds to start. If the disturbance exceeds 100 milliseconds, then the synchronous motor has to be
restarted. Another solution to the problem of M-G sets riding through
a disturbance is the addition of a flywheel. The flywheel stores energy
that is available during the disturbance. A new technology that provides constant frequency during a disturbance and causes the M-G set
to ride through a disturbance is the written-pole motor developed by
John Roesel.
The written-pole technology rewrites the position of the poles on the
motor when the motor slows down. This provides a stable frequency
output for 15 to 20 seconds without battery backup. It does this by
using the rotor as a flywheel. The rotor spins outside the stator windings. This rotation of the rotor continues for 15 seconds even when the
motor is shut down. As shown in Figure 4.34, the writing poles in the
stator magnetize the ferrite layer in the motor. This technology is being
used in hospital UPSs and at remote sites, like radar installations.
Solid-state switches
Solid-state switches have become a cost-effective alternative to UPS
systems. They require two power sources from the utility. The pri-
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129
Figure 4.34 Written-pole motor with external rotor. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
mary power line, or feeder, has a solid-state (silicon) closed switch
connected between the sensitive load and the primary utility source.
The secondary feeder has a solid-state open switch connected
between the sensitive load and the secondary utility source. If the
primary feeder fails or voltage drops to an unacceptable level, the
primary switch opens and the secondary switch closes. This transfers
power from the failed feeder to the backup feeder. This transfer takes
2 to 10 seconds. Some utilities, like Baltimore Gas and Electric and
Consolidated Edison, offer a premium power quality program using
the solid-state switch scheme. This offering has been quite successful
in providing continuous service to critical loads, like hospitals, semiconductor factories, and financial institutions’ computer centers.
IEEE Standard 446-1987 presents the requirements for transfer
switches. Figure 4.35 provides a layout of the dual solid-state switch
transfer scheme.
Harmonic filters
Utilities use harmonic filters on their distribution systems, while end
users use harmonic filters in their facilities to keep harmonic currents
from causing their electrical equipment to overheat and to detune resonating circuits. Harmonic filters are the “shock absorbers” of electricity and work on the principle that inductors and capacitors connected
together will either block harmonic currents or shunt them to ground.
Filters containing inductors and capacitors block or pass certain frequencies, because an increase in frequency increases an inductor’s
impedance while reducing a capacitor’s impedance. There are many
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Chapter Four
Figure 4.35
Solid-state switch
scheme.
types of harmonic filter configurations. The two basic types of harmonic filter configurations are series and shunt filters.
The series filter refers to the filter made of a capacitor and inductor
connected in parallel with each other but in series with the load. This
type of filter provides a high-impedance path for harmonic currents
and blocks them from reaching the power supply but allows the fundamental 60-Hz current to pass through. This type of configuration
has the drawback of having to carry the full load current.
The other type harmonic filter configuration is a shunt filter that
consists of a capacitor and inductor connected in series with each other but in parallel or shunt with the load. This type of filter configuration provides a low-impedance path for harmonic currents and diverts
them harmlessly to ground. The shunt filter is more common and less
expensive, because it doesn’t have to carry the full load current.
However, if shunt filters are not selected carefully, they can resonate
with existing electrical components and cause additional harmonic
currents. Both the series and shunt filters are shown in Figure 4.36.
Passive filters. Passive harmonic filters use static inductors and
capacitors. Static inductors and capacitors do not change their inductance (henries) and capacitance (farads) values. They are designed to
handle specific harmonics. They are called passive because they do not
respond to changes in frequency. They include small plug-in devices
and large hard-wired devices. They are often connected to electrical
devices that cause harmonics, such as variable-speed drives and fluorescent lights. Harmonic filters sometimes are referred to as traps or
chokes. They may become ineffective if the harmonics change because
the load changes. Active filters may be the answer to changing harmonic currents.
Active filters. Active harmonic filters are sometimes referred to as
active power line conditioners (APLCs). They differ from passive filters
in that they condition the harmonic currents rather than block or
divert them. Active harmonic filters use electronic means (bridge
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131
Figure 4.36 Shunt and series harmonic filter schematics.
inverters and rectifiers) to monitor and sense the harmonic currents
and create counterharmonic currents. They then inject the counterharmonic current to cancel out the harmonic current generated by the
load. They also regulate sags and swells by eliminating the source voltage harmonics. While expensive in the past, they are becoming more
cost effective. They are most effective in compensating for unknown or
changing harmonics.
Other Harmonic Solutions
The first way to prevent harmonic problems is to design equipment
so that it is not affected by the harmonics. Equipment can be designed
to withstand the heating effects of harmonics. For example, the engineer
can design neutral conductors large enough to carry large neutral currents caused by the additive effects of triplen (third, sixth, ninth,
twelfth, etc.) harmonics. Transformer engineers can design special K factor transformers to withstand the effects of harmonics. Before purchasing a transformer, transformer buyers will need to calculate and specify
the K factor using the procedure presented earlier in this chapter.
The second way to prevent harmonic problems is to properly design
and specify equipment that is the source of harmonics or the cause of
amplifying harmonics. For example, adjustable-speed drives are the
most common nonlinear source of harmonics. There are normally two
types of adjustable-speed drive: 6 pulse and twelve pulse. IEEE-519
allows higher harmonic levels for 12-pulse adjustable-speed drives
than for 6-pulse adjustable-speed drives. The purchaser of adjustablespeed drives can take advantage of the higher harmonic levels by specifying 12-pulse adjustable-speed drives or by paralleling a delta-wye
transformer with a delta-delta transformer to convert a 6-pulse drive
into a 12-pulse arrangement. Figure 4.37 illustrates how paralleling a
delta-wye transformer with a delta-delta transformer converts a 6pulse adjustable-speed drive to a 12-pulse adjustable-speed drive.
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Chapter Four
Figure 4.37 Converting a 6-pulse ASD to a 12-pulse ASD. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
Utilities and end users concerned about avoiding power quality
problems specify capacitors that do not resonate with the existing
harmonics. They know that they can avoid having their capacitors
amplify harmonics. They know how to calculate the resonant point
and pick a capacitor with a kVAR value that is smaller or larger than
that resonant point. They know that the utility’s capacitors can interact with the end user’s capacitors and try therefore to avoid switching them on at the same time. Figure 4.38 illustrates how utilities
and end users can specify capacitors that avoid resonating with existing harmonics.
Selection of Appropriate Power Conditioning
Equipment
End users should implement the following seven steps before selecting the appropriate power conditioning equipment to mitigate their
problem:
1. Determine the power quality problem.
2. Correct wiring and grounding and faulty equipment problems
before purchasing power conditioning equipment.
3. Evaluate alternative power conditioning solutions.
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133
Figure 4.38 Effect of capacitor size on parallel resonant frequency. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
4. Develop a power conditioning plan.
5. Determine if the utility source is compatible with the load.
6. Select and install power conditioning equipment.
7. Operate and maintain power conditioning equipment properly.
Finally, utilize Table 4.1, taken from page 162 of IEEE 1100-1992,
Power and Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment (The Emerald
Book), to select the appropriate power conditioning technology to
match the power quality problem.
Grounding and Wiring Solutions
Recent surveys by EPRI and others indicate that improper grounding
and wiring cause 80 to 90 percent of the power quality problems.
However, many end users overlook improper grounding and wiring in
their facilities. They should always investigate the wiring and grounding in their facilities before purchasing and installing expensive power conditioning equipment. The next chapter will show how to identify
and solve power quality problems caused by improper wiring and
grounding.
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Chapter Four
TABLE 4.1
Matching Power Conditioning Technology to Power Quality Condition*
Transient
Voltage
Surge
Noise
Standby Engine
Generator
Uninterruptible
Power Source
Standby Power
System
Motor
Generator
Voltage Regulator
(Ferroresonant)
Voltage Regulator
(Electronic)
Isolation
Transformer
Power
Quality
Condition
EMI/RFI
Filter
Transient Voltage
Surge Supressor
Power Conditioning Technology
Common
Mode
Normal
Mode
Common
Mode
Normal
Mode
Notches
Voltage
Distortion
Sag
Swell
Undervoltage
Overvoltage
Momentary
interruption
Long-term
interruption
Frequency
Variation
It is reasonable to expect that the indicated condition will be corrected by the indicated
power conditioning technology.
There is a significant variation in power conditioning product performance.
The indicated condition may or may not be fully correctable by the indicated technology.
*Output power quality varies, depending on the power conditioning technology and its interaction with the load.
SOURCE: IEEE Standard 1100-1992. Copyright © 1993, IEEE. All rights reserved.
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References
1. Lonie, Bruce. 1993. “Things to Consider Before Buying Mitigation Equipment.”
Power Quality Assurance, vol. 4, no. 6, November/December, pp. 6–15.
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Construction & Maintenance, vol. 86, April, pp. 65–70.
3. Martzloff, Francois D. 1998. “What Are the Lights on Your Surge Protector Telling
You?” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 9, no. 4, July/August, pp. 68–72.
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Changers.” Electrical World, vol. 209, no. 6, June, pp. 21–28.
6. Mosman, Mike, and Grett Korn. 1998. “UPS Systems and Engine-Generator
Compatibility.” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 9, no. 2, March/April, pp. 14–21.
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8. Reason, John. 1995. “Live-Fire Fault Test of SVC: A Lesson in Power Quality.”
Electrical World, vol. 209, no. 8, August, pp. 34–37.
9. Volkommer, Harry T. 1998. “DSTATCOM Stamps Out Voltage Flicker.”
Transmission & Distribution World, vol. 50, no. 13, December, pp. 11–17.
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Technology for the 21st Century.” Public Utilities Fortnightly, vol. 131, no. 6, March
15, pp. 33–34.
12. Hoffman, Steve. 1997. “Written-Pole™ Revolution.” EPRI Journal, vol. 22, no. 3,
May/June, pp. 27–34.
13. Reason, John. 1995. “Solid-State Transfer Will Eliminate Voltage Sags. Electrical
World, vol. 209, no. 10, October, pp. 64–63.
14. Jakwani, Asif, and Paul Jeffires. 1998. “Actively Eliminate the Harmonics in Your
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Palo Alto, Calif. EPRI.
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Electronics.” Power Quality Assurance. URL address: http://www.powerquality.
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Chapter
5
Wiring and Grounding
Often the least expensive solution to a power quality problem is proper wiring and grounding, and the more expensive solution is the purchase and installation of the power conditioning equipment described
in Chapter 4. However, many electricians wire and ground facilities
according to the National Electric Code (NEC) but ignore the power
quality aspects of wiring and grounding. Therefore, improper wiring
and grounding practices cause most power quality problems (80 to 90
percent). A more cost-effective solution to these types of problems
would be to correct the cause of the problem instead of just the symptom. Many times a power quality problem is caused by a loose connection, too small a neutral conductor, incorrect grounding, or a damaged
conductor. This chapter explains why correctly wiring and grounding
for power quality as well as safety is important and how to solve power quality problems caused by poor wiring and grounding practices.
Before discussing wiring and grounding power quality problems and
how to solve them, this section presents basic wiring and grounding
principles.
Wiring Principles
The three basic principles of wiring:
1. Keep the length of the wire to a minimum to avoid an unnecessary
voltage drop on the conductor.
2. Connect wires solidly to panels and switchboards.
3. Size and select the type of wires to match the current-carrying
requirements of the load.
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Chapter Five
All three of these principles try to minimize the conductor and connector resistance. These principles apply as much to the inside of an end
user’s home as to a utility’s high-voltage transmission line. For example,
a residential or small commercial facility has a main panelboard to distribute power to the various circuits inside, as shown in Figure 5.1,
while an industrial or large commercial facility has not only a main panelboard but also several branch panelboards, as shown in Figure 5.2.
End users and utilities select conductors that are the most costeffective material. Most industrial, commercial, and residential end
users use copper conductors in their electrical distribution systems,
while most utilities use aluminum conductors in their high-voltage
transmission and low-voltage distribution lines. The larger conductors have steel reinforcement. In the past, many utilities used copper
conductors on their power lines. Since World War II, utilities have
stopped using copper on their power lines, because it is too expensive. Many utilities use aluminum conductor steel-reinforced (ACSR)
cable on their power transmission lines. Figure 5.3 shows a typical
ACSR conductor.
Figure 5.1 Residential and small commercial electrical service.
Wiring and Grounding
139
Figure 5.2 Large commercial and industrial electrical service.
Figure 5.3 Power transmission line ACSR conductor. (Courtesy of Western Area Power
Administration.)
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Chapter Five
Grounding Principles
Proper grounding is critical to the safe and effective operation of all
electrical equipment. The term grounding means connecting an object
or electric circuit to ground or earth with an electrical conductor. The
object is usually a piece of equipment. The electric circuit usually
refers to the utility’s transmission and distribution system or the end
user’s power distribution system. However, circuit grounding can
include grounding of a telephone utility’s and end user’s telecommunication system. The symbol for grounding is —
–.
Grounding has four basic purposes:
1. Protect people from electrical shock and equipment from a shortcircuit fault
2. Provide a zero reference point
3. Provide noise control
4. Provide a path for lightning and switching surge faults
The National Electrical Code is the “bible” for proper grounding in
the United States. It deals only with protecting the public from electrical shock and electrical fire hazards. It does not deal with power quality. Chapter 3 discussed three good guides for grounding requirements
to prevent power quality problems. They are IEEE Standard 11001992, “IEEE Recommended Practice for Powering and Grounding
Sensitive Electronic Equipment” (The Emerald Book); IEEE Standard
142-1991, “IEEE Recommended Practice for Grounding of Industrial
and Commercial Power Systems” (The Green Book); and the “Federal
Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 94.”
The NEC describes the two basic types of safety grounding as system
grounding and equipment grounding. System grounding includes
grounding for electrical power and telecommunication systems. Section
250-2(a)* of the NEC explains that grounding electrical systems to earth
is done to “limit voltages imposed by lightning, line surges, or unintentional contact with higher voltage lines, and…stabilize the voltage to
earth during normal operation.” Section 250-2(b) of the NEC explains
that “conductive materials enclosing electrical conductors or equipment,
or forming part of such equipment, shall be connected to earth so as to
limit the voltage to ground on these materials.” The NEC requires equipment and equipment enclosure grounding to prevent people from receiving a shock when they touch the equipment or equipment enclosure.
*Reproduced with permission from NFP-70-1999, National Electric Code,® copyright © 1998, National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA 02269. This reprinted material is not the completed and official position of the NFPA on the referenced
subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety.
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141
Grounding equipment for power quality purposes requires connecting microprocessor-controlled equipment to ground to provide a zero
reference point. Microprocessor-controlled equipment needs a zero reference point to operate properly and control noise. It is usually
grounded to a grounding ring or electrode driven into the ground.
Grounding power systems includes grounding the utility’s and end
user’s power systems. What are the components of the electrical power system involved in system grounding?
Power System
The entire electrical power system from the generator to the load can be
divided into five levels: generation, transmission, subtransmission, distribution, and secondary systems. Each one of these systems is distinguished by the nominal operating voltage level. The generation voltage
is usually at 13.8 kV, transmission at 230 kV and above, subtransmission at 115 to 230 kV, distribution at 34.5 to 69 kV, and secondary at 120
to 600 V. While all transmission and subtransmission systems are three
phase, most distribution systems are three phase but can be single
phase. Most secondary systems are single phase but can be three phase.
Figure 5.4 shows a simplified utility power system at the transmission
(includes subtransmission), distribution, and secondary voltage levels.
Each one of these power system levels has its own grounding
requirements. What are the grounding requirements for the utility
power system?
Utility power system grounding
The utility power grounding system includes the generation, transmission, subtransmission, and distribution grounding systems.
Throughout the world, all utilities ground their generators. However,
in different parts of the world, utilities ground their transmission and
distribution power systems according to the IT, TT, or TN grounding
systems. In many parts of Europe, utilities use the IT grounding system. In the IT grounding system, they either do not bond their power
system’s neutral to the generator ground or end user’s ground or
instead ground it through an impedance, as shown in Figure 5.5. In
Asian countries, utilities use the TT grounding system. In the TT
grounding system, as shown in Figure 5.6, they connect their power
system’s neutral to the generator ground but not to the end user’s
ground. Finally, U.S. utilities primarily use the TN grounding system.
In the TN grounding system, utilities bond their power system’s neutral to the generator’s ground and end user’s ground and at individual
transmission and distribution towers, as shown in Figure 5.7.
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Figure 5.4 Simplified utility power system. (Courtesy of Bonneville Power
Administration.)
U.S. utilities ground their power systems in order to provide a path
for lightning and ground-fault currents. Utilities set relays to detect
ground-fault currents and isolate the source of the fault by sending a
signal to open appropriate breakers. Utility engineers also use the
power system ground as a reference for insulation coordination. They
also design ground wires to be strung above the power-line conductors
and connected to the ground to shield the phase conductors from lightning strokes, as shown in Figure 5.8.
The transformer secondary circuit neutral is usually grounded. For
example, the distribution transformer used to step the distribution
voltage of 7200 V down to 240/120 V for use in a home has a neutral
connected to the ground conductor. Figure 5.9 shows the neutral of the
service entrance distribution transformer ground wire.
Wiring and Grounding
Figure 5.5 IT grounding system.
Figure 5.6 TT grounding system.
143
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Chapter Five
Figure 5.7 TN grounding system.
Figure 5.8 Overhead ground wires.
Wiring and Grounding
145
U.S. utilities have various practices for grounding underground and
overhead lines. For example, utilities should but often do not ground
the shield of underground cables. Figure 5.10 shows that lightning can
strike a tree and produce electrical transients in the ground. Unground
buried cables can transmit the electrical transients in the ground to sensitive electronic equipment, resulting in damaged equipment.
In the case of overhead lines, many U.S. electric utilities connect the
neutral to ground at the foot of the transmission tower, as shown in
Figure 5.11. Utilities connect a wire to the neutral and run it along the
tower to, usually, an 8-ft ground rod (electrode) or to a counterpoise
wire encased in concrete. Grounding the transmission tower neutral
allows linemen to climb towers safely and diverts lightning strokes
away from the transmission line.
U.S. utilities have a standard practice to ground the neutral of a
four-wire distribution system to meet NEC requirements. The NEC
requires that a distribution line must have a minimum of four ground
rods per mile and ground rods should be 25 ohms () or less. The
Distribution transformer grounding at distribution
pole.
Figure 5.9
Figure 5.10 Underground electrical transients.
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Chapter Five
Figure 5.11 Transmission tower grounding.
grounded neutral provides a low-resistance path to earth for fault current caused by a lightning stroke or a fault on the system. In addition,
a well-grounded neutral reduces induced voltages from radio transmitters that can interfere with the power signal on the distribution
line. They not only ground the distribution line neutral to ground rods
but, as shown in Figure 5.12, also connect substation equipment, like
substation transformers, to a grounding grid.
Utilities build high-capacity, high-voltage direct-current lines to
transmit large amounts of power long distances or for submarine
cables. As shown in Figure 5.13, they design direct-current lines to use
the ground as a path for both monopolar and bipolar dc transmission.
In the case of monopolar dc transmission, the ground path carries load
current during normal conditions. In the case of bipolar dc transmission, the ground provides a path for load current during an outage of
one of the power-line conductors. They use monopolar (i.e., one conductor between the converter stations) transmission primarily for submarine cables. They use bipolar (i.e., two conductors of opposite
polarity) for long-distance overhead transmission lines. The ground
includes a pad for sending the load current through the ground at one
end of the direct-current line and a pad for receiving the load current
from the ground at the other end of the direct-current line.
RTV
Substation and distribution system grounding. (Courtesy of Georgia
Institute of Technology.)
Figure 5.12
Figure 5.13 Direct current transmission line grounds (Courtesy of Bonneville Power
Administration.)
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Telecommunication system grounding
Telecommunication systems include telephone lines, local-area networks
(LANs) for connecting computers, and cable TV. Telecommunication system grounding has become more important in the office, factory, and
home with the advent of LANs and multiple phone lines in the office and
factory, and cable TV and several telephone lines in the home.
Telecommunication systems are used today for both voice and data
transmission. They include computers connected together in a LAN system and computer-controlled telephone systems.
They have become just as critical to the operation of an office or factory as the power system. Most offices and many homes today rely on
e-mail and telephone communication for their day-to-day operation.
Just as the NEC has developed rules for grounding power systems, it
has developed grounding requirements for telecommunication systems
as well. Where a coaxial cable coming into a building is exposed to power
conductors, NEC Article 820-22 requires the cable’s metal sheath to be
grounded. The TV cable entering a home should also be grounded.
Computers too must be grounded for 60-Hz operation according to NEC
requirements. But often grounding for telecommunication systems is
not done correctly, with consequent power quality problems.
The breakup of AT&T into smaller companies in the 1980s has compounded power quality problems with telephone systems. When AT&T
was a monopoly, it set the standards for installing and operating telephone systems. Today, there no longer is one company providing a
standard way of installing and operating telephone systems. Thus,
there is a greater need for the telecommunication industry to set standards. Is this a precursor to the power quality problems that will possibly increase after the deregulation of the electrical utility industry?
Chapter 9, “Future Trends,” discusses the possible effects of deregulation of the electric utility industry on power quality.
One of the major power quality problems with telecommunication
systems is noise caused by ground loops. The noise affects the clarity
of voice transmission and the accuracy of data transmission. The signal ground connected to the power ground at various points usually
causes ground loops in telecommunication systems. The ground loop
can then couple with the signal grounding system and cause noise and
interference in the telecommunication system. One way to reduce
noise caused by ground loops is to connect data and voice (phone)
equipment signal ground to the power system ground at a single entry
point, as shown in Figure 5.14.
End-user power system grounding
The end-user power system includes the industrial, commercial, and
residential secondary power systems. End-user power system grounds
Wiring and Grounding
149
Figure 5.14 Telecommunications equipment grounding.
have a different purpose from the utility power system ground. Rather
than provide a path for lightning and faults, their main purpose is to
prevent shock to personnel and provide a power and signal reference.
The NEC allows end-user ground connections to be smaller than the
equipment ground conductors because they do not have to carry fault
currents. Normal grounding practice for residences is to ground incoming power to a ground rod and a water pipe and to ground telephone
circuits and TV cable to a water pipe, as shown in Figure 5.15.
Grounding practice for commercial facilities with computer equipment is to ground all power equipment to a grounding grid, as shown
in Figure 5.16.
The NEC requires ground connections to be less than 25 , while
power quality experts recommend that, to minimize power quality
problems, grounds for sensitive electronic equipment should not
exceed 5. NEC Article 250-51 requires that an effective grounding
path meet the following requirements:
1. Continuous and permanent
2. Capacity capable of handling fault current
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Chapter Five
Figure 5.15 Residential grounding.
To service equipment
H1
G H2 H3
ADP
unit
N
X2
L1
L2
L3
N
G
X1
X3
Optional
strap
Equipment ground
Raised floor supporting structure
used as signal reference grid
Figure 5.16 Computer equipment grounding grid. (Courtesy of National Institute of
Standards and Technology.)
3. Low enough impedance to limit voltage drop to ground and allow
relays to be tripped
4. Earth should not be the only ground
Grounding to NEC requirements does not prevent wiring and grounding problems from occurring. Improper wiring and grounding of sensitive electronic equipment cannot only cause power quality problems
but can also prevent power conditioning devices from protecting sensitive electronic equipment.
Wiring and Grounding
151
The purpose of grounding for power quality is to control noise and
transients. Grounding for power quality requires an equipotential
ground system or plane. The IEEE Standard 1100-1992, “IEEE
Recommended Practice for Powering and Grounding Sensitive Electronic
Equipment” (The Emerald Book), page 92, describes an equipotential
ground plane as “a mass (or masses) of conducting material that, when
bonded together, provide a low impedance to current flow over a large
range of frequencies.” It is, therefore, critical to avoid voltage variations
between different ground locations to prevent stressing insulation and
causing ground currents that cause power quality problems.
Wiring and Grounding Problems
An experienced power quality inspector can identify many wiring and
grounding power quality problems by sight while performing a power
quality survey as described in Chapter 7, “Power Quality Surveys.”
Nevertheless, a power quality inspector often has to identify power
quality problems by measurements of voltage, current, and impedance,
using the power quality measuring instruments described in Chapter
6, “Power Quality Measurement Tools.” When a power quality inspector diagnoses a power quality problem, the inspector needs to know the
causes of wiring and grounding problems. What are some of the causes
of power quality problems related to improper wiring and grounding?
One common cause of wiring and grounding power quality problems is
the confusion and conflicts between the application of NEC safety
grounding standards and power quality standards of IEEE and other
standards organizations. Mixing power and telecommunications systems
and 60-Hz electrical power with high-frequency communication signals
in a facility adds to this confusion. The latter issue is primarily caused
by the fact that electricity acts differently at 60 Hz and 10,000,000 Hz.
At high frequencies, long inductive wires increase in impedance and act
like open circuits, blocking the flow of electricity. Therefore, long inductive wires should be avoided, if possible. There are many types of power
quality problems caused by improper wiring and grounding. They
include ground loops, electromagnetic interference (EMI) noise, loose
connections, poor grounds, lightning, insufficient neutral conductor,
missing safety ground, and superfluous ground rods. Probably the most
important power quality problem caused by improper wiring and
grounding in commercial and industrial facilities is ground loops.
Ground loops
What are ground loops? What causes them? How do you detect ground
loops? What kind of power quality problems do they cause? And how
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Chapter Five
do you get rid of them? These are the questions we will answer in this
section on ground loops.
IEEE Standard 1100-1992, “IEEE Recommended Practice for
Powering and Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment” (The
Emerald Book), page 28, defines ground loops as occurring “when two
or more points in an electrical system that are nominally at ground
potential are connected by a conducting path such that either or both
points are not at the same ground potential.” In other words, ground
loops are electric current flowing in the ground connection between
two or more pieces of equipment. Magnetic coupling between the “hot”
wire and the ground wire can cause small ground currents. These are
usually too small to cause any problems. However, large and damaging ground currents can be created when two pieces of equipment are
grounded at two different points. If a communication path is present,
it can also provide a path for ground loops. Figure 5.17 illustrates a
ground loop between two computers grounded at two different points.
Long wires from computers to power outlets several feet away can
cause ground loops. The impedance of a long power cable will increase
with the frequency of the signal. Therefore, high-frequency noise signals will avoid the long power cable and flow in the neutral conductor
and cause ground loops. They will also flow inside the computer equipment and cause voltage drops that damage sensitive microchips.
There are a few ways to detect ground loops. One way is to install a
current transformer around the ground wire and measure the amount
of current flowing in the ground wire. Another way of detecting ground
loops is to measure the voltage between the neutral and ground to
determine if it is greater than zero. A voltage greater than zero between
the neutral and ground indicate that ground loops are present.
5.17 Ground
loop
between computers. (Courtesy of
National Institute of Standards
and Technology.)
Figure
Wiring and Grounding
153
Ground loops not only damage sensitive electronic components but
can cause problems with communication equipment. They can cause
ground wires to act as a loop antenna and transmit a humming-type
noise that interferes with communication signals.
There are several ways to solve ground loop problems. The easiest
solution to ground loop problems is to ground equipment and the service panel to a common point. The use of fiber-optic communications
cable is an expensive but effective solution to eliminating noise in communications circuits caused by ground loops. If fiber-optic cable isn’t
feasible, a signal isolator inserted in the communications circuit will
stop the flow of ground currents and allow communications signals to
pass. Shortening the cable can reduce ground loops caused by long
power cables. Locating power outlets or power strips near the computers is an effective way to reduce the length of power cables.
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) noise
Electromagnetic interference noise is a high-frequency signal on power
lines and circuits. It is transmitted three ways: through the air, over a
power line, or through the ground. Its source can be any common electrical appliance such as a fan, microwave oven, or fluorescent lights
with magnetic ballasts. Other sources include transformers, electrical
switchboards, and some uninterruptible power supplies. EMI causes
computer monitors to wiggle and sensitive electronic devices to misoperate, such as a computer that controls gasoline flow in a gas station or
an automatic teller machine in a bank. As mentioned in Chapter 4,
EMI noise’s effect can be removed by moving the source a safe distance
from the device being affected. If the EMI noise is being transmitted via
the ground, shielding the affected equipment or data cables can be an
effective way of solving this power quality problem.
In the past, harmonic currents from a distribution power line induced
harmonic currents in the open telephone lines built under the distribution line on the same pole, as illustrated in Figure 5.18. The harmonic
currents often were at the same frequency as the telephone signal and
caused noise and interfered with the telephone signal. This problem has
been eliminated by the advent of shielded coax cables for telephone
lines. However, high currents in the distribution line can be induced in
the telephone and TV cables and cause a voltage drop across the reference ground.
Recently, fiber-optic cables built under high-voltage power lines
have been experiencing failures from currents induced in the fiberoptic insulation by the high-voltage line. The arcing from the induced
currents is called “dry band” tracking. Research is being conducted to
find a cost-effective insulation that does not experience this problem.
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Chapter Five
Figure 5.18 Inductive coupling between distribution
and communication lines.
Loose connections
Loose or bad connections often cause power quality problems. They
can cause noise that damages electronic equipment. They can cause
heating and burning of insulation. The burnt insulation allows bare
wires to touch and causes a short circuit.
One of the first places to look for a loose connections is in the service
panel. An ozone smell or an arcing noise is one tip-off of a bad connection. Loose connections to ground can cause high-resistance grounds
that do not divert lightning faults to ground.
Grounding for lightning and static electricity
Grounding for lightning is an effective way to protect computers and
telecommunication systems and other sensitive electronic equipment
from being damaged by lightning. Lightning is simply a large static discharge of current from a cloud to ground or from one cloud to another.
This static discharge contains a large amount of electrical current that
averages about 20,000 A but can be as high as 270,000 A. Lightning
strokes cause extreme temperatures (as much as 60,000°F) and burn
everything in their path. Like all electric current, lightning follows
Ohm’s law and seeks to follow the lowest-impedance path. If the lowestimpedance path is a human body, it can cause cardiac arrest and death.
It does the same thing to sensitive electronic equipment. If the lowestimpedance path is through computer-related equipment, lightning can
fry the heart of the computer, the microchip. It is important to have good
ground paths for lightning strokes. Otherwise, lightning will damage
computers and other sensitive equipment.
The best way to prevent lightning from causing damage to equipment
is by diverting to ground the high current flow of a lightning stroke. Ben
Franklin developed the lightning rod in the second half of the eighteenth
century to divert lightning strokes away from buildings. Today’s lightning grounding systems protect sensitive electronic equipment from
Wiring and Grounding
155
lightning strokes by diverting them to ground and away from sensitive
equipment. The National Fire Protection Association’s Code 780, Code
for Protection Against Lightning, gives the detailed requirements of a
lightning grounding system. Figure 5.19 shows a building grounding system made of grounding rods and ring to protect computer-related equipment inside the building from damage caused by lightning.
Static electricity inside the building can be just as damaging as
lightning outside the building.
Shoes rubbing a carpet and building up an electric charge on a person
often cause static electricity. When a person touches a grounded object,
electric current is discharged from the person to the object. If the object
contains microchips, the electric discharge can destroy the microchips.
Grounding the person before he or she touches sensitive equipment is an
effective way to prevent this event from happening. People working on
electronic equipment, as shown in Figure 5.20, commonly use grounding
straps on wrists. Another grounding method is to provide a static drain
path by grounding floor tiles or mats to the nearest grounded metal.
Attack of the triplens
The neutral conductor often becomes a path for the feared odd
triplen harmonic currents. Chapter 4 briefly mentioned odd triplen
Service
Entrance
Meter
Figure 5.19 Building ground rods and ring.
Building
156
Chapter Five
Figure
5.20
Grounding
wrist
straps.
harmonics. What are odd triplen harmonics? They aren’t “odd”
because they are strange but odd because they have odd numbers.
They not only have odd numbers but also are odd multiples of the
third harmonic. The third harmonic of the fundamental current frequency of 60 Hz is 180 Hz. Therefore, the third, ninth, fifteenth, and
twenty-first harmonics are odd triplen harmonic orders at 180 Hz,
560 Hz, 900 Hz, and 1260 Hz, respectively. Why are they feared?
They are feared because they have one nasty characteristic that the
neutral conductor doesn’t like. They are zero sequence currents that
are in phase. This means they add to each other as well as to the 60Hz neutral conductor normal current. This can result in the neutral
current increasing to 2 to 3 times the phase current value. This can
be devastating to a small neutral conductor that wasn’t designed to
handle such large currents. The neutral conductor can become overheated and cause a fire. Even if the neutral current is not large
enough to cause a fire, a neutral current can cause a large voltage
drop in the neutral, according to Ohm’s law, and induce noise into
nearby signal circuits.
How do these triplen harmonics get into the neutral conductor? They
get into the neutral conductor from three single-phase nonlinear loads
connected to the neutral. If these nonlinear loads have switched-mode
power supplies, they will contain triplen harmonic currents. Switchedmode power supplies are notorious for generating triplen harmonic currents because they demand current at the peak of the voltage waveform.
All of today’s computer-controlled equipment contains switched-mode
Wiring and Grounding
157
power supplies. Also, static power converters in adjustable-speed drives
and uninterruptible power supplies change the fundamental waveform
and create triplen harmonics. Figure 5.21 shows how each nonlinear
load contributes to triplen harmonic currents in the neutral that are 3
times the triplen harmonic phase currents.
How can triplen harmonic currents be kept out of the neutral conductor? What can be done about them? The former Computer Business
Equipment Manufacturers Association (CBEMA)—now the Information
Technology Industry Council (ITIC)—recognized this problem. They
suggested doubling the size of neutral conductors and providing separate neutrals for each phase conductor feeding a nonlinear load. Other
solutions to triplen and other types of harmonic problems include the
use of filters and delta-wye and zigzag transformers. However, some
power quality solutions cause problems of their own.
Solutions that cause problems
Many electrical equipment installers think they are solving power quality problems but instead are causing new problems. This is because they
do not have a clear understanding of how electricity operates under different conditions. This happens when people misuse power quality solutions, like isolated grounds, additional ground rods, and multiple
neutral-to-ground connections. They think they have solved power quality grounding problems. They incorrectly apply these solutions and compound the very power quality problems they are trying to solve. Suffice
Figure 5.21 Nonlinear loads contribute to triplen harmon-
ics in the neutral. (Courtesy of Electrotek Concepts, Inc.)
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Chapter Five
it to say that they can cause new power quality and safety problems
when they misunderstand how grounding works.
Ground is not a drain for “dirty” power like a bathroom drain that
gets rid of dirty water. Unlike dirty water, dirty power has a tendency
to return to an electrical system and foul it up again. Electricity is not
absorbed into the ground never to be seen again. It often finds a new
path to return to the power system. This is especially true with electric currents at high frequencies. High-frequency electric currents
have a tendency to follow new paths. Often adding grounds to get rid
of dirty power instead results in it returning from a new direction
ready to “gum up” electronic equipment. Installation of more grounds
may provide a new path for noise and lightning and cause additional
power quality problems. Yes, grounding does not always solve power
quality problems but instead can be the very cause of more problems.
Therefore, it is important to understand how electricity behaves under
differing conditions and how to correctly apply the NEC grounding
requirements for safety as well as IEEE standards for power quality.
Sometimes electricians try to solve power quality problems while
causing a safety problem. They should never violate NEC safety standards in order to solve a power quality problem. Safety always comes
first. Figure 5.22 illustrates how an electrician, in trying to solve a
power quality problem by using a dedicated isolated ground (thinking
it is supposed to be kept from the dirty utility ground by replacing a
This Practice is Unsafe
1 and 2 violate
safety codes by
defeating positive
ground return path
from enclosure to
the neutral
grounding point.
!
FE
A
NS
U
ADP enclosure
15A breaker
2 Ground connection
return path from load
to neutral grounding
point was not used
“Dirty”
utility
ground
5 ohms
Load
devise
1 Insulating
bushing
Conduit
or shield
Failed filter
capacitor
“Clean” isolated
dedicated ground
5 ohms
Figure 5.22 Electric shock hazard of isolated grounds. (Courtesy of National Institute of
Standards and Technology.)
Wiring and Grounding
159
connection to the utility ground with an insulating bushing), caused
an unsafe condition that violated the NEC safety requirements.
What wiring and grounding principles can be followed so as to avoid
compounding power quality and safety problems? What solutions to
wiring and grounding problems don’t cause more problems?
Wiring Solutions
Power quality experts know that wiring solutions to power quality
problems involve three basic electrical “S” principles:
1. Separation
2. Selection
3. Shielding
Let’s examine each one of these principles and see how they prevent
power quality problems.
Separation
Sometimes separation is the easiest and lowest-cost solution. Forcing
sensitive and nonsensitive equipment to work together is not a good
idea. One drives the other crazy. For example, when a large motor load
starts up, the resulting large inrush current causes a voltage sag on
the circuit serving the motor. If there are computers connected on the
same circuit, the voltage sag can cause the computers to lose data and
freeze. Separation is the answer.
Separation means supplying electricity to computers and other sensitive electronic equipment from a separate dedicated circuit all the
way back to the panelboard. It simply means dedicating a separate circuit to serve sensitive loads. This includes a separate ground, neutral,
and power conductor. Separation also keeps harmonics generated by
nonlinear equipment, like adjustable-speed drives, from affecting
equipment, like computers and telephones, that don’t like harmonics.
Separation in the office environment means providing separate circuits for laser printers. A laser printer requires a large inrush current
to heat up the toner each time it prints a document. This large inrush
current causes the voltage to drop and lights to dim. This happens in
offices where the lights and the laser printer are on the same circuit.
Every time someone starts the laser printer, the fluorescent lights
flicker. A dedicated separate circuit for the laser printer, as shown in
Figure 5.23, is the best solution to this problem.
Separation of the neutral is a good strategy for dividing and conquering the attack of the evil triplens. Remember triplens march in unison,
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Chapter Five
Figure 5.23 Dedicated circuit.
working together to overload neutral conductors. Separate neutrals distribute the triplens and keep them from overloading one neutral.
Separation of incompatible appliances in the home is another important strategy to keep electrical appliances from interacting with one
another. For example, one residential customer rewired her home and
discovered strange things happening with the dishwasher. It would
start up on its own. Was it haunted? The residential customer called the
local utility for help. The utility sent a power quality expert to investigate. The power quality expert found that the customer installed a fireplace insert with a thermostatically controlled fan to distribute the heat
from the fireplace. Each time the fan came on the dishwasher started up
too. This seemed strange until the power quality expert showed the customer that the fan control was wired to the dishwasher switch.
An orange plug on the outlet often identifies a separate ground.
“Isolated grounds” in the section “Grounding Solutions” discusses the
purpose and configuration of orange plugs.
If installing a separate dedicated circuit is not practical, another
alternative is to avoid plugging too many sensitive loads on one circuit.
This will minimize the interaction between different types of equipment. A good rule of thumb is to limit the number of outlets used per
circuit to 6 rather than to the 13 allowed by the NEC.
Selection of wire and cables
Selection of the size and type of wire and cables for both power and
data transmission is important in avoiding and solving power quality
Wiring and Grounding
161
problems. In the case of power service, the electrician usually selects
the wire and cable size to match the capacity of the circuit breaker at
the panelboard, according to the requirements set by the NEC. But
there are some power quality concerns that affect the selection of the
power wire or cable. They include voltage drop and noise.
Keeping the voltage drop caused by the fundamental 60-Hz current
flowing in a circuit to a minimum is critical to preventing power quality problems. Voltage drop follows Ohm’s law. Ohm’s law says that a
voltage drop will occur across an impedance when current is flowing in
it. The NEC limits the voltage drop to 3 percent in a branch circuit.
Most manufacturers recommend the voltage drop should not exceed 1
percent in order to avoid power quality problems on branch circuits
feeding sensitive electronic equipment.
According to Ohm’s law, the voltage drop is reduced by reducing the
impedance of the circuit. Increasing the size or gauge of the wire
reduces the impedance of the circuit. In order to avoid power quality
problems, the size of the wire should be above what the NEC requires.
In addition to the concern about voltage drop caused by the fundamental 60-Hz current, there is the concern about the voltage drop
caused by harmonic currents. Harmonic currents cause a voltage drop
with a crest factor that is much larger than the voltage drop caused by
the fundamental current. The crest factor is the ratio of the crest value of the waveform to the RMS value. The crest factor caused by harmonic currents may be 3 or 4 times higher than the fundamental,
while the crest factor for the fundamental is only 1.414 (兹苶
2) times
higher than the fundamental. Consequently, the wire selection tables
based on fundamental waveforms will provide erroneous voltage drops
for harmonic currents. This is why it is important to select wire sizes
possibly 2 to 3 times larger than required by the NEC to avoid power
quality problems. In addition to choosing wire sizes to reduce voltage
drop, wire and cable sizes should be selected so as to minimize the
effect of noise on data and voice circuits.
In the case of voice and data service, the technician has a choice of
three main types of cables: (1) twisted pair, (2) coaxial, and (3) fiber
optic. Figure 5.24 shows the configuration of each of these types of
communication cable. Each of these types of cable has its advantages
and disadvantages.
The twisted pair has the advantage of being lowest in cost but the
disadvantage of being the most noisy. It contains pairs of insulated
small-size (24-gauge) wires in an insulated tube twisted together to
reduce noise. Used more than 80 percent of the time, it is the most
common cable of the three types. The large impedance of the smallgauge wire limits the distance a signal can be effectively transmitted
over a twisted pair to approximately 330 ft. It is also susceptible to
cross talk—the leakage of signals from one pair to another. Shielding
162
Chapter Five
Figure 5.24 Types of data and voice transmission cable.
twisted pairs by encasing them in a metallic sheathing and connecting
the sheathing to ground increases the cost and signal losses but
reduces electrical noise.
Coaxial cable is in the middle as far as cost, but is immune to electrical noise when properly shielded. It has the ability to carry large
amounts of data at high speeds over long distances. It has the disadvantage of being cumbersome and unwieldy to install.
Fiber-optic cable is the most expensive, but carries no noise and is
very flexible and small. Fiber-optic cable consists of glass fibers that
transmit data and voice by light signals. It transmits no electrical
noise because it carries data and voice not by an electrical signal but
by light signals. It is more expensive because it requires special terminal equipment to convert electrical signals to light signals and back
again at the ends of the fiber-optic cable. However, it can carry more
data at higher speeds than either twisted pair or coax cables.
Shielding
Ancient knights used shields to absorb the impact of swords, while
today’s police officer often wears a bulletproof vest to shield against the
impact of a bullet. Modern electrical cables use electric shielding for a
similar reason. They use shielding to reduce the effect of unwanted electrical noise. Electrical shielding absorbs or reflects electromagnetic
interference (EMI) or radio-frequency interference (RFI) noise.
Shielding of a communications cable consists of a metallic mesh that
surrounds the data-carrying conductor. It performs two functions: First,
it absorbs the noise emitted from the communication line, thus shielding
equipment and power lines from receiving unwanted electrical noise.
Second, it reflects noise emitting from nearby power lines or ground conductor and keeps the noise from affecting the communications signal.
There are other methods for shielding equipment from noise. They
include metal conduits, surrounding a room with a metal shield, and
spraying the inside of an equipment case with conductive paint. The
metal conduits of power and communications cables can act as shields.
Wiring and Grounding
163
Surrounding a room with a metal shield is an effective way to keep
unwanted signals from entering or leaving a room or enclosure containing sensitive electronic equipment. Even spraying the inside of a
sensitive equipment case, like a hearing aid case, with conductive paint
can be an effective shield against the RFI noise radiating from nearby
fluorescent light ballasts. [This method of hearing aid shielding
stopped a person’s hearing aid from receiving and amplifying the signal
from overhead fluorescent lights but caused the person’s jaw to vibrate
(see Power Electronics Applications Center’s Power Quality Testing
Network Solution, August 1995, Bulletin No. 4 for more information).]
Cable shielding is most effective when it is grounded both at the
sending and receiving ends. This provides a low-impedance path for
the unwanted signal. Next to proper wiring, correct grounding of power and communication cables and wires is the most cost-effective power quality solution.
Grounding Solutions
Many power quality problems are solved by the use of a solidly grounded system for sensitive electronic equipment. A solidly grounded system
must provide a low-impedance path to ground. It is often difficult to
provide a solidly grounded system for both power and communications
circuits. What determines whether an electrical system is solidly
grounded with a low-resistance path for power current and low-impedance path for noise signals to ground? What are the characteristics of a
solidly grounded electrical system? What are the configurations of
grounding systems? How should equipment be connected to these
grounding systems?
A solidly grounded system for sensitive electronic equipment must
provide a ground for power and a reference for signals, or a signal reference grid (SRG). There are basically three types of grounding electrode systems: (1) ground rods, (2) ground rings, and (3) ground grids.
How does each one of these systems provide a solidly grounded electrical system? How do you use use these grounding systems to solve
power quality problems without causing new problems?
Ground rods
Ground rods provide an effective low-resistance path to earth. Their
effectiveness is dependent on the material, depth, and configuration of
each rod and the number of rods, as well as the resistivity of the earth.
They are usually made of metal, cylindrical in shape, and driven 8 to 10
ft into the ground. As can be seen from the dashed lines in Figure 5.25,
the ground rod electrically connects to the earth by increasingly larger
concentric cylinders emanating from the ground rod.
164
Chapter Five
The resistivity of the earth depends on the temperature, moisture
content, and chemical composition of the earth. Resistivity refers to the
amount of resistance measured in ohms-linear centimeter (-lin cm)
of soil. Table 5.1 shows how the resistivity of topsoil and sandy loam
vary according to the moisture content of the soil.
Table 5.2 provides an example of how sandy loam’s resistivity varies
with temperature.
Sometimes the resistivity of the soil is too great for the ground rod
to be effective. Salting the earth with chemicals improves the effectiveness of ground rods. The three methods of applying metallic salts
to the earth for the purpose of reducing the resistivity of the soil and
improving the effectiveness of ground rods are: (1) the trench system,
(2) the basin system, and (3) container system. Figure 5.26 illustrates
these methods.
Figure 5.25 Ground rod.
TABLE 5.1
Soil Resistivity Dependency on Moisture Content*
Resistivity, -cm
Moisture content, % by weight
0
2.5
5
10
15
20
30
Topsoil
Sandy loam
1,000,000,000
250,000
165,000
53,000
31,000
12,000
6,400
1,000,000,000
150,000
43,000
18,500
10,500
6,300
4,200
*Reprinted with permission from EC&M’s “Practical Guide to Quality
Power for Sensitive Electronic Equipment.”
Wiring and Grounding
Sandy Loam Soil (15.2% Moisture)
Resistivity Dependency on
Temperature*
TABLE 5.2
Temperature
°C
°F
Resistivity, -cm
20
10
0
0
5
15
68
50
32 (water)
32 (ice)
23
14
7,200
9,900
13,800
30,000
79,000
330,000
*Reprinted with permission from EC&M’s
“Practical Guide to Quality Power for Sensitive
Electronic Equipment.”
Figure 5.26 Salting methods for
reducing earth’s resistivity.
165
166
Chapter Five
Ground ring
An exterior ground ring encircling a building provides a low-impedance
path from the building’s grounding system to the earth. It usually connects to ground rods at each corner of the building and possibly at the
midpoint of the building. It usually consists of a no. 2 gauge conductor
buried 2 ft below the ground or below the frost line and completely circling a building. IEEE Standard 142-1991, “IEEE Recommended
Practice for Grounding of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems”
(The Green Book) says “One of the most effective ground electrode systems is a ground ring tied to the building steel at suitable intervals.”
Ground and signal reference grids
Ground grids are an effective way to provide grounding for 60-Hz power and high-frequency signals. At the 60-Hz power frequency, they
reduce the ground current and magnetic density by spreading the
ground current throughout the grid. At high frequencies, the ground
grids keep the length of wire short and impedance low between the
equipment bond and ground. This keeps the ground leads from resonating or becoming transmitting antennas for radio-frequency (RF)
noise. They are used inside buildings and substations to solidly ground
equipment.
In an office building, they are used effectively as signal references to
ground and accessed through removable panels in the floor. They can
be constructed two ways. One way, shown in Figure 5.27, is to place a
grid of conductors below the raised floor in an office.
Figure 5.27 Grounding grid below raised floor. (Courtesy of National Institute of
Standards and Technology.)
Wiring and Grounding
167
Another way is to use the risers for the raised floor as the support
for a ground grid. This results in a 2- 2-ft ground and signal reference grid. In an office environment, the grid is bolted to each riser, as
shown in Figure 5.28.
Other grounding systems
In addition to the previously described grounding systems, most electrical installers use the cold-water pipes or metal columns as grounds
and sometimes use a grounding plate. They ground all metal enclosures that surround electrical conductors for safety and electronic
equipment performance. They sometimes encase grounding electrodes
in concrete. They also use isolated grounds in an attempt to solve power quality problems.
Figure 5.28 Grounding grid as part of the raised floor support. (Courtesy of National
Institute of Standards and Technology.)
168
Chapter Five
Isolated grounds
Electrical installers often misunderstand and misuse isolated
grounds. They incorrectly connect computer equipment to separate
grounds. They should instead provide an insulated conductor (green
with a yellow stripe) that goes from an electrical outlet to the service
entrance panelboard via a separate ground lead. They should not connect it to any conduit or the panelboard enclosure. The isolated ground
is supposed to provide a means for reducing the electrical noise from
entering sensitive electronic equipment via the grounding conductor.
It does this by providing an effective ground path for noise from the
connected equipment back to the power source at the service entrance.
A receptacle painted orange or marked by an orange triangle identifies
the isolated ground at the outlet. In regard to isolated ground receptacles, NEC 250-75, Exception No. 4* notes that:
Where required for the reduction of electrical noise (electromagnetic
interference) on the grounding circuit, a receptacle in which the grounding terminal is purposely insulated from the receptacle mounting means
shall be permitted. The receptacle grounding terminal shall be grounded
by an insulated equipment grounding conductor run with the circuit conductors. This grounding conductor shall be permitted to pass through one
or more panel boards without connection to the panel board grounding
terminal as permitted in Section 384-20, Exception so as to terminate
within the same building or structure directly at an equipment grounding conductor terminal of the applicable derived system or service.
Most power quality experts prefer the term insulated ground to isolated
ground. Figure 5.29 illustrates the wiring for an isolated ground.
Multipoint grounding
IEEE Standard 1100-1992, “IEEE Recommended Practice for Powering
and Grounding of Sensitive Electronic Equipment” (The Emerald Book)
recommends that all metallic objects crossing the single reference grid
(SRG) be bonded to it, as shown in Figure 5.30. This is called multiplepoint grounding. The Emerald Book does not recommend single-point
grounding even though it is a common practice in telephone companies.
Multiple connections of neutral to ground should be avoided according to the NEC. They can provide multiple paths for faults and cause
protective devices to misoperate. The solution is a single neutral-toground connection at the service entrance.
*Reproduced with permission from NFP-70-1999, National Electric Code,® copyright ©
1998, National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA 02269. This reprinted material is
not the completed and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety.
Wiring and Grounding
169
Figure 5.29 Wiring for an isolated ground. (Courtesy of IEEE, Standard 1100-1992,
Copyright © 1993 IEEE. All rights reserved.)
Figure 5.30 Multipoint grounding to a signal reference grid. (Courtesy of IEEE,
Standard 1100-1992, Copyright © 1993 IEEE. All rights reserved.)
170
Chapter Five
Separately derived source grounding
Separate grounding of sensitive electronic equipment can be accomplished without violating the NEC requirements by the use of a separately derived source. Chapter 4 mentions that an effective way to
reduce unwanted noise is to provide a separately derived source from
an isolation transformer. This isolation transformer provides an opportunity to install a new grounding system for sensitive electronic equipment without violating the NEC requirements. This can be applied to
a single-phase as well as a three-phase system. Otherwise, separate
grounding systems should be avoided.
Conclusions
Proper wiring and grounding to avoid or solve power quality problems
is complicated by the fact that electricity behaves differently at the
power frequency of 60 Hz than at the high frequencies required in
communications systems. This fact must be taken into account when
trying to solve power quality problems. Another complicating issue is
the need to meet safety as well as power quality requirements. With
sensitive electronic equipment it is important not only to ground
equipment to meet the safety requirements of the National Electrical
Code but also to meet the power quality requirements of FIPS 94 and
the IEEE Emerald Book. Most power quality problems are caused by
poor wiring and grounding practices (some surveys estimate 80 to 90
percent). It is a good idea to look at the wiring and grounding of a facility before deciding whether to buy and install power conditioning
equipment. That is why most power quality experts recommend examining the wiring and grounding of a facility as the first step in performing a power quality survey or audit.
A power quality survey is critical to identifying power quality problems and their solutions. Even readers who are power quality experts
will find it helpful to read about the fundamental requirements of a
power quality survey. Experts can then better explain the steps of a
power quality survey to their clients. Even nonexperts can decide to do
their own minisurvey. Or they may decide to hire a power quality
expert and need to oversee the performance of the power quality survey. What is a power quality survey? How do you perform a power
quality survey? These and other questions will be answered in
Chapter 7. But before performing a power quality survey, everyone
needs to know how to pick and use the diagnostic tools for measuring
power quality problems. These diagnostic tools are the various types of
instruments for measuring and monitoring power quality disturbances. They are presented in Chapter 6.
Wiring and Grounding
171
References
1. Martin, Marty. “Two Modern Power Quality Issues—Harmonics and Grounding.”
URL address: http://www.copper.org/pq/issuess.htm. Available from Copper
Development Association Inc., New York.
2a.Michaels, Kenneth. 1994. “Effective Grounding of Electrical Systems—Part 1.”
EC&M Electrical Construction & Maintenance, vol. 93, no. 1, January, pp. 47–51.
2b.———. 1994. “Effective Grounding of Electrical Systems—Part 2.” EC&M Electrical
Construction & Maintenance, vol. 93, no. 2, February, pp. 59–63.
2c.———. 1994. “Effective Grounding of Electrical Systems—Part 3.” EC&M Electrical
Construction & Maintenance, vol. 93, no. 6, April, pp. 57–62.
2d.———. 1994. “Effective Grounding of Electrical Systems—Part 4.” EC&M Electrical
Construction & Maintenance, vol. 93, no. 4, June, pp. 67–70.
3. Lewis, Warren, and Frederic Hartwell. 1996. “Quality Grounding and Power
Quality.” EC&M Electrical Construction & Maintenance, vol. 95, no. 2, February, pp.
33–38.
4. Shaughnessy, Tom. 1998. “Types of Grounding Systems.” Power Quality Assurance,
vol. 9, no. 4, July/August, pp. 74–75.
5. Bush, William. 1991. “Telecom System Fundamentals.” Power Quality, vol. 2, no. 6,
November/December, pp. 30–37.
6. Shaughnessy, Tom. 1996. “Facility and Equipment Grounding.” PQ Today, vol. 3, no.
1, summer, pp. 6, 7.
7. ”Ground Loop Basics,” 1999. URL: http://www.hut.fi/Misc/Electronics/docs/groundloop/basics.html.
8. Kowalczyk, Stan W. 1992. “Root Out the Silent Effects of Electrical Noise.” Chemical
Engineering, vol. 99, no. 6, June, pp. 145–148.
9. Melhorn, Chris. 1997. “Flickering Lights—A Case of Faulty Wiring.” PQ Today, vol.
3, no. 1, Summer, p. 4.
10. Waggoner, Ray. 1993. “Lightning Disruption through Earth.” EC&M Electrical
Construction & Maintenance, vol. 92, no. 8, August, pp. 16–18.
11. Knisley, Joseph R. 1995. “Establishing an Electrostatic Discharge Control Program.”
EC&M Electrical Construction & Maintenance, vol. 94, no. 13, December, pp. 72–72.
12. Lafdahl, Craig S. 1996. “The Case of the Triple Threat.” EC&M Electrical
Construction & Maintenance, vol. 95, no. 2, February, pp. 90–91.
13. Lewis, Warren. 1996. “Understanding IG Receptacles (Insulated Grounding—Part
1).” EC&M Electrical Construction & Maintenance, vol. 95, no. 1, January, pp.
14–17.
13b.———1996. “Understanding IG Receptacles (Insulated Grounding—Part 2).”
EC&M Electrical Construction & Maintenance, vol. 95, no. 2, February, pp. 14–17.
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Chapter
6
Power Quality
Measurement Tools
Solving any diagnostic problem requires the right tools and the ability to use them. Like doctors trying to solve a health problem, power
quality engineers and technicians need meters and other measurement tools to solve electrical facility health problems. The first step in
solving a power quality problem is to determine the cause of the problem. Making either visual inspections or electrical measurements of
the electrical distribution system can do this. Chapter 7, “Power
Quality Surveys,” shows how to make visual inspections of a facility’s
electrical distribution system. This chapter, “Power Quality
Measurement Tools,” explains how to perform and analyze power quality measurements using power quality measurement tools.
As shown in Figure 6.1, there are a myriad of power quality measurement tools available today. They include instruments that measure and
display the basic electrical parameters of voltage, current, frequency, and
impedance of an electrical distribution system. These tools include
ammeters, voltmeters, multimeters, oscilloscopes, flicker meters, electrostatic voltmeters, infrared detectors, radio-frequency interference and
electromagnetic interference meters, harmonic and spectrum analyzers,
power quality monitors, and various types of wiring and grounding
testers. These instruments measure, display, and store electrical parameters for the purpose of helping solve power quality problems. In addition to these electrical measurement tools, there are devices, such as
video cameras and audiotape recorders, for recording the effects of power quality problems. With all these choices, power quality experts as well
as novices must know how to choose and use the right instrument. How
173
Copyright © 2000 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
174
Chapter Six
Figure 6.1 Measurement tools. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI.)
to choose the right tool to match a particular power quality problem
seems like a difficult problem itself.
Knowing how to choose the right measurement tool is a three-step
process. It first requires knowing the various types of power quality
problems discussed in Chapter 2. They include voltage swells, voltage
sags, various types of interruptions, overvoltage, undervoltage, harmonics, and transients. Secondly, it requires knowing the various
Power Quality Measurement Tools
175
types of instruments to measure those disturbances. The three primary
types of instruments are multimeters, oscilloscopes, and analyzers
especially designed to measure and record power quality disturbances.
Thirdly, it requires knowing how to match the instrument to the power quality problem, as shown in Table 6.1.
How do these instruments work? How do they differ from standard,
more familiar types of electrical meters like the kilowatt-hour meter?
Kilowatt-Hour Meter
The most familiar and fundamental meter is the watt-hour or kilowatt-hour meter located at the service entrance to a utility customer’s house, office, or factory. This is called a revenue meter
because it displays and records the amount of electrical energy the
electrical company charges its customers. It measures the amount
of electrical energy in kilowatt-hours consumed in each facility each
month. It usually is an analog meter, and is called an analog meter
because it uses the current and voltage to directly move the meter
dials. The most common type, which has been in use for nearly 100
years, is the Ferraris kilowatt-hour meter. This type of kilowatthour meter uses an ac motor with two windings, one for voltage and
one for current, to move the meter dials. The torque produced by
the voltage and current causes the conducting disk mounted
between the two windings to rotate. The number of revolutions of
the rotating disk represents the amount of electrical energy consumed over a certain period of time. The rotating disk causes the
meter dials to move and display the amount of kilowatt-hours being
used. This is based on the principle that kilowatt-hours are equal to
the current multiplied by the voltage multiplied by the time in
hours divided by 1000. Figure 6.2 illustrates a standard kilowatthour meter.
Other types of standard nondigital (analog) electrical meters include
ammeters that measure the current flowing in a wire in amperes, voltmeters that measure the voltage between two points in volts, and ohmmeters that measure the resistance in a wire in ohms. Often
voltmeters combine with ohmmeters to form voltohmmeters or VOMs,
as shown in Figure 6.3.
The two basic types of probes include current and voltage. Current
probes, similar to the ones shown in Figure 6.4, convert voltmeters to
ammeters. They surround a wire and through inductive action measure the current flowing in the wire. Voltage probes, similar to the one
in Figure 6.5, connect to a meter or oscilloscope and attenuate the voltage to an acceptable level.
176
Chapter Six
TABLE 6.1
Matching Measurement Tools to Type of Disturbance
Disturbance
description
Impulsive transients
Oscillatory transients
Sags/swells
Interruptions
Undervoltages/overvoltages
Harmonic distortion
Voltage flicker
Static discharge
Noise
Wiring and grounding problems
True rms
multimeter
Oscilloscope
Harmonic
analyzer
X
Disturbance
analyzer
Infrared
detector
Gauss
meter
Static
meter
X
X
X
Flicker
meter
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Power Quality Measurement Tools
9 0 1
8
2
7
3
6 5 4
9 0 1
8
2
7
3
6 5 4
9 0 1
8
2
7
3
6 5 4
Figure 6.2 Kilowatt-hour meter.
Figure 6.3 Nondigital voltohmmeter (VOM).
9 0 1
8
2
7
3
6 5 4
177
8 9 0 1
7
2
3
6 5 4
178
Chapter Six
Figure 6.4
Clamp-on current
probes.
Figure 6.5 Voltage probe.
The multimeter has replaced the VOM. It combines the ammeter,
voltmeter, and ohmmeter into one meter.
Multimeters
Most multimeters today are digital and are often referred to as DMMs,
or digital multimeters. Digital meters are more accurate and reliable
than analog meters. Digital multimeters use an analog-to-digital con-
Power Quality Measurement Tools
179
verter to convert the electrical quantity being measured into a signal
that can be displayed on a digital readout, as shown in Figure 6.6.
The constantly changing nature of alternating current poses a
measurement problem to the design of multimeters. As shown in
Figure 6.7, the alternating current magnitude begins at zero,
increases in value, and reaches a maximum value before returning to
zero and continuing downward to a negative peak value before
increasing in value again. At 60 Hz, the alternating current repeats
this cycle 60 times every second. Should multimeters measure the
total area under the alternating current waveform? No, because they
would always give a meaningless measurement of 0 A. Or should
multimeters measure the peak value of the alternating current? It
depends on the purpose of the measurement. Most users of multimeters want to measure the heating effects of current on electrical
equipment and conductors. They want to know whether the equipment or conductors can take the heat. Therefore, multimeters need
to measure the current that is proportional to its heating effect.
Figure 6.6 Typical digital multimeter (DMM).
180
Chapter Six
Figure 6.7 Current sine wave
components.
Consequently, meter manufactures have designed multimeters to
measure effective, or root-mean-square, amperes.
What is an effective ampere? An effective ampere is the alternating
current (ac) equivalent to the direct current (dc) value of the sine wave.
Both ac and dc have the common effect of generating heat when they
flow through a resistor. The heat from dc is directly proportional to the
magnitude of the dc losses. DC losses equal the dc amperes squared
2
times the resistance in ohms, i.e., I R, with current represented by the
letter I and resistance represented by the letter R. An effective ac
ampere is equal to the amount of heat produced by a dc ampere flowing in the same resistor. In other words, one ac effective ampere or
root-mean-square ampere flowing in a resistor will emit the same
amount of heat as one dc ampere flowing in the same resistor.
Effective amperes are called root-mean-square amperes because they
equal the square root of the sum of the squares of the instantaneous
values of the sine wave, as shown in the following formula:
Ieffective 兹苶
(I12) 苶
(I22) 苶
(I32) 苶
(I42) 苶
...
(6.1)
where I1 represents the 60-Hz current and the subsequent currents
represent current values at other frequencies. This formula shows that
the effective current equals the average of the instantaneous current
in the case of a pure sine wave. Average-responding multimeters
assume a pure sine wave.
Standard multimeters or average-responding meters display the
peak value of the electrical current and voltage or the average rootmeans-square (rms) value. They perform this measurement in two
steps. First, they determine the rms amperes or volts by sampling the
instantaneous voltage or current over one cycle and averaging it.
Power Quality Measurement Tools
181
Second, they calculate the peak value by simply multiplying the average value by 1.414, or 兹2
苶. The second step is based on the fact that in
a perfect sine wave, as shown in Figure 6.7, the peak value equals
1.414 or 兹苶
2 times the average value of the sine wave.
However, power quality problems do not fit into nice 60-Hz sine
waves. By their very nature power quality problems involve some distortion of the sine wave. Power quality disturbances, like harmonics,
sags, or swells in the voltage and current, distort the sine wave. The
correct measurement tool for a power quality problem must accurately
measure the characteristics of a distorted sine wave. Consequently, as
shown in Figure 6.8, a multimeter user who wants to solve power quality problems must first avoid an average-responding meter and select,
instead, a true rms meter. What is a true rms meter? How does a true
rms meter differ from the average-responding, or peak rms, meter?
Average-responding versus true
rms multimeters
As their name implies, true rms multimeters measure the “true” rms
of a distorted sine wave. How do they accomplish this? They either
use the heating effect of the voltage across a resistor or sample the
signal’s waveform with a microprocessor, calculate the rms value, and
display the true rms value. Average-responding and peak-value multimeters, on the other hand, do not measure the true rms value of a
distorted sine wave. They sample values of the alternating current
over a cycle, determine the average value of the sine wave, and convert it to effective amperes or rms amperes. They convert alternating
current to rms amperes by multiplying the average value of the waveform by 1.414 (兹2
苶) if they use the averaging method or 0.707 if they
use the peak method. Average-responding rms meters measure distorted waveforms with readings that are 25 to 50 percent below the
actual rms values. As shown in Figure 6.9, the average rms method
Figure 6.8 True rms digital multimeters. (Reproduced with permission of Fluke Corp.©)
182
Chapter Six
Figure 6.9 Average-responding rms inaccuracies.
results in inaccurate measurements of a distorted waveform because
it measures the waveform over time and misses distorted waveform
peaks. Even though true rms meters may cost twice as much as average-responding meters, only true rms meters provide accurate measurements of distorted sine waves, like those containing harmonics.
Figure 6.10 shows the different rms measurements of harmonics in
the same circuit from true and average-responding rms meters. True
rms meters differ in their capabilities, such as measuring crest factor
and bandwidth.
Crest factor and bandwidth
Selection of a multimeter with the wrong crest factor can cause inaccurate measurements of current and voltage. Crest factor equals the
ratio of a waveform’s peak or crest to its rms voltage or current. It provides an important description of a sine wave. It measures the maximum sine wave current or voltage applied to a particular piece of
equipment. The crest factor for a sinusoidal wave always equals 1.414,
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Figure 6.10 True rms versus average-responding DMM readings.
while the crest factor for a nonsinusodial wave will differ from one
wave to another. Therefore, select a multimeter that measures a signal’s crest factor accurately.
The crest factor of a multimeter can limit the true rms measurement. For example, harmonics typically have peaking signals with
values higher than those of 60-Hz sine waves. Consequently, nonsinusoidal waves have higher crest factors than the crest factor of
1.414 for sine waves. Crest factors for true rms multimeters can vary
from a low of 2 to a high of 7. Newer digital multimeters generate
peak current, rms current, and crest factor readings at the press of a
button.
Bandwidth or frequency response of the true rms is another important factor to take into consideration when selecting a true rms multimeter. Manufacturers of multimeters design multimeters to
measure voltage and current within a certain frequency range or
bandwidth. Selection of a multimeter to measure waveforms with frequencies outside the capability of the multimeter will result in incorrect measurements.
If a meter is a true rms meter, the front panel should read “true
rms.” Its performance specifications should provide the crest factor
and bandwidth capability of the meter. Set the crest factor value in the
midrange to get the best results.
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Other selection considerations
Other considerations for selecting a multimeter include its ability to
handle physical and electrical extremes. Manufacturers of multimeters have designed them to withstand various levels of harsh environments. They increase the cost of multimeters proportionate to their
ruggedness. They have also designed them to withstand various levels
of voltage and current spikes. They recommend selecting multimeters
that match the expected voltage and current spikes in order to avoid
destroying the multimeter and creating a safety hazard.
Multimeter users typically use clamp-on multimeters to measure
current. They find them simple to use. Users like clamp-on multimeters because they do not have to disconnect any wires to perform current measurements. As shown in Figure 6.10, they simply open and
close the clamp around the current-carrying conductor.
How does the clamp-on multimeter measure current? It measures
the alternating current using either the current transformer or the
Hall-effect method. In the current transformer method, the multimeter surrounds a conductor with a coil of wire that picks up the alternating current in the conductor. As shown in Figure 6.11, a
transformer reduces the current to a magnitude that can be measured
by an ammeter. In the Hall-effect method, the multimeter measures
the current that passes through a semiconductor in the presence of a
magnetic field.
Manufacturers of multimeters have developed graphical multimeters that combine the accuracy of a digital multimeter with the graphical display of an oscilloscope. They display the current and voltage
waveform on a small screen, as shown in Figure 6.12. Power quality
inspectors find that the graphic display helps them diagnose power
quality problems. They also use another tool that provides a graphic
display: the oscilloscope.
Figure 6.11 Current transformer
method.
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Figure 6.12 Graphical display multimeter. (Reproduced with permission
of Fluke Corp.©)
Oscilloscopes
A German physicist by the name of Karl Braun invented the oscilloscope in 1897. He discovered that he could change the green fluorescence formed on a cathode-ray tube (TV tube) to follow the
electromagnetic field of a varying current. He found that this image,
called a trace, shows graphically the oscillations (thus the name oscilloscope) of alternating voltage. He invented one of the most valuable
diagnostic tools for the power quality engineer or technician.
Oscilloscopes have progressed significantly since Braun’s invention.
Tektronix introduced the modern oscilloscope, Tektronix Model 511, in
1946. The first oscilloscopes used analog technology in which the electron beam traced on the oscilloscope’s screen directly traced the input
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voltage’s waveform. More recent oscilloscopes use digital technology
that samples the waveform and uses an analog-to-digital converter to
reconstruct the waveform on the oscilloscope’s screen. In the past, analog technology had the advantage over digital technology of being able
to sample the waveform at a higher rate with a lower-cost oscilloscope.
Currently, lower-priced and smaller digital oscilloscopes can display
sudden changes in voltages that occur with power quality disturbances. Today’s digital oscilloscopes have the ability to store the voltage waveform for later display and analysis. They provide the user the
ability to analyze the signal’s frequency, i.e., spectrum analysis, and
even make energy calculations. They are small enough to be held in a
person’s hand. They provide input to a personal computer for analysis
of the display utilizing analytical software. Some manufacturers combine the features of analog and digital technology in one oscilloscope,
as shown in Figure 6.13.
Oscilloscopes use both voltage and current probes. Voltage probes
reduce the voltage to a level that oscilloscopes can measure. Current
probes use current transformers to convert current to a voltage that
standard oscilloscopes can measure. Oscilloscopes display voltage
waveforms as a function of time and cannot measure current directly.
They convert the voltage into a current display by using Ohm’s law
(I V/R) and measure the voltage across a known resistance on the
secondary side of the current transformer. Figure 6.14 shows how
Figure 6.13 Analog-digital oscilloscope. (Reproduced with permission of Fluke Corp.©)
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Figure 6.14 Oscilloscope measuring current.
an oscilloscope uses a current transformer to measure the current
in a wire.
To select a digital oscilloscope properly, the user has to know the
application. Oscilloscopes are categorized by bandwidth, rise time of
the signal, and sample rate. Oscilloscopes should have a bandwidth 3
to 5 times the bandwidth of the signal being measured.
Disturbance analyzers
Disturbance analyzers provide measurements similar to oscilloscopes.
However, they display information specifically needed to analyze power quality disturbances. They measure, store, and display a wide range
of disturbances from voltage sags to voltage swells, as well as shortterm transients. Whether installed permanently or temporarily, they
measure and record disturbances. They capture the waveform and
store it magnetically on a hard drive and display it graphically on
paper, as shown in Figure 6.15.
Users have several choices of the method for retrieving information
from disturbance analyzers. They can retrieve the waveform at the
site of the meter via a floppy disk or remotely by a modem and a telephone line. As shown in Figure 6.16, they can use recent analyzers
equipped with new software to notify them of a disturbance by numerical readings or a beeping signal on a pager. They can call a telephone
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Figure 6.15 Disturbance analyzer. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI.)
Figure 6.16 Power quality pager. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI.)
number connected to the disturbance analyzer. They call the telephone number and receive a computer-generated verbal summary of
the disturbances. Or they can obtain disturbance information from
especially designed disturbance analyzers remotely via the Internet
using a standard Web browser.
Disturbance analyzers typically cannot measure harmonics without
special accessory equipment. Analyzers with special accessory equipment for measuring harmonics are called harmonic analyzers.
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Harmonic Analyzers
Harmonic analyzers have several capabilities. They capture harmonic
waveforms and display them on a screen. They calculate the K factor to
derate transformers and the total harmonic distortion (THD) in percent
of the fundamental (see Chapter 2 for an explanation of THD). They
also measure the corresponding frequency spectrum, i.e., the harmonic
frequency associated with the current and voltage up to the fiftieth harmonic. They display the harmonic frequency on a bar graph or as the
signal’s numerical values. Some measure single-phase current and
voltage while others measure three-phase current and voltage. All of
them measure the power factor (PF). The power factor provides a measurement of how much of the power is being used efficiently for useful
work. Some can store data for a week or more for later transfer to a PC
for analysis. This makes them powerful tools in the analysis of harmonic power quality problems.
Harmonic analyzers come as small hand-held units like the one
shown in Figure 6.17 for on-the-spot power quality surveys or as larger power quality monitors for long-term or permanent installation.
They offer the same retrieval capabilities that were described for the
disturbance analyzers using floppy disks, pagers, or the Internet.
Power factor measurement
The power factor measurement capability is usually included with a
harmonic analyzer. Power factor is determined by dividing the power
reading by the product of the voltmeter and ammeter readings.
Figure 6.17 Hand-held harmonic analyzer. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI.)
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Static Meters
There are two basic ways to measure an electrostatic discharge. One
way requires a person to scrape his or her feet on the floor and touch
a metal object to see if there is a discharge from a finger to the object.
Not a good approach because it takes more than 4000 V for the human
body to sense a shock. It takes much less than 4000 V to fry microprocessor-based equipment. Even an electrostatic voltage as small as
25 V can cause damage to microprocessors. A better way to measure an
electrostatic discharge requires the use of an electrostatic discharge
voltmeter. What is an electrostatic discharge voltmeter? How does it
differ from a standard voltmeter?
An electrostatic discharge voltmeter, as shown in Figure 6.18, differs
from a standard voltmeter in its ability to measure the static voltage
without transferring the charge to the voltmeter. Electrons from a metal object attract the protons on a person’s body and cause a static discharge. This often causes an electrostatic arc from the object to the
person. Similarly, when a voltage probe touches an electrostatically
charged body, it causes the static voltage to discharge to the probe and
nullify any voltage measurements. Therefore, an electrostatic discharge
voltage probe must measure static surface potential (voltage) without
physical contact to the static charged object. How does it do that?
One must first place the electrostatic discharge voltage probe near
the electrostatically charged surface. The capacitance between the
voltage probe and the metal object transmits a small alternating cur-
Figure 6.18 Electrostatic voltmeter. (Courtesy of Monroe Electronics.)
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rent to the voltage probe. The voltage of the probe charges up to the
same unknown voltage on the surface of the metal object. A lightemitting diode circuit senses the voltage and displays its value.
Electric Field Strength and Magnetic
Gaussmeters
Electric field strength meters provide measurements of the electric
field emanating from electrical equipment or conductors, while magnetic gaussmeters measure the strength of the magnetic field in gauss.
A digital multimeter acts like a field strength meter when its
input/output jacks connect to a small-gauge wire looped 30 times.
Figure 6.19 shows the loop in the area of the magnetic field. The lines
of magnetic flux induce a voltage in the loop and register the induced
voltage on the digital multimeter.
Infrared Detectors
Ironically, infrared detectors help identify conservation opportunities
as well as locate power quality problems. The irony comes from the
fact that many conservation technologies cause power quality problems. How do infrared detectors help find power quality problems?
Infrared detectors, as shown in Figure 6.20, detect overheated electrical components. Harmonics, a loose connection, unbalanced loading
on conductors, and triplen harmonics in the neutral conductor all
cause components to overheat. The detectors display the heat from
these sources by first converting the radiated heat energy into electric
current. Next, they amplify the current and convert it into an analog
or digital display in degrees or British thermal units per hour.
Figure 6.19 Multimeter used as a field strength meter.
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Figure 6.20 Infrared detector (thermometer).
(Reproduced with permission of Fluke Corp.©)
Infrared imagers or cameras provide a picture of the heat radiating
from electrical components and the surrounding area. A black-andwhite TV screen then shows temperature differences in various shades
of gray. The tones become lighter as the temperature increases. A
white image on a black-and-white TV screen identifies the overheated
component. Alternatively, a color infrared camera and screen show the
overheated component in red. A recording of the infrared images on
videotape allows later analysis. Applications of these detectors include
preventive maintenance as well as diagnostic analysis.
Flicker Meters
Flicker meters measure flicker in terms of the fluctuating voltage
magnitude and its corresponding frequency of fluctuation. Electric arc
furnaces and arc wielding usually cause lights to flicker. How to convert the voltage and the frequency of fluctuation into a standard parameter that defines the flicker limit becomes a problem. The difficulty
comes from correlating the frequency of the flicker to what the human
eye detects. Flicker tests illustrate this problem.
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Results of flicker tests depend on two variables. The first variable is
the subjective reaction of the person involved in the test. The second
variable is whether the flickering light is incandescent or fluorescent.
The frequency range of fluctuations identified by the human eye varies
from 1 to 30 Hz. Consequently, the subjectivity of the flicker tests
makes it difficult to develop flicker standards.
Presently, the power quality industry lacks an international standard on flicker. Many utilities have developed with their customers
their own standards. Both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers (IEEE) and the International Electrotechnical Commission
(IEC), have developed flicker curves for incandescent lamps, as shown
in Figure 6.21.
The IEC has developed a flicker meter. Besides the IEC flicker
meter, several instrument manufacturers sell flicker meters, like the
one shown in Figure 6.22, commercially. They use software to convert
the flicker voltage fluctuations into statistical quantities called Pst and
Change in Voltage/Nominal Voltage (Percent)
10
1.0
0.1
0.01
0.1
1.0
10
100
1000
10,000
Change per Minute
Voltage Fluctuations That Cause Irritating Flicker (IEC)
Voltage Fluctuations That Cause Irritating Flicker (IEEE)
IEC 120-V Flicker Curve
IEEE 141 Flicker Curve
IEEE 519 Flicker Curve
Figure 6.21 IEC and IEEE flicker curves for incandescent lights. (Courtesy of EPRI,
PQTN Case No. 1, “Light Flicker Caused by Resistive Welder.”)
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Plt. Pst is the short-term flicker severity index, while Plt is the longterm flicker severity index. Flicker meters take measurements automatically at 10-min intervals. A single Pst is calculated every 10 min.
A Pst greater than 1 indicates that the flicker will irritate 50 percent of
the people exposed to it. The Plt is a combination of 12 Pst values. IEC
Standard 1000-3-7 has set standards for Pst and Plt for medium voltage
(MV) of less than 35 kV, high voltage (HV) of greater than 35 kV but
less than 230 kV, and extra-high voltage (EHV) of greater than 230 kV,
as shown in Table 6.2.
Wiring and Grounding Instruments
Wiring and grounding power quality problems require specialized
measurement tools. Several types of measurement testers detect and
identify the cause of a particular wiring and grounding problem. These
instruments provide the power quality surveyor information on
whether a circuit is open or incorrectly connected. The three main
types of testers are the receptacle circuit (three-lamp circuit), ground
impedance, and earth ground testers. They measure the impedance of
the equipment grounding conductor. They detect isolated ground
shorts, neutral-to-ground bonds, incorrect ground and neutral impedance, open grounds, open neutral, open hot wire, and reversed polarity. They also determine phase rotation and phase-to-phase voltages.
Receptacle circuit testers
Receptacle circuit testers, or three-lamp circuit testers, plug into a
receptacle and measure wiring connections to the receptacle. They
indicate the wiring errors in the receptacles by a combination of lights.
They cost less than any other tester on the market. Some power quality experts doubt their accuracy. In fact, the “IEEE Recommended
Practice for Powering and Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment,”
page 32 (The Emerald Book), says “These devices have some limitations. They may indicate incorrect wiring, but cannot be relied upon to
indicate correct wiring.”
TABLE 6.2
IEC Standard 1000-3-7 Flicker
Levels*
Planning levels
Flicker symbol
MV
HV–EHV
Pst
Plt
0.8
0.7
0.9
0.6
*Courtesy of IEC. See Ref. 2, p. 206.
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Figure 6.22 Flicker meter. (Courtesy of EPRI, PQTN Case No. 1, “Light
Flicker Caused by Resistive Welder.”)
Ken Michaels in the December 1998 issue of EC&M magazine
doubts their usefulness in an article titled “Three-Lamp Circuit Tester:
Valid Tester or Night-Light?” In this article, he concludes that circuit
wiring capacitance and leakage current make these devices unreliable
and no better than a night light. He recommends, instead, a ground
impedance tester.
Ground circuit impedance testers
Ground impedance testers, shown in Figure 6.23, measure the impedance of a circuit from the point of test to the bond between the neutral
and ground bond. Some can handle 120-V ac single-phase voltage
while others can handle 600-V ac three-phase voltage. They also measure voltage and determine the presence of neutral-to-ground connections, isolated ground shorts, reversed polarity, and an open
equipment grounding conductor.
Earth ground testers
Earth ground testers measure the ground electrode and earth resistance. They use the fall-of-potential method to measure the ground
resistance. They determine the resistance using Ohm’s law by passing
a known current through an unknown resistance and measuring the
voltage, i.e., fall of potential. They can also function as voltmeters.
Figure 6.24 illustrates an earth ground tester.
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Figure 6.23 Ground circuit impedance tester.
(Courtesy of ECOS Instrument, Inc.)
Figure 6.24 Earth resistance tester. (Courtesy of Amprobe.)
Permanent Power Quality Monitoring
The deregulation of the electric utility industry raises several questions about power quality measurement tools. What kind of new tools
will be needed in the deregulated utility industry? Will power quality
measurement tools used for power quality surveys be sufficient in the
deregulated electric utility industry? Will the utilities need tools not
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only to troubleshoot power quality problems but to permanently monitor the quality of power continuously? What tools will end users need
to determine the quality of power the utilities supply them? The characteristics and sensitivity of end-user equipment within customer
facilities ultimately define power quality requirements. Improving the
energy efficiency and productivity of industrial and commercial facilities can sometimes result in the use of technology that either causes
power quality problems or becomes sensitive to power quality variations. Historically, utilities have monitored power quality problems
only when their customers complain.
In the deregulated industry the roles of utilities and their customers
become blurred. What are the power quality requirements at the interface between the transmission company and the distribution company?
What base level of power quality should the distribution company provide its end-use customers? What kinds of enhanced power quality services can the energy service company offer to end-use customers? A
permanent power quality monitoring program between the different
entities resulting from the utility industry deregulation would answer
many of these questions. This section describes the progression of power
quality monitoring as the electric utility industry restructures and
becomes more competitive.
Need for power quality monitoring
The same three factors that increase the need for solving and preventing power quality problems also increase the need for power quality monitors, as shown in Figure 6.25. They include the increasing use
of power quality–sensitive equipment, increasing use of equipment
that generates power quality problems, and the deregulation of the
power industry. All these factors influence the utilities and their customer’s competitiveness.
First, utilities need power quality monitoring when their customers
use present-day highly sensitive computer and computer-controlled
equipment that requires a power source of higher quality and more
reliability than standard, less-sensitive electricity-consuming equipment. Traditionally, utilities did not get involved in power quality
problems that occurred on a customer’s system unless contacted.
When contacted, the utility’s approach was to determine the cause of
the problem and who caused it. This approach no longer works in a
competitive environment. Many utility customers expect high-quality
power without problems. Many utilities and their customers find a
permanent power quality monitoring system an effective tool that prevents and solves power quality problems. Although utilities can cause
power quality problems, various surveys indicate that their customers
cause 80 percent of their own power quality problems.
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Figure 6.25 Permanent power quality monitor. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI.)
Second, programs to improve the efficiency of production have
resulted in the use of nonlinear equipment, like adjustable-speed drives, or power factor–improving shunt capacitors. These devices often
generate or amplify existing harmonics that distort the voltage wave.
These distortions can get on the utility’s system and affect interconnected customers. In addition, increased use of arc furnaces causes
voltage flicker that in turn causes lights to flicker and irritate people.
New types of loads, such as electron beam furnaces for melting titanium and induction furnaces for processing aluminum, generate harmonic voltage distortion. Large-horsepower motors cause voltage dips
and large inrush currents during start-up. All these types of loads
result in one customer causing power quality problems for another
customer. Utilities cannot afford to have their customers causing power quality problems. This affects the utilities’ and their customers’
competitiveness. Utilities need to identify the customers causing the
power quality problems and require them to fix it. Utilities often find
permanent power quality monitoring an effective tool that helps prevent and solve power quality problems caused by their customers. The
need for power quality monitoring will become even more intense
when the utility industry becomes deregulated.
Third, the deregulation of the utility industry will cause many customers to choose utilities that can supply power that is high in quality as well as low in cost. Consequently, utilities will retain existing
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customers and attract prospective customers by showing them that
they can deliver power with high quality. Utilities with power quality
monitoring systems will need to convince existing and prospective customers that they see power quality not as a problem but an opportunity to provide customer service and become more competitive. Utility
customers will become more competitive when they receive power
high in quality and reliability. How will the deregulated competitive
utility industry affect the evolution of power quality monitoring?
Evolution of power quality monitoring
A comparison of the evolution of power quality monitoring systems to
the evolution of utility transmission and distribution systems reveals
some interesting similarities. As the need for a more reliable and efficient electrical power system grew, the utility transmission and distribution system increased in complexity and voltage. As the need for
higher power quality increases, utilities and their customers need
prompt and immediate information about power quality at the transmission, distribution, and end-user levels. Power quality systems have
become more complex and sophisticated. Utilities and their customers
find it costly and inefficient to install power quality monitors after a
power quality problem occurs. They need ongoing up-to-date power
quality information. They will need this information even more when
the electric utility industry becomes deregulated.
Deregulation’s effect on power quality
monitoring
The need to determine the source of power quality problems will
become imperative when utilities break up into separate companies.
Permanent power quality monitoring at the point of interconnection
between GENCOs and TRANSCOs, TRANSCOs and DISTCOs, and
DISTCOs and end users will be necessary for determining the source
of power quality problems. Figure 6.26 shows suggested locations of
these power quality monitors on the power system.
Historically, power quality engineers installed monitoring equipment at the point of common coupling. The point of common coupling
is the point where the utility connects to the end-user customer. After
the monitor collected the data for a week or two, someone would have
to go to the site and download the data, take the data back to the office,
and analyze it to determine the cause of the power quality problem.
This approach was time consuming and inefficient. A more efficient
approach involves the use of new types of meters. These meters allow
power quality engineers to access the data remotely through a modem
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Figure 6.26 Power quality monitor locations. (Courtesy of Dranetz-BMI.)
and telephone line. Even this approach has its limitations. It worked
when only a few temporary meters were required. Present and future
power quality monitoring will require several meters at many sites
installed permanently to monitor the power quality for statistical or
diagnostic analysis. Engineers can use statistical analysis to determine the relationship between the power system configuration and the
power quality to show deviations from power quality standards. They
can use this diagnostic analysis to continually track the power quality
state of a sensitive load. EPRI realized the need for continual and permanent power quality monitoring and developed an Internet-based
power quality monitoring system.
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Power quality monitoring system
After EPRI completed a 2-year study of power quality monitors at 250
end-user sites, it realized the need for a power quality monitoring system. EPRI decided to develop a system that would utilize the World
Wide Web to transfer data from remote power quality meters installed
at several sites. It wanted this system to be easily accessible by power
quality engineers and their customers using standard Internet
browsers, like Microsoft Explorer and Netscape Navigator. It developed the power quality monitoring system shown in Figure 6.27.
This system includes a server for storing power quality data, download stations for calling up power quality data from remote meters,
and analytical software for viewing the data stored on the server. The
power quality data comes from various measuring devices displayed in
various forms. Figures 6.28, 6.29, and 6.30 show various types of datareporting formats for statistical and diagnostic analysis.
In a competitive environment, utilities need to show their customers that they can supply power that meets the customers’ power
quality requirements. Many utilities throughout the world see permanent power quality monitoring as a necessary means to show their
Figure 6.27 Power quality monitoring system using the Internet.
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200
100
180
90
160
80
140
70
Count
120
100
Samples: 1377
Minimum: 0.7421
Average: 0.9254
Maximum: 0.9873
60
50
80
40
60
30
40
20
20
10
Cumulative Frequency
Figure 6.28 Trend of steady-state sampled data. (Courtesy of
Electrotek Concepts, Inc.)
0
0
0.7 0.72 0.74 0.76 0.78 0.8 0.82 0.84 0.86 0.88 0.9 0.92 0.94 0.96 0.98 1.0
Power Factor
Histogram of steady-state sampled data. (Courtesy of Electrotek
Concepts, Inc.)
Figure 6.29
customers the level of power quality they are providing. Utilities in
France and the United Kingdom use power quality monitoring systems as a measure of power quality and their customers’ satisfaction.
For example, EDF-DER in France has adopted the Emeraude contract with its customers. In this contract, EDF will compensate its
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Voltage sag statistical analysis. (Courtesy of Electrotek
Concepts, Inc.)
Figure 6.30
customers if it exceeds the thresholds agreed to by EDF. In the United
Kingdom, the Regional Electricity Company has installed power quality monitoring to determine the quality of power it is providing its
customers. Several U.S. utilities and service companies have adopted
this approach.
Many utilities and service companies in the United States have purchased power quality monitoring systems. They include Tennessee
Valley Authority (TVA), Consolidated Edison, and the Bonneville Power
Administration (BPA). TVA has installed 65 meters at various sensitive
loads to obtain statistical data on the level of power quality they are providing to their industrial customers. Consolidated Edison has installed
power quality monitors throughout its system. BPA has utilized for its
customers the power quality monitoring system provided by Electrotek
Concepts Inc. and plans to offer access to it for its customers on a payas-you-use basis. The City of Richland, Washington, used BPA’s power
quality monitoring system to monitor one of its customer’s adherence to
IEEE 519-1992 standards. An energy service company, Western
Resources, has purchased and installed meters for utilities and end
users to monitor power quality throughout the United States. Utilities
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and their customers will need permanent power quality systems to
assure compliance with power quality contracts in the deregulated and
competitive electric utility environment.
Monitoring and Analysis to Evaluate
Compliance
Power quality contracts will require some means of evaluating compliance. This will usually involve a combination of system monitoring
and analytical tools. System monitoring provides data to characterize
system performance.
Monitoring to characterize system
performance
Power quality contract participants first require system performance
data to determine baseline power quality levels. They obtain this data
from the power quality monitors. This is a proactive mode of power
quality monitoring. They use the baseline characteristics and ongoing
performance measurements to identify problem areas and assure adequate performance.
Monitoring to characterize specific problems
Many power quality service departments or plant managers solve
problems by performing short-term monitoring at specific customers
or at difficult loads. This is a reactive mode of power quality monitoring, but it frequently identifies the cause of equipment incompatibility. This often provides information that leads to a solution.
Monitoring as part of an enhanced power
quality service
Several retail marketers (RETAILCOs) and energy service companies
(ESCOs) provide enhanced power quality services as part of their service offerings. Distribution companies (DISTCOs) or transmission
companies (TRANSCOs) may enter into contracts with performancebased rates. They may offer differentiated levels of power quality to
match the needs of specific customers. A provider and customer can
together achieve this goal by modifying the power system or by
installing equipment within the customer’s premises. In either case,
monitoring becomes essential to establish the benchmarks for the differentiated service and to verify that the supplier achieves contracted
levels of power quality.
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Summary
With the proliferation of electronic loads and the increased competition
expected in the deregulated electric utility industry, power quality will
become increasingly important. Past utility practice of getting concerned about power quality problems only when customers complain
will not work in the competitive deregulated utility environment. With
the breakup of vertical integrated utilities into generating, transmission, distribution, and service companies, utilities and their customers
will need permanent power quality monitoring to record the source of
power quality problems and to prevent problems before they become
complaints. Utilities have had to build more complex transmission and
distribution systems to deliver power to their customers reliably and
efficiently. Utilities will also have to build more complex power quality
information systems to deliver power quality information to their customers accurately and effectively. Power quality monitoring systems
that utilize the Internet will provide readily available and accurate
power quality information to utilities and their customers. Power quality monitoring systems that minimize the amount of worker-hours to
maintain and utilize them will provide deregulated and regulated utility companies and their customers a competitive advantage in the
deregulated competitive utility industry environment.
The evolution of power quality monitoring has come full circle. The
old watthour meter has changed from an analog to a digital meter. It
has combined with the features of a power quality monitor to provide
not only energy consumption information but power quality data as
well. Using microprocessors to record and store power and power quality measurements, some manufacturers have combined the features of
a watthour meter and power quality meter into one meter. This allows
the utility and the utility’s customer to monitor the power use requirements of the customer’s facilities not only for revenue purposes but for
power quality purposes as well. These meters record both real and
reactive power use. They capture power quality measurements, like
harmonics, sags and swells, power factor, waveforms, crest factor, and
calculate the corresponding K factor, as shown in Figure 6.31.
References
1. Piehl, Dick. 1995. “Using the Right Meter for Power Quality Troubleshooting.”
EC&M Electrical Construction and Maintenance, vol. 94, no. 10, October, pp. 70–73.
2. Lewis, Warren. 1998. “Handheld Instruments and Test Equipment; What to Use and
How to Use It (Power Quality Advisor).” EC&M Electrical Construction and
Maintenance, vol. 97, no. 10, September, pp. PQ 18–23.
3. Williamson, Ron. 1992. “True-RMS Meters and Harmonics (Root-Mean-Square;
Discussion of Digital Multimeter Performance in Measuring Nonsinusoidal Signals).”
EC&M Electrical Construction and Maintenance, vol. 91, no. 4, April, pp. 31–32.
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Figure 6.31 Power quality monitor and revenue meter. (Courtesy of Power
Measurement.)
4. Andrews, Gene. 1988. “Understanding Digital Storage Oscilloscopes.” Electronic
Design, vol. 36, no. 21, September 22, pp. 135–139.
5. Boyer, Jim. 1990. “Measurement Applications for Digital Radio Using Spectrum
Analyzers.” Telecommunications, vol. 24, no. 8, August, pp. 39–41.
6. Newcombe, Charles. 1997. “Instrumentation for Accurate Harmonics
Measurement.” Plant Engineering, vol. 51, no. 13, December, pp. 122–124.
7. Cowling, H. 1998. “Check for Live ac Wires with this Electrostatic Voltage Probe.”
Electronics Now, vol. 69, no. 123, December, pp. 53–56.
8. Lewis, Warren. 1995. “Troubleshooting for Electrical Noise—Part 1.” EC&M
Electrical Construction and Maintenance, vol. 94, no. 5, May, pp. 20–22.
8a.———. 1995. “Troubleshooting for Electrical Noise—Part 2.” EC&M Electrical
Construction and Maintenance, vol. 94, no. 6, June, pp. 18–21.
9. Erfer, Lynn. 1996. “Measuring Temperature with Infrared Sensors.” Machine
Design, vol. 68, no. 124, August, pp. 90–92.
10. Michaels, Ken. 1999. “Ten Easy Steps for Testing Branch Circuits,” EC&M
Electrical Construction and Maintenance, vol. 98, no. 1, January, pp. 16–17.
10a.———. 1998. “Three-Lamp Circuit Tester: Valid Tester or Night-Light?” EC&M
Electrical Construction and Maintenance, vol. 97, no. 13, December, pp. 16–17.
11. Kennedy, Barry W. 1998. “Power Quality Monitoring as a Competitive Advantage in
the Restructured Competitive Utility Industry.” Proceedings of PQA ‘98 North
America, June 8–11, Phoenix, AZ.
12. IEC 1000-3-7, Flicker Limits, 1995. The author thanks the International
Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for permission to use the following material. All
extracts are copyright © IEC, Geneva, Switzerland. All rights reserved. All IEC publications are available from www.iec.ch. IEC takes no responsibility for damages
resulting from misinterpretation of the reference material due to its placement and
context of its publication. The material is reproduced with their permission.
Chapter
7
Power Quality Surveys
A power quality survey is the first step in the process of finding a solution to the problem. What is a power quality survey? What is the purpose of the survey? Who performs the survey? Does the utility, end
user, or a consultant perform the survey? How do you conduct a power
quality survey? How do you choose the right measurement tool for the
survey? How do you analyze the results of the survey and determine
the most cost-effective solution to the power quality problem? This
chapter will answer these and similar questions.
When end users experience power quality problems, they need
answers to several questions. Whom do they call when they have a
power quality problem? Do they call their local utility, an electrical
contractor, or an engineering consulting firm? Or do they try to solve
the power quality problem themselves? It depends on the type of problem and type of end user. Problems caused by events external to the
end user need to involve the utility. End users with small staffs probably lack the expertise to solve power quality problems and need the
help of their local utility. It also depends on the status of the restructured electrical utility industry. In a restructured utility industry, the
local utilities may not have responsibility for the quality of power.
They may care only about the reliability of their distribution system.
End users may have to seek help from an energy service company or
an engineering consulting company specializing in power quality.
Certainly, end users who know the process for conducting a survey and
solving a power quality problem will get better service. They will know
how to locate and assist power quality experts. End users as well as
power quality experts need to know how to plan, perform, and analyze
a power quality survey.
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Purpose of a Power Quality Survey (Checkup
or Examination)
A power quality survey serves the same purpose as a doctor’s checkup.
It determines what is wrong and how to fix it. It provides a step-bystep procedure for isolating the problem, its cause, and its solution.
End users usually call a power quality expert from the local utility
or engineering consulting company. Power quality experts make
“house calls.” End users need to schedule an appointment to have the
power quality expert visit their facility. At the facility, the power quality expert performs a physical and electrical checkup of the electrical
power system. This checkup is called a power quality survey and has
four purposes or objectives, as shown in Figure 7.1. They are:
1. To assess the “health” or condition of the power system (especially
the wiring and grounding system)
2. To identify the “symptom of the sickness” or power quality problem
(usually an ac voltage quality issue)
3. To determine the “disease” or cause of the power quality problem
(source of the power disturbance)
4. To analyze the results of the power quality survey in order to determine the “cure” or cost-effective solution to the power quality problem
How does the power quality expert assess the “health” or condition of
the end user’s electrical power system? How does the end user interact with the power quality expert to make sure the power quality
expert assesses the end user’s electrical power system adequately and
accurately?
Assess the power quality (health)
When patients visit their doctors, they don’t want the doctor to look at
them and say “Go home, take an aspirin, and get plenty of sleep.” They
want a thorough assessment of their health. They expect the doctor to
ask questions to determine the extent and type of their sickness. In
addition to asking them questions, they expect the doctor to give them
a thorough but appropriate physical exam. However, the doctor can
help them better if they communicate clearly the condition of their
health. The same thing applies to assessing the condition of an enduser power systems.
Power quality experts need to ask questions to determine the scope
of the power quality problems. They follow their questions with a thorough but appropriate on-site power quality survey of the facilities.
Power Quality Surveys
209
Figure 7.1 Power quality survey
process.
Power quality experts or local electric utility representatives can better help their customers solve their power quality problems when their
customers have a basic understanding of the condition of their power
systems.
End users don’t want power quality experts to jump quickly to solutions that may result in costly purchases that don’t really solve their
power quality problems. Power quality experts don’t want to give
their customers costly and potentially wrong solutions. However, this
often happens when power quality experts recommend buying power
conditioning equipment before assessing the causes of the power quality problems. The power conditioning equipment may not solve the
power quality problems. It may actually make them worse. Figure 7.2
shows how a UPS can distort power and make it worse. It’s similar to
when doctors prescribe drugs whose side effects cause more problems
than the original disease. Avoid these mistakes by first determining
the scope of the power quality problem. Determine the problem’s
scope by quantifying and measuring its effect on sensitive equipment.
Before conducting an on-site power quality survey, whether an
expert or not, a person needs to know and document the scope of the
problem and the steps in performing a power quality survey, as shown
in Figure 7.3. This involves determining what, when, and how the
problem occurred. The surveyor needs to:
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Figure 7.2 UPS distorted power.
Figure 7.3 Power quality survey
procedure.
■
Determine the existing sensitive and power conditioning equipment
and its location
■
Quantify the number, time, location, and types of disturbances using
the terms described in Chapter 2 and defined in the Glossary
■
Determine whether any disturbances occur at the same time
■
Research possible sources that could cause the problem
This information will help in assessing the extent and cost of a power
quality survey. Once the scope of the power quality survey has been determined, the surveyor needs to identify the type of power quality problem.
Power Quality Surveys
211
Identify the power quality problem
(symptom)
When people go to the doctor, they know that their time with the doctor
has limits. In order to use their time effectively, they prepare an accurate and succinct description of their sickness. Similarly, end users need
to prepare an accurate and succinct description of their power quality
problems. They should avoid imprecise and ambiguous terms. They
shouldn’t use nontechnical and nondescriptive terms, like glitch, spike,
wink, blackout, blink, or dirty power. These meaningless terms offer no
clues as to the cause of a problem. They need to instead describe their
problems accurately. They need to describe problems with their sensitive electronic equipment. Are their computers or computer-related
equipment losing data, freezing, or experiencing component failure? Do
their lights dim when they turn on certain equipment? Do their lights
flicker? If so, when do they flicker? Are their relays tripping out at certain times? If so, what relays? Where are they located? Do any of their
motors and adjustable-speed drives become overheated and trip off line?
Do they hear any unusual noises associated with the problem? Do they
smell any burning, smoke, or ozone? Is there any coincident effect on
other equipment, like telephones or small appliances like microwave
ovens or coffee makers? They need to keep a log that describes the power quality problem and when it occurs. They need to use the reporter’s
list of questions when identifying power quality problems: what, when,
how, and who? They save money and time when they help the power
quality expert identify the power quality problem. They need to describe
their maintenance procedures and provide maintenance logs. A precise
description of the power quality problem will help immeasurably in
matching the power quality problem to the cause of the problem.
Determine the cause (disease)
If patients describe accurately their sickness, their doctor may diagnose immediately the cause of their sickness. Otherwise, the doctor
will have to ask more questions, examine the patients, and perform
laboratory tests. Likewise, power quality experts try to diagnose the
cause of their client’s power quality problems through questions and
answers. If they cannot determine the cause through the preliminary
review, they will examine the power system, make measurements, and
run a few tests to determine the cause of the power quality problem.
Analyze the results of the survey (diagnose)
to determine a solution (cure)
When doctors finish examining their patients and evaluating the results
of the laboratory tests, they report to their patients the illness and the
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cure. Similarly, qualified power quality experts provide an analysis of the
results of the power quality survey, including a recommendation of how
to solve the power quality problem cost effectively. They should have
experience in troubleshooting the relationship between failure of electronic equipment and power disturbances. They need to troubleshoot
events on both sides of the end user’s and its neighbor’s power meter.
They need to look at the total power system, including the electric utility power system, malfunctioning equipment power system, and adjacent
end-user power system. They should approach the analysis of the power
quality survey thoroughly and systematically, as shown in Figure 7.4.
They should look for the following: (1) power disturbances coincident
with equipment malfunction, (2) power disturbances that exceed equipment specifications, and (3) visual inspection observations as they relate
to equipment problems. They should not have a bias toward certain solutions, like trying to sell a certain approach or product.
Many local electric utilities provide power quality surveys as part of
their customer service program. Most of these utilities provide free
preliminary surveys. Their customers can take advantage of this service by calling their local utility’s customer service department. In the
past, utilities and their customers tried to point an accusatory finger
at each other. Often utility customers assumed utilities caused power
quality problems, while utilities assumed their customers caused their
own power quality problems.
Figure 7.4 Power quality survey
analysis.
Power Quality Surveys
213
Georgia Power performed a survey to determine how the utility and
its customers perceived who is causing power quality problems. Besides
natural causes, the survey showed that the utility and its customer had
diverse viewpoints as to the source of power quality problems. Figure
7.5 shows that the utility perceives its customer causes 25 percent of
the power quality problems, while Figure 7.6 shows that the customer
perceives that the utility causes 17 percent of the problems.
Customer service–oriented utilities give a higher priority to finding
the cause of the problem rather than who caused the problem. Not only
Figure 7.5 Utility perception of who is causing power quality
problems. (Courtesy of Georgia Power.)
Figure 7.6 Customer perception of who is causing power quality
problems. (Courtesy of Georgia Power.)
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the utility but everyone involved in the survey should have the same
attitude. They should realize that the best power quality survey analysis requires a team effort that includes the power quality expert, customer, and the local electric utility. After the survey’s completion, they
should expect a technical report that summarizes the findings of the
survey and recommends solutions.
The report should include a summary of the data collected in the
survey, description of the power quality problems, answers to questions, measurements taken, recommended power conditioning equipment, and any additional power quality monitoring and engineering
analysis. A more complicated analysis may use a computer simulation
program to evaluate alternative problem scenarios and solutions. The
analysis should include an evaluation of the cost of the power quality
problem and solution. Before performing a power quality survey or
analysis, everyone needs to plan the power quality survey carefully.
Planning a Power Quality Survey
A well-planned power quality survey of a facility having power quality
problems minimizes incorrect electrical changes or unnecessary purchases of power conditioning equipment. It often pays for itself in terms
of reduced lost production. It first requires a decision as to the scope of
the survey. Does the situation require a basic or comprehensive survey?
The “IEEE Recommended Practice for Grounding of Industrial and
Commercial Power Systems” (The Emerald Book) refers to three survey levels, as shown in Figure 7.7. Level 1 requires tests and analyses
of the ac distribution and grounding system that supplies the surveyed
equipment. Level 2 includes level 1 and monitoring the ac voltage that
supplies the surveyed equipment. Level 3 includes levels 1 and 2 plus
monitoring the site environmental conditions. The EPRI Power
Quality for Electrical Contractors Applications Guide refers to a basic
survey as one that involves “testing and analysis of the power distribution and grounding system.” Good surveys include the following tasks
at all levels of the power quality survey:
1. Determine who performs the survey.
2. Prepare a list of questions to be answered by the end user and the
servicing electric utility.
3. Coordinate parities involved.
4. Collect documents about the facility’s electrical distribution system.
Each one of these tasks will help the utility, power quality expert, and end
user come to a quick and effective solution to any power quality problem.
Power Quality Surveys
215
Figure 7.7 Power quality survey levels. (Courtesy of IEEE, Standard
1100-1992, Copyright © 1993.)
A well-planned power quality survey requires identifying the participants and performer of the survey. Who participates in the survey?
Who performs the survey?
Identify the participants and performer of the
survey
Chapter 1 discussed several organizations that have a stake in power
quality. Many of the same organizations should participate in the power quality survey. They include the end user or owner of the affected
equipment, the equipment manufacturer, the independent power quality consultant, power quality meter and monitor suppliers, the electrical contractor or facility electrician, power conditioning equipment
suppliers, and the electric utility company. The deregulation of the
electric utility industry in the United States has added the energy service company to these organizations. Many of these organizations perform power quality surveys.
Some electric utilities have comprehensive power quality programs.
Many of these utilities employ experts who perform power quality surveys. Several electrical engineering consulting firms perform power
quality surveys. Member utilities of EPRI use EPRI’s Power Quality
Electronics Applications Center or PEAC experts to perform power
quality surveys. Many small utilities look for power quality expertise
from their larger parent energy supplier company. For example, the
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) provides electrical energy to
150 electrical utilities. Many of these electrical utilities include small
cooperatives, public utility districts, or municipalities that service rural areas and lack the staff to perform a power quality survey. BPA
employs a full-time power quality engineer and technician who help
their electric utility customers help their end-user customers with a
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power quality survey. Newly formed energy service companies have
experts that perform power quality surveys. Facility electricians and
electrical contractors can assist the power quality expert, but usually
lack the experience and qualifications to perform the power quality
survey themselves. Figure 7.8 shows that end users have several alternative choices for power quality surveyor.
Clearly, end users that experience a power quality problem should first
contact the customer service department of their local utility. A customer
service representative will help them determine who should perform the
power quality survey. End users benefit when they clearly understand
their servicing utility’s responsibilities. Many utilities will help their
end-user customers solve power quality problems at no charge. However,
with the deregulation of the utility industry and the effort by many utilities to cut cost and to unbundle services, i.e., to charge for services that
in the past were included in the price of the electricity, many utilities
charge for power quality services. End users need to determine initially
how much help the local utility will provide. Some utilities will concern
themselves only with who caused a power quality problem. They want to
reduce their liability and determine the responsible party to any power
quality problem. End users and utilities can protect themselves if they
clearly understand the types of power quality problems utilities and end
users cause. Figure 7.9 identifies the types of problems caused by utilities and their customers on both sides of the meter.
The scope and type of power quality service electric utilities provide
their customers varies from one utility to another. Some utilities provide full power quality service that includes power quality surveys, a
report with recommendations for solutions, and an offer to lease
and/or sell power conditioning equipment to their customers. These
Figure 7.8 Power quality surveyors.
Power Quality Surveys
End-User Side
Problems: 70%–90%:
• Outages
• Harmonics
• Transients
• Voltage Sags
• Flicker
Utility side
Problems: 10%–30%:
Outages
Harmonics
Transients
Voltage Sags
Causes:
Lightning
Trees
Breaker Switching
Generation Shortage
Equipment Failures
Animals
Accidents
Substation
217
ASD
Causes:
• ASDs
• Capacitors
• Motors
• Wiring
• Grounding
• Environment
• EMI/RFI
• Arc Wielder
Capacitor
Figure 7.9 Power quality problems on both sides of the meter.
utilities not only provide an essential service to their customers but
increase their revenues by selling this service. (Some regulators prevent utilities from charging for these types of services. They restrict
utilities from charging for consulting and selling power conditioning
equipment because of a concern that utilities will use their regulated
business to subsidize these services.) Many other utilities, however,
make a business decision to provide minimal power quality service
restricted to only determining who causes a power quality problem.
Many different companies besides utilities provide power quality
products and services. How do you determine specifically who provides
these products and services? Each year Power Quality Assurance magazine in its November/December issue provides a list of utility power
quality programs, power quality consultants, manufacturers of power
conditioning equipment, and suppliers of power quality measuring
instruments. Many of these companies have Web sites on the Internet.
The Bibliography at the end of the book identifies power quality documents located at various Internet Web sites.
The Northwest Power Quality Service Organization (NWPQSC) provides a series of brochures on how to perform power quality surveys in
the home, office, factory, or farm. It also provides training modules
based on its brochures. These brochures, like any power quality survey, provide a list of questions.
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Chapter Seven
Ask questions
Surveyors know that good questions and answers are essential to ferreting out the cause of power quality problems. They prepare a list of
questions and forms for participants to answer and complete. They
know two main questions that need answers before an on-site power
quality survey can begin: How did the equipment work before the power
quality problem? How does it work after the power quality problem?
All other questions stem from these two basic questions.
They will try to obtain answers to the basic reporter questions
of what, when, how, where, and who. What is the characteristics of the
power quality problem and the sensitive equipment experiencing
the problem? When did the problem and coincident problems occur?
How did the problem occur? Where did the problem occur? Who
observed the problem? Who are looking for solutions to the problem
and do they have any ideas as to the possible sources of the power
quality problem? What kind of power conditioning equipment, if any,
is presently being used?
Coordinate parties
The leader of the power quality survey coordinates the parties affected by the survey. The leader assembles a team that includes representatives of the local electrical utility, sensitive electronic equipment
manufacturers, and electrical contractors that installed and maintained the equipment, as well as facility engineers and electricians.
The leader clearly defines the roles of these various team members, as
shown in Figure 7.10.
Everyone involved in the survey should understand each other’s
roles. The end user provides information on the power quality problems and answers to the power quality surveyor’s questions. The
equipment supplier provides specifications for the installation, operation, and maintenance of the affected equipment. Electrical contractors provide useful information on the installation of equipment but
should not perform the power quality survey. The power quality consultant who coordinates everyone may work for an engineering firm,
the local utility, or an energy service company. The consultant needs to
perform the survey in an objective and unbiased manner and not try
to sell a particular product or method for solving the power quality
problem. In an 1998 article titled “Power Site Survey: A Case of What
Went Wrong” in EC&M Electrical Construction & Maintenance magazine, Ken Michaels says “Beware of consultants and companies that
may have a financial stake in the resolution of your power quality
problem. Also, make sure their personnel follow recommended investigative techniques/measurement practices.”
Power Quality Surveys
219
Figure 7.10 Power quality team members.
The success of the survey depends on everyone’s participation,
including the local utility’s. The utility engineer can determine
whether the source of the power quality problem comes from the utility or the end user. As mentioned before, many utilities offer power
quality surveys as a customer service. These utilities usually understand the value of good customer service and know how to keep their
customers happy. But not all utilities provide this service. For their
part, end users need to know and provide information on the layout
and condition of their facilities.
Know facilities
Power quality surveyors collect all the appropriate information and
documentation about the facility’s electrical and telecommunication
system. This includes schematics, maintenance records, electrical
changes, location of sensitive electronic equipment, and existing power conditioning equipment. They conduct the survey more efficiently,
effectively, and safely when they have ready access to this information.
Survey forms
Power quality experts use various types of power quality survey forms.
Electric utilities as well as power quality consultants develop these
forms. Some forms require detailed information about the end user
and the power quality problem. Most forms require the name, address,
and phone number of the end-user customer, name of a contact person,
and a short description of the power quality problem. Some forms even
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ask the end user’s interest in power quality training. Figure 7.11 provides an example of the basic power quality survey form.
In addition to the initial customer and power quality introductory
form, the power quality industry has developed test data forms. The
“IEEE Recommended Practice for Grounding of Industrial and
Commercial Power Systems” (The Emerald Book) contains several of
these test data forms. They include the following sets of forms: power
distribution verification test data and power distribution and grounding summary data. Figure 7.12 provides an example of a test data form.
Choosing the Right Power Quality
Instruments
Whoever performs the power quality survey needs to decide what power quality instruments to use in the survey. The surveyor should first
use the best and most important power quality instruments available:
four of their five senses. They are free and readily available. Surveyors
can learn a great deal about a power quality problem by what they see
with their eyes, hear with their ears, feel with their fingers, and smell
with their nose.
First they need to look at the electrical schematic to see if any sensitive electronic equipment connects to equipment that causes power
quality problems, like adjustable-speed drives or fluorescent lights.
Next they look carefully at the service panel, as shown in Figure 7.13.
They always follow safety rules. They look for loose connections, incorrect wiring, and reversed conductors. They look for burnt connections
Figure 7.11 Typical power quality survey form. (Courtesy of Electrotek Concepts, Inc.)
Power Quality Surveys
221
Figure 7.12 Typical harmonic test data form. (Courtesy of PowerSmiths International.)
and other hot spots. They might use the infrared instruments discussed in Chapter 6 to overcome their eyes’ inability to see hot spots.
They follow the connections from the service panel to any sensitive
equipment. They look for wiring of sensitive equipment to other equipment on the same circuit. They follow data lines and see if they locate
any near lighting ballasts or other devices that could interfere with
data communication. They look at the failure log and maintenance
record and see if there is any correlation. They look for damaged circuit breakers. They look for any NEC violations and whether the neutral connects to ground. They examine the wires to see if they can
handle the load. They especially focus on the neutral wires to see if
they can carry the three-phase electronic load. They keep good records
and document what they see.
They listen and smell for any arcing. Arcing from loose connections
causes many power quality problems. Arcs make a distinctive noise
and ozone odor.
Surveyors should touch the outside of electrical equipment, like
transformers, to check for overheating caused by harmonics. If they
feel any excess heat, they then verify and measure the amount of overheating with infrared sensing equipment.
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Figure 7.13 Typical service entrance
panel. (Reproduced with permission
of Fluke Corp. ©.)
If they have not isolated the cause of the power quality problem
using their four senses, they then need to choose the right tool from
the many power quality instruments available today. Chapter 6,
“Power Quality Measurement Tools,” presents many types of instruments for troubleshooting power quality problems. They include
ammeters, voltmeters, multimeters, oscilloscopes, flicker meters, static meters, infrared detectors, radio-frequency interference and electromagnetic interference meters, harmonic and spectrum analyzers,
power quality monitors, and various types of wiring and grounding
testers. Do surveyors own all these instruments? They usually buy
one, try it, and buy another if it doesn’t answer their questions. How
do they decide what meter to use when performing a power quality
survey without wasting their money and time?
The type and frequency of the problem determines the type of
instrument best suited for isolating the cause of the problem. Prudent
surveyors keep the cost of the instrument in line with the cost of the
problem. They do not buy instruments with features that they will not
need. They can spend less than $100 or more than $10,000. It depends
on the instrument’s features and complexity. Some surveyors start
with simple wiring and grounding testers and work up to more complicated power quality monitors that cost as much as $12,000. It is best
to start with simple, low-cost instruments that measure frequently
occurring power quality problems. Someone getting started with power
quality surveys probably should begin with low-cost wiring and
grounding instruments. Remember wiring and grounding problems
make up over 80 percent of power quality problems.
What kind of instruments do surveyors need to detect grounding
problems? Grounding includes proper bonding between the neutral
Power Quality Surveys
223
and the ground, adequate sizing of the neutral conductor, and correct
grounding and neutral impedance. They can use a $15 analog ohmmeter to make these measurements. If they need to measure the grounding electrode, they require a more expensive device.
What kind of instruments do they need to detect wiring problems?
They can measure the voltage at the outlet using a two-pronged voltage indicator that costs about $35. They insert the two prongs in the
outlet socket to measure the voltage between the 120-V line and neutral and between the 120-V line and ground. The measurements
should not exceed a 2-V difference between neutral and ground.
If they suspect the presence of harmonics when they feel the heat
from some equipment, like transformers, they have an inexpensive way
to determine the presence and level of harmonic distortion. They
should avoid using average-responding rms digital multimeters
(DMMs), which measure incorrect voltage and current in the presence
of harmonics. They should, instead, use a true-rms DMM to measure
the correct voltage and current even when harmonics distort them. One
way to verify the presence of harmonics in the neutral conductor is to
use both an average-responding rms and a true rms DMM to make current measurements. If the meters give different results, as shown in
Figure 7.14, they indicate the presence of harmonics. The ratio of average-responding value divided by true rms value provides a benchmark
of the size of the harmonics. A ratio of less than 0.75 indicates the neutral probably contains enough harmonics to cause problems. A more
expensive harmonic analyzer measures the THD and TDD.
Surveyors may observe that some equipment acts as either an electromagnetic or a radio-frequency interference source to sensitive
equipment. For example, the electronic ballasts from fluorescent lights
Figure 7.14 Average-responding rms to
true rms ratio of less than 0.75. The
meter on the left registers 59.2 and the
meter on the right registers 40.5.
(Reproduced with permission of Fluke
Corp. ©.)
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radiate electromagnetic fields that cause nearby computer monitor
screens to wiggle. The same fields can cause the programmable logic
controller to malfunction. A gaussmeter will verify and measure the
interference.
They shouldn’t rely on their senses or bodies if they suspect the presence of electrostatic charges. It only takes 2.5 V to damage a sensitive
chip in a computer, while it takes over 4000 V for a spark to discharge
from a person’s body to a grounded object. They should, instead, use a
static discharge meter to measure the amount of static discharge.
Power quality surveyors use various types of analyzers to detect
voltage disturbances and their source. Infrequent power quality
problems require low-cost instruments, while frequent power quality problems require more complex and expensive instruments that
can cost as much as $12,000. They try to match the instrument to
the problem, as shown in Figure 7.15.
Conducting a Power Quality Survey
Of course, surveyors’ four senses and appropriate meters are not the
only important tools. A logical and systematic process for conducting
the survey provides another important tool to a successful survey. This
requires that they conduct the survey systematically. With the right
tools for the job, they need to approach the survey in a logical step-bystep manner. They will minimize wasted activities, avoid erroneous
conclusions, and prevent dangerous, unsafe practices. What steps
characterize a successful and safe power quality survey?
As shown in Figure 7.16, there are four basic steps to conducting a
power quality survey:
1. Collect information
2. Visually inspect the site
3. Set up test instruments
4. Collect test data
Each step provides a systematic approach to conducting the survey.
Step 1: Collect information at coordination
meeting
Surveyors collect information by first having a coordination kickoff
meeting with the parties involved in the power quality problems. As
shown in Figure 7.17, this meeting should include the people from
the departments experiencing the problems, representatives of the
Power Quality Surveys
Figure 7.15 Matching type of power quality problem to meter. (Courtesy of
Dranetz-BMI.)
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Chapter Seven
Figure 7.16 Steps in a power quality survey.
Figure 7.17 Power quality kickoff meeting participants.
manufacturers of the sensitive equipment and the existing power
conditioning equipment, power quality expert or customer service
representative from the local utility, the power quality consultant
performing the survey, and anybody involved in the maintenance of
the affected equipment. Either the end user experiencing the power
quality problems or the power quality expert performing the survey
runs this meeting The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the power quality problems and collect information that will help in isolating
Power Quality Surveys
227
the cause of the problems. Whoever runs the meeting should ask the
what, when, how, and who questions about the power quality problems and hand out power quality questionnaire forms.
The surveyors need to obtain several documents in the kickoff meeting. These documents include the one-line diagram of the facility electrical distribution system as well as that of the electric utility supply
system. They require the specifications of any malfunctioning equipment. Also, they need a copy of the maintenance logs as well as any
logs that describe the problems.
Finally, at the coordination meeting everyone needs to agree on
when the surveyors will perform the on-site inspection and set up the
necessary test equipment. From this meeting the power quality consultant determines the scope of the problems and prepares a proposal
on the cost, steps, and process for conducting the power quality survey.
Step 2: Conduct on-site visual inspection
Surveyors need to visually inspect the site before they set up their
instruments and do any testing. Why? A visual inspection is cheap and
simple. They might even find the cause or causes of the power quality
problems before they set up their test equipment. It also helps them
plan their testing setup.
They need to examine visually three main areas of the facility. First,
they begin at the location where the power quality problem started.
Then they follow the electrical distribution system back to the electrical service entrance. They stop and look at the service entrance panel.
They then go outside the facility and inspect the electric utility service.
They need to inspect the facility thoroughly. The inspection includes
examining the equipment and electrical connections near the power
quality problem and noting the physical location of the equipment.
They look for devices that generate transients, voltage sags, inrush
currents, and harmonics affecting sensitive electrical equipment.
Table 7.1 provides a list of the various types of devices and the types
of power quality disturbances they cause.
They observe whether the air or wires transmit the power quality
disturbance. Air could transmit the disturbance if the source is near
the sensitive equipment. Wires could transmit the disturbance if a
common circuit supplies the source and the sensitive equipment.
Good inspectors keep good records. They take still pictures or, better
yet, videos. They even look inside the equipment. They look for
answers to certain questions. Are there any adjustable-speed drives?
Adjustable-speed drives could be a source of harmonics. Are there any
power factor improvement capacitors in the facility? They are a potential cause for amplifying harmonics. It depends on their size and when
228
TABLE 7.1
Matching Device to Type of Disturbance
Disturbance
description
Impulsive transients
Oscillatory transients
Sags/swells
Interruptions
Undervoltages/overvoltages
Harmonic distortion
Voltage flicker
Static discharge
Noise
Wiring and grounding
problems
Motors
Capacitor
Adjustablespeed drive
X
X
X
X
X
X
Arc furnace
and welders
Electronic
ballasts
Switched-mode
power supply
Dimmer
switch
X
X
X
Photocopiers
and laser
printers
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Power Quality Surveys
229
they are switched on. They observe the environment around the sensitive electronic equipment. Is it hot, dirty, or humid? Is the equipment
vibrating? They look at data connections as well as electrical connections. They check the wiring with the one-line diagram and note any
changes. They use the one-line diagram as a reference for setting up
their test equipment and later reporting on the results of their survey.
Now they take a look at the breaker panel. They open it carefully and
check for damaged breakers. They determine if any nonlinear loads
connect to this panel. They examine the wires connected to the panel
and check whether wire size matches the one-line diagram. They
remember to look and smell for any signs of arcing or loose connections.
They next look at the main transformer servicing the facility. They
determine if the transformer is rated properly by comparing the nameplate rating to its loading. Figure 7.18 shows a typical transformer
nameplate. They calculate the transformer loading by adding the load
of all the equipment connected to the transformer. They answer questions about the transformer and its service. Is the wiring to the transformer the correct size? Are the transformer taps set correctly? Does
the transformer feel hot or sound noisy? An overloaded transformer
gets hot and noisy. Harmonics that add to the normal load currents
cause transformers to overload.
Finally, they look at the main service and the electric utility service
at the point of common coupling. They look for power factor correction
capacitors in the utility substation and adjustable-speed drives in the
facility. They know that adjustable-speed drives generate harmonics
and that capacitors can amplify the magnitude of the harmonics. This
Figure 7.18 Transformer nameplate. (Reprinted from Electrical Transformers and
Power Equipment, 3d ed., by special permission of The Fairmont Press Inc., 700
Indian Trail, Lilburn, GA 30047.)
230
Chapter Seven
problem gets worse when the utility and the end user both have
capacitors. Depending on the size of the utility capacitors and when
they switch on, they could interact with the facility capacitors. The
utility capacitors could cause the end-user capacitors to resonate and
amplify any harmonics in the facility. This problem could affect nearby end users.
The inspection should include any nearby substations served by the
utility. It should determine the types of loads on the neighboring buses. As shown in Figure 7.19, neighboring loads could back-feed power
quality disturbances into the site being surveyed.
Before concluding their visual inspection, surveyors need to determine how the critical loads get electrical service. Do dedicated feeders
service only the critical electronic loads? Or do feeders that service
electronic loads also service other loads? Other loads may interact
with the critical electronic loads and cause problems. If they cannot
determine the cause of the power quality problems from the visual
inspection, they need to set up their test equipment.
Step 3: Set up test instruments
Before the surveyors setups the test instruments, they should review
the safety guidelines. These guidelines tell all them to wear safety goggles and gloves and work with a certified electrician if they don’t have
a electrician’s license. They need to get some safety training even if
they have a license. (One man didn’t wear safety gloves and glasses
while working in an electrical panel. He caused an arc that flashed in
his face that severely burned his hands and damaged his eyes.)
Figure 7.19 Neighboring loads back-feed power quality
disturbances.
Power Quality Surveys
231
Finally, they need to secure test equipment and open panels. When not
using the test equipment, they should cover it with an insulated rubber blanket.
In this step, surveyors need to decide what instruments to use,
where to connect them, how long to leave them there, and what measurements to record. The instrument tests should supplement the
visual survey. They should connect their test equipment at sites that
were suspicious in their visual inspection. They usually perform test
measurements at the sensitive equipment, as shown in Figure 7.20,
and work their way toward the electric utility supply service. They
start with simple instruments, like hand-held true rms DMMs, that
measure voltage and currents. They check for harmonics, noise, EMI,
and RFI. They progress to more complicated monitors, like harmonic
analyzers and oscilloscopes, if necessary. In addition to checking transformers, receptacles, and electrical panels, they measure the resistance of the grounding electrode system with a grounding tester.
They use the test equipment to isolate the type of power quality
problem and its source. The voltage measurement usually identifies
the type of power quality problem, while current and voltage measurements help identify the cause of the power quality problem. They
set the threshold of their measuring equipment to record only disturbances that will affect the sensitive equipment. They set the time
interval to record background events. In the case of a random power
quality problem, they may want to leave the monitoring equipment
connected for at least 2 weeks.
They need to measure environmental conditions as well as electrical parameters. This includes temperature and humidity. High temperatures can cause overheating and failure of sensitive electronic
Figure 7.20 Power quality monitor setup at sensitive equipment.
232
Chapter Seven
components. High humidity can cause condensation and erroneous
connections on electronic circuit boards, while low humidity contributes to electrostatic discharges.
Step 4: Collect test measurements
When the surveyors get to the service entrance panel, they need to
perform a series of wiring and grounding measurements. These measurements include the following: (1) rms entrance voltage, (2) green
wire ground current at the source, and (3) neutral conductor current.
They record the voltage measurements of extraneous neutral-ground
bonds at the main service panel, using a wiring and grounding tester.
They record load phase and neutral currents at the service panel.
They measure the impedance of the sensitive equipment’s grounding
conductor, using a ground impedance tester. They record the impedance of the neutral conductor from the sensitive electronic equipment
to the source neutral bonding point. They measure the resistance of
the grounding electrode, using an earth ground tester. They measure
phase currents at the service panel with sensitive equipment turned
off to determine if the sensitive equipment shares a circuit with other loads. They determine the presence of separately derived systems
by recording impedance measurements with a ground impedance
tester. They measure with a ground impedance tester the equipment
grounding conductors, any isolated grounding conductors, neutral
conductors, and connections to metal enclosures.
Analyzing Power Quality Survey Results
A systematic approach to analyzing the results of the power quality
survey provides the best results. The purpose of the analysis is to
determine the cause of the various power quality problems. The first
challenge is to determine who is responsible for causing the power
quality problems. There may be a combination of factors causing the
power quality problems. Is it coming from inside the facility? Or is it
coming from the utility power supply? Is it coming from a neighboring
end user and being transmitted to the affected site via the utility’s
transmission system? Or is there a combination of the utility and the
affected site causing the problems? It helps to analyze the data from
the three parts of the survey at the sensitive equipment location, the
low-voltage service entrance, and the utility side of the meter. Figure
7.21 provides a breakdown in pie chart form of typical sources of power quality problems.
The three steps to any good analysis are: (1) categorize the types of
power quality problems, (2) categorize the causes of the problems, and (3)
Power Quality Surveys
233
Figure 7.21 Power quality problem sources. (Courtesy of Florida
Power Corp. and the Edison Electric Institute.)
match the cause to the problem. These steps require reviewing the
records from the visual and test surveys along with any failure and
maintenance logs. First group the power quality disturbances into the
categories, like transients, harmonics, flicker, voltage sag, described in
Chapter 2. Look for disturbances that might have caused sensitive
equipment to malfunction by comparing the equipment specification to
survey measurements. Analyze the results using the following three
steps: (1) correlate power disturbances to equipment malfunction, (2)
identify power disturbances that exceed equipment specifications, and
(3) correlate problems found in the visual inspection with problems found
in the measurement of equipment symptoms. Listing the causes and the
effects on a spread sheet helps perform this analysis. Table 7.2 helps
match a power quality disturbance to possible causes of the disturbance.
The analysis of the wiring and grounding measurements at the lowvoltage side of the service entrance involves first looking for extraneous neutral-ground bonds if a current flows in the green wire. This
includes examining the neutral conductor currents. Do they exceed the
phase current? If so, they may indicate the presence of triplen harmonics. Another grounding concern is the magnitude of the grounding
electrode resistance. This resistance should not exceed 25 .
The surveyors must work closely with the local utility when they
analyze the survey of the high-voltage utility supply. They look for
power factor capacitors that the utility may switch on at the same time
harmonics are observed inside the facility. They identify transient disturbances from the utility system that may cause power quality problems inside the facility. Their disturbance monitor at the point of
common coupling provides data on utility-caused power quality problems. They may want to input the data from the survey into a diagnostic computer model.
234
TABLE 7.2
Matching Cause to Type of Disturbance
Disturbance
description
Impulsive transients
Oscillatory transients
Sags/swells
Interruptions
Undervoltages/overvoltages
Harmonic distortion
Voltage flicker
Static discharge
Noise
Wiring and grounding
problems
Motor
starting
Capacitor
switching
Loose
connections
X
X
X
Tree limbs and
auto accidents
Power
surge
Utility
system
faults
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Lightning and
load switching
Undersize
wiring
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Power Quality Surveys
235
Input data into diagnostic model
In addition to performing an analysis by looking at the data collected
during the survey and relying on the experience of the power quality
expert, there are many diagnostic tools available today to aid in the
analysis. EPRI has developed tools for diagnosing wiring and grounding problems as well as general power quality problems. EPRI calls its
software package the Power Quality Toolbox.
The Power Quality Toolbox contains voltage sag analysis and wiring
and grounding modules. These modules take the user through step-bystep procedures for analyzing power quality problems caused by voltage sags and improper wiring and grounding. They run on personal
computers that use the Microsoft Windows operating system and are
stored on CD-ROM disks. They are available free to EPRI members
and for a fee to non-EPRI members. For more information about the
EPRI Power Quality Toolbox, contact Electric Power Research
Institute, Attn: Marek Samotyj, 3112 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto, CA
94304, (605) 855-2980, or on the Internet at www.epriweb.com.
Most everyone does not want to spend the money and time simulating transient or harmonic conditions on the computer. However, it is
often necessary to simulate transient and harmonic conditions on the
computer in order to determine what conditions cause power quality
problems. It is too costly to allow actual situations to develop in order
to determine when transients or harmonics cause power quality problems. The damage to equipment and production shutdowns often
exceed the cost of computer simulations.
Several programs are available for simulating the flow of harmonics
and transients under various conditions. These simulation programs
provide an analysis of power quality problems under different situations and assumptions. They provide an effective means of determining how events happening on a utility’s system are interacting with
events on an end user’s system. For example, a simulation will provide
answers to questions about whether capacitors on the utility’s system
are interacting with capacitor’s on an end user’s distribution system
and causing a resonant condition. The most popular transient simulation program is called the Electromagnetic Transients Program
(EMTP), originally developed by the Bonneville Power Administration.
While there are several harmonic simulation programs on the market,
one of the more popular harmonic programs is called Super HarmFlow,
developed by Electrotek Concepts, Inc.
Identify alternative solutions
The many solutions presented in Chapter 5 should be examined and
evaluated as to their applications to the specific causes identified in
the analysis. Alternative solutions include:
236
Chapter Seven
■
Do nothing if the solution is too costly
■
Correct improper wiring and grounding
■
Relocate equipment away from damaging environments
■
Buy more robust equipment
■
Modify the size of the capacitors that cause resonance
■
Add filters to filter out harmonics
■
Add power conditioning equipment
Power conditioning equipment should come after making wiring and
grounding corrections. It is best to avoid general solutions. The best
approach requires a specific solution to a specific problem. There are
often lower-cost and more lasting solutions than adding power conditioning equipment. Each solution needs to be evaluated as to its cost
effectiveness. Lower-cost solutions should be selected over higher-cost
solutions. Compare the cost of the problem to the cost of the solution.
The cost of the power quality problem should include the cost of lost
production, scrap, restart, labor, repair, replacement, process inefficiency, and energy inefficiency. The cost of the solutions should be less
than the cost of allowing the problem to continue. For example, Figure
7.22 shows a comparison of ride-through solutions to a voltage sag
problem in a plastic extruder factory.
Preventing power quality problems
Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
He demonstrated this saying when he installed his own invention, the
lightning rod, on his house. His house was struck by lightning, but the
lightning rod protected it from damage. The same is true in preventing power quality problems. It is usually less costly to prevent a power problem than trying to cure it after it happens. That is why it is
worth the cost to perform a power quality survey before a problem
occurs. This is true in a home, office, factory, or farm. This is especially true in installing electronic equipment, like computers or computercontrolled equipment, that is sensitive to power quality problems. It is
just as true when installing any equipment—like adjustable-speed drives, electronic ballast, fluorescent lights, or power factor improvement
capacitors in a factory or laser printers and copiers in an office or
home—that tends to cause power quality problems. It is important
that the one-line diagram of the end user’s electrical distribution system is up-to-date. Preventive maintenance reduces power quality
problems. Good records of any failures or equipment malfunction helps
expedite the analysis. Minimize power quality problems when
Power Quality Surveys
237
$500,000
$450,000
$400,000
Solution Costs
$350,000
Power Quality Costs
$300,000
$250,000
$200,000
$150,000
$100,000
$50,000
$0
Base case
Primary
static
switch
Service
Entrance
Energy
Storage
Protect
Machine
Controls
and
Winders
Combined
static
switch with
controls
protection
Figure 7.22 Solutions versus power quality costs. (Courtesy of Electrotek Concepts, Inc.)
installing equipment by using certified electricians who are experienced in power quality problems. Prudent end users buy power conditioning equipment that is UL1449-certified.
The end user will need to become knowledgeable on how to solve
power quality problems as the electric utility industry becomes more
deregulated. The next chapter presents the effect of deregulation on
power quality.
References
1. Bingham, Richard P. 1998. “Planning and Performing a Power Quality Survey.”
Power Quality Assurance, vol. 9, no. 3, May/June, pp. 14–22.
238
Chapter Seven
1a.———. 1999. “The Power Quality Survey: Do It Right the First Time.” NETA World,
Summer, pp. 1–5.
2. Lamendola, Mark, and Jerry Borland. “Coming to Terms with Power Quality:
Understanding What Power Quality Experts Say Can Be a Boon to Your Success in
the Electrical Field (Power Quality Advisor).” EC&M Electrical Construction and
Maintenance, vol. 98, no. 2, February, p. PQ-3.
3. Watkins-Miller, Elaine. 1997. “Don’t Get Zapped (Office Technology and Power
Quality Problems).” Building, vol. 91, no. 10, October, pp. 68–69.
4. ”PQAudit™.” 1999. URL address: http://www.electrotek.com//PS-STUDY/
indust/pqaudit.htm. Available from Electrotek Concepts.
5. Beaty, Wayne. 1994. “Clean Power Requires Cooperative Effort.” Electric Light &
Power, vol. 72, no. 8, August, pp. 20–24.
6. McEachern, Alexander. 1995. “Power Quality Survey by Walking Around.” Power
Quality Assurance, vol. 6, no. 4, July/August, pp. 20–25.
7. DeDad, John. 1997. “Power Quality Site Analysis Step-by-Step.” EC&M Electrical
Construction and Maintenance, vol. 96, no. 3, March, p. 26.
8. Waggoneer, Ray. 1995. “Conducting a Power Quality Site Analysis—Part 1.” EC&M
Electrical Construction and Maintenance, vol. 94, no. 9, September, pp. 18–20.
8a.———. 1995. “Conducting a Power Quality Site Analysis—Part 2.” EC&M Electrical
Construction and Maintenance, vol. 94, no. 10, October, pp. 14–15.
8b.———. 1995. “Conducting a Power Quality Site Analysis—Part 3.” EC&M Electrical
Construction and Maintenance, vol. 94, no. 11, November,
9. Lonie, Bruce. 1994. “There’s More to Power Quality Than Meets the Eye.” EC&M
Electrical Construction and Maintenance, vol. 93, no. 10, October, pp. 69–71.
10. Michaels, Ken. 1998. “Troubleshooting Industrial Power Quality Problems.” EC&M
Electrical Construction and Maintenance, vol. 97, no. 8, July, pp. 16–17.
11. Bowden, Royce. 1998. “The Spectrum of Simulation Software.” IIE Solutions, vol. 30,
no. 5, May, pp. 44–46.
12. Lawrie, Robert J. 1996. “Top Testing Tips for Better Maintenance Management.”
EC&M Electrical Construction and Maintenance, vol. 95, no. 91, September, pp. 38–42.
Chapter
8
Power Quality
Economics
Many utilities and end users have discovered that they need to assess
the economics of power quality improvements before they decide what
power quality improvement to implement. They need to determine the
costs of the disturbances and the improvement. They need to determine the level of power quality they wish to achieve. They need to
decide where to make the power quality improvements—on the utility
or the end-user side of the meter, or a combination of both. On the utility side of the meter, power quality improvements can include the
addition of a static switch, custom power equipment such as a dynamic voltage restorer (DVR), and changes to power system operation like
capacitor switching. On the end-user side of the meter, power quality
improvements can include the addition of power conditioning equipment, a change in the equipment specifications and design, or an
improvement in the wiring and grounding inside the end-user facility.
Or both the utility and the end user can together make power quality
improvements.
Everyone wants to determine the optimum solution or solutions. To
do this, you need to evaluate solutions at all levels of the power system from the utility’s transmission and distribution system to the end
user’s secondary system. You need to compare the cost of these
improvements to the benefits to determine the cost-effectiveness of
the improvements.
The benefits include reduced cost of the power quality problem. On the
end-user side of the meter, the cost of a power quality problem can
include lost production and revenue, cost of scrap, labor and overtime
cost, and the cost to repair or replace damaged equipment. On the
239
Copyright © 2000 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
240
Chapter Eight
utility side of the meter, the cost of a power quality problem can include
lost power revenues and disgruntled customers. In the case of reducing
or eliminating harmonics, the benefits include the resulting reduction in
losses. The goal is to minimize the total power quality improvement cost.
Total Power Quality Improvement Cost
In evaluating alternative power quality improvements the total power
quality improvement cost is calculated by the following formula:
TPQIC PQIB
PQIC
(8.1)
where TPQIC total power quality improvement cost
PQIB power quality improvement benefit in $/year
PQIC power quality improvement cost in $/year
The power quality improvement benefit equals the reduced cost of
the problem resulting from the power quality improvement. The following formula shows how to calculate PQIB:
PQIB PQCi PQCr
(8.2)
where PQIB the power quality improvement benefit in $/year
PQCi the initial or base cost of the power quality problem
in $/year
PQCr the reduced cost of the power quality problem in
$/year
The power quality improvement cost equals the annual cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining power conditioning equipment,
custom power alternatives, or changes in the utility’s or end user’s power system. The resulting numbers calculated in the TPQIC formula can
be used to choose the most cost-effective power quality improvement.
Some power quality improvement purchasers, because of the uncertainty of the assumptions and values used in the TPQIC formula,
choose to use sensitivity analysis. A sensitivity analysis involves determining how sensitive the TPQIC results are to assumptions and values
in the TPQIC formula. How to perform a sensitivity analysis will be
discussed later in this chapter.
The power quality improvement that provides the minimum TPQIC
is the most cost-effective improvement. As shown in Figure 8.1, the power quality improvement costs increase as more expensive improvements
result in larger reductions in the cost of the power quality problems. In
most cases, it is not cost-effective to reduce all power quality problems
to zero. It is better to find the cost-effective power quality improvement
Power Quality Economics
241
Total PQ Improvement Cost
Cost ($)
Cost of PQ Improvement
Cost of PQ Problems
Power Quality Improvements
Figure 8.1 Minimizing power quality improvement costs.
that minimizes the TPQIC or total power quality improvement cost. In
order to determine the cost-effective alternative it is important to perform the analysis in a step-by-step systematic approach.
Steps in Performing an Economic Analysis
Of course, the decision maker’s determination of the TPQIC requires
collecting data before completing a power quality economic analysis. A
logical and systematic process for performing the economic analysis
provides another important means of selecting the most cost-effective
solution to a power quality problem. This requires that the data and
the analysis of the data be done systematically. With the right data
and procedures, the decision maker can approach the analysis in a logical step-by-step manner. This will reduce the chances of making erroneous and costly conclusions, and prevent the utility and end user
from wasting time and money. What steps are required to perform a
comprehensive power quality analysis? As shown in Figure 8.2, there
are five basic steps to performing a power quality economic analysis:
1. Determine power quality problem base cost.
2. Determine the cost of power quality improvement alternatives.
242
Chapter Eight
Step 1: Power Quality Problem Base Cost
• System Description
• Value-based Cost
• Cost of disturbance
• Weighting Factors
•
•
•
•
Step 2: Power Quality Improvement Cost
Utility Solution
End-user Solution
Combination of Utility and End-user Solution
Optimum Solution
Step 3: Power Quality Problem Reduced Cost
• Calculate PQ Problem Cost With PQ Improvement
• Calculate Reduced Cost
Step 4: Economic Evaluation Method & Assumptions
• Interest Rate
• Study Period
• Economic Method
Step 5: Cost-Effective
Solutions?
Yes
Buy
Figure 8.2 Power quality improvement selection procedure.
No
Don’t Buy
Power Quality Economics
243
3. Determine the reduced cost of the power quality problem for each
power quality improvement alternative.
4. Determine the economic evaluation method and assumptions.
5. Determine the cost-effective solution.
Each step provides a systematic approach to conducting the analysis.
Step 1: Determine Base Power Quality
Problem Cost
Power quality experts determine the cost of the power quality problem
by first describing the power system affected by the problem. This
information can be obtained from the power quality survey described in
the previous chapter. As shown in Figure 8.3, this information should
include a diagram of the system experiencing the problems, including
the utility substation and feeders and end-user facility distribution system and equipment. Next, data describing the event or events causing
the power quality problems need to be examined. Different types of disturbances will have different cost impacts on the same facility. The four
basic types of disturbances are interruptions, voltage sags, harmonics,
and flicker. The purpose of this data is to determine the cost impact to
69-kV to 138-kv Feeder
69-kV to 138-kv Feeder
12-kV
12-kV
N.O.
Breaker
480 V
End-user Load
Figure 8.3 Simplified one-line diagram.
244
Chapter Eight
the utilities and their customers of these four basic types of disturbances. A value-based economic analysis provides the optimum solution
regardless of the source of the power quality problem.
Value-based economic analysis
Traditionally, analysts separate utility and end-user power quality problems and solutions when performing an economic analysis. However,
power quality problems and solutions do not recognize the location of
the revenue meter. Consequently, many analysts use a value-based
approach to their economic analysis.
A value-based economic analysis recognizes that the utility and the
end user place different values on power quality problems. It also recognizes that different end users value power quality differently. For
example, industrial and commercial end users normally value power
quality higher than residential users of power. This type of analysis
takes into account that the end user and the utility are connected
financially as well as electrically.
As shown in Figure 8.4, both the utility and its end-use customer
experience the cost impact of a power quality problem. They also
mutually benefit from power quality improvements that take into consideration the value of the improvements to the utility and its customer. In a competitive deregulated situation, the cost to the utility
because of poor power quality could possibly result in losing a customer to another utility or legal claims against the utility. A valuebased approach requires the analyst to estimate the cost of the power
quality problem and the benefits of the power quality improvement to
the utility as well as to the end user.
End-user perspective. Historically, the impact of power quality prob-
lems has been the concern of industrial and commercial users of electricity. This is changing with the increase in home-based businesses
that use computers, faxes, and laser printers. However, the current
focus of utilities is on their large industrial customers who experience
cost impacts from $3000 to $10,000 per event per customer. There
have been reports of as much as $250,000 per event in a semiconductor plant. Even disturbances of less than a second can have large cost
impacts when they happen to critical loads.
Critical loads include facilities like computer centers, paper mills,
semiconductor factories, arc furnace foundries, and plastic plants that
depend on electricity that is free of power quality problems to produce
their products. These types of loads experience large cost impacts often
because of two factors: the high cost of production, usually measured
in dollars per hour, and the extended time it takes to bring equipment
Power Quality Economics
245
Cost of Fuel ($/BTU)
Sales ($/widget)
Purchase Energy ($/kwh)
End-user Customer
Utility
Revenue Meter
PQ Improvement Cost
($/improvement)
Power Quality Claims ($/claim)
PQ Improvement Cost
($/improvement)
PQ Problem Cost ($/event)
PQ Problem Cost ($/event)
Figure 8.4 Utility and end-user power quality cash flow.
on line after a disturbance. For instance, Table 8.1 summarizes an
EPRI report that compares the downtime cost impacts of various types
of industries caused by the two most common types of disturbances:
interruptions and voltage sags. In addition to the cost impact to end
users, disturbances cost utilities money as well.
Utility perspective. Traditionally, most utilities have a different perception of power quality than their residential, commercial, and industrial customers. They have evaluated its cost impact on the basis of
loss of revenue during a disturbance, liability claims, and cost to maintain and repair damaged equipment.
While industrial and commercial end users usually quantify the
power quality cost impact in dollars per event, many utilities prefer to
evaluate the cost impact in dollars per kilowatt-hour. They calculate
this by dividing the cost of lost production by the electrical energy not
consumed during the disturbance. In a paper presented at the IEEE
1994 Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting entitled “Impact
of Fast Tripping of Utility Breakers on Industrial Load Interruptions,”
the authors estimate typical values to be $1 to $4/kWh of lost revenue.
Besides the loss of revenue during a disturbance, utilities experience
other cost impacts from poor power quality.
Utilities, like any manufacturer of goods and services, can experience
the cost of liability claims due to poor power quality. Liability cost hinges
on whether the courts treat electrical power as a product or a service. If
it is deemed a product, then the utility can be held responsible for the
246
Chapter Eight
TABLE 8.1
Cost Impact of Various Types of Interruptions and Voltage
Sags on Critical Loads.
Type of load
Disturbance
Cost impact
Computer center
Large machining plant
Paper mill
Semiconductor fabricator
2-second interruption
0.1-second voltage sag
0.005-second voltage sag
Voltage sag
$600,000
$200,000
$50,000
$1,000,000
SOURCE:
Courtesy of EPRI.
reliability of that product. Most court cases specify that electricity does
not become a product until it passes through the revenue meter.
However, this definition of a product is ambiguous when the end user can
have its own source of electricity via a UPS. Besides, electromagnetic
interference can affect sensitive equipment that is not even connected to
a utility’s distribution system, let alone a revenue meter. Utilities can
experience large liability claims because of poor power quality. For
instance, in September 1992, a California judge awarded a mushroom
grower $5.5 million, to be paid by the power company, for damages
caused by a power outage.
With the advent of restructuring of the utility industry and
increased competition, another major cost to utilities is the potential
loss of a customer because of frequent power quality problems. There
is also the potential loss of future customers because a utility has a
reputation for poor power quality. Certainly, the utility often bears the
cost of resolving a power quality problem. The potential of losing customers because of poor power quality increases as the utility industry
is restructured and becomes more competitive. These costs vary from
one utility and situation to another. These costs are sometimes intangible and difficult to quantify.
Because of the threat of losing major customers through poor power
quality, some utilities have chosen to pay their customers for the cost of
poor power quality. For example, in 1995, Detroit Edison signed a power quality agreement with three of its major automobile manufacturing
customers, Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General
Motors. In these contracts, Detroit Edison agrees to pay these customers if the power they deliver does not meet certain voltage interruption and voltage sag target values. Since 1995, Detroit Edison has
paid these customers millions of dollars for interruptions. As shown in
Figure 8.5, from 1995 to 1998, Detroit Edison’s increased maintenance
on specific lines, replacement of problem equipment, and installation of
animal deterrents has resulted in 36 percent less interruption in 1998
than 1995. At the same time, the utility has been able to keep voltage
sags to a minimum and paid only $230 for voltage sags in 1998.
Power Quality Economics
247
$1.80
1.40
Interruptions
1.20
$1.60
Payments
$1.40
1.00
$1.20
0.80
$1.00
$0.80
0.60
$0.60
0.40
$0.40
0.20
$0.20
0.00
$0.00
1995
1996
1997
1998
Year
Figure 8.5 Detroit Edison interruption and payment history. (Courtesy of Detroit
Edison.)
There is always the threat of regulatory penalties to utilities that
provide poor power quality. Some regulators have introduced penalties
for poor power quality. For example, Argentina has developed a formula for poor power quality caused by flicker and harmonics.
Another threat to utilities is customers that are not satisfied with
the power quality they are receiving and resort to cogeneration or selfgeneration. Many high-tech companies have the resources to install
generators and use the utility as backup. Many paper and lumber
mills can use steam or wood as fuel to cogenerate electricity. Other
businesses that are prone to use self-generators include electric equipment manufacturers, heavy machinery fabricators, computer software
and hardware companies, and insurance companies.
If poor power quality is defined as “any power problem manifested
in voltage, current, or frequency deviations that results in failure or
misoperation of utility or end-user equipment,” then the primary cost
of the disturbance is the effect it has on both the utility and end-user
equipment. The major contributing factor to the cost of poor power
quality to both the utility and its customers depends on the type of disturbance and load.
Cost of the disturbance
There are two basic ways to calculate the cost of a disturbance. One
way is to add up the financial losses associated with each load that is
248
Chapter Eight
impacted by the disturbance. The other way is to perform a survey and
statistical analysis of several end users and develop the cost-of-disturbance values associated with certain types of disturbances and loads.
Both of these methods require the collection of cost data associated
with the disturbance.
The cost of a disturbance involves the following three major losses:
(1) product production, (2) labor, and (3) damaged equipment. “IEEE
Standard 1346-1998, IEEE Recommended Practice for Evaluating
Electric Power System Compatibility with Electronic Process
Equipment,” Annex A, provides a detailed description of how to calculate the cost of a disturbance. It suggests, as in a power quality survey,
a need to involve all participants to determine the cost of the disturbance. This includes management as well as financial, operational,
maintenance, and sales staff. Each one of these participants needs to
be involved in completing a form similar to Table 8.2.
There are four basic types of disturbances that have a financial impact
on utilities and their customers: interruptions, voltage sags, harmonic
distortions, and flicker. Interruptions include various types of outages.
Interruptions or outages can be initiated by transients that cause utility
breakers and switches to operate. Next to voltage sags, they are the most
common type of disturbance and usually have the largest cost impact.
Remember the importance of distinguishing an interruption from a
voltage sag. Interruptions involve a complete loss of voltage in usually less than 1 second, while voltage sags are a reduction in voltage for
less than 1 minute. Sometimes these two types of disturbances are
confused, because they both may have a similar effect on sensitive
equipment. However, the costs for mitigating voltage sags can be less
than for mitigating interruptions. The cost impacts of voltage sags can
affect one or two phases of a three-phase system, while interruptions
usually affect all three phases of operation.
Interruptions
IEEE Standard 446-1995, “IEEE Recommended Practice for
Emergency and Standby Power Systems for Industrial and
Commercial Applications” (The Orange Book), pp. 41–42, provides a
formula for calculating a rough estimate of the cost of an interruption:
Total cost of a power failure E H I
where E cost of labor for employees affected (in dollars)
H scrap loss due to power failure ( in dollars)
I cost of start-up (in dollars)
The values of E, H, and I may be calculated as follows:
(8.3)
Power Quality Economics
TABLE 8.2
249
Sample Cost-of-Disruption Evaluation Form
Downtime related
Increased buffer inventories (value of incremental inventories—WACC*)
————
Lost work
Idled labor
Disrupted process (worker-hours unloaded labor rate)
Starved process (worker-hour unloaded labor rate)
Lost production
Lost profits (unbuilt product profit margin)
Makeup production
Overtime labor premium
Overtime operating cost
Expedited shipping premiums
Late delivery fees
Cost to repair damaged equipment
Repair labor
Repair supplies
Cost of replacement part availability
Or carrying cost of parts
Cost of recovery
Secondary equipment failures (treat as repairs)
Recovery labor inefficiency
Product quality
Replacement value of scrap (BOM† value labor value)
Blemished product lost profit margin
Rework cost
Labor
Manufacturing supplies
Replacement parts
————
————
————
Miscellaneous
Customer’s dissatisfaction
Lost business
Avoided customers due to longer lead time
Fines and penalties
Other
————
————
————
————
Total
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
————
*Weighted average cost of capital.
†Bill of materials.
SOURCE: Courtesy of IEEE, Standard 1346-1998 Copyright © 1999. IEEE. All rights reserved.
E ADC
H FG
I JKC LG
where A number of productive employees affected
B base hourly rate of employees affected (in dollars)
C fringe and overhead hourly cost per employee affected (in
dollars) 1.5B
250
Chapter Eight
D duration of power interruption (in hours)
F units of scrap material due to power failure
G cost per unit of scrap material due to power failure (in dollars)
J start-up time (in hours)
K number of employees involved in start-up
L units of scrap material due to start-up
Interruption costs associated with outages and voltage sags should
include the savings that occur during the disturbance. Otherwise there
will be a tendency to overestimate the total cost of the disturbance. The
savings during the disturbance include the cost of unpaid wages,
unused raw materials, unused fuel, and damaged scrap material. The
total cost of the disturbance can be summarized and simplified in the
following formula:
DC LR OC OS
(8.4)
where DC disturbance cost (in dollars)
LR lost revenue or lost sales of products resulting from outage (in dollars)
OC outage costs like cost of restart, damage, and makeup
(in dollars)
OS savings during shutdown caused by the outage (in dollars)
Another way to calculate the cost of a disturbance is by the use of a
survey of several utilities and their industrial and commercial end users.
One survey in 1992 involved 210 large commercial and industrial end
users and used the components of Eq. (8.3) to calculate the cost of disturbances for various types of outages and voltage sags. In this survey, it
was found that the average cost of an outage was $9400. By regression
analysis, the results of this survey and others were used to project the
cost of a particular disturbance to a specific type of load. As shown in
Table 8.3, the average total cost of outages varied from $7694 to $74,835.
Surveys of the cost of interruptions have been conducted in the last
10 years by Pacific Gas and Electric, Duke Power Company, Southern
Companies, Southern California Edison, Niagara Mohawk, Bonneville
Power Administration, and Saskatchewan Power. These surveys have
been used to assess the value of increased reliability of the power system to the utility’s customers.
Voltage sags
Calculating the cost impact of voltage sags is not as simple as calculating the cost impact of interruptions. A voltage sag’s effect on sensitive
TABLE 8.3
Means of Components of Outage Costs for Large Commercial and Industrial Customers by Scenario
Scenario
Coat element
Production impacts:
Production time lost (hours)
Percent of work stopped
4-h outage,
no notice
1-h outage,
no notice
1-h outage,
with notice
Voltage sag
Momentary outage
6.67
91
2.96
91
2.26
91
0.36
37
0.70
57
Production losses:
Value of lost production
Percent of production recovered
Revenue change
$81,932
36
$52,436
$32,816
34
$21,658
$28,746
34
$18,972
$3914
16
$3287
$7407
19
$5999
Loss due to damage:
Damage to raw materials
Hazardous materials cost
Equipment damage
$13,070
$ 323
$ 8,421
$ 8,518
$ 269
$ 4,977
$ 3,287
$ 145
$ 408
$1163
$ 90
$3143
$2051
$ 136
$3239
Cost to run backup and restart:
Cost to run backup generation
Cost to restart elect. equip.
Other restart costs
$ 178
$ 1,241
$ 401
$
65
$ 1,241
$ 368
$
$
$
$
$
$
$ 22
$ 29
$ 149
65
171
280
22
29
74
251
252
TABLE 8.3
Means of Components of Outage Costs for Large Commercial and Industrial Customers by Scenario (Continued)
Scenario
Coat element
Savings:
Savings on raw materials
Savings on fuel and electricity
Value of scrap
Labor management recovery:
Percent using overtime
Percent using extra shifts
Percent working labor more
Percent rescheduling operations
Percent other
Percent not recovering
4-h outage,
no notice
$ 1927
$ 317
$ 2337
1-h outage,
no notice
$
$
$
645
103
874
1-h outage,
with notice
$
$
$
Voltage sag
461
85
450
$ 114
$
9
$ 140
Momentary outage
$
$
$
166
12
228
33
1
3
4
1
59
26
1
4
5
2
62
25
0
4
5
2
64
6
1
4
0
0
89
Labor costs and savings:
Cost to makeup production
Cost to restart
Labor savings
$ 4854
$ 665
$ 2159
$ 1709
$ 570
$ 644
$ 1373
$ 426
$ 555
$ 60
$ 114
$
0
$
$
$
Total
$74,835
$39,459
$22,973
$7694
$11,027
SOURCE:
7
1
7
1
1
84
254
192
0
M. J. Sullivan, T. Vardell, and M. Johnson, “Power Interruption Costs to Industrial and Commercial Consumers of Electricity,” 1996
Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Technical Conference, May 6–9, 1996, Copyright © 1996 IEEE. All rights reserved.
Power Quality Economics
253
equipment depends on the magnitude and duration of the voltage sag
as well as the type of sensitive equipment. Less severe voltage sags will
affect less equipment and have a lower cost impact than more severe
voltage sags. Consequently, factors for weighting the effect of various
levels of voltage sags for specific loads have been developed.
In calculating the cost of a voltage sag or interruption, it is important
to realize that the process for determining the cost of the disturbance
not only depends on the type of load but the type of disturbance as well.
Weighting factors need to be determined for various types of interruptions and voltage sags and their effect on sensitive electronic equipment.
Weighting factors for interruptions and
voltage sags
The power quality analyst needs to determine the impact of certain types
of power quality disturbances on various types of sensitive equipment.
This means giving a weighting factor to various types of events. For
example, various rms values of voltage sags will have different impacts on
different types of sensitive electronic equipment. They can determine the
weighting factors by taking measurements of disturbances within a specific time period. Then the magnitude as well as the duration of the event
can be categorized and weighed as to its effect on equipment sensitivity.
Table 8.4 illustrates the use of weighting factors for interruptions and
voltage sags for a plastic extruder plant where each event costs $20,000.
Finally, creation of a sensitivity chart and table will illustrate the
magnitude and duration of various power quality disturbances and provide a means to evaluate alternative power quality improvements and
their locations on the utility and end-user systems. From these charts
and tables, the analyst can determine the cost of various types of power
quality improvements. Another type of disturbance that has cost
impacts on industrial and commercial end users is harmonic distortion.
TABLE 8.4
Voltage Sag Weighting Factors for Economic Analysis
Category of event
Interruption
Sag below 50%
Sag between 50 and 70%
Sag between 70 and 80%
Sag between 80 and 90%
Total
SOURCE:
Weighting for
economic analysis,
%
Expected
number
per year
Equivalent
interruptions
per year
100
100
50
20
10
6
0
6.5
8.5
42.5
63.5
6.0
0.0
3.3
1.7
4.3
15.2
Courtesy of Electrotek Concepts, Inc.
254
Chapter Eight
Harmonic distortion
As shown in Figure 8.6, various nonlinear loads, such as computers
with switched-mode power supplies, motors with adjustable-speed
drives, and fluorescent lights with electronic ballast, produce harmonics that combine and flow through distribution transformers to
the utility’s distribution system. They can even flow onto adjacent end
user’s distribution systems. Therefore, these harmonic currents can
have a cost impact to the utility as well as its customers.
End users with nonlinear loads usually generate harmonics. They find
that cost impacts from harmonics are not as easy to determine as cost
impacts from interruptions. The cost to end users comes when the harmonic currents add to the normal load and increase losses and loading on
their distribution systems. The increased losses reduce the capacity of the
system, including conductors, transformers, and motors. The increased
loading generates heat and accelerates the aging of power equipment, like
transformers and motors. Other cost impacts of harmonics include noise
and vibration, reduction in motor torque, decreased power factor,
decreased performance of television sets and relays, and inaccurate readings from induction watt-hour meters. For instance, as shown in Table
8.5, a case study of a building with 240 distributed computers and other
electronic equipment operating 12 hours per day, 365 days per year with
a load of 60 kW harmonics produced increased losses of 4802 W at a cost
of $2101 per year (based on a cost of energy of $0.10/kWh).
Electrical utilities incur costs from harmonic currents similar to enduser costs. They experience voltage distortions that affect the operation of
their equipment and cause increased power loss on overhead conductors,
underground cables, and transformers. The increased loading from harmonic currents also accelerates the aging of utility transformers and generators. In fact, utilities typically derate their transformers and
generators up to 25% because of the additional heating from harmonics.
Some utilities are setting harmonic limits for their customers based on
IEEE Standard 519-1992. Others are installing special revenue meters to
charge their customers for harmonics. Utilities and end users can spend
$4000 to $5000 or more to perform the engineering study to analyze harmonic problems and determine cost-effective solutions. Another power
quality problem whose cost impact is difficult to determine is flicker.
Flicker
Flicker is a subjective phenomenon. Consequently, it is difficult to
determine the direct cost of its effect. It affects the fundamental quality
of utility service—that is, the ability to provide lighting that is steady
and consistent. Certainly it can affect production in an office or factory
that needs steady lighting for its employees to be productive. The cost
Power Quality Economics
255
Figure 8.6 Harmonic current from nonlinear loads.
of flicker is usually based on the cost of mitigating it when the complaints become significant. This may involve curtailing or shutting
down the source of the flicker, like an arc furnace, welder, or large
motor starting up. For example, Southern Indiana Gas and Electric
Company had 107 different residential customers complain about flicker from a new resistive spot welder and sought to remedy the situation.
Step 2: Determine Power Quality
Improvement Cost
Analysts need to next evaluate the performance of various power quality improvement alternatives. Why? They need to identify effective
256
Chapter Eight
TABLE 8.5
Summary of Harmonic-Related Losses and Costs per Year
Cable l
Cable 2
Transformer
Cable 3
Total
Current THD, %
Cable length, ft
Harmonic
loss, W
Harmonic
cost/year, $
100
100
100—primary
30—secondary
30
200
50
N/A
1320
712
2747
578
310
1203
150
23
4802
10
2101
SOURCE:
Tom Key and Jih-Sheng Lai, “Costs and Benefits of Harmonic Current
Reduction for Switch-Mode Power Supplies in a Commercial Office Building,” 1995
Industrial Application Society Annual Meeting, October 1995, Orlando, Florida,
Copyright © 1995 IEEE. All rights reserved.
improvements and eliminate ineffective improvements. A specific power
quality improvement will have different levels of effectiveness,
depending on the type and level of the power quality disturbance.
They need to examine power quality improvement alternatives that
include power conditioning equipment. First, they begin by determining the cost of wiring and grounding improvements, power conditioning equipment, and energy storage devices. Depending on the type of
power quality problem, they need to examine power quality improvements in both the end user’s and the utility’s systems.
End-user power quality improvements
Analysts need to identify the type of power quality improvements
needed inside the end user’s facilities or at the service entrance.
Usually, the lowest-cost improvements can be implemented at the enduse equipment. This may include isolating the critical loads and
installing protection controls that protect them from power quality disturbances, like outages and voltage sags. It may involve the installation of dc capacitors to provide power to critical equipment during a
disturbance. This involves an engineering analysis in three parts.
First the analysis identifies the critical loads. Second, it specifies protection and sizes it correctly. Finally, it coordinates the protection
scheme with the entire process. After evaluating the end-use equipment, analysts examine the cost and effectiveness of power quality
improvement technologies at the service entrance.
Interruption and voltage sag improvement at the service entrance. The
type of power quality improvements at the service entrance will again
depend on the type of disturbance. Certainly, once the critical loads are
identified and isolated, an appropriate backup source can be provided
Power Quality Economics
257
for them. This can be a separate feeder with an automatic switch or a
UPS. For example, possible alternative improvements at the service
entrance for a voltage sag or power interruption would include a UPS
or backup feeder. Table 8.6 provides a list of the various types of service entrance UPSs and their costs.
Harmonic mitigation cost. The two methods for mitigating harmonics
are installation of filters in the circuit and redesign of nonlinear loads
that produce harmonics. Both of these methods have cost impacts. In
the case of harmonics caused by switched-mode power supplies in a
commercial building, the modification of the switched-mode power
supply design so that it does not inject harmonic currents into the
building’s power system is the least costly of these options. It is not
usually implemented unless mandated by regulators, because it
increases the price of computer equipment. For example, in Europe, by
the year 2001, manufacturers of information technology equipment
will be required to meet the harmonic limits set by the International
Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This requirement is expected to
increase the cost of information technology equipment 2 to 5 percent.
The cost to filter out the harmonics depends on the types of filters
and their location. One case study found that the location of filters in
the neutral wire of the service panel provided the lowest-cost filter
alternative. Table 8.7 illustrates the cost of various passive methods
for eliminating harmonics. Table 8.8 illustrates the cost of various
active methods for eliminating harmonics.
Flicker elimination cost. The cost of eliminating flicker caused by arc
furnaces is usually quite high. It depends on the size of the arc furnace
load and the strength of the utility power system serving it. The cost
TABLE 8.6 Cost of Service Entrance Technologies for Power Quality
Improvement
Power conditioning
technology
Typical cost,
$/kVA
Comments
UPS
700
Full protection
Synchronous motor-generator
with flywheel
500
2-second ride-through without
diesel option
Energy storage technologies
800
Shorter ride-through than UPS
Secondary static switch
100
Requires independent supply
SOURCE:
Mark McGranaghan, et al. 1997. “Economic Evaluation Procedure for Assessing
Power Quality Improvement Alternatives.” Proceedings of PQA ‘97 North America, March
3–6, Columbus, Ohio.
258
TABLE 8.7
Cost of Passive Harmonic Elimination Equipment Options
Mechanism
Equipment
Dilute or absorb harmonics
Existing power system capacity
to dilute and absorb
■
■
■
Restricts harmonics
Cancels specific harmonics
Traps a specific harmonic
Traps several harmonics
Approximate
price/kVA
Features
Series inductor at load generator, low pass, 1 or 3 phase
■
Phase-shifting transformer
at load
■
Series or parallel single-tuned
filter at or near load
■
Series or parallel multituned
filter at or near load
■
■
■
■
■
Uses power system natural tolerance and
diversity
Relies on system restricting and canceling effects
Higher watt losses and reduced capacity
Simple and relatively low cost
Reduces voltage at load
$30
3 phase, multibridge
Complex structure, bulky
$100
Compensates single harmonic
Possible under- or overcompensation, bulky
1 phase $200–$400
3 phase $30
Normally tuned to two adjacent odd
harmonic frequencies
Possible under- and overcompensation
1 phase $200/freq.
3 phase $30/freq.
SOURCE: Jih-Sheng Lai and Thomas Key. “Effectiveness of Harmonic Mitigation Equipment for Commercial Office Buildings.” IEEE 1996 Industry
Applications Society Annual Meeting, October 8–10, 1996, Copyright © 1996 IEEE. All rights reserved.
TABLE 8.8
Cost of Active Harmonic Elimination Equipment Options
Mechanism
Cancel harmonic currents
Equipment
Parallel filter at or near load
commonly used topology
Features
■
■
Reshape voltage
fundamental
Series filter at load center
requires a current transf.
■
■
Cancels current and
voltage harmonics
Series and parallel active
converters at or near load
■
■
SOURCE:
Approximate
price/kVA
Suitable for current source converters or
current harmonic loads
Compensates harmonic currents in real time
$500
Suitable for voltage source converters or
voltage harmonic loads
Real-time compensation of voltage
$750
Real-time compensation of both voltages
and currents
Most expensive, commercial products available
$1000
Jih-Sheng Lai and Thomas Key. “Effectiveness of Harmonic Mitigation Equipment for Commercial Office Buildings.” IEEE 1996 Industry
Applications Society Annual Meeting, October 8–10, 1996, Copyright © 1996 IEEE. All rights reserved.
259
260
Chapter Eight
impact includes the cost to purchase, install, operate, and maintain a
static VAR (volt-amperes reactive) compensator at the flicker source to
keep the voltage steady under varying load conditions and thus solve
the flicker problem. Static VAR compensators to eliminate flicker produced by large arc furnaces can cost $1 to 2 million or more.
Utility-side power quality improvements
Utilities can provide various power quality improvements on their systems. If the disturbance is originating from the utility, the most obvious solution is to eliminate the disturbance. They can minimize faults
by trimming trees, installing animal guards, coordinating the switching of their capacitors with their customers, grounding their distribution towers better, using arresters to divert the fault away from the
end user’s facilities, and improving their maintenance practices. They
can also raise the terminal voltage so that when disturbances occur
the voltage does not drop below the sensitive level of the end-use
equipment (usually 75 to 80 percent).
One
study of a large industrial end user experiencing power quality problems due to interruptions and voltage sags looked at four basic power
conditioning technologies. These four options were current-limiting
feeder reactors, primary static switches, dynamic voltage restorers
(DVRs), and static voltage regulators (SVRs). Table 8.9 provides a
summary of the features and costs of each of these devices.
Interruptions and voltage sag power conditioning technologies.
Flicker and harmonics power quality improvements. The source of flicker and harmonics is usually the end user rather than the utility.
Consequently, any power quality improvements to flicker and harmonics needs to be made in the end-user facilities rather than on the
utility side of the meter.
Before beginning the economic evaluation, analysts need to determine the benefit of each power quality improvement. This basically
involves determining the reduced power quality problem cost resulting
from each power quality improvement.
Step 3: Determine Reduced Power Quality
Problem Cost
Different power quality improvement technologies have different effects
on reducing the cost impact of particular disturbances on specific types
of loads. In the case of interruptions and voltage sags, the different power quality improvements have varying degrees of effectiveness.
TABLE 8.9
Cost of Utility Power Quality Improvement Technologies for Interruptions and Voltage Sags
Device
Current-limiting feeder
reactor
Equipment
May need to replace main
substation transformer
Features
■
■
Primary static switch
Requires parallel feeders and
split bus
■
■
■
Dynamic voltage restorer
(DVR)
Uses storage capacitor
■
■
Static voltage regulator
(SVR)
Uses SCRs to switch taps on an
autotransformer
■
■
Approximate
price
Limits voltage sag during parallel
distribution faults
Not effective for transmission faults
$0.5–1 million
Protects for all distribution faults and outages
Switches to alternative source in 4 ms
Not effective for transmission events
$600,000
for 10-MW load
Provides voltage correction for 3-phase sags
of 50%
Corrects for distribution and transmission
faults
$3 million
Provides voltage boost for sags as low
as 50%
New technology with little history of experience
$150/kVA
SOURCE: Siddharth Bhatt. 1998. “Economic Decision Making Methodology for Power Quality Costs and Solutions Applicable to Both Sides of the
Meter.” Proceedings of PQA ‘98 Southern Hemisphere Conference, November 9–11, Cape Town, South Africa.
261
262
Chapter Eight
Weighting factors for various types of technologies provide a means to
evaluate the effectiveness of these technologies.
Interruption and voltage sag reduction
technologies
A study of a plastic extruder plant experiencing interruptions and voltage sags looked at four technology alternatives for reducing voltage
sags and interruptions. These technologies included controls protection, service entrance energy storage devices, installation of a primary
static switch, and a combination of controls protection and a static
switch. Table 8.10 compares the effectiveness and cost of these alternatives to mitigate various types of voltage sags.
Benefits of filters to reduce or eliminate
harmonics
Quantifying the benefits of filters to reduce or eliminate harmonics
includes calculating the energy savings and slowing down of equipment aging. Most studies evaluate only the energy savings that
result from reduced harmonics. One study analyzed the effect of various types of filters and their location in a building’s power system
serving a 60-kW load to determine their impact on reducing harmonic losses. Table 8.11 summarizes the reduction in cable and
transformer losses resulting from passive filters located in the
branch circuit and load center.
Benefits of reducing flicker
Quantifying the benefits of reducing flicker is subjective. It primarily
involves reducing customer complaints to a reasonable level. It is difficult to put a clear monetary value to customer complaints. Most flicker
studies focus on reducing flicker to a level that no longer is visible to
the human eye.
Step 4: Determine Economic Analysis
Method and Assumptions
An understanding of power quality economics is necessary to weigh
the power quality problem cost against the power quality solution benefits. As with all economic analysis, the time value of money over the
life cycle of the alternatives needs to be evaluated. Power quality solutions and loss production savings occur over time and must somehow
be compared to the initial cost of purchasing and installing the power
quality improvements. There are basically three standard methods for
TABLE 8.10
Weighting of Power Quality Improvement Alternatives by Disturbance Intensity
Type of condition
affecting
customer
Interruption
Sag below 50%
Sag between 50 and 70%
Sag between 70 and 80%
Sag between 80 and 90%
Total events affecting plant
Total events weighted
SOURCE:
Weighting
1.0
1.0
0.5
0.2
0.1
Courtesy of Electrotek Concepts, Inc.
Base
performance,
events/year
Reduction
with controls
protection
Reduction with
service entrance
energy storage
Reduction with
primary static
switch
Reduction with
static switch
and controls
protection
6.0
0.0
6.5
8.5
42.5
63.5
15.2
0%
0%
50%
85%
95%
15.2
8.4
60%
90%
90%
95%
95%
5.6
3.0
100%
90%
50%
30%
10%
47.45
6.6
100%
90%
70%
90%
92%
6.2
1.5
263
264
Chapter Eight
TABLE 8.11 Energy Savings Benefits of Harmonic Filters in an
Office Building
Location
Branch circuit
passive filter
Load center
passive filter
Cables, W
Transformer, W
Total savings for 60-kW load, W
Percent savings for 60-kW load
1993
2591
4584
7.6
1191
986
2177
3.6
SOURCE:
Jih-Sheng Lai and Thomas Key. “Effectiveness of Harmonic Mitigation
Equipment for Commercial Office Buildings.” IEEE 1996 Industry Applications
Society Annual Meeting, October 8–10, 1996. Copyright © 1996 IEEE. All rights
reserved.
evaluating alternative power quality improvement choices. These
three methods are
1. Equivalent investment cost
2. Present worth
3. Benefit to cost
Each one of these methods will be discussed as it applies to the initial cost of the power quality solution and the cost to operate and
maintain the power quality improvement. Each method must be
applied to the power quality economic formula in such a way that the
various parts of the formula are compared on an equitable basis. How
to determine the power quality economic method as it relates to the
power quality economics formula is a matter of company policy and
personal preference. The economic method should have no effect on
the decision as to what power quality improvement to make. In evaluating power quality improvements, the power quality economic
method is applied to the components of the total power quality
improvement cost:
TPQIC PQIB PQIC
(8.1)
where TPQIC total cost of the power quality improvement
PQIB power quality improvement benefit in $/year
PQIC power quality improvement cost in $/year
The resulting numbers derived from any one of these methods applied
to the TPQIC formula can be used to choose the most cost-effective
power quality improvement. Some power quality improvement purchasers, because of the uncertainty of the assumptions and values
used in the TPQIC formula, choose to use sensitivity analysis. A sensitivity analysis involves determining how sensitive the TPQIC results
Power Quality Economics
265
are to assumptions and values in the TPQIC formula. How to perform
a sensitivity analysis will be discussed later in this chapter.
Power quality improvement—purchaser
perspective
The purchaser, whether a utility or an end user of power quality
improvement, such as power conditioning equipment, wants to make a
decision as to what power quality improvement to make with a minimum amount of difficulty. An understanding of the various methods
for performing an economic analysis of a power quality improvement
purchase is essential to reducing that difficulty. The purchaser needs
to decide on an economic methodology that he or she is most comfortable in using. It is important the purchaser consistently use the same
economic method throughout the purchasing decision making process.
This allows the supplier of the power quality improvement to provide
one that meets the needs and values of the customer and takes into
consideration the life cycle of the improvement.
Life cycle
In performing any kind of economic analysis it is necessary to take into
account the life cycle cost of the power quality improvement. Life cycle
costing is the fundamental concept used in deriving the TPQIC formula. It involves calculating the total cost of ownership over the life
span of the power quality improvement. Only then can the reduced
cost of power quality problems be compared to the cost of purchasing,
operating, and maintaining the power quality improvement. Then
what is the life span of a power quality improvement? Is it based on its
expected life before failure? Or is it based on its expected life before
replacement?
Most utilities and some commercial and industrial users use the
expected life before replacement to evaluate the power quality improvement. This is because the improvement will probably have to be
replaced because of changes in the facility requirements before it fails.
There are many factors that affect a power quality improvement’s
life. Anything that affects the effectiveness of the power quality
improvement reduces its life. Such things as overloading the facilities,
transients, poor wiring and grounding, and extreme temperatures
affect the life of power conditioning equipment and other power quality
improvements. High voltage is one of the major causes of reduced power
conditioning equipment life.
Most power quality improvement studies assume a 5-year time
frame. This time frame allows for the uncertainty of future changes in
266
Chapter Eight
the facility that may reflect on the effectiveness of the power quality
improvement.
Time value of money
Each one of the economic analysis methods involves the time value of
money. What is the time value of money? Time value of money means
that money increases in value over time, depending on the return on
the investment. If money is deposited to an interest-bearing savings
account or money market, it could appreciate in value to the tune of
about 5 to 6 percent a year, while if money is invested in a stock or
mutual fund, it could appreciate 10 to 20 percent or more a year. Each
company or person has an expectation on the time value of money. But
to ignore its value over time is not practical. Both the cost and the benefit of the power quality improvement have time value.
An understanding of simple interest rate is essential to an understanding of the time value of money. Simple interest rate, carrying
charge rate, minimum acceptable rate of return, cash flow diagrams,
and the various engineering economic factors necessary to perform
power quality economic analysis are discussed in various engineering
economic books and in Energy Efficient Transformers, McGraw-Hill,
1997, by Barry W. Kennedy. This chapter compares the various methods for evaluating a power quality improvements benefits and initial
cost and explains how to use these methods starting with the equivalent first cost method.
Equivalent first cost
The equivalent first cost method is probably the most popular method.
This is because it is the most straightforward of all the methods. This
method involves taking the TPQIC formula and adding the various
components without any additional modifications to those components. The price is the bid price of the power quality improvement supplied by the power conditioning manufacturer or the power quality
expert. This price requires no modification. The other methods for
evaluating power quality improvements are a modification of the
equivalent first cost method, starting with the present worth method.
Present worth method
The present worth method requires referring each component of the
TPQIC formula back to a common date. This provides a comparison of
the cost and benefits of various power quality improvement alternatives. The life of the study and the carrying-charge rate (fixed-charge
rate) remain constant in this method.
Power Quality Economics
267
In the present worth method the annual cost and benefits are multiplied by the uniform series present worth (USPW) factor. This converts the equal annual cost values into a present worth value. Thus
the levelized annual price and the levelized annual costs of operation
and maintenance of the power quality improvement are each converted into present worth values. This can best be seen by looking at a harmonic filter example. In this case, the following assumptions are
made: Cost of energy is $0.10/kWh, filter equipment life is 12 years,
the discount rate per year is 8 percent, 240 personal computers operate 12 hours per day, 365 days per year, and maintenance and repair
cost applies only at the subpanel. Table 8.12 summarizes the results of
this economic analysis.
Again, because all the components of the TPQIC are multiplied by the
uniform series present worth factor, the relative relationship between
power quality improvement alternatives is not changed. The cost-effectiveness of the various alternatives will be the same in the present
worth method as in the equivalent initial cost method and the benefitto-cost method. The USPW can be determined from a table, assuming a
minimum acceptable rate of return and the life of the study.
Benefit-to-cost method
The benefit-to-cost method involves taking the ratio of the annual benefit of the power quality improvement to the annual cost of the power
quality problem. This provides a comparison of the cost and benefits of
various power quality improvement alternatives. The life of the study
and the carrying-charge rate (fixed-charge rate) remain constant in
TABLE 8.12
Present Value of Different Filter Options in an Office
Building
Location
Branch circuit
passive filter,
Load center
$ passive filter, $
Purchase cost
Floor space cost
Installation cost
Maintenance/repair
Operating cost at $0.10/kWh
Life cycle cost
Life cycle energy savings
Present value
Daily cost
12,000
0
0
0
4,038
16,038
14,941
1,097
0.16
1800
1000
500
462
4,038
7,800
7,800
552
0.13
SOURCE:
Jih-Sheng Lai and Thomas Key. “Effectiveness of Harmonic Mitigation
Equipment for Commercial Office Buildings.” IEEE 1996 Industry Applications
Society Annual Meeting, October 8–10, 1996. Copyright © 1996 IEEE. All rights
reserved.
268
Chapter Eight
this method. This can best be seen by looking at the TPQIC formula
for this method:
Benefit/cost PQIB/PQIC
(8.4)
The power quality improvements with benefit-to-cost ratios greater
than 1 and with the greatest benefit-to-cost ratio are the preferred
alternatives. This method can best be understood by applying it to a
large customer served by San Diego Gas and Electric that was experiencing outages and voltage sag power quality problems. In this case,
the following assumptions were made: Total load equals 1000 kVA, life
of the study is 5 years, and the discount rate per year is 10 percent.
Table 8.13 summarizes the results of this economic analysis.
Step 5: Perform Economic Analysis
Before performing the economic analysis, analysts must take into consideration the uncertainty of the assumptions. This can be accomplished by performing an uncertainty analysis.
Uncertainty
Uncertainty as to the validity of the TPQIC values is always a concern
of the utility or end user. No matter what method is used to calculate
TPQIC, its value is uncertain. This uncertainty is increased by to the
lack of stability of rates in the utility industry and the changes in power quality. This increased uncertainty causes a concern about the various assumptions required in calculating the TPQIC. The uncertainty
is compounded by the need to evaluate over the life of the study.
Reliance on the assumed future value of the cost of energy and capacity, escalation and discount rates, and load can effect the value of the
TPQIC and the consequent decision to buy the most cost-effective power quality improvement. How does the power quality improvement
purchaser deal with these uncertainties? Rather than rely on the
absolute TPQIC values, many decision makers can use the sensitivity
analysis approach.
Sensitivity analysis
Sensitivity analysis is a method for determining the effect of changes
in the components in the TPQIC formula on the overall TPQIC results.
It is accomplished by assuming small changes in those components
and calculating the resulting change in the TPQIC. These components
include fixed-charge rate, minimum rate of return, system energy and
capacity cost, magnitude of operation and maintenance cost, the
TABLE 8.13
Benefit/Cost Comparison of Power Quality Improvement Alternatives
Power conditioning
technology
Feeder reactor
Primary static switch
Electronic voltage regulator
UPS
Synchronous motor-generator
with flywheel
Energy storage technologies
Secondary static switch
Protect controls with CVTs
Protect controls and selected
drives
SOURCE:
Expected
savings,
XCi
Expected
savings,
$
Cost for
solution,
$/kVA
Size
required,
kVA
Total
solution
cost, $
Annual
operating cost,
% of total cost
Total
annual
cost, $
Benefit/
cost
ratio
1.7
2.2
4.10
5.40
170,000
220,000
410,000
540,000
60
200
800
1,000,000
10,000
10,000
2,000
2
600,000
2,000,000
1,600,000
283,797
5
10
25
0.6
188,278
727,595
822,076
1.17
0.56
0.6 6
5.15
5.15
2.20
3.26
515,000
515,000
220,000
326,000
400
800
100
2,000
2,000
2,000
800,000
1,600,000
200,000
50,000
25
15
5
5
411,038
662,0 76
62,759
15,690
1.25
0.78
3.51
20.78
3.90
390,000
150,000
8
$15,570
7.56
McGranaghan, et al. “Economic Evaluation Procedure for Assessing Power Quality Improvement Alternatives.” Proceedings of PQA ‘97 North
America, March 3–6, 1997, Columbus, Ohio.
269
270
Chapter Eight
weighting factors of various levels of power quality, and projected
inflation. The price of the power quality improvement is usually based
on bid prices and needs to be evaluated for its sensitivity to possible
change.
The first step in performing a sensitivity analysis is develop a base
case of TPQIC, based on the mostly likely TPQIC component values.
The next step is to vary the value of the TPQIC components from the
base case. Then the changes in TPQIC can be plotted on a graph as one
TPQIC component changes while the others remain the same. At the
point where a particular TPQIC component incremental change
results in a change in the decision as to which power quality improvement is cost-effective, the decision maker can decide if this change is
likely to occur.
One method of performing a sensitivity analysis is to calculate the
parameter sensitivity. Parameter sensitivity is defined as the percent
input parameter variation required for a 1 percent change in the total
levelized cost of ownership output parameter. Large numbers are an
indication that the TPQIC is insensitive to change in parameters. The
parameter sensitivity ratio can be determined from the following formula:
percent change input 102
Parameter sensitivity ratio in percent percent change output
(8.5)
There are other factors that need to be considered in evaluating the
TPQIC of a power quality improvement. They include the environmental effects of equipment, equipment reliability, and the effect of
operating temperature on TPQIC.
Computer Programs
Several custom power manufacturers have developed computer programs for calculating TPQIC. In addition to the programs developed
by the custom power manufacturers, EPRI has developed a computer program for evaluating power quality improvements. The EPRI
program is called the Economic Assessment Module of EPRI’s Power
Quality Diagnostic System. It is available to EPRI members of the
power quality business unit. Other programs are available from various manufacturers of power conditioning and customer power
equipment. They are all modifications to the TPQIC method. They
are usually run on Windows. Some custom power manufacturers
have developed computer programs.
Power Quality Economics
271
References
1. Bhatt, Siddharth. 1998. “Economic Decision Making Methodology for Power Quality
Costs and Solutions Applicable to Both Sides of the Meter.” Proceedings of PQA ‘98
Southern Hemisphere Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, November, 9–11.
2. Dugan, R. C., et al., 1994. “Impact of Fast Tripping of Utility Breakers on Industrial
Load Interruptions.” IEEE 1994 Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting,
October 2–6.
3. McGranaghan, et al. 1997. “Economic Evaluation Procedure for Assessing Power
Quality Improvement Alternatives.” Proceedings of PQA ‘97 North America,
Columbus, Ohio, March 3–6.
4. Wagner, John P. 1992. “Cost of Power Quality in the ITE Industry.” Proceedings of
Second International Conference on Power Quality End-use Applications and
Perspectives, vol. 1, Atlanta, Georgia, September 28–30.
5. Billmann, Jennifer. 1995. “Good Power-Quality Service Is Achievable.” Electric
Light & Power, vol. 73, no. 7, July, p. 23.
6. Sullivan, M. J., T. Vardell, and M. Johnson, 1996. “Power Interruption Costs
to Industrial and Commercial Consumers of Electricity. 1996 Industrial and
Commercial Power Systems Technical Conference, May 6–9, p. 23–35.———,
B. Noland Suddeth, Terry Vardell, and Ali Vojdani. 1996. “Interruption Costs,
Customer Satisfaction and Expectations for Service Reliability.” IEEE
Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 11, no. 2, May, pp. 989–995.
7. Dugan, R. C., et al. 1999. “Using Voltage Sag and Interruption Indices in
Distribution Planning.” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 2, Singapore,
January 31–February 4, pp. 1164–1169.
8. Dougherty, Jeff G., and Wayne L. Stebbins. 2000. “Power Quality: A Utility and
Industry Perspective.” Energy User News, March, vol. 26, no. 3, p. 12–15.
9. Muller, Dave. 1999. “Analyzing the Economics of Customer Power
Solutions.” IEEE/PES 1999 Winter Meeting, New York, NY, January 31–February
4, 1999.
10. Roettger, Bill, et al. 1998. “Evaluating Power Quality Solutions with PQDS
Economic Assessment Module.” Proceedings of PQA ‘98 North America, Phoenix,
Arizona, June 8–11.
11. Key, Thomas, and Jih-Sheng Lai. 1995. “Costs and Benefits of Current Reduction for
Switch-Mode Power Supplies in a Commercial Office Building.” IEEE 1995 Industry
Applications Society Annual Meeting, October 8–12, Orlando, Florida, 1995.
12. Lai, Jih-Sheng, and Thomas Key. 1996. “Effectiveness of Harmonic
Mitigation Equipment for Commercial Office Buildings.” IEEE 1996 Industry
Applications Society Annual Meeting, October 8–10, 1996.
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Chapter
9
Future Trends
Many future trends on both sides of the revenue meter will affect power
quality issues. The increased use of computers and the deregulation of
the electric utility industry are both future trends that will have a significant impact on power quality. These trends invoke several questions. How much will these trends affect power quality? Will power
quality deteriorate and become more costly? Will there be more power
quality services available to the end user? Will the end user have to
become more knowledgeable about power quality? What new technologies are likely to develop in the future? Will new technologies
become more sensitive to the quality of power? Will there be increased
or reduced use of sensitive electronic equipment? Will the future use of
more sensitive electronic equipment result in more power quality
problems between end users?
Both utilities and their customers have questions about how to prepare for changes in power quality service. How can utilities or residential, commercial, and industrial end users of power respond in a way
that takes into account the future trends of power quality? How can utilities provide power quality services without losing customers? What will
end users do if their local utility does not care about power quality?
Many utility customers have questions about the effect of utility deregulation on the quality and reliability of the power they receive from their
utilities. How will deregulation affect the utility industry’s ability to provide reliable and quality power? Will the utilities continue to provide
power quality services? Will they reduce or increase their power quality
research and development efforts? Will they continue to develop ways to
reduce the cost of power at the expense of power quality? How will they
respond to the changes occurring in the electric utility industry?
273
Copyright © 2000 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
274
Chapter Nine
The power quality industry has several concerns about the future of
research and development. How will research organizations, like the
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), respond to the changes in
the utility industry? Will utilities continue to fund research and
development for power quality products? How will their research and
development priorities be affected by the changes in the electric utility industry?
This chapter will attempt to answer these and other questions about
the future trends in power quality. Future trends are driven by the
three factors of competition, technology, and deregulation. The purpose of this chapter is to examine how the future trends of competition,
technology changes, and deregulation will affect the availability of
power quality in the foreign and domestic markets. One of today’s
major uncertainties and a future trend that could have the greatest
effect on power quality is the deregulation of the electric utility industry in the United States.
United States Electric Utility Deregulation
The deregulation of the utility industry blurs the roles of the utilities
and their customers. It redefines who is responsible for delivering
power quality. How do utility customers determine not only who is
responsible for power quality but what level of power quality they
should expect? The characteristics and sensitivity of end-user equipment within customer facilities ultimately define power quality
requirements. Improving the energy efficiency and productivity of
industrial and commercial facilities can sometimes result in the use
of technology that either causes power quality problems or is sensitive
to power quality variations. Historically, utilities have concerned
themselves only with power quality problems that they cause to their
customers.
Deregulation will change utilities from full-service to specific-service companies. Transmission, distribution, and generation functions
in a utility could become separate companies. Several issues related
to the roles of these new companies will become apparent. What are
the power quality requirements at the interface between the transmission company and the distribution company? What is the base
level of power quality that must be supplied by the distribution company to its end-use customers? What kinds of enhanced power quality services can the energy service company offer to end-use
customers? How will these changes affect the market for power conditioning and measuring instruments? How will deregulation affect
the reliability and power quality of the power system? The answers
Future Trends
275
to all of these questions come from an examination of the new structure for the utility industry.
The electric utility industry will probably undergo the same radical change that occurred in the gas, trucking, telecommunications,
and airline industries. Several factors contribute to causing the electric utility industry to change. The variation of electric rates from
one state to another throughout the United States provides a strong
impetus for the utility industry to change. As shown in Figure 9.1,
Hawaii had the highest rate of 12.12 cents per kilowatt-hour in
1996, while Wyoming had the lowest rate at 4.31 cents per kilowatthour. The electricity consumer sees this inequity of rates as unfair.
Why should an end user in one state pay more for electricity than an
end user in another state? Why shouldn’t all end users of electricity
have the same access to lower rates? Yes, the consumer’s desire for
lower rates provides one of the main driving forces to deregulate the
electric utility industry. But how will it affect power quality? Won’t
deregulation result in cheaper but lower-grade power? How will end
users get the power quality they need? The more they understand
Figure 9.1
tration.)
Electric utility rates by states. (Courtesy of Energy Information Adminis-
276
Chapter Nine
the electric utility industry and how it will change, the better they
will be able to obtain the power quality they need.
U.S. electric power industry
The U.S. electric power industry has included traditional electric utilities, power marketers, and nonutility power producers. In 1996,
approximately 3200 traditional utilities included investor-owned, publicly owned, cooperatives, and federal utilities. Investor-owned utilities represented 8 percent of the total number of utilities and 75
percent of the generation, sales, and revenue. The approximately 2000
publicly owned utilities represented 62 percent of the total utilities,
provided 10 percent of the generation, accounted for 15 percent of
retail sales and 13 percent of revenues, and included municipalities,
public power districts, state agencies, and irrigation districts. The
approximately 950 cooperative utilities represented 29 percent of the
utilities, approximately 8 percent of sales and revenues, and about 4
percent of generation and generating capability. The 10 federal electric utilities included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the
Department of Defense, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of
Reclamation in the Department of the Interior, the International
Boundary and Water Commission in the Department of State, the
Power Marketing Administration in the Department of Energy
(Bonneville, Southeastern, Southwestern, and Western Area), and the
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The three federal agencies that
own and operate generation facilities include TVA, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Even
though power marketers have bought and sold electricity, they have
not owned or operated generation, transmission, or distribution facilities. Nonutilities include owners of qualifying facilities and wholesale exempt generators, cogenerators, and independent power
producers. Figure 9.2 is a bar graph of the 1996 composition of the
electric power industry in the United States.
Local, state, and federal agencies presently regulate these utilities.
Federal agencies, like the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency (FERC),
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), regulate interstate activities and wholesale
rates (sales and purchases between utilities); license hydroelectric
facilities, nuclear safety, and waste disposal; and oversee environmental concerns. Each state regulates intrastate activities, plant and
transmission line construction, and retail rates.
As a result of the 1965 power blackout in the northeast, the electric
utility industry in 1968 formed the North American Electric
Reliability Council (NERC). As shown in Figure 9.3, the NERC con-
Future Trends
Federal Utilities
10
Investor-Owned
Utilities
277
Total Numbers
Utilities: = 3,195
Nonutilities = 1,994
243
Cooperative
Utilities
932
Publicly Owned
Utilities
2,010
Nonutilities
1,994
0
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
Notes:
Data are preliminary. Power marketers, Puerto Rico, and U,S, Territories are not included.
Nonutilities represent the number of generating facilities, as these facilities are generally
incorporated, and each is required to file Form EIA-867.
Sources:
Energy Information Administration, Office of Coal, Nuclear, Electric, and Alternate Fuels.
Figure 9.2 Composition of the U.S. electric power industry in 1996. (Courtesy of Energy
Information Administration.)
sists of 10 regional councils in the 48 contiguous states, a portion of
Baja California, Mexico, and portions of Canada bordering the United
States. The councils coordinate the bulk power policies that affect the
reliability and adequacy of electrical service of the interconnected power systems in their areas. NERC continues to function even though the
electric utility industry began to restructure with the passage of the
1992 Energy Policy Act.
1992 Energy Policy Act
With the passage of the 1992 Energy Policy Act, the U.S. Congress set
in motion the process of deregulating the electric power industry. The
purpose of this legislation was to bring competition to an industry dominated for many years by monopolistic vertically integrated utilities.
Congress initiated the following three steps to encourage competition in
the electric power industry. The first step required utilities to provide
open access to “wheeling” on their transmission and distribution (T&D)
systems. The second step required utilities to separate their power business from their transmission and distribution business. The third step
278
Chapter Nine
ECAR ERCOT FRCC MAAC MAIN -
East Central Area Reliability Coordination Agreement
Electric Reliability Council of Texas
Florida Reliability Coordinating Council
Mid-Atlantic Area Council
Mid-America Interconnected Network
MAPP
NPCC
SERC
SPP
WSCC
-
Mid-Continent Area Power Pool
Northeast Power Coordinating Council
Southeastern Electric Reliability Council
Southwest Power Pool
Western Systems Coordinating Council
Figure 9.3 NERC regional councils and Alaska affiliate. (Reprinted with permission ©
2000 by the North American Electric Reliability Council. All rights reserved.)
provided end users an opportunity to choose the electrical supplier
regardless of who provided the transmission and distribution service to
them. This last step implemented retail wheeling. As shown in Figure
9.4, retail wheeling allows an electrical supplier to wheel (transfer) power on a local distribution company’s system to deliver power to the end
user. Congress designed the deregulating process to encourage electrical
suppliers to compete with one another and supposedly reduce the price
of electricity. This deregulation process has caused the electrical power
industry to make business decisions similar to those that occurred during the deregulation of the telecommunication and airline industries.
The reaction by some utilities to the 1992 Energy Policy Act has
been to make decisions regarding additions or improvements to
their transmission and distribution power systems and generation
resources based on short-range factors. Because of the uncertainties
about the effect of deregulation, these utilities’ primary concern is to
keep capital expenditures to a minimum. Many utility analysts
think that new generation resources are being delayed to the last
possible moment. This has resulted in a decrease in generation
capacity margin (power supply versus demand) from 20% in 1990 to
approximately 13% in 1996, as shown in Figure 9.5. This will result
in utilities relying more on switching breakers generation to obtain
Future Trends
279
Figure 9.4 Retail wheeling.
25
Generation Margin (%)
20
15
10
5
Decreasing generation
margin. (Source: Cambridge Energy
Research Associates and Venture
Development Corporation.)
Figure 9.5
0
1984
1990
Year
1995
power from alternative sources. More utility switching will probably
cause more power quality problems from switching surges and voltage sags. On the end-user side of the meter, increased use of sensitive power electronic equipment, rising from 30% of the electric
power in 1995 to 50% after the turn of the century, will result in
more quality problems. This will result in the increased need for
power quality products and services.
The 1992 Energy Policy Act set in motion, at the national level, the
changes needed to start deregulation of the U.S. electric power industry.
280
Chapter Nine
However, since each state regulates the utilities within its jurisdiction,
each state will have to pass legislation to deregulate electric utilities.
Rhode Island and California started the process of deregulation in 1996.
Many states are considering the consequences of deregulating the electric utilities in their states. As shown on the map in Figure 9.6, as of
July 1, 1999, almost half of the states enacted restructuring (deregulation) legislation, and the remainder are in various stages of considering
it. Meanwhile, utilities, in anticipation of being deregulated, have begun
to unbundle their electric services. What is unbundling?
Unbundling
Unbundling is the buzz word in the utility industry for separating the
various services that the regulated, all-service utility provided to its
Restructuring Legislation Enacted1
Comprehensive Regulatory Order Issued2
Legislation/Orders Pending3
Commission or Legislative Investigation Ongoing4
Figure 9.6 July 1, 1999, state-by-state status of electric utility restructuring. (Courtesy
of Energy Information Administration.)
Future Trends
281
customers. Those services, including power quality, were bundled
together under one rate. It was like buying a postage stamp. Everyone
paid the same price for the stamp no matter how far the letter was
sent. So everyone paid postage stamp rates for their electricity. In the
new deregulated utility industry, the utility customer will no longer
get all those services under one postage stamp rate but will have to
pay for those services separately, as shown in Figure 9.7.
As discussed in Chapter 1, electrical customers will pay for electrical energy provided by unregulated GENCOs or independent power
producers (IPPs) and delivery of the energy from regulated transmission companies (TRANSCOs) and distribution companies (DISTCOs).
Either regulated DISTCOs or unregulated energy service companies
called ESCOs will provide power quality services for an extra charge,
as shown in Figure 9.8. The production companies (GENCOs or IPPs)
will sell power under contracts to bulk power traders. A separate company called a meter service provider (MSP) will provide revenue
meters. Regional transmission network operators (TRANSCOs) will
provide transmission access to get the power to the distribution systems supplying the customers. Finally, DISTCOs will provide the final
delivery of the electricity to individual end-use customers. These distribution companies, or “wires” companies, will likely supply the only
delivery services. Regulators will regulate access charges and terms
for these services.
Figure 9.7 Unbundling services power quality services.
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Figure 9.8 Regulated and unregulated power quality services.
Utility power quality business opportunities. The new utility structure
provides business opportunities for unbundled utility customer services. Utilities have created unregulated subsidiaries at a tremendous
pace in order to tap this potential market for customer services. They
have formed retail energy marketing businesses or separate energy
service companies (ESCOs). These businesses have the opportunity to
provide services that include evaluation of power quality concerns and
implementation of power quality improvement technologies. These
businesses have no geographic boundaries. Once they acquire expertise and products, they can offer services worldwide, unrestricted by
traditional service territory. One of these services includes power quality enhancement.
Power quality enhancement programs can include one or several
elements. A power quality program could include power quality training, monitoring, surveys or audits, and the selling or leasing of power
conditioning equipment. Many utilities have tried selling or leasing
power conditioning equipment and found it to be a low profit producer, while others have found that offering emergency backup service at
a premium cost can be a worthwhile business. Many have found that
offering power quality consulting and monitoring service improves
their relationships with their customers. Some utilities are learning to
look at power quality services as not only a way to improve customer
relations but also as a new revenue source. As shown in Figure 9.9,
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283
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
1993
1991
1989
1987
1985
0
1983
10
Figure 9.9 Estimated percent of utilities providing power quality pro-
gram. (Courtesy of EPRI.)
since 1993, most utilities provide some type of power quality service to
their customers.
Several utilities offer a variety of power quality services. For example, Consolidated Edison Co. (Con Ed), the New York City utility, created a Power Quality Service Center (PQSC). The PQSC provides
training and technical information on power quality in a deregulated
utility environment to Con Ed’s customers and other interested parties in its service region. It has already presented several 1-day seminars on wiring and grounding, site surveys, and power measurement.
Con Ed has also installed 100 permanent power quality monitors
throughout its service territory, using the Internet to access the power
quality status of its customers. Many utilities offer power quality services and products to their industrial, commercial, and residential
customers. In addition to utilities, power conditioning equipment and
power quality measuring instruments manufacturers see a growth
trend in the power quality market.
Power quality market growth. The July 1999 issue of Power Quality
Assurance magazine contained several articles by experts from Frost
and Sullivan, an international marketing and training company, on the
increased need for power quality products and services. In these articles, Frost and Sullivan experts segmented the power quality product
market into test and measurement instruments, UPSs, TVSSs, and
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Chapter Nine
other power conditioning equipment. Frost and Sullivan expects the
total North American power quality market in 1999 of $5.13 billion to
increase to $8.37 billion by the year 2003, as shown in Figure 9.10. One
article projected that the market for power quality test and measurement instrumentation will increase from $214.6 million in 1999 to
$280.4 million by 2003, as shown in Figure 9.11. Meanwhile, the market for UPSs increased from $2.4 billion in 1999 to $5.0 billion by 2003,
as shown in Figure 9.12. The market for TVSSs and other power conditioning equipment grew from $1.89 billion in 1999 to $5.03 billion by
2003, as shown in Figure 9.13. Another article indicated that the market for market quality services will increase from $372.1 million in
1999 to $497 million by 2003, as shown in Figure 9.14. One power quality service that utilities as well as power quality equipment manufacturers offer is power quality training. They see power quality training
as a marketing tool for other power quality services and products.
Power quality training. Utilities; consultants; universities; professional
organizations like IEEE and the National Electrical Contractors
Association (NECA); electrical research organizations like EPRI; utility
associations like the Northwest Power Quality Service Center
(NWPQSC), American Public Power Association (APPA), and Western
Area Power Institute (WAPI); and manufacturers of power conditioning
$10
$8.37
Billions of Dollars
$8
$6
$5.13
$4
$2
$0
1999
2003
Year
Figure 9.10 North American power quality market segment growth. (Courtesy
of Power Quality Assurance magazine.)
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$300
$280.4
Millions of Dollars
$214.6
$200
$100
$0
1999
2003
Year
Figure 9.11 North American test and measurement instrumentation power
quality market. (Courtesy of Power Quality Assurance magazine.)
$6
$5.0
Billions of Dollars
$5
$4
$3
$2.4
$2
$1
$0
1999
2003
Year
Figure 9.12 North American UPS market. (Courtesy of Power Quality Assur-
ance magazine.)
285
286
Chapter Nine
$6
$5.03
Billions of Dollars
$5
$4
$3
$2
$1.89
$1
$0
1999
2003
Year
Figure 9.13 North American TVSS and power conditioning equipment market. (Courtesy of Power Quality Assurance magazine.)
$497
$500
Milions of Dollars
$400
$372.1
$300
$200
$100
$0
1999
2003
Year
Figure 9.14 North American power quality services market. (Courtesy of Power
Quality Assurance magazine.)
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287
equipment and power quality instruments provide various types of
power quality training. Training in the last few years has progressed
from classroom lectures to a combination of classroom lectures and
hands-on classes that involve the use of power quality instruments.
They offer classes not only on the technical aspects of power quality but
also on how to develop a power quality program and business. The
hands-on classes, as shown in Figure 9.15 and lecture classes, as shown
in Figure 9.16, provide participants essential experience in how to use
power quality measurement instruments and troubleshoot problems.
However, they have disadvantages for the presenters and the participants. The presenters must provide and set up expensive equipment.
The participants usually must travel a long distance to the location of
the class. New computer-based courses provide the hands-on experience without these disadvantages.
Computer-based courses may come on CD-ROM or even on the
Internet. They offer the same hands-on experience available from
actual instruments by the use of virtual power quality instruments
and power quality problem situations displayed on a computer screen.
These computer-based interactive courses avoid the need for presenters to provide expensive power quality laboratory exercises and participants to pay for expensive trips to the classes. They also have the
advantage of allowing the participants to control when they want to
access the course. Power quality training will become even more
important to electricity end users as they experience more choices in
the deregulated utility environment.
End-user choices and concerns. While the new utility structure will
provide opportunities for new businesses, it will also cause new problems for unprepared end users. They will need to know how to access
companies that can help them solve power quality problems. Like good
Boy Scouts, end users will need to be prepared. Yes, electricity consumers will have the opportunity to choose who sells them electrical
Figure 9.15
PowerCET.)
Hands-on power quality class. (Courtesy of
288
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Figure 9.16 Power quality lecture class. (Courtesy of PowerCET.)
energy. They may even have a choice of who provides them their electric revenue meters. With choice comes responsibility. When the local
utility becomes primarily a “wires” company, it will most likely not
offer power quality services. Consequently, end users will probably not
be able to rely on their local utility to help them solve their power quality problems. And if the local utility does provide power quality services, it will probably charge for those services.
End users can prepare for deregulation by taking several precautions, as shown in Figure 9.17. First, they can request that their local
utility perform a power quality survey. Many utilities offer this service
free or at a minimal cost. Next, they can keep good records of their
maintenance practices and any electrical failures or equipment malfunctions. This information will help solve power quality problems.
They can keep current on the changes happening in the electric utility industry and how they might affect their local servicing utility. The
old adage of “Caveat emptor—Let the buyer beware” applies to the
electrical consumer in the deregulated utility environment. As in any
market, informed buyers make better choices. They should consider
taking power quality training classes. From these classes, they can
learn how to access good power quality service, buy appropriate
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289
products, and possibly solve their own power quality problems. If they
have sensitive equipment in their facilities, they should consider the
benefits of installing permanent power quality monitoring instruments along with their revenue meters at the point of common coupling with the utility. Finally, they should have readily available the
telephone numbers of electronic equipment vendors, power conditioning equipment vendors, local utility customer service representatives,
and power quality experts. Certainly, if they arm themselves with the
knowledge and procedures contained in this book, they will have the
tools that will prepare them for the changes in the utility industry.
They will know how to obtain the power quality they need in the
deregulated utility industry environment, as shown in Figure 9.17.
Many end users and utilities have learned to reach across the meter
into each other’s electrical power systems. Many have learned the value of establishing power quality standards and contracts. They have
learned how to deal with power quality issues that affect both sides of
the meter before the electric utility industry becomes more complicated. They understand that they need contracts that protect the power
quality of one end user from impacting the power quality of another
end user.
For example, a municipal utility in the Pacific Northwest recently
became concerned about the effects of a new load. The utility was concerned that the new load might inject harmonics into the utility’s distribution system and into customers adjacent to the new load. The new
load melts titanium in an electron beam furnace. Electron beam furnaces generate harmonics that can get onto the utility system and
affect the operation of other utility customers’ facilities. In order to
protect its own distribution system voltage from harmonic distortion
caused by the electron beam furnace, it prepared a contract between
the utility and the electron beam furnace customer. In the contract,
Figure 9.17 End-user
quality precautions.
power
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Chapter Nine
the electron beam furnace customer agreed to keep its harmonics from
exceeding IEEE 519-1992 standards. The utility installed a permanent monitor at the site to record and display any harmonics. The utility connected the monitor to the Internet and utilized a system that
allows access of the monitor data via the Internet.
The new deregulated utility structure creates the need for contracts
between companies other than just between the local utility and its
customer. The new deregulated model includes GENCOs, TRANSCOs,
DISTCOs, and ESCOs as well as end-use customers. End-use customers will have to deal with all these companies. The contracts will
have to address issues of reliability and power quality, as well as the
obvious issues of prices and delivery requirements. Power quality contracts will help establish responsibilities for various types of power
quality problems and procedures for addressing those problems when
they occur.
Requirements for power quality contracts
Parties involved in the contract and the characteristics of the power
system affect the requirements of particular power quality contracts.
These contracts address several areas, including the following:
■
Reliability/power quality concerns to be evaluated
■
Performance indices to be used
■
Expected level of performance (baseline)
■
Penalty for performance outside the expected level and/or incentives
for performance better than the expected level (financial penalties,
performance-based rates, shared savings, etc.)
■
Measurement/calculation methods to verify performance
■
Responsibilities for each party in achieving the desired performance
■
Responsibilities of the parties for resolving problems
The following sections present summaries of the most important of
these concerns for each type of contract. Each concern contains a
description of important factors included in the contracts. Figure 9.18
illustrates some of the important contractual relationships for power
quality considerations.
Contracts between TRANSCO and DISTCO
or direct-service customer
Contracts between transmission companies and distribution companies (or large direct-service customers) define the power quality
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291
Figure 9.18 Contract relationships in the restructured utility environment.
requirements and responsibilities at the distribution substation interface between the two systems. Power quality disturbances provide an
effective way to categorize these requirements and responsibilities.
Voltage regulation, unbalance, flicker. The contract between the two
companies should contain a description of the steady-state voltage
characteristics that the TRANSCO supplies to the DISTCO or to a
direct-service customer. It should also describe the responsibilities for
voltage regulation between the two companies. Control of flicker levels requires limits on both parties. Responsibilities of the TRANSCO
include the overall flicker levels in the voltage. However, the DISTCO
or the direct-service customer has the responsibility to control fluctuating load characteristics. This becomes especially important for contracts between the transmission company and a large arc furnace
customer.
Harmonic distortion. The transmission supply company, or TRANSCO,
has the responsibility to supply quality voltage to the DISTCO or
direct-service customer, while the DISTCO or direct-service customer
has the responsibility to minimize the harmonic loading on its system.
IEEE 519-1992, or a similar standard describes the harmonic current
limits at the point of common coupling.
Transient voltages. Many utilities use capacitor banks at the transmission level for system voltage support and to improve power transfer
capabilities. When they switch these capacitor banks, it creates
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transient voltages. The transient voltage can impact distribution systems and end-use customers’ sensitive loads. After deregulation in
England, utilities and their customers experienced this problem with
no clear definition of responsibility for controlling the transient voltages. Everyone pointed the responsibility finger at the other company.
The transmission company declared that the transient voltages were
not excessive The distribution companies that served the customers
declared that the transients were caused by the transmission system.
In the United States, vertically integrated utilities solved these problems by controlling the switching of transmission capacitor banks (synchronous closing or closing resistors). Power quality contracts should
define the requirements for control of switching transients at the point
of common coupling (the supply substation). These requirements
should limit transients from capacitor switching to very low levels at
this point because of their potential for causing problems at lower voltages.
Voltage sags and interruptions. Contracts should define the expected
voltage sag and interruption performance at the point of common connection. It is important to recognize that faults on the transmission
system or faults on the downline distribution system can cause voltage
sags. Utilities have already implemented contracts that set voltage
sag limits that they will supply to their large customers. For example,
Detroit Edison, Consumers Power, and Centerior Electric have voltage
sag contracts with their large automotive manufacturing customers.
They have agreed to compensate their customers with payments or
reduced rates when the voltage sag and interruption performance falls
outside of specified levels.
Contracts between DISTCO and end users
(or end-user representative)
The power quality requirements at the point of common coupling
between the distribution system and end-use customers require definition. In some cases, the end users might act as customers of the distribution company. In other cases, the end users might have retail
marketers or energy service companies represent them to distribution
companies. Regulations will probably define the basic power quality
requirements at this interface. However, opportunities for performance-based rates or enhanced power quality service from the distribution system will create the need for more creative contracts.
Voltage regulation, unbalance, flicker. These contracts will include defin-
itions of the steady-state characteristics of the voltage DISTCOs supply
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293
to their end-use customers. They will also require end-use customers to
control fluctuating loads, unbalanced loads, and motor starting.
Harmonic distortion. IEEE 519-1992 describes the split of responsibility between the customer and the distribution system supplier in controlling harmonic distortion levels. The distribution companies have
the responsibility to limit the voltage distortion they supply their customers. End-use customers have the responsibility to limit harmonic
currents created by nonlinear loads within their facilities.
Transient voltages. Contracts between the distribution companies and
their customers can limit the impact of transient voltages. The importance of capacitor switching transients results from their impact on
sensitive loads. Distribution system suppliers should control their
capacitor switching to minimize transient voltage magnitudes.
However, customers should avoid magnifying transients by controlling
their use of power factor correction capacitors within their facilities.
The contracts should define the basic requirements and responsibilities for surge suppression to avoid problems with high-frequency transients associated with lightning.
Voltage sags and interruptions. These contracts should define expected
voltage sag and interruption performance. Utilities might offer
enhanced performance options in cases where economically they can
improve performance through modifications, or they might use power
conditioning equipment at the distribution system level.
Contracts between RETAILCO or ESCO and
end user
The retail energy marketers (RETAILCOs) or the energy service companies (ESCOs) will have separate contracts with their end-use customers.
These complex contracts will probably require more creativity to write
than the contracts between the DISTCOs and their end-use customers.
ESCOs may offer a wide range of services for improving the power quality, efficiency, and productivity of their customers. These diverse services
will dictate the contract requirements. One of these services includes
enhanced power quality requirements to improve productivity.
Enhanced power quality requirements to
improve productivity
The characteristics of the facility equipment define the power quality
requirements of the facility. Typically, voltage and current define power
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quality requirements. However, performance of the process can instead
provide a useful way to establish power quality requirements. ESCOs
instead of DISTCOs can guarantee power quality to their customers by
providing power conditioning equipment to protect the facility from
power quality problems. End-user customers can pay for these services
in terms of shared savings from improved productivity (similar to many
contracts that specify payments to energy service companies from the
shared savings of energy efficiency improvements). They also can make
fixed payments based on the power quality improvement requirements.
Power factor and harmonic control. The DISTCOs will require their
customers to meet certain harmonic control requirements. They will
probably include in their tariffs power factor penalties. The
RETAILCOs or the ESCOs will have to deal with these requirements.
They could offer to integrate harmonic control and power factor correction along with power conditioning equipment for voltage sag and
transient control.
Contracts between DISTCO and small IPP
Deregulation also creates more opportunities for small independent
power producers (IPPs) to generate and sell electricity. Many of these
smaller producers may locate their generators on distribution systems
and create a need to define the power quality requirements for this
interface (along with protection and reliability requirements). The power quality contracts will define the expected power quality that the IPP
can expect at the interface (similar to the contract with end users) and
will define the requirements for the IPP in terms of the quality of the
generated power. Important areas to consider for the IPP requirements
are the power fluctuations (e.g., start-up for motor-generator systems,
power fluctuations for wind or photovoltaic systems), harmonic characteristics of the generated current, power factor characteristics, balance.
Deregulation versus Regulation
Will the utilities responsible for T&D systems be deregulated or
remain regulated? The emphasis up to now in the deregulation process
is to deregulate the generation portion of the utility business. Electric
utility industry analysts seem to think that T&D systems, or “wires”
companies, will remain regulated. The need for power quality services
will continue whether the wires utilities are regulated or deregulated.
If the wires utilities are deregulated, they will have to compete among
themselves to participate in the wheeling of power to the end user of
electricity. Utilities that provide reliable and quality service can com-
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295
pete better in the long run than utilities that provide poor power quality and unreliable service. When deregulated, the telecommunications
industry had a similar experience. Because of modern society’s dependency on electricity for health and safety, electric utilities have even
more concern about power quality than telecommunication utilities.
Most likely, federal and state regulators will continue to regulate the
wires utilities. They need to regulate monopolies, like the wires utilities. If the federal and state regulators do regulate the wires utilities,
they will insist on the utilities designing reliable systems high in power quality. They will either institute incentives or set standards that
encourage wires utilities to keep their power systems reliable with
good power quality.
One way the regulators may encourage utilities to keep systems
high in reliability and power quality is to require that they meet certain reliability and power quality standards. In a regulated environment, utilities often maintained high standards of reliability and
power quality. In a deregulated environment, specific standards of
power quality will become essential.
Power Quality Standards
In a deregulated utility environment, power quality standards will
likely become mandatory. There is a great deal of concern that the
restructured utility industry will not provide the same reliable, highquality power that it has supplied in the past. In order to prevent the
quality of power and reliability of individual utility power systems
from deteriorating, regulators will most likely require utilities to
adhere to power quality and reliability standards. This will cause an
increased interest in power quality standards. Specific benchmarks of
power quality in various utility systems will be required to determine
whether a particular utility has met these standards. Utilities and
their customers will need to install permanent monitoring to develop
benchmark indices similar to those developed in the 2-year EPRI monitoring project. Many utilities, including TVA, Duke Power, and
Consolidated Edison, have already developed bench marking indices
based on monitoring critical loads over a long period of time. The U.S.
utilities will need to develop standards similar to the Euronorms
(EN50160) in Europe for harmonics, flicker, regulation, unbalance,
and disturbances and NRS 048 in South Africa for voltage sag.
International Utility Competition
Increased utility competition has not confined itself to the United States.
A recent and continuing future trend is increased international utility
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Chapter Nine
competition. Deregulation and privatization of utilities throughout the
world has caused and will continue to cause increased international utility competition . The deregulation process in other countries is similar to
the process in the United States. Privatization is the process of transferring the production and delivery of electricity from the public sector to
private ownership and operation. Private utilities are prevalent in the
United States but are a relatively new phenomenon in many other countries. In recent years, utilities in South America, Europe, Central
America, and the Middle East have been privatized. This has resulted in
many mergers of utilities across international boundaries and the socalled globalization of the utility industry. Examples include at least 16
U.S. utilities deciding to expand into international operations and, for
the first time, a foreign utility bought a U.S. utility. This has resulted in
concerns about the ability of utilities throughout the world to deliver
power high in quality and reliability.
To alleviate these concerns, utilities and regulators use three strategies to prevent the deterioration of power quality and reliability that
may come from utility deregulation and privatization. These strategies
are: (1) investment in new and existing technology, (2) development of
performance standards, and (3) entering into new contractual arrangements, as shown in Figure 9.19.
An example of a recent investment in technology to improve power
quality is the installation of a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) submarine link from the Swedish mainland to the island of Gotland. The
wind generators on the island of Gotland cause the lights to flicker on
the Swedish mainland. The HVDC allows the GEAB (Gotland’s local
utility) to use the ac-to-dc converters to control the reactive power into
its system and thus prevent the light flicker caused by the wind generators on the island.
An example of using standards to maintain power quality is that of
the Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER) in the United Kingdom
publishing two types of power quality standards for the 12 regional
Figure 9.19 Power quality protection strategies.
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297
electric utilities in England, Wales, and Scotland. These standards
require the utilities to provide their customers a minimal level of service. If these utilities fail to meet these standards, they have to pay
their customers a penalty based on the schedule shown in Table 9.1.
As a result of not meeting these standards, these utilities paid their
customers $150,000 in penalties in 1996.
An example of the utilization of contracts to maintain an agreed level
of power quality occurred in 1995 in France. Electricité de France
entered into contracts with its customers with a commitment to reduce
the average interruption of service. These contracts require the utility to
pay its customers a penalty if the contractual requirements are not met.
The French utility was able to reduce its average interruption of service
from a high of 113 min in 1992 to 78 min in 1995, as shown in Figure
9.20. Increased utility competition, both international and national, has
brought attention to the future of utility research and development.
Research and Development
Research and development (R&D) in the electric utility industry has
shifted from technologies that help meet regulators’ requirements to
technologies that will help utilities compete in the deregulated market. This shift in emphasis should not affect R&D for power quality.
R&D for improving power quality needs to continue. The wires utilities that need to provide service high in power quality and reliability
will most likely continue to be regulated. There will be an increasing
need for industrial and commercial end users to have electricity high
in power quality and reliability. The state and federal regulators will
continue to set standards and regulations that will encourage power
quality. In the past, EPRI collaborated with standards organizations,
like IEEE, IEC, and ANSI, to develop and improve power quality standards. This research has resulted in the development of reliability
indices and benchmark data for power quality. Research needs to continue in expanding power quality standards. State agencies will need
to take a stronger role in power quality research to ensure that deregulated utilities do not neglect power quality research. For example, the
state of California collected $62.5 million of research funds from a rate
surcharge in the first year of deregulation.
EPRI and its member utilities see electromagnetic compatibility
(EMC) as a major emerging power quality challenge. EPRI, therefore,
plans to identify and assess EMC interactions, develop EMC applications and solutions, and incorporate EMC into its power quality
research. Research into new tools for analyzing power quality problems,
like EPRI’s Power Quality Tool Box, need to be expanded. New methods
of power quality analysis using artificial intelligence and expert systems
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Chapter Nine
TABLE 9.1
United Kingdom Utility-Guaranteed Standards of Performance*
Service
Performance level
Penalty payment†
1 Respond to failure
of a supplier’s fuse
Within 4 hours of any
notification during working
hours‡
£20
2. Restoring electricity
supplies and faults
Must be restored within
24 hours
£40 (domestic customers),
£100 (nondomestic
customers) for not
restoring supplies within
24 hours plus £20 for
each additional 12 hours
3. Providing supply
and meter
Arrange an appointment
within 3 working days for
domestic customers (and
five working days for
nondomestic customers)‡
£20–£100
4. Estimating charges
Within 10 working days for
simple jobs and 20 working
days for most others‡
£40
5. Notice of supply
interruption
customers
Customers must be given at
least 2 days’ notice‡
£20 domestic customers,
£40 nondomestic
6. Investigation of
voltage complaints
Visit or substantive reply
within 10 working days‡
£20
7. Responding to
meter problems
Visit within 10 working
days‡ or substantive reply
within 5 working days
£20
8. Responding to
customers’ queries
about charges
payment queries
A substantive reply within 5
working days
£20
9. Making and keeping
appointments
Companies must offer and
keep a morning or afternoon appointment, or a
timed appointment if requested by the customer
£20
10. Notifying customers
of payments owed
under standards
Write to customer within 10
working days of failure‡
£20
*Details of the standards are set out in regulations made by the director general. Companies are
required to send an explanatory leaflet to customers at least once a year. Companies may not
have to make payments if failure is caused by severe weather or other matters outside their control, but this depends on the particular circumstances and companies must make all reasonable
efforts to meet the standards. The standards apply to tariff customers and those marked ‡.
†One English pound (£) 1.6412 U.S. dollar ($)
‡Varies among companies.
SOURCE: Courtesy of Transmission and Distribution World magazine.
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113
115
97
100
100
78
80
Minutes
299
60
40
20
0
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
Year
Figure 9.20 Electricité de France improvement in interruption of service. (Courtesy of
Transmission and Distribution World magazine.)
will need funding. Future research and development will need to focus
on developing products and services that prevent power quality problems. An example of such products/services is power quality parks.
Power Quality Parks
Power quality parks are industrial and commercial parks especially
designed to give the level of power quality that certain industrial and
commercial customers, like hospitals, semiconductor chip fabricators,
and stock broker offices, need to run their facilities efficiently and effectively. Energy producers design these parks to attract customers that
need power high in quality. Utilities supplying electricity to power quality parks would provide a service high in power quality. This service
could include redundant feeders and a power quality park substation
with an active filter to filter out harmonics, a standby generator to prevent interruptions to critical loads, and a custom power device, like a
dynamic voltage restorer (DVR), to prevent voltage sags. The electrical
distribution system design in the park would prevent industrial and
commercial power users from affecting each other’s power quality. These
parks will contain the latest state-of-the-art power quality monitoring
and conditioning equipment. They are a logical extension of utilities providing their customers choices in who provides them electrical energy.
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Chapter Nine
Utilities need to provide their customers not only a choice of who
provides them electricity but a choice of the level of power quality. As
the electrical utilities become more competitive, they should see the
need to provide their customers the opportunity to chose a power quality park that guarantees them the level of power quality that some of
their customers need. Power quality parks will act as an important
marketing tool that would benefit energy providers as well as their
customers. Figure 9.21 shows a schematic of the concept of a power
Substation 1
Substation 2
Transformers
Machanical
Circuit Breakers
Feeder 1
SST
Feeder 2
SST
SST
Active
Filter
Solid State
Transfer Switch
CP
Control
DVR
AAA
AAA
AAA
Standby
Generator
AAA
AA
AA
AA
A
AA
A
A
A
Custom
Power
Park
Substation
Storage
AA
Software
Dvlpment
Co
1MW-AA
Shopping Mall
1MW-A, 1MW-AA
Plastics
Co
3MW-A
AAA
Biotech
Co
2MW-AAA
AA AAA
A
Computer
Hardware
Co
1MW-A
Hospital
5MW-AA, 5MW-AA
AA AAA
Database
Center
1MW-AA
1MW-AA
Semiconductor Chip Co
10MW-AAA
A
Office
Building
3MW-A
A
A AA
Custom
Power
Park
Figure 9.21 Power quality park concept schematic. (Courtesy of Narian Hingorani.)
The Custom Power Park concept was conceived by Narian Hingorani.
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quality park showing various levels of power quality service, i.e., low
(A), medium (AA), and high (AAA).
References
1. Porter, Gregory J., and Andy Van Sciver. 1997. “Deregulation Simplified.” Power
Quality Assurance, vol. 8, no. 6 November/December, pp. 12–18.
2. ”Power Quality Outlook.” 1996. URL address: http://www.apc.com/english/
about/finan/reports/1996/anrep008.htm. Available from American Power
Conversion.
3. Kennedy, Barry W., and M. F. McGranaghan. 1998. “Power Quality Contracts in a
Restructured Competitive Electricity Industry.” Proceedings of the 8th International
Power Quality Applications Conference—PQA ‘98 Southern Hemisphere, November
9–11, Cape Town, South Africa.
4. Simmons, Nelson W. 1998. “Services in a Deregulated Environment.” Proceedings of
PQA ‘98 North America, June 8–11, Phoenix, Arizona.
5. Mark F. McGranaghan. 1998. “Deregulation and the Need for Power Quality
Standards.” Proceedings of PQA ‘98 North America, June 8–11, Phoenix, Arizona.
6. Bell, Robert A., and Wayne H. Seden. 1995. “Utility R&D: The Cutting Edge of
Competition.” Public Utilities Fortnightly (1994), vol. 133, no. 15, August, pp. 29–32.
7. Morcos, M. M., and W. R. Anis Ibrahim. 1999. “Electric Power Quality and Artificial
Intelligence: Overview and Applicability.” IEEE Power Engineering Review, vol. 19,
no. 6, June, pp. 5–10.
8. Bates, Jennifer L. 1999. “The Lucrative North American UPS Market Continues to
Present Vendors with Opportunities.” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 10, no. 4, July.
9. Clemmensen, Jane, and Susan Tonkin. 1999. “Competition Heats Up in the Power
Quality Services Market.” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 10, no. 4, July.
10. Fong, Dora. 1999. “Prospectives on Market Demand for TVSS and Power
Conditioning Equipment.” Power Quality Assurance, vol. 10, no. 4, July.
11. Hingorani, Narain G. 1998 “Overview of Custom Power.” Paper presented at Panel
Session on Application of Custom Power Devices for Enhanced Power Quality. July 14,
San Diego, CA.
12. Hazan, Earl. 1997. “Reliability: Stacking the Deck in Your Favor.” Transmission &
Distribution World, vol. 49, no. 1, January, pp. 45–48.
13. Kennedy, Barry W., and D. Sabin. 1999 “Use the Internet for Power Quality
Reporting.” Electrical World, vol. 213, no. 5, September/October, p. 64.
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Glossary
ac utility power (commercial power) The electric power that an electric power
utility company supplies its customers.
ACSR (aluminum conductor, steel reinforced) A conductor that has a steel core
surrounded by stranded aluminum wires.
active filter A power electronic device that eliminates harmonics.
aerial Describes power lines or telephone lines or cables installed above
ground on poles or overhead structures.
alternating current (ac) An electric current that reverses (or alternates) its
direction at regular intervals. Its magnitude begins at zero, increases in value
and reaches a maximum value before returning to zero and continuing downward to a negative peak value before increasing in value again. Since the current flows in the positive direction for the same amount of time that it flows
in the negative direction, the average value of the current flow equals zero.
This cycle repeats itself continuously. The number of such cycles per second
equals the frequency in hertz, i.e., 60 cycles per second in the United States
and 50 cycles per second in Europe and Asia.
ammeter An electrical test instrument that measures current in a circuit.
ampacity The amount of current expressed in amperes that a device or conductor can carry.
ampere (AMP, amps, I, or A) The unit of measurement for the rate of flow of
electrons (coulombs per second), or current, through a wire, similar to the flow
of water through a pipe. One ampere equals a group of electrons whose total
charge equals 1 coulomb that passes a point in a conductor in 1 second.
Mathematical formulas represent it by the symbol I. Amps is a shortened version of the term.
analog A physical system that represents data by measurement of a continuous physical variable, such as voltage or pressure, or a readout display on a
dial rather than by numerical digits.
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304
Glossary
ANSI American National Standards Institute.
apparent (demand) power The total power a device uses plus the power
stored in the device as magnetic and electric fields. It is measured in kilovoltamperes, or kVA, and is the vector sum of reactive and active power, as shown
in the formula: (kVA)2 (kW)2 (kVAR)2.
arc or arcing Usually an undesirable phenomenon of electricity flowing
through the air from a conductor of one potential to another conductor of a different potential. Arcing can produce visible flashes and flames and cause
crackling sounds. Overloaded electrical equipment, load conductor connections
from one power source to another, insulation leakage, conductor contamination, and electrostatic discharges can cause arcing.
arrester A nonlinear impedance device that protects equipment from highvoltage transients by limiting the amplitude of voltage on a power line. Usually
connected between the power conductors to suppress transients larger than a
selected voltage, as in lightning protection. The term implies that the device
stops overvoltage problems (e.g., lightning). In actuality, it limits or clamps the
voltage to a specified level.
attenuation The reduction of a signal or electrical surge from one point to
another. Wire resistance, arresters, and power conditioners attenuate surges
to varying degrees.
autotransfer switch (ATS) A device that automatically transfers power from
one source to another.
autotransformer A transformer that steps voltage up or down and has primary and secondary windings that share common turns but provide no isolation.
auxiliary source A power source that provides emergency power to a critical
load during an interruption. Typical auxiliary sources include battery backup
or diesel generators that provide uninterruptible power supply to computers
and other sensitive loads during a power outage.
AWG
American wire gauge, refers to the U.S. standard for wire size.
balanced load An alternating current power system that has more than two
current-carrying conductors that carry equal, i.e., balanced, currents.
ballast A device that starts a fluorescent or high-intensity discharge (HID)
lamp and maintains the proper operating current and voltage.
battery A combination of wet or dry cells that cause a chemical reaction that
produces an electric current.
battery charger A device or a system that converts ac to dc power in order to
keep the battery backup fully charged.
battery disconnect switch A switch that disconnects a battery reservoir
from a uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and protects personnel when batteries or UPSs require service.
Glossary
305
battery reservoir A combination of cells or batteries that provides power to a
UPS’s inverter (direct current to alternating current converter) when operating in the emergency mode.
bidirectional converter A device that changes (or converts) power in both
directions, i.e., from alternating current to direct current and vice versa.
blackout Describes the total loss of electrical power for more than 1 minute.
blink A nontechnical, ambiguous term that usually refers to a short-duration
voltage sag or outage.
bonding An interconnection between two or more points (usually grounding
systems) that reduces any voltage difference.
branch circuit An electrical circuit individually protected by a fuse or circuit
breaker that starts at the service panel and ends at the electrical outlets.
break-before-make A switch or relay operational sequence that requires
breaking (opening) the existing connection before making the new connection.
brownout An extended, i.e., longer than a few cycles, voltage reduction of
more than 10 percent. Utilities sometimes deliberately cause brownouts to
reduce the load on their electrical systems when the demand for electricity
exceeds the generating capacity. Generally, utility customers do not notice the
reduction, except when it affects their sensitive electronic equipment.
BTU British thermal unit; the standard unit for measuring the quantity
of heat energy, such as the heat content of fuel. One Btu equals the amount
of heat energy necessary to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water
1° Fahrenheit (3412 BTU 1 kW-h).
buck-boost transformer (regulator) A small, low-voltage transformer that
uses the principle of changing the voltage by adding transformer windings
that either reduce (buck) or increase (boost) the voltage.
building transformer A transformer that reduces the utility high voltage to
a lower voltage that the customer can use in the building.
bump A nontechnical, ambiguous, and undefined term used to describe a
short-duration rise in voltage that may or may not affect equipment operations.
bus bar (bus) A heavy, rigid conductor that serves as a common connection
for two or more circuits.
bypass A circuit that provides an alternative path for the electrical power
to go around (or bypass) its normal path and allows maintenance personnel to
service equipment, like UPSs, without interrupting service.
cable A fully insulated wire or bundle of wires installed underground or
overhead.
calcium An element in lead-acid batteries that hardens the plate material.
calibration The procedure that determines the location of scale graduations
on an instrument by comparison to a standard series of values.
306
Glossary
capacitor An electrical device that contains two conductive plates separated
by a dielectric (insulator or nonconductor of electricity) substance. Installed in
substations, on poles, and inside facilities to correct unwanted conditions in an
electrical system. It stores small amounts of energy, “detours” high-frequency
transients to ground, and resists changes in voltage. It helps improve the efficiency of the flow of electricity through distribution lines by reducing energy
losses and increasing the power factor.
capacity The maximum load of electricity that equipment can carry.
carbon block Slice of carbon typically used as a resistor.
CBEMA The former Computer Business Equipment Manufacturers
Association; replaced by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC).
CBEMA curve A set of curves developed by the Computer Business
Equipment Manufacturers Association (CBEMA) that represents the withstand capabilities of computers in terms of the magnitude and duration of a
voltage disturbance. It was a standard for measuring the performance of all
types of equipment and power systems until replaced by the Information
Technology Industry Council (ITIC) curve.
charge voltage The voltage required for storage batteries to maintain their
maximum charge.
charger An ac-to-dc converter that provides power to a UPS inverter and
maintains the battery reservoir charge.
check meter Installed as a temporary instrument to measure the amount of
current used by a particular appliance or piece of equipment.
chip (microchip) A tiny slice of semiconductor material that provides the
“brains” for a computer to operate.
choke An inductor that filters (chokes) out undesirable flow of current at
specified frequencies; usually used to block high-frequency transients or harmonics that might damage sensitive equipment.
circuit A path through which electric current travels.
circuit breaker (CB) A device that opens (breaks) or closes a circuit to interrupt or apply electric power to an electrical apparatus. An operator can open
it manually. It opens a circuit automatically when it senses an overload.
Located in utility substations and on transmission and distribution lines as
well as in the home, factory, and office.
clamp-on CT A current transformer that clamps around a current-carrying
conductor and picks up current from the conductor. Used to monitor current at
several points for short periods of time.
clamp-on voltage The maximum voltage that protective devices (surge protection) allow into an electric circuit.
class A, B, C Categories of location for transient suppression within a facility. Class A refers to outlets and long branch circuits. Class B refers to major
Glossary
307
feeders and short branch circuits near the distribution panel. Class C refers to
the commercial power service entrance and outside the facility.
clean ground An undefined term that describes an earth connection that
does not cause electrical equipment to malfunction. See computer ground; or
isolated ground.
clean power An undefined, imprecise term sometimes used to describe electrical power that does not cause power quality problems.
clearance Distance required between conductors of various voltages and the
ground.
coaxial cable A cable that contains two concentric conductors separated by a
tube of dielectric substance (the outer conductor acts as a shield/ground).
commercial power See ac utility power.
common mode (CM) Refers to electrical interference measured as a ground
reference signal common to both of two current-carrying conductors.
common-mode noise (voltage) Abnormal signals (undesirable voltage) that
appear between a current-carrying line and associated ground, i.e., between
neutral or phase and ground.
compensating winding A winding in the primary of a ferroresonant transformer that compensates for changes in voltage.
conductor An object or substance, usually a wire, cable, bus bar, rod, or tube,
that conducts, i.e., provides a path for, electric current.
conduit A tube, duct, or pipe that provides a metallic or nonmetallic tubular
raceway for wires and cables that carry data or power.
converter Refers to either a rectifier that changes alternating current (ac) to
direct current (dc) or an inverter that changes direct current (dc) to alternating current (ac).
core The ferrous center of a transformer or choke used to increase the
strength of the magnetic field.
core saturation Condition where a transformer or inductor core reaches its
maximum magnetic strength and can no longer support any additional
increase in magnetic flux density (field).
corona A visible or audible discharge of electricity from an object caused by
the ionization of the air around the surface of the object.
coulomb The combined negative electrical charge of 6.24 1018 electrons or
the quantity of electric charge per second that equals 1 ampere.
counterpoise A buried wire grounding system connected to transmission and
distribution tower or pole footings to provide a low resistance path to earth.
coupling The means by which power or signals transfer from one circuit element or network to another. Also, the effect of a power or signal source interfering with a signal transmission system.
308
Glossary
CPU Central processing unit; master control (“intelligence”) circuitry of a
computer system that performs all of the logic functions, arithmetic functions,
program execution, and certain input/output control functions.
crest factor Ratio of a quantity’s maximum value to its effective value. The
crest factor for commercial ac voltage in the United States equals 1.414 (the
crest factor for a sine wave), while a switched-mode power supply nonlinear
current waveform usually has a crest factor equal to 3 or 4.
critical Circuit or feeder that has an important or costly operation associated
with it.
critical load Electrical devices and equipment that provide essential electrical service whose failure to operate satisfactorily jeopardizes the health or
safety of personnel, and/or results in loss of function, financial loss, or damage
to property critical to the user. Electrical equipment that requires an uninterrupted power input to prevent damage or injury to personnel, facilities, or
itself.
cross arm The crossing member of a transmission or distribution line wood
pole or steel tower that supports the line’s insulators.
cross talk The unwanted transfer of energy from one communication circuit
to another by means of mutual inductive, capacitve, or conductive coupling.
crowbar A circuit that protects sensitive equipment by becoming a “crowbar”
(or short circuit) between power conductors when conditions require it and
temporarily shunting all current to ground and clamping the voltage to zero.
CSA Canadian Standards Association.
current The amount of electricity (movement of electrons) that flows through a
conductor, such as a wire, measured in amperes and identified by the symbol I.
current balance The equal flow of current in each phase of a three-phase
power system.
current carrying A circuit component carrying current.
current distortion Distortion in the ac waveform. See distortion.
current transformer (CT) A device that provides a means for measuring current beyond the range of a meter and uses the strength of the magnetic field
around the conductor to induce a current in its secondary.
customer service charge That portion of the utility customer’s bill that
remains the same from month to month independent of the amount of energy
the customer, uses. It recovers the costs associated with connecting a customer
to the company’s distribution system, including the service connection and
metering equipment, operating expenses, such as meter reading, and the overhead cost of customer accounting and collections.
cutout A piece of easily melted metal inserted in an electric circuit that melts
when the current becomes too large for the circuit to carry because of too much
demand.
Glossary
309
cycle A complete sequence of a wave pattern that repeats itself at regular
intervals.
cycles per second The frequency of alternating current measured in hertz.
decibel (dB) The standard unit that expresses relative power of signal levels
in terms of the ratio of the logarithm of the power output to power input; i.e.,
decibel (dB) 10 log10 (P1/P2) for power.
delta A standard three-phase circuit connection configured such that the
ends of each phase winding connected in series form a closed loop with each
phase 120 electrical degrees from the other. It appears as a triangle and looks
like the Greek letter delta ().
delta connection A method of connecting a three-phase source or load in
series to provide a closed circuit (three-wire, plus ground).
delta-delta Three-phase transformer circuit created by a delta source and a
delta load with both the primary and secondary windings connected in a delta
configuration.
delta-wye Three-phase transformer circuit created by a delta source and a
wye load with the transformer primary connected in a delta configuration and
the transformer secondary connected in a wye configuration.
demand (kW) The total amount of electrical power at any given time that a
utility customer requires from the utility.
demand billing Billing based on the electrical demand, as specified in the
rate schedule or contract, that a customer requires from the utility.
demand charge The specified charge or rate that the utility charges its customers to pay for the amount of maximum power they use in a specified time
period, usually a month.
derating factor A factor in percent for reducing the capacity of electrical
equipment, like transformers.
differential amplifier One that has two input signal connections and a zero
signal reference lead and an output equal to the algebraic sum of the instantaneous voltages appearing between the two input signal connections.
differential-mode voltage The voltage (noise) that appears across two specified sets of active conductors. See transverse mode noise.
digital-to-analog converter A circuit or device that changes digital input
data to an analog form.
diode A two-terminal device that conducts current better in one direction
that the other. Its uses include rectification (ac to dc conversion) and detection
(retrieving an information signal from a modulated carrier wave).
diode/capacitor input A power supply that uses a full-wave bridge rectifier
connected to a capacitor to produce a pulse current.
dip See sag.
310
Glossary
direct coupling Two circuits connected to each other through an inductor,
resistor, or wire.
direct current (dc) A type of current that never reverses its direction but
flows in only one direction and whose average value does not equal zero but a
constant number.
dirty power An undefined, imprecise term sometimes used to describe the
electric power that causes power quality problems, especially to electronic
equipment operation.
disk A nonvolatile mass memory storage device for computers that uses a
magnetic medium to store and retrieve computer data.
displacement power factor Refers to the power factor of an undistorted fundamental sine wave and equals the ratio of the active power, in watts, of the
fundamental wave to the apparent power, volt-amperes, of the fundamental
wave.
DISTCO A distribution company, or “wires” company, that only provides electrical distribution service.
distortion Any deviation from the normal sine wave for an ac quantity; usually describes the abnormal and undesirable waveshape of voltage or current.
distortion factor The ratio of the root mean square (rms) of the harmonic
content of a waveform to the rms of the fundamental quantity, expressed in
percent of the fundamental. See total harmonic distortion (THD).
distribution In utility power system usage, the transport of electricity to the
ultimate usage points, such as homes and industries, directly from nearby
generators or from interchanges with higher-voltage transmission networks.
In consumer power system usage, the transport of electricity inside a home,
building, office, or factory.
distribution line A line or system that distributes power from a transmission
system to an end-use customer with a nominal operating voltage of less than
69,000 V.
disturbance Any event that adversely affects the normal power flow in a system, such as lightning or a short circuit.
DMM (digital multimeter) An instrument that measures voltage, current, and
resistance and displays measurements on a digital readout.
dropout Loss of equipment operation due to noise, sag, or interruption. A discrete voltage loss. Or a voltage sag (complete or partial) for a very short period
of time (milliseconds).
dropout voltage The voltage at which a device fails to operate.
duct Enclosure through which cables and wires pass.
dynamic braking resistor A device that helps maintain power system stability during a disturbance.
Glossary
311
earth ground A low-impedance path to earth that discharges lightning, static,
and radiated energy, and keeps the main service entrance at earth potential.
earthing electrode A ground electrode, water pipe, building steel, or some
combination of these, that establishes a building’s earth ground.
ECL Emitter-coupled logic; extremely high-speed electronic circuitry where
very fast switching between specific voltage levels rather than semiconductor
saturation and cutoff determine changes in binary logic.
eddy currents Induced currents in transformer windings and core caused by
the magnetic field from the normal alternating current and harmonics.
effective value For any time-variant voltage or current waveform, the constant value that gives the same average power. For sinusoidal waveforms, the
effective value equals 0.707 times the peak value.
efficiency The percentage of input power that a device uses expressed mathematically as the ratio of output power to input power: efficiency Po/Pi, where
Po is power output in watts, Pi is power input in watts.
EHV Extra-high voltage; covers voltages from 345 to 800 kV.
electromagnetic compatibility The ability of a device or system to operate
satisfactorily without causing electromagnetic disturbances to another device
or system.
electric field Describes forces associated with electrical charges.
electrical degree Allows mathematical relationships between various electrical quantities. One cycle of ac power passes through 360°.
electrode Generally, a conducting medium through which an electric current
enters or leaves a different medium, such as an electrolyte, gas, or vacuum.
electrolyte Any substance that in solution separates into ions and conducts
electric current, such as the plates of a battery in an acid or alkaline solution.
electromagnetic A magnetic field caused by an electric current. For example,
the electric current in energized power lines causes electromagnetic fields that
can interfere with nearby data cables.
electromagnetic compatibility The ability of a device, equipment, or system
to function satisfactorily in its electromagnetic environment without introducing intolerable electromagnetic disturbances to anything in that environment.
electromagnetic disturbance Any electromagnetic occurrence that may
degrade the performance of a device, equipment, or system.
electromagnetic environment Electromagnetic phenomena that occur within
a given location.
electromagnetic susceptibility The inability of a device, equipment, or system to function without degradation in the presence of an electromagnetic disturbance.
312
Glossary
electromechanical device A mechanical device that an electric device controls, such as a solenoid or shunt trip circuit breaker.
electrostatic potential A potential difference (electric charge), usually in kilovolts, that occurs between two points and pertains to stationary electrically
charged bodies.
electrostatic shield A metallic barrier or shield located between a transformer’s primary and secondary windings that reduces capacitive coupling
and high-frequency noise.
EMF Electromotive force, or voltage.
EMI Electromagnetic interference.
EMP Electromagnetic pulse.
end user Residential, commercial, or industrial consumer of electricity.
energy The capability of doing work over time, expressed in kilowatt-hours
for electrical energy.
engine-generator Combination of an internal combustion engine and an
electrical generator driven by the engine.
equipment event log A record of equipment problems and activities that
provides diagnostic information along with power monitor data to correlate
equipment problems with power events.
equipment grounding conductor The conductor that connects the noncurrent-carrying parts of conduits, raceways, and equipment enclosures to
the grounded conductor (neutral) and the grounding electrode at the service
equipment entrance (main panel) or secondary of a separately derived system (e.g., isolation transformer). See Section 100 in ANSI/NFPA 70-1990.
error burst A large number of errors within a given period of time compared
to the preceding and following time periods.
ESCO Energy service company.
ESD Electrostatic discharge. The effects of static discharge can range from
simple skin irritation for an individual to degraded or destroyed semiconductor junctions for an electronic device.
event summary A plot of recorded power monitor events over time.
failure mode The observed effect of failure.
farad Unit of measurement for capacitance.
faraday shield A grounded metallic barrier that improves the isolation
between the windings of a transformer by reducing the leakage capacitance
between the primary and secondary transformer windings.
fast tripping (fuse saving) The common utility protective relaying practice in
which the circuit breaker or line recloser operates faster than a fuse can blow.
It clears transient faults without a sustained interruption but subject’s industrial loads to a momentary or temporary interruption.
Glossary
313
fault An unintentional short circuit that causes a failure or interruption in
an electrical circuit or a power system.
fault locator A device or system that indicates where a fault occurred on a
power system.
fault, transient A short circuit on the power system, usually caused by lightning, tree branches, or animals and cleared by momentarily interrupting the
current.
feedback The return of a portion of a device’s output to its input.
feeder An electrical supply line, either overhead or underground, that connects
from a generating plant or an interchange point to a load or distribution system.
feeder lockout Describes the situation when automatic protective devices disconnect a feeder from the power system until manually reconnected, and indicates a serious problem on the power system, usually equipment failure or a
broken conductor.
FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
ferroresonance Resonance resulting when the iron core of an inductive component of an inductive/capacitive circuit becomes saturated and increases the
inductive reactance with respect to the capacitance reactance.
ferroresonant transformer A voltage-regulating transformer that uses core
saturation and output capacitance to maintain a stable output voltage even
when the input voltage fluctuates.
FFT (fast fourier transform) A set of algorithms that speeds up the calculation
of a Fourier series; used in equipment that measure harmonics.
field effects The effects of electric and magnetic fields on objects near current-carrying conductors.
filter A device that contains selective combinations of resistors, inductors, or
capacitors to block certain frequencies or direct current, while allowing other
frequencies to pass.
FIPS Pub. 94 Federal Information Processing Standards publication 94
(September 21, 1983), produced as an official publication of the National
Bureau of Standards (since renamed National Institute for Standards and
Technology). It gives guidelines for federal agencies in the use of automatic
data processing (ADP) facilities in an electrical environment.
firm energy Electric energy that a utility has assured a customer is available
to meet all, or any agreed-on portion, of the customer’s load requirements over
a defined time period.
firm power Power that the supplier has guaranteed to provide its customers
at all times except when certain uncontrollable forces, agreed on by the supplier and its customers, occur.
fixture A complete lighting unit that includes one or more lamps connected
to a power source.
314
Glossary
flashover The flow of a high current between two points of different potential,
usually due to insulation breakdown or a lightning surge on a transmission line.
flicker Slow variations in voltage that cause the light intensity in a fluorescent light to vary and give the impression of unsteadiness of visual perception.
fluctuation A change, i.e., surge or sag, in voltage amplitude, often caused by
load switching or fault clearing.
fluorescent lamp A lamp that uses less energy than an incandescent lamp by
passing a current through a mercury vapor to generate ultraviolet energy that
becomes visible light when it hits the phosphorus coating inside the bulb.
flux A magnetic field’s lines of force.
flywheel A heavy disk or wheel that rotates on the shaft of a motor-generator
to control its rotational speed.
forced outage A power system interruption caused by the improper operation of equipment or human error.
forward transfer impedance The amount of impedance between the source
and load that affects the transfer of power, including harmonics and inrush
current, to the load.
fossil fuel Nonrenewable fuel, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, found in the
ground, made up of decayed plant and animal life and used to generate electricity.
Fourier series An infinite series developed by Francois Fourier to approximate a given function on a specified domain using a linear combination of
sines and cosines.
FPN Fine print note; National Electrical Code (NEC) explanatory material.
frequency The number of times in a specific period (how frequently, usually
in cycles per second) alternating current reverses its direction, measured in
hertz (Hz). Each reversal from one direction to another and back again constitutes a cycle. In North America, utilities provide power with a frequency of 60
cycles per second, or 60 hertz. In ac circuits, designates number of times per
second that the current completes a full cycle in positive and negative directions. See also alternating current.
frequency deviation A variation, i.e., increase or decrease, in the nominal
power frequency that can occur from several cycles to several hours.
frequency modulation (FM) A method to change a carrier frequency so that
it varies above and below a center or resting frequency in step with the signal
it transmits.
frequency response A measurement of how well a device or circuit transmits various frequencies.
fuel See fossil fuel.
fuel cell An electrochemical cell that produces electrical energy directly from
the chemical reaction of a fuel and an oxidant on a continuous basis.
Glossary
315
full load The greatest amount of load that a piece of equipment, circuit, or
conductor can carry without overloading.
full-wave bridge rectifier A configuration of power diodes that changes alternating current into pulsating direct current.
fundamental (component) The component of order 1 (50 to 60 Hz) of the Fourier
series of a periodic quantity.
fundamental frequency The lowest-frequency component of a periodically
recurring, multifrequency wave, i.e., 60 Hz in the case of U.S. power frequency.
fuse A piece of metal that, when placed in an electric circuit, melts when the
current becomes too great and opens the circuit, thereby protecting the circuit
and loads from damage caused by an overload.
gain An increase in an electrical quantity that equals the ratio of output to
input voltage, current, or power of a signal as it passes through an electronic
device; usually expressed in decibels (dB).
galvanometer A device that measures small electrical currents by means of
a mechanical motion produced from the electric current.
gauss The unit that measures the strength of a magnetic field.
GENCO Generating company.
generate To produce electrical energy.
generating station (power plant) A place that contains prime movers, electric
generators, and auxiliary equipment to convert mechanical (water, wind),
chemical (fossil fuels), solar (sun), and/or nuclear energy into electric energy.
generation The act or process of converting other forms, e.g., mechanical,
chemical, solar, or nuclear of energy, into electric energy.
generator (electric) A machine that transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy.
GFI (ground fault interrupter) A device that interrupts the flow of electric current
in an electric circuit when the fault current to ground exceeds some predetermined value.
gigawatt One billion (1012) watts; describes the capacity of large electrical
systems.
glitch An undefined, imprecise power quality term that describes a voltage
variation (usually of very short duration) that causes electronic equipment to
malfunction.
grid An interconnected system of electric transmission lines and associated
equipment that moves or transfers bulk electric energy from the generators to
the loads.
ground The connection between earth and an electric circuit that causes
electric current to flow out of the circuit and into the earth. Sometimes confused with bonding. Should always conform to the National Electrical Code.
316
Glossary
ground electrode A conductor or group of conductors in contact with the
earth that provides a low-impedance connection to the ground.
ground fault Any undesirable current path from a current-carrying conductor to ground.
ground grid A system of interconnected bare conductors arranged in a pattern
over a specified area, on or buried below the surface of the earth, that provides
safety for workers by limiting potential differences within its perimeter to safe
levels. It does not act as a signal reference grid.
ground impedance tester An instrument that measures the impedance of a
circuit from the point of test to the bond between the neutral and ground bond.
Some can handle 120 V ac single-phase voltage while others can handle 600 V
ac three-phase voltage. It also measures voltage and determines the presence
of neutral-to-ground connections, isolated ground shorts, reversed polarity,
and an open equipment grounding conductor.
ground loop A undesirable loop formed when two or more points that have
nominally the same ground potential in an electrical system connect to the
same conducting path such that either or both points no longer have the same
ground potential. It causes an unexpected current to flow in a non-currentcarrying conductor when the two or more points of an electrical system connect
to the earth at different points.
ground mat See ground grid.
ground noise An undefined, imprecise term that describes unwanted electrical signals appearing between the earth conductor and any other conductor.
ground, radial Single conductor to ground.
ground window The opening through which all grounding conductors, including metallic raceways, enter a specific area. Provides the building grounding
system a connection to an area that would otherwise have no grounding connection.
grounded Connected to earth or to some conducting body that substitutes for
earth.
guy wire A cable that supports a pole.
hardware In computer usage, the physical components of the computer system, such as circuits, cabinets, racks, and tape readers, as contrasted with
software.
hard-wired Applied to equipment that connects its power source with wiring
(generally customer- or contractor-supplied) attached directly to terminal
blocks or distribution panels rather than via an input line cord and output
receptacle.
harmonic A sinusoidal wave, such as ac voltage, current, or power, that has
a frequency equal to an integral multiple of the fundamental frequency.
harmonic content The waveform that remains after subtracting the fundamental component from a harmonic waveform.
Glossary
317
harmonic distortion Waveform changes caused by the power supplies of certain electrical or electronic appliances. Periodic distortion of the sine wave. See
distortion and total harmonic distortion (THD). Regularly appearing distortion
of the sine wave whose frequency is a multiple of the fundamental frequency.
Converts the normal sine wave into a complex waveform.
harmonic filter On power systems, a device for filtering one or more harmonics from the power system. Most are passive combinations of inductance,
capacitance, and resistance. Newer technologies include active filters that can
also address reactive power needs.
harmonic neutralization A process to cancel harmonics at the output of a circuit by inverting them and feeding them back in their opposite phase.
harmonic number The whole number that equals the ratio of the frequency
of a harmonic to the fundamental frequency.
harmonic resonance The power quality term that describes the condition
that sometimes occurs in electrical systems in which high currents flow
through and damage capacitors or clear fuses in connecting circuits. A condition in which the power system resonates at one of the major harmonics produced by nonlinear elements in the system and increases the harmonic
distortion.
heat pump A device that takes heat from one source and transfers it to
another place. In a building, it heats the air in the winter and cools the air in
the summer. Several different types of heat pumps exist, but the most common
are air to air heat exchangers.
henry Unit of measurement for inductance.
hertz (Hz) Unit of frequency; 1 hertz (Hz) equals 1 cycle per second.
high-intensity discharge (HID) lamp A type of lamp that uses mercury, metal
halide, or high-pressure sodium to illuminate.
high-pass filter A filter that passes all frequencies above a certain level, and
stops all lower frequencies.
horsepower A unit that measures the power of motors or engines. One
horsepower equals 746 watts. However, for all practical purposes, one horsepower almost equals 1000 watts or 1 kilowatt, taking into consideration the
starting load and motor inefficiency. For example, a 5-horsepower motor has a
rating of approximately 5000 watts or 5 kW, or a 13-horsepower furnace motor
has a rating of 333 watts.
HV High voltage.
hybrid A device that combines different technologies to improve its function.
hydroelectric Refers to a type of generating station where mechanical energy produced by falling water converts into electrical energy by turning a turbine-generator.
hysteresis loss The transformer core loss due to the friction caused by the
molecules’ resistance to being magnetized and demagnetized.
318
Glossary
I 2R The expression for power that comes from the flow of current through a
resistance: P I 2R.
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
ITIC Information Technology Industry Council, which replaced the former
Computer Business Equipment Manufacturers Association.
ITIC curve Replaces the former CBMA curve and provides a set of curves
developed by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) that represents the withstand capabilities of computers in terms of the magnitude and
duration of the voltage disturbance.
impedance Forces that resist current flow in ac circuits; i.e., resistance,
inductive reactance, and capacitive reactance.
impulse (notch) A disturbance of the voltage waveform that lasts less than
2 cycle (1 millisecond) and occurs in opposite polarity to the waveform (see
transient).
1
impulsive transient A sudden nonpower frequency change in the steadystate condition of voltage or current that occurs in unidirectional polarity (primarily either positive or negative).
incandescent lamp A type of light that uses electric current flowing through
a tungsten filament to heat the filament to the point where it glows (incandescence) and produces illumination.
inductance A coil’s ability to store energy in the form of a magnetic field and
oppose changes in current flowing through it. The value of inductance is a
function of the cross-sectional area, number of turns of coil, length of coil and
core material.
inductive reactance The impedance to alternating current produced by
inductors.
inductor (choke) A coiled conductor usually wrapped around a ferrous core;
tends to oppose any change in the flow of current.
input line cord The power cord connected to the input terminals of the UPS
that plugs into an ac utility outlet to supply power to the UPS.
input plug A plug that connects to the end of the input line cord at one end
and into a receptacle connected to an ac utility outlet at the other end.
inrush The high initial large current that a device, like a motor, requires
when it first starts up.
inrush current The initial large current demand needed to start up certain
types of electrical equipment, like motors, before their resistance or impedance
increases to their normal operating value.
instantaneous Describes the short time range from 12 cycle to 30 cycles of
the power frequency.
instantaneous reclosing A term that describes the time (18 to 30 cycles) to
reclose (reconnect) a utility breaker as quickly as possible after the interrupting fault current.
Glossary
319
insulation (electrical) A non-electrical-conducting material, like rubber or
polyethylene, that resists electrical flow and covers an electric wire.
insulation (thermal) A non-heat-conducting material, like fiberglass, that
resists heat flow and provides a barrier to heat loss.
insulator A device made of porcelain, glass, rubber, or wood that prevents
electricity from flowing, like a porcelain support that insulates conductors
from a pole or tower.
interconnection system A connection between two electrical systems that
allows the transfer of electric energy in either direction.
interharmonic (component) A frequency component of a periodic quantity
that is not an integer multiple of the power supply frequency (e.g., 50 or 60 Hz).
interharmonics A power quality term that describes the waveform distortion
at frequencies other than an even multiple of the fundamental frequency.
For example, a harmonic frequency may equal 2, 3, or 4 times the fundamental frequency while an interharmonic may equal 1.5, 2.5, or 6.3 times the
fundamental.
internal impedance The inherent impedance inside a device or circuit.
interruptible power Power that the supplier and the customer have agreed
can be stopped by the supplier.
interruptible rate A lower rate to large industrial and commercial customers
who agree to reduce their electricity use in times of peak demand.
interruption A complete stop in the flow of electricity, lasting from a fraction
of a second to hours (see also power outage, momentary).
interruption, momentary (electrical power systems) The time, not to exceed 5
minutes, required to restore interrupted electrical service by automatic or
supervisory-controlled switching operations or by manual switching at locations where an operator is immediately available.
interruption, momentary (power quality monitoring) A complete loss of voltage
(0.1 pu) on one or more phase conductors for a short time period between 30
cycles and 3 seconds.
interruption, sustained (electrical power systems) Any interruption not classified as a momentary interruption of greater than 5 minutes.
interruption, sustained (power quality) The complete loss of voltage (0.1 pu)
on one of more phase conductors for a long time period greater than 1 minute.
interruption, temporary The complete loss of voltage (0.1 pu) on one or
more phase conductors for a short time period between 3 seconds and 1
minute.
inverter A machine, device, or system that changes direct current (dc) power
into alternating current (ac) power.
investor-owned utility A company that pays taxes, makes a profit, and private investors (stockholders) own.
320
Glossary
isolated ground An insulated equipment grounding conductor that runs in
the same conduit or raceway as the supply conductors and is insulated from the
metallic raceway and all ground points throughout its length. It originates at
an isolated ground-type receptacle or equipment input terminal block and terminates at the point where neutral and ground bond at the power source. See
NFPA 70-1990, Section 250-74, Exception 4, and Section 250-75, Exception.
isolation Separation between electrical input and output, such as an isolation transformer or optical coupler or separation of one section of a system
from the undesired influences of other sections.
isolation transformer A multiple-winding transformer with physically separate primary and secondary windings that allows the magnetic field in the
windings of the primary to create (induce) electrical power in the secondary
winding but minimizes electrostatic transfer to the secondary windings. This
way the electrical power available at the input transfers to the output, but
some of the unwanted electrical effects in the input power do not reach the
transformer’s output. See also electrostatic shield.
joule A unit of energy or work that equals 1 watt-second or 0.0002778 watthours (1 kilowatt-hour equals 3,600,000 joules).
jumper A short length of conductor that connects two points in a circuit.
junction box (J box) A box with a blank cover that provides space to connect
and branch enclosed conductors.
K-factor A number determined from the amount of harmonics in the load
current that provides a means to derate equipment to carry the extra harmonic load.
K-rated transformer A transformer specially designed to handle harmonics.
kilo (k) A metric prefix meaning 1000, or 103.
kilohertz One thousand hertz.
kilovolt (kV) One thousand volts.
kilowatt (kW) One thousand watts, or the number of watts divided by 1000.
Kilowatts are real power and are important in sizing UPSs, motor generators,
and other power conditioners. See also power factor.
kilowatt-hour (kWh) The basic unit of electric energy that equals 1000 watts
of power used for 1 hour. The amount of power the customer uses is measured
in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A measurement of power and time used by utilities
for billing purposes. For example, a 75-watt light bulb that burns for 10 hours
consumes 0.75 kWh (75 watts 10 hours) or 750 watt-hours.
Kirchhoff’s laws of electric networks The sum of the electrical currents
flowing to a point in a network equals the sum of the currents flowing away
from that point.
kVA (1000 VA) Kilovolt amperes (volts times amperes) divided by 1000; provides the actual measured power (apparent power). Used for circuit and equipment sizing.
Glossary
kW
321
One thousand watts.
kWh One thousand kilowatt-hours.
lag The time delay between two events (usually electrical quantities), such
as the delay of current behind voltage.
lagging load An inductive load that resists changes in current in which current lags voltage. The time lag between current and voltage is measured in
electrical degrees and is known as the phase angle. The cosine of this angle
equals the power factor (linear loads only).
lattice tower A transmission tower or substation structure that contains
skew as well as horizontal and vertical members.
LC circuit An electrical network that contains both inductive and capacitive
elements.
leading load A capacitive load that resists changes in voltage with current
leading the voltage.
LED Light-emitting diode; a semiconductor that emits light when current
passes through it.
lighting efficiency A comparison of the amount of light a lamp emits to the
amount of energy it uses, measured in lumens per watt. For example, a lamp
that yields 100 lumens per watt is twice as efficient as a lamp that yields 50
lumens per watt.
lightning arrester A lightning arrester protects lines, transformers, and
equipment from lightning surges by transferring the charge to the ground.
Serves the same purpose on a line as a safety value on a steam boiler.
line A system of poles, conduits, wires, cables, transformers, fixtures, and
accessory equipment used for the distribution of electricity to the public.
line crew A team of highly trained workers who service and repair lines and
equipment.
line filter A filter in series with a transmission line that removes unwanted
electrical signals.
line imbalance Unequal loads on the phase lines of a multiphase feeder.
line loss The heat loss in a line caused by the flow of the current through the
resistance in the line, usually called I2R loss.
line person A person who repairs and maintains power and telecommunication lines.
line to line Describes an electrical quantity, such as voltage, between two
conductors in a multiphase line.
line to neutral Describes an electrical quantity, such as voltage, between one
phase of the line and the neutral.
line trap A device that confines and carries a communication signal transmitted over a telephone line, radio circuit, or power line.
322
Glossary
linear load An electrical load device, which, in steady-state operation, provides an essentially constant load impedance to the power source throughout
the applied voltage cycle and in which the current relationship to voltage
remains constant for a relatively constant load impedance.
load The amount of electric power or energy delivered or required at any
specified point or points on an electrical system. It originates primarily at the
energy-consuming equipment of the electrical customer.
load balancing Switching the various loads on a multiphase feeder to equalize the current in each line.
load factor The ratio of average load in kilowatts to the peak load during a
specified period of time.
load fault A malfunction, like a tree touching a power line that causes the
load to demand abnormally high amounts of current from the source.
load following The practice of automatic load shaping on a second-by-second
basis to maintain a continuous balance between loads and generation.
load interrupter switch A power system switch that can interrupt a circuit
under load or a limited amount of fault current.
load management Controlling the level and shape of the demand for electrical energy so that the demand matches the existing and future availability of
electrical energy.
load regulation A term used to describe the effects of low forward transfer
impedance.
load shaping Either the arrangement and operation of generating resources
to meet a given load or the arrangement of (interchange) load to meet a given
generation over specified time periods, such as hourly, weekly, monthly, or
yearly.
load shedding The dropping of loads in isolated areas by the use of automatic relays to protect the bulk power system from collapse. This could occur
when the generated amount cannot meet the load requirements or transmission lines are in danger of overload.
load switching Transferring the load from one source to another.
load unbalance Unequal loads on the phase lines of a multiphase system.
logger A device that stores and prints out important information on the
operation of power systems.
long-duration variation A change of the rms value of a voltage from nominal
voltage for a time greater than 1 minute. Usually further described by a modifier indicating the magnitude of the voltage change (e.g., undervoltage, overvoltage, or voltage interruption).
loop A set of branches that form a closed circuit where the omission of any
branch would eliminate the closed-circuit path.
Glossary
323
loss The power dissipated in a power system circuit expressed in watts. In
communications, the ratio of the signal power delivered by a device under ideal
conditions to the signal power actually delivered, expressed in decibels (dB).
low-pass filter A filter that passes all frequencies below a certain designated
cutoff point and blocks all frequencies above that point.
low-side surges A term started by distribution transformer designers to
describe the current surge that appears across the transformer secondary terminals when lightning strikes grounded conductors nearby.
lumen A lumen is a unit of light output from a lamp, measured in foot-candles.
luminaire A light fixture.
magnetic field An area where magnetic forces emanate from a magnet.
magnetic synthesizer A device made of resonant circuits including nonlinear
inductors and capacitors to store energy, pulsating saturation transformers
to modify the voltage waveform, and filters to filter out harmonic distortion to
protect sensitive loads from voltage sags, transients, overvoltage, undervoltage, and voltage surges.
main service entrance The enclosure that contains connection panels and
breakers, located at the point where the utility power lines enter a building.
maintenance bypass A circuit that allows maintenance personnel to repair
or service equipment without affecting supply of electricity to other equipment.
make-before-break Operational sequence of a switch or relay where the new
connection occurs prior to disconnection of the existing connection.
manual bypass switch (MBS) A manually operated transfer switch that
allows maintenance personal to bypass the major electronics in the UPS so the
UPS can be safely serviced.
mega (M)
A metric prefix meaning 1,000,000, or 106.
megahertz (MHz) One million hertz or cycles per second.
megawatt (MW)
One million watts or 1000 kilowatts.
metal oxide varistor (MOV) A component of a surge suppressor that limits
overvoltage conditions (electrical surges) on power and data lines. Its resistance varies according to the rate of applied voltage and current and decreases from a very high level (thousands of ohms) to a very low level (a few ohms)
when the applied voltage exceeds the breakdown point.
meter board The board on which the main switch and associated equipment
mount.
meter constant The ratio of the output of an instrument transformer (current transformer, power transformer) to the input of the meter to determine
the difference between meter readings to determine the kilowatt-hours used.
meter inspection An examination of the meter to determine its accuracy.
324
Glossary
meter loop (meter socket) The necessary equipment and wiring that the customer’s electrician installs prior to the meter installation.
meter test An instrumental test of meter accuracy under all load conditions.
micro () A metric prefix that means one-millionth of a unit, or 10
6.
micron One-millionth of a meter.
microwaves Radio frequencies of 1000 megahertz or greater that have very
short wavelengths and exhibit some of the properties of light and allow communication signals sent point-to-point in a concentrated beam.
mil A unit of length equal to one-thousandth of an inch, or 10
3 inch.
milli (m)
A metric prefix that equals one thousandth of a unit, or 10
3.
minimum ground clearance The least distance between a conductor and
ground level under selected design-loading conditions.
mitigate (power quality) The reduction of power quality disturbances by the
use of power conditioning equipment.
mobile substation A movable substation that substitutes for a fixed substation when a substation is not working or additional power is needed.
modem An abbreviation for units or equipment panels containing both a
modulator and a demodulator that allows data equipment to connect to a communication line, for example, to connect computer equipment to telephone
lines.
module A subunit of an electronic system that can be plugged in or otherwise
easily replaced.
momentary (power quality monitoring) An undefined, imprecise term used to
describe a short-duration (usually 30 cycles or 3 seconds) power quality event,
such as a voltage sag or surge.
momentary interruption See interruption, momentary.
Moore’s law The principle by which, in the computer industry, each new chip
contains roughly twice as much capacity as its predecessor released 18 to 24
months previously. Named after an Intel founder, Gordon Moore, who made
this observation in a 1965 speech.
motor alternator A machine that contains an ac generator mechanically connected to utility power or a battery-driven electric motor.
motor generator See motor alternator.
MOV See metal oxide varistor.
MTBBF Mean time between failure, the probable length of time that a component will survive when taken from a particular batch if operated under the
same conditions as a sample from the same batch.
MTTR Mean time to repair.
Glossary
325
nameplate rating The full-load continuous rating of a specific electrical apparatus, like a transformer or generator, under specified conditions set by the
manufacturer.
nano (n)
A metric prefix meaning one-billionth of a unit, or 10
9.
National Electrical Code (NEC) A national code of standards and practices
for the electrical and electronics industry.
NEC National Electrical Code.
negative resistance The characteristic of a circuit in which current varies
inversely with applied voltage.
negatively sequenced Occurs when a three-phase electrical quantity, such
as voltage, current, or power, crosses the zero line in the order of ACB rather
than ABC.
NEMA National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
network A system of transmission and distribution lines cross-connected and
operated to permit multiple power supply to any principal point on it. It provides a high level of reliability by restoring power quickly to customers during
an outage by switching them to another circuit.
neutral The grounded junction point of the legs of a wye circuit or the
grounded center point of one coil of a delta transformer secondary.
neutral conductor The conductor in a three-phase wye system that acts as
the return conductor by conducting the resultant current in an unbalanced
three-phase system. It bonds to ground on the output of a three-phase deltawye transformer.
neutralizing winding An extra winding that cancels harmonics developed in
a saturated secondary winding and produces a sinusoidal output waveform
from a ferroresonant transformer.
node A terminal of any branch of a network or a terminal common to two or
more branches of a network.
noise Any unwanted extraneous electrical quantity superposed on a useful
signal that tends to obscure the signal’s information content, or any undesired
audible signal; undesired sound; more specifically, sound that constitutes a
hazard or annoyance.
nominal value A specified value that has become the standard. For example,
nominal voltage for a home circuit equals 120 V.
nominal voltage The normal or specified voltage level. For three-phase wye
systems, nominal voltages are 480/277 V (600/346 V in Canada) and 208/120
V, where the first number expresses phase-to-phase (or line-to-line) voltages
and the second number equals the phase-to-neutral voltage. The nominal voltage for most single-phase systems is 240/120 V.
nondamaging distortion of electricity Disturbances from other appliances
and electronic lighting that interfere primarily with communications equipment.
326
Glossary
nonfirm energy (or power) Energy (or power) supplied or available under an
arrangement that does not guarantee continuous availability of firm power
(see firm power).
nonlinear load A load in which the current varies with the voltage in a nonlinear fashion. For example, in a switched-mode power supply or almost any
other electronic power supply, the current does not vary in direct proportion to
the voltage because it uses power in pulses or other waveforms that do not
track the sine wave.
nonlinear load current Current drawn by a load that does not have a direct
relationship to the voltage waveforms.
nonrenewable resource A natural fuel, such as a mineral that exists in
finite supply, like oil, gas, and coal that cannot renew itself once used.
nonsinusoidal A waveform that does not conform to the shape of a sine wave
(see sine wave).
nonspinning reserve That reserve generating capacity that provides generation to a load within a specified time period.
normal mode (NM) Refers to electrical interference measured between line
and neutral (current-carrying conductors). The operation of lights, switches,
and motors generates normal-mode interference.
normal-mode noise (voltage) A voltage that occurs between energized conductors in a circuit, but not between the grounding conductor and an energized
conductor.
notching A negative or positive change in the waveshape that repeats cycle to
cycle; caused by high peak currents of variable-speed drives or other phase loads.
NRC Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that licenses
nuclear facilities and oversees these facilities to make sure they follow regulations and standards.
off-line Describes the operation of a standby utility power system that supplies power directly to the load and then transfers to battery power supplied
through an inverter when the voltage drops below a specified level. The time
required between the loss of utility power and inverter start-up can disrupt
sensitive loads.
off-peak energy Period of relatively low system demand for electrical energy
as specified by the supplier.
ohm () The unit of measurement for electrical resistance or opposition to
current flow that equals the amount of resistance of a conductor such that a
constant current of 1 ampere produces a voltage of 1 volt across it.
Ohm’s law The relationship between voltage (pressure), current (electron
flow), and resistance. The current in an electrical circuit is directly proportional
to the voltage and inversely proportional to the resistance: E IR, I E/R, and
R E/I, where E voltage, I current, and R resistance.
Glossary
327
on-line Describes the operation of an uninterruptible power system which supplies conditioned power through an inverter or converter to the load and supplies
the backup power to the load without delay when a utility power outage occurs.
on-peak energy Electric energy supplied during periods of relatively high
system demand as specified by the supplier.
open circuit Describes the condition of a disconnect in a circuit caused intentionally or by a fault.
orderly shutdown The shutdown of units within a computer system in a
step-by-step fashion to prevent damage to the system and avoid data loss or
corruption.
oscillation The change with time of a quantity’s value from the maximum
and minimum values of one cycle.
oscillator An electrical device that sets up and maintains oscillations at a
frequency determined by the electrical constraints of the system.
oscillatory transient A power quality term that describes a voltage or current transient that rises suddenly and sharply to some level and then
degrades over time to a waveform that decreases in frequency and amplitude.
oscillogram A record of an oscilloscope’s display.
oscilloscope An electronic instrument that produces a visible graphical display on a cathode-ray tube of the instantaneous value of one or more rapidly
varying electrical quantities as a function of time or other electrical or
mechanical quantity.
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
out of phase A condition that occurs when two waves have the same frequency, but their maximum values occur at different times.
outage In a power system, the state of a component, such as a generating
unit or transmission line, that no longer performs its function because of some
event directly associated with the component. See blackout.
outlet A point on an electric circuit where loads can access electric power.
output The current, voltage, power, or driving force that a circuit or a device
delivers.
output impedance A measure of a source’s ability to supply current to a load.
overhead ground wire A protective wire strung above the conductors to
shield the conductors from lightning.
overload A condition when the flow of electricity exceeds the rated capacity
of a device or system or when the load wants more from the power source, utility, or UPS than the power source can supply.
overload capacity The maximum load that a machine, apparatus, or device
can carry beyond its normal nameplate rating without damaging itself.
328
Glossary
overshoot The tendency of a control circuit’s output to continue to momentarily increase after the input signal has stopped increasing.
overvoltage An increase in the normal voltage level lasting for seconds or
minutes greater than the rating of a device or component. The term can also
apply to transients and surges. When applied to a long-duration variation it
refers to a voltage with a value at least 10 percent above the nominal voltage
for a period of time greater than 1 minute.
pad-mount transformer A transformer inside a large metal cabinet on a pad
outside a house or building that converts the utility voltage supplied via an
underground line to a level that a customer can use (120/240 V for a home), similar to a pole-mounted transformer. The cabinet has a lock and a “DANGER”
sign on it.
panelboard A single panel or group of panel units assembled into a single
panel, containing buses and, overcurrent protection devices (with or without
switches) to control power circuits.
parallel operation The connection of two or more components side by side to
the same pair of terminals to increase the capacity of the power system or provide power redundancy. For example, paralleling for capacity two transformers means that two 50-kVA units in parallel have the sum of their individual
ratings, i.e., the power of a single 100-kVA transformer. Paralleling two UPS
units for redundancy means that if one fails, the other unit will provide backup power.
parallel resonance See resonance, parallel.
parity error An unintentional change in the bit structure of a data word due
to the presence of a pulse or transient.
passive filter A combination of inductors, capacitors, and resistors that eliminates one or more harmonics. The most common type simply uses an inductor in series with a shunt capacitor, which diverts the major distorting
harmonic component from the circuit.
peak current Maximum instantaneous current during a cycle.
peak demand The maximum amount of power required to supply customers.
peak load The maximum electrical demand (instantaneous or average) in a
stated period of time.
peaking capacity Generating capacity available to meet that portion of the
load above the base load.
periodic waveform A waveform that repeats itself after a period of time.
peripheral Any device that processes data put into or taken out of a computer.
phase The stage or progress of a cyclic movement, such as a current or voltage wave. Also a conductor that carries one of three separate phases (designated A, B, and C) of power in an alternating current system. Almost all
residential customers use single-phase service. Large commercial and industrial customers use either two-phase or three-phase service.
Glossary
329
phase angle In a power system, the displacement, in time, of the phase of
one quantity from the phase of another, at power system frequency.
phase balancing Connecting loads in a three-phase power system so that all
three phases carry the same current.
phase changer A utility-owned device that changes the phase of the service
supplied to meet the equipment needs of the customer.
phase compensation Switching capacitors into or out of a power distribution system to reduce the phase difference between the current and voltage to
keep the power factor close to unity.
phase conductor The wire cable in each phase of a transmission or distribution line.
phase rotation The sequence of electrical quantities, like voltage or current,
in all three phases of a three-phase system.
phase shift The displacement in time of one voltage-waveform relative to
other voltage waveforms.
photovoltaic generation A method to convert solar energy directly into electrical energy that uses specially designed semiconductors called photovoltaics.
pico (p) A metric prefix meaning one millionth of a millionth, or 10
12.
planned electric outage An interruption of service to electric lines to permit
work on the electric lines or equipment served by the electric lines.
points of common coupling (PCC) Points where the electric utility connects
to its end-user customer.
polarity An electrical condition that determines the direction in which current tends to flow.
pole-mounted transformer A distribution transformer, mounted on a pole,
that steps primary distribution voltage down to a level that customers can use.
pole structure In a transmission or communications system, a column (or
columns) of tapered wood or steel, supporting overhead conductors.
polyphase An alternating current supply with two or more hot conductors.
Voltages between the conductors and the voltage waveforms for each conductor are usually displaced 120°. The voltage from each hot conductor to neutral
is equal.
positively sequenced A three-phase electrical quantity that has all three
phases cross zero in the order ABC.
potential transformers (PTs) Transformers that reduce high voltage to within the range of a meter.
pothead A flared, pot-shaped, insulated fitting that connects underground
cables to overhead lines.
power The time rate of transferring or transforming energy, expressed in
watts or kilowatts, that equals (1) the product of applied voltage and resulting
330
Glossary
in-phase current for ac circuits or (2) volts times amperes for dc circuits. For
single-phase ac circuits, watts equal volts times amperes times power factor.
power amplifier An electronic device that contains a local source of power
that can increase the input power signal significantly.
power conditioner A device that modifies the voltage magnitude or frequency
or provides alternative sources of energy.
power distribution unit (PDU) A portable device that provides power to computer equipment.
power disturbance A disturbance, like a surge or sag, that originates from
the utility’s power system.
power factor (PF) The ratio of total watts (the real power) to the total root
mean square (rms) volt-amperes (apparent power); W/VA power factor.
Inductive loads cause leading power factor and capacitive loads cause lagging
power factor; nonlinear loads cause harmonic power factor.
power factor (true)
amperes).
The ratio of active power (watts) to apparent power (volt-
power-factor-corrected power supplies (PFCs) Power supplies with capacitors that increase the power factor to unity.
power factor, displacement The power factor of the fundamental frequency
components of the voltage and current waveforms.
power flows Studies of line and equipment power loadings on transmission
or distribution networks for specific conditions of system generation, load, and
line configuration to provide information for planning future system additions
to ensure power high in quality and reliability.
power grid A network of power lines and associated equipment used to
transmit and distribute electricity over a geographic area.
power interruption alert The notification of the public that load shedding or
rolling blackouts are imminent.
power line carrier A voiceband or narrow-band signal communication system
that depends on imposing a carrier with information on high-voltage power
transmission lines.
power marketing agencies United States federal agencies in the Power
Marketing Administration in the Department of Energy (Bonneville, southeastern, southwestern, and western areas), and the Tennessee Valley
Authority (TVA).
power plant A generating station or a place where electricity is produced.
power pool Two or more electric systems interconnected and coordinated to
supply power in the most economical manner for their combined load requirements and maintenance program.
power quality It depends on your perspective. If you are an electrical engineer,
power quality expert, or electrician, you may tend to look at power quality as a
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problem that must be solved. If you are an economist, power marketer, or purchaser of electrical power, you may look at power as a product and power
quality as an important part of that product. End users see power quality as
a measure of how the power affects the operation of their equipment.
power quality problem The difference between the quality of electricity at an
electrical outlet and the quality of the electricity required to reliably operate
an appliance, resulting in a malfunction or damage.
power supply A device that converts available electric service energy (alternating current) into direct current energy at a voltage suitable for electronic
components.
power surge An undefined, imprecise term sometimes used to describe a
transient that damages equipment.
power warning An appeal to the public that an immediate reduction in power
usage is necessary to avert overload of the electrical system. Public appeals are
made when other efforts such as emergency purchases, voluntary curtailment,
contracted curtailment, and voltage reductions are unsuccessful in supplying the
demand.
power warning fault (PWF) An option in a UPS that supplies a warning signal to some computer systems that the UPS may shut down. Some computers
can take advantage of this signal to automatically back up and shut down
before the UPS shuts down.
power watch An announcement made when conditions are such that further
steps to manage capacity may affect the public.
power-line monitor An instrument that monitors the condition of the power
supplied to a given load.
preference customers In accordance with Congressional directives, cooperatives and public bodies (states, public utility districts, counties, municipalities,
and federal agencies) have preferential rights to federally generated hydropower.
primary circuit The distribution circuit (less than 69,000 V) on the high-voltage
side of the transformer.
primary distribution feeder (primaries) Distribution lines that carry the
highest distribution voltage. They are usually located at the topmost position
of the utility pole.
private utility See investor-owned utility.
program As applied to digital computers, the set of instructions to perform
the sequence of operations to solve a particular problem or a related group of
problems, or to perform a particular computer task.
propagation The travel of an electrical waveform along a medium, as in a
surge passing along a power cord to a system.
protective scheme A group of interrelated devices that prevent damage to
equipment caused by very high voltages and currents.
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Glossary
protector Another name for an arrester or diverter.
pulsating dc A voltage that remains at the same polarity while it goes up
and down.
pulse An abrupt variation of short duration of a physical quantity followed
by a rapid return to the initial value.
pulse modulation Describes methods of transmitting information on a pulse
train.
pulse-width modulation A method for varying a pulse train width in relationship to another signal’s characteristics.
Q A quality factor that indicates the electrical quality of a coil, capacitor, or
circuit and equals the ratio of reactance to resistance. The higher the Q, the
greater the selectivity of the circuit.
radial array A group of earthing electrodes or conductors of equal length and
ampacity, connected at a central point and extending outward at equal angles,
spoke fashion, to provide a low-earth-impedance reference.
radial ground See ground, radial.
radiation Transmission of energy by means of electromagnetic waves. Radiant
energy of any wavelength, when absorbed, may become thermal energy and
result in an increase in the temperature of the absorbing body.
random error An error that does not repeat itself, like noise.
rate base The value, specified by a regulatory authority, that a utility can
earn to gain a certain rate of return.
rates The prices a utility charges for different types of electrical service.
reactance A physical property of a circuit component that tends to hinder the
flow of alternating current.
reactive power The out-of-phase component of the total volt-amperes in an
electric circuit that represents the power required to provide a magnetic field
to drive reactive loads, like motors, in a circuit. Expressed in VARs (voltamperes reactive).
reactor, current-limiting An inductor connected in series in a circuit to limit
short-circuit current to a predetermined value to protect equipment from damage due to excessive current.
real power The in-phase component of volt-amperes in an electric circuit
that does useful work, expressed in watts or kilowatts.
receptacle The contact in an electrical outlet, often referred to as a wall
socket.
receptacle tester Three-lamp circuit testers that plug into a receptacle and
measure wiring connections to the receptacle. They indicate the wiring errors
in the receptacles by a combination of lights. “IEEE Recommended Practice for
Power and Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment” (The Emerald Book),
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333
page 32, says “These devices have some limitations. They may indicate incorrect wiring, but cannot be relied upon to indicate correct wiring.”
recloser A circuit-interrupting device that recloses the circuit after an automatic trip.
reclosing The common utility practice on overhead lines of closing the breaker within a short time after clearing a fault, taking advantage of the fact that
most faults are transient, or temporary.
reclosure The automatic closing of a circuit-interrupting device after automatic tripping.
recorder, strip-chart A device that simultaneously makes one or more permanent records of varying quantities (voltage, megawatts, etc.) as a function of time.
recovery time Time required for the output voltage or current of a power system to return to normal operating condition after a load or line change or
interruption.
recovery voltage The voltage that occurs across the terminals of a circuitinterrupting device when it interrupts the flow of electricity.
rectifier An electrical device, like a battery charger, that converts ac power
into dc power.
redundancy The addition of extra components in an electrical power system
that provide backup in the event of loss of any of those components.
reflection The return wave created when a traveling wave encounters a load,
a source, or a junction that has a change in line impedance.
regulated power supply A power supply that keeps the output voltage constant when the load changes.
relay An electromagnetic device that interprets input conditions (which
reflect the operation of another piece of equipment) in a prescribed manner,
and, after specified conditions occur, responds to cause contact operation or
similar abrupt change in a circuit controlling the equipment.
relay differential A relay that responds by design to the difference between
incoming and outgoing electrical quantities associated with the protected electrical apparatus.
reliability Generally, the ability of an item to perform a required function
under stated conditions for a stated period of time.
relief valve A device that reduces pressure quickly.
repeater A station between terminals of a microwave system that receives a
signal from a distant station, amplifies the signal, and retransmits it to another
distant station.
reserve capacity The capacity in excess of that required to carry peak load.
resistance A conductor’s characteristic that retards the flow of electrons
(current).
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Glossary
resistance value The electrical quantity that impedes current flowing in a
conductor, expressed in ohms ().
resistor A device that introduces resistance into a circuit.
resonance The condition that occurs when the capacitive reactance equals
the inductive reactance of a circuit.
resonance, parallel For capacitive reactance and inductive reactance in parallel, a condition that occurs when the capacitive reactance equals the inductive reactance of the circuit. It maximizes the impedance and minimizes the
current flow in the circuit.
resonance, series For capacitive reactance and inductive reactance in
series, a condition that occurs when the capacitive reactance equals the inductive reactance of the circuit. It minimizes the impedance and maximizes the
current in the circuit.
response time The time required, after the initiation of a specified disturbance to a device or system, for an output to reach a specified value.
restoration time The time required in relaying and switching to deenergize
a transmission line after a fault occurs plus the time to reenergize the line
after the fault clears.
RETAILCO Retail marketing company that provides enhanced power quality
services as part of its service offerings.
revenue The amount of money a utility collects from its customers.
revenue meter The meter a utility uses to record and display the amount of
electrical energy a customer uses in a given period of time.
RF Radio frequency.
RFI Radio-frequency interference.
ride-through The ability of a power conditioner, especially a UPS, to continue to supply power to critical loads when the utility has discontinued power.
right-of-way An easement for a certain purpose over the land of another,
such as the strip of land used for a road, electrical transmission and distribution line, ditch, pipeline, etc.
ripple An alternating current (ac) component on a direct current (dc) voltage
resulting from incomplete filtering, usually associated with the ac component
that appears on the output of the dc power supply.
risers The insulators in a substation that support the bus bar.
rms Root mean square; used for ac voltage and current values that equal the
square root of the average of the squares of all the instantaneous amplitudes
occurring during one cycle. Referred to as the effective value of ac because it
equals the value of ac voltage or current that causes the same amount of heat
produced in a circuit containing only resistance from a dc voltage or current of
the same value. In a pure sine wave the rms value equals 0.707 times the peak
Glossary
335
value and the peak value equals 1.414 times the rms value. The normal home
wall outlet, which supplies 120 V rms, has a peak voltage of 169.7 V.
rolling blackout A controlled and temporary interruption of electrical service
that is necessary when a utility does not have enough power to meet heavy
peak demands.
rotating field The electrical field that develops in a multiphase generator
caused by the varying currents flowing through parts of a stator winding.
rotor The rotating part of a generator (or motor); usually contains the field
winding.
safety ground See equipment grounding conductor. An alternate path of
return current, during a fault condition, that trips a circuit breaker and establishes a load at earth level.
sag (also called dip or voltage sag) A decrease of the normal voltage level
between 0.1 and 0.9 pu in rms voltage or current at the power frequency for
durations of 0.5 cycle to 1 minute.
SCADA Supervisory control and data acquisition in a centralized remote
control system that includes the transmission of numerical quantities and
alarms from substation to a control center.
scheduled outage An outage that results when the utility deliberately
removes from service at a selected time a component of the power system, usually to allow construction, maintenance, or test.
schematic diagram A diagram of an electric circuit, with graphical symbols
that represent components of the circuit.
SCR Silicon controlled rectifier, a device that acts as an electronic dc switch
when triggered to conduct by a pulse or a gate signal, and cuts off the flow of
electricity by reducing the main current below a predetermined level (usually
zero).
screen freeze (lockup) A term that describes the situation when a computer
or computerized equipment stops its operation and its control function.
screen panel (enclosure) An electrical cabinet that houses circuit breakers or
fuses for a building or a portion of a building.
secondary The output winding of a two-winding transformer.
secondary circuit The distribution circuit on the low-voltage side of a transformer (usually 120/240 V).
sectionalizer Similar to a reclosure, but opens only when a line becomes
“dead” from the operation of a reclosure or breaker upstream. It serves to isolate the section that has the fault and allow the remainder of the circuit to
remain energized.
sectionalizing The connecting or disconnecting of sections of a transmission
line, distribution line, or substation bus to isolate equipment or line sections
for locating problems or doing work.
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Glossary
selectivity In communication, the degree to which a device can accept signals
of one frequency or band of frequencies while rejecting all other frequencies.
In power system control, the degree to which the interrelated performance of
relays and circuit breakers and other protective devices keeps to a minimum
the amount of equipment taken out of service for isolation of a fault.
semiconductor An electronic conductor (e.g., silicon, selenium, or germanium)
with a resistivity between metals and insulators that allows current to flow
through it normally via holes or electrons.
series capacitor In a power system, a capacitor that compensates for voltage
drop along a transmission line and reduces the impedance of the transmission
line to allow more power to flow in it.
series resonance See resonance, series.
service area The territory in which a utility has the responsibility or has the
right to supply electric service to ultimate customers.
service channel A band of frequencies, usually including a voice channel,
utilized for maintenance and fault indication on a communication system that
supports a power system.
service drop The lines running to the customer’s house that usually include
two 120-V lines and a neutral line, from which the customer can obtain either
120- or 240-V power. When these lines are insulated and twisted together, they
become triplex cable.
service entrance equipment The main control and means of disconnection
for the supply of electricity to a building that usually contains circuit breakers, switches, and fuses. Newer residential houses usually have 200-A service
while older homes generally have 100-A service.
service factor (motor) A measurement of the motor’s ability to operate under
abnormal conditions. A motor can operate at 1.15 times its rated load continuously when operated at its rated voltage, frequency, temperature, etc.
Therefore, a 100-horsepower motor could operate as a 115-hp motor under normal conditions.
sheath A conductive material that surrounds the conductor of a coaxial cable
and shields the conductor from outside noise.
shield As normally applied to instrumentation cables, refers to a conductive
sheath (usually metallic) applied, over the insulation of a conductor or conductors, to reduce coupling between conductors to prevent them from receiving or
generating unwanted electrostatic or electromagnetic fields (noise).
shield wires Grounded wires placed in close proximity to an energized transmission line. Overhead shield (ground) wires protect the transmission line
from lightning. Shield wires located beneath the conductors reduce the electric
field at ground level.
shielding A barrier to reduce the coupling of undesirable signals. It provides
a conducting and/or ferromagnetic barrier between a potentially disturbing
Glossary
337
noise source and sensitive circuitry. It protects cables (data and power) and
electronic circuits. It may include metal barriers, enclosures, or wrappings
around source circuits and receiving circuits.
shielding (of utility lines) The construction of a grounded conductor or tower
over the lines to intercept lightning strokes in an attempt to keep the lightning currents out of the power system.
short circuit An accidentally established connection between two points in
an electric circuit, as when a tree limb or an animal bridges the gap between
two conductors. This will cause an overload of current on the line, causing
damaged lines, blown fuses, and the faulty operation of protective devices such
as reclosers and circuit breakers.
short-duration variation A variation of the rms value of the voltage from
nominal voltage for a time greater than 12 cycle of the power frequency but
less than or equal to 1 minute. Usually further described by a modifier indicating the magnitude of the voltage variation (e.g., sag, swell, or interruption)
and possibly a modifier indicating the duration of the variation (e.g., instantaneous, momentary, or temporary).
shunt A device that has resistance or impedance connected in parallel across
other devices or apparatus to divert some of the current from it.
shunt filter A filter connected in parallel across a device or circuit to filter out
undesirable signals.
shunt trip A device connected in parallel with another device or circuit to disconnect power.
signal A visual, audible, electrical, or other representation that conveys
information, or an electronic wave that embodies information.
signal reference grid (or plane) A system of conductive paths among interconnected equipment that reduces noise-induced voltages to levels that minimize improper operation. Common configurations include grids and planes.
signal-to-noise ratio The ratio, at any point of a circuit, of signal power to
total circuit noise power, usually expressed in decibels.
silicon avalanche device A semiconductor device that normally acts as an
open circuit but changes to a short circuit when the trigger voltage exceeds a
certain amount.
simulation The representation of an actual system by analogous characteristics of some device or mathematical equations easier to construct, modify, or
understand.
sine wave The sinusoidal form exhibited by alternating current. A graph,
with the x axis for time and the y axis for amplitude, depicting ac voltage or
current. The center line of the x axis is zero and divides polarity (direction).
single phase A line that carries electrical loads capable of serving the needs
of residential customers, small commercial customers, and street lights. It carries a relatively light load compared to heavy-duty three-phase constructs.
338
Glossary
With a three-phase source: one or two phase conductors. With a single-phase
source: a single output that may be center-tapped for dual voltage levels.
single-phase condition An unusual condition where one phase of a three
phase system is lost, causing unusual effects on lighting and other loads.
single-phase line A distribution line energized by a single alternating current; usually serves a residential area.
single-phase power Power provided by a single source with one output. If
there is more than one output, the voltages and currents of the outputs are all
in phase.
single-point ground A method to avoid differential ground voltage between
points in a power system by connecting the power neutral and safety ground
at the same single point.
sinusoidal A waveform that can be represented by a sine function.
skin effect The tendency of a high-frequency radio signal current flowing in
a conductor to flow near the surface of the conductor.
slew rate The rate of change of ac voltage frequency.
soft-start circuit Circuitry that limits the initial power demand when a UPS
is operated in emergency mode and commercial power comes back on. It also
controls the rate at which the UPS output increases to normal.
software Programs for directing the operation of computers and computercontrolled equipment, as opposed to hardware.
solar heating Heat the sun energy creates. Passive solar heating takes
advantage of the heat created through natural means (heat created when sunlight passes through a window and becomes trapped inside a building). Active
solar heating systems contain three components: a solar collector, energy storage, and distribution pipes or ducts. Absorber panels collect sunlight, condition it if required, and distribute it through the building by a heat transfer
fluid or by air.
solar hot water Similar system to an active solar heating system except it
preheats water for normal domestic hot water use. Collectors trap sunlight
and create heat. Transfer fluid moves heat from collectors to water holding
tanks. This system requires a supplemental heating source for days when the
sunlight is not available to heat water to required temperatures.
solenoid An electrical conductor wound as a helix with a small pitch, or as two
or more coaxial helixes; or a coil wound in such a manner as to have a movable
iron core.
solid-state Describes an electronic device whose electrical functions are performed by semiconductors (as opposed to components that conduct in a vacuum or gas, such as tubes) and otherwise completely static components, such as
resistors and capacitors.
spark gap Any short air space between two conductors electrically insulated
from each other; or a device that depends on a spark gap for its operation.
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339
spectrum A range of frequencies within which waves have some specified
common characteristic, for example, the audio-frequency spectrum.
spikes (voltage) An imprecise, undefined term used to describe the very short
duration voltage transients that cause damage to electronic equipment.
spinning reserve A reserve generating capacity connected to an output bus
and ready to supply power immediately to the load.
stability The property of a system or element at which its output will ultimately attain a steady state. A power system consists of several generators
connected together and to the load by transmission lines. The amount of power that is transmitted from one machine to another after a disturbance, like a
line fault, is limited. When this limit is exceeded, the machines become unstable and may lose synchronism with each other. When this happens, relays
operate to separate the generators not synchronized. Otherwise, the disturbance would move out over the system, somewhat like a storm moving outward from its center, and result in cascading outages. Also, that attribute of a
system that enables it to develop restoring forces equal to or greater than the
disturbing forces and thereby remain stable.
standing wave A stationary pattern of waves on conductors or in space created by two waves of the same frequency traveling in opposite directions.
static Audible noise on a radio receiver caused by disturbances, like lightning, motors starting, power line corona, or fluorescent lighting.
static electricity An electric charge that accumulates on an object, usually
caused by friction.
static switch A solid-state device that opens and closes circuits without the
use of moving mechanical parts.
station service Facilities that provide energy for local use in a generating,
switching, converting, or transforming station.
steady state A condition in which circuit values remain essentially constant
after all initial fluctuating conditions have stabilized.
stress An external force applied to a component or assembly that tends to
damage or destroy it.
substation A small building or fenced-in yard that contains switches, transformers, and other equipment and structures for the purpose of changing voltage, monitoring circuits, switching lines, and performing other service
functions. As electricity nears its destination, it goes through a substation
where transformers lower the voltage to a level that homes, schools, and factories can use. Substations are also located where high-voltage transmission
lines connect to switchgear and stepdown transformers to reduce voltages to
lower levels for local distribution networks.
surge A sudden increase of electric current or voltage. A short-duration highvoltage condition that lasts for several cycles, whereas a transient lasts less
than 12 cycle. Often confused with transient.
340
Glossary
surge arresters Electrical devices that limit sudden variations in voltage or
current. When connected in series, they limit current and when connected in
parallel they limit voltage. They thus protect other electrical equipment and
electrical systems.
surge generator An electrical apparatus that produces surges through the use
of many capacitor units that store energy and release that energy in the form of
surges. It tests in the laboratory various types of electrical apparatus ability to
withstand surges.
surge protectors See surge arresters.
surge suppressors See TVSS.
surplus energy Energy generated beyond what the load requires.
survey A visual and instrument inspection of a facility to determine the
causes and solutions to power quality problems.
sustained When applied to quantify the duration of a voltage interruption,
refers to the time frame associated with a long duration variation (i.e., greater
than 1 minute).
swell A temporary increase in the rms value of the voltage or current of more
than 10 percent of the nominal voltage, at the power frequency, for durations
from 0.5 cycle to 1 minute.
switched-mode power supply A power supply that uses electronic components to convert ac power into high-frequency dc power.
switchgear A group of switches, relays, circuit breakers, etc., that controls
the distribution of power to other distribution equipment and large loads. Also,
substation equipment designed and operated to switch electrical circuits and
interrupt power flow.
switching station A type of substation that contains various types of switching devices, like breakers and switches, to open and close transmission and
distribution lines but contains no transformers to change the voltage.
switchyard The outdoor portion of a substation.
synchronization Maintaining a constant phase relationship between various
ac signals.
synchronous Events that have the same period or which occur at the same
time. For example, a synchronous transfer mechanism for a standby power
generator transfers power to or from the utility in phase. The voltage waveform
of the generator and the utility’s power system must operate in phase, and the
waveforms must occur at the same time and interval during the transfer.
synchronous closing Generally refers to closing all three poles of a capacitor switch in synchronism with the power system to minimize transients.
synchronous condenser A rotating machine that provides variable continuous control of voltage and power factor on transmission lines by operating to
Glossary
341
either increase (boost) the voltage like a capacitor or decrease (buck) it like a
reactor.
synchronous motor An ac motor whose speed varies in proportion to the
power input frequency.
system control center A central location that controls and operates the power
system.
system frequency Frequency in hertz (cycles per second) of a power system’s
alternating voltage; equal to 60 hertz in the United States and 50 hertz in
Europe and Asia.
systematic error A repeatable portion of an error.
tap A connection point brought out of a transformer winding to permit
changing the turns ratio. Also, a terminal where an electric circuit connects to
another electric circuit.
tap changer A device that changes the voltage ratio of a transformer or a
voltage regulator.
tap switcher A voltage regulator that uses power semiconductors, rated at
line voltage and current, to switch taps of a transformer and change the turns
ratio and output voltage.
telecommunication equipment Equipment that transmits information, such
as words, sounds, data, or images, in the form of electromagnetic signals, as
telegraph, telephone, radio, or television signals.
telemetry The transmission of measurements to remote sites or a central
location by the use of radio or wire.
temporary When applied to quantify the time of a short-duration variation
as a modifier, refers to the time range from 3 s to 1 min.
temporary service Electrical service used for a short period of time, usually
at a construction site.
thermal efficiency The ratio of the electric power produced by a power plant
to the amount of heat produced by the fuel; a measure of the efficiency of the
plant’s conversion of thermal to electric energy.
thermocouple A pair of dissimilar conductors so joined at two points that an
electromotive force develops when the two junctions at opposite ends experience different temperatures.
three-phase line A line with three conductors that carries heavy loads of
electricity, usually to larger commercial and industrial customers.
three-phase power Power from three separate outputs from a single source
with a phase differential of 120 electrical degrees between any two adjacent
voltages or currents. It has the same phase-to-phase voltage as single-phase
power but requires multiplying by the square root of 3, or 1.732, to change from
single-phase voltage to line-to-line voltage in a wye-connected three-phase
342
Glossary
system. The line-to-line voltage equals the phase-to-phase voltage in a deltaconnected three-phase system. The power equals 3 times the phase-to-phase
power.
thyristor A semiconductor bistable switch (with on and off states) that operates unidirectionally or bidirectionally. A three-terminal device (a controlled
rectifier) or a two-terminal device (diode) may trigger it.
tie line A transmission line that connects two or more power systems.
tolerance The allowed change from a specified quantity.
total demand distortion (TDD) The ratio of the root mean square (rms) of the
harmonic current to the root mean square value of the rated or maximum
demand fundamental current, expressed as a percent.
total disturbance level The level of a given electromagnetic disturbance
caused by the superposition of the emission of all pieces of equipment in a
given system. Also the total amount of electromagnetic disturbance determined by summing the electromagnetic emissions from each source in a
given system.
total harmonic distortion (THD) The ratio of the root mean square (rms) of
the harmonic content to the root mean square value of the fundamental
quantity, expressed as a percent of the fundamental, that describes a waveshape change caused by the presence of multiples of the fundamental frequency of the ac power. The square root of the sum of the squares of the rms
harmonic voltages or currents divided by the rms fundamental voltage or
current.
tower A steel structure along transmission lines that supports conductors.
traceability The ability to track a calibration device to a more accurate
standard.
transceiver Transmitter and receiver combined together in one cabinet; uses
common circuit components to operate the transmitter and receiver.
TRANSCO Transmission company.
transducer A device that senses one form of energy and converts it to another, e.g., temperature to voltage (for monitoring).
transfer switch A switch that transfers load from one source to another.
transfer time The time it takes for a transfer switch to transfer power from
one source to another.
transfer trip A relay scheme in which a signal to trigger an operation function transmits from a relay location to a remote location.
transformer A static electrical device that by electromagnetic induction
regenerates ac power from one circuit into another. Also used to change voltage from one level to another by the ratio of turns on the primary to turns on
the secondary (turns ratio). If the primary windings have twice the number of
Glossary
343
windings as the secondary, the secondary voltage will have half the primary
voltage. A device that changes voltage levels to facilitate the transfer of power
from the generating plant to the customer. A step-up transformer increases the
voltage (power) of electricity, while a stepdown transformer decreases it.
transformer coupling The linking of separate electric circuits by means of
electromagnetic fields, as in a transformer
transformer, current An instrument transformer that gives an accurate lowcurrent (amperes) indication in its secondary winding of the high-amperage
current of the power system on its primary winding.
transformer, grounding In a power system, a transformer intended primarily
to provide a natural point for grounding purposes.
transformer, isolation See isolation transformer.
transformer, potential An instrument transformer that reproduces in its secondary winding a specified portion of the voltage of its primary circuit for control, relaying, or metering.
transient Describes a phenomenon or a quantity that varies between two
consecutive steady states during a short time interval. A unidirectional
impulse of either polarity or a damped oscillatory wave with the first peak
occurring in either polarity. A short duration, fast-rise-time voltage caused by
lightning, large motors starting, utility switching operations, and other appliances switching.
transient response The ability of a power conditioner to respond to a change
in voltage or power.
transient step load response The ability of a power conditioner to maintain
a constant output voltage when sudden load (current) changes occur.
transistor A semiconductor device with three or more terminals that performs functions in an electronic circuit, like amplification and rectification.
transistor-transistor logic (TTL) Electronic circuitry that defines a binary
logic state when components saturate or cutoff.
transmission In power system usage, the bulk transport of electricity from
large generation centers over significant distances to interchanges with large
industries and distribution networks of utilities.
transmission line The conductors that carry electrical energy from one location to another. It has heavy wires that carry large amounts of electricity over
long distances from a generating station to the consumers of electricity. They
support the conductors high above the ground on tall towers called transmission towers.
transverse mode noise (normal mode) An undesirable voltage that appears
from line to line of a power line.
tree crews Teams of utility employees or contractors who clear trees, limbs,
and brush from transmission and distribution lines.
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Glossary
tree wire An insulated wire located in heavily treed areas to protect lines
from momentary tree limb contact.
triac An electronic device, usually composed of two SCRs connected back to
back, that provides switching action for either polarity of an applied voltage
and is controlled from a single gate.
trip The opening of a power circuit breaker by protective relays.
trip-out A disconnection of an electric circuit that occurs when the circuit
breaker has opened, putting the line out of service; usually refers to an automatic rather than a manual action.
triplen harmonics Odd multiples of the third harmonic, which deserve special attention because of their natural tendency to add to each other.
triplens Harmonics that are a multiple of 3 times the fundamental frequency,
for example, third, ninth, fifteenth.
tuned Adjusted for resonance at a specified frequency.
turbine An enclosed rotary wheel turned by water or steam.
turbine-generator A rotary-type unit consisting of a turbine and an electric
generator.
TVSS Transient voltage surge suppressor, a device that “clamps” the voltage
from a voltage transient and keeps it from damaging sensitive equipment.
UL Underwriters Laboratories.
UHV Ultra-high voltage.
unbalanced load regulation The maximum voltage difference that occurs in
the three output phases of an unbalanced power system.
underground (UG) An electrical facility installed below the surface of the
earth.
undervoltage A decrease in the normal voltage level lasting for seconds or
minutes.
UPS Uninterruptible power supply; contains batteries that store energy,
which provides a power source during power interruptions.
utility A company that performs an essential utilitarian service, like providing natural gas and electricity for people.
V ac Volts of alternating current.
VAR
Volt-amperes reactive.
varistor A semiconductor device whose resistance varies with the applied
voltage.
V dc Volts of direct current.
volt (V) The unit of voltage or potential difference.
volt-ampere Apparent power’s unit of measurement.
Glossary
345
voltage Electrical pressure, or electromotive force (emf). The force that causes current to flow through a conductor, expressed as a difference of potential
between two points, since it is a relational term. Connecting both voltmeter
leads to the same point will show no voltage present, although the voltage
between that point and ground may equal hundreds or thousands of volts.
Thus, most nominal voltages are expressed as phase to phase or phase to neutral. The unit of measurement is volts and the electrical symbol is V.
voltage change The variation of rms or peak voltage for a definite period of
time.
voltage dip See sag.
voltage distortion Any change from the nominal voltage sine waveform.
voltage drop In an electric supply system, the difference between the voltages at the transmitting and receiving ends of a feeder, main, or service line.
voltage fluctuation A series of voltage changes or a cyclical variation of the
voltage envelope.
voltage imbalance (unbalance) A power quality term that describes the difference in voltage between phases in a three-phase system. Determined by
measuring voltage in each phase, taking the average of the three phases, and
calculating the percentage difference in the phase with the greatest difference.
A condition in which the three phase voltages differ in amplitude or are displaced from their normal 120° phase relationship, or both. Frequently
expressed as the ratio of the negative sequence or zero sequence voltage to the
positive sequence voltage, in percent.
voltage interruption Disappearance of the supply voltage on one or more
phases. Usually qualified by an additional term indicating the duration of the
interruption (e.g., momentary, temporary, or sustained.)
voltage magnification The amplification of the transient voltage during
switching of capacitors on a transformer’s primary and secondary side.
voltage regulation Describes the voltage variation from nominal, usually in
percent. Also, the degree of control or stability of the rms voltage at the load.
Often specified in relation to other parameters, such as input-voltage changes,
load changes, or temperature changes. The ability of a power conditioner to
maintain a stable output voltage when input voltage changes.
voltage regulator A transformer with windings of the primary and regulated circuits suitably adapted and arranged for the control of the voltage of the
regulated circuit.
voltage variation, long-duration A change in the rms nominal voltage for
more than 1 minute.
voltage variation, short duration A change in the rms nominal voltage for
more than 0.5 cycles and less than 1 minute.
voltage variations Changes in voltage value.
VOM Voltohmmeter.
346
Glossary
watt (power) The unit of power that equals 1 joule per second and measures
how much electricity an appliance needs to operate satisfactorily. An electrical
unit of power often used to rate appliances using relatively small amounts of
electricity. Wattage is stamped on light bulbs and all appliances. The mathematical relationship between watts, volts, and amperes is wattage ampere voltage. For example, a 120-V, 20-A circuit will carry 2400 watts.
watt-hour The amount of electricity used by one watt in one hour.
watt-hour meter An electric meter that measures and registers the energy
(kilowatt-hours) delivered to a circuit.
waveform A graph of a wave that shows its shape and changes in amplitude
with time.
waveform distortion A steady-state deviation from an ideal sine wave of
power frequency principally characterized by the spectral content of the deviation.
wavetrap See line trap.
wheeling The use of the transmission facilities of one system to transmit
power of and for another system.
work The transfer of energy from one body to another.
wye A wye connection refers to a polyphase electrical supply where the
source transformer has the conductors connected to the terminals in a physical arrangement resembling a Y. Each point of the Y represents the connection
of a hot conductor. The angular displacement between each point of the Y
equals 120°. The center point provides the common return point for the neutral conductor.
wye-delta Transformer connection with a wye primary and delta secondary.
wye-wye Transformer connection with a wye primary and wye secondary.
zero sequenced All three phases of a power system intersect the zero axis at
the same time.
zero signal reference A connection point, bus, or conductor used as one side
of a signal circuit that may or may not be designated as ground; sometimes
referred to as circuit common.
Zigzag transformer A special type of transformer used to change the phase
angle of the transformer primary.
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———. 1992. Managing the Computer Power Environment. Indianapolis: PROMPT
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——— 1993. “Power Line vs. Data Line.” Cabling Business. December, pp. 24–28.
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Warnock, William J. 1993. “Power Pollution Protection.” Security Management, vol. 37.
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Watkins-Miller, Elaine. 1997. “Don’t Get Zapped (Office Technology and Power Quality
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Weaver, Thomas. 1992. “Harmonics and Resulting Liability.” EC&M Electrical
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Index
355
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AC (see alternating current)
ACSR, 138–139
Adjustable-speed drive (ASD), 10, 198,
220, 227, 229
Alternating current, 27, 29, 54, 63,
179–180
Ambiguous terms, 211
American National Standards Institute
(ANSI), 9, 69
Analyzer:
disturbance, 187
harmonic, 189, 223
spectrum, 189
ANSI C84.1-1995 Standard, 9, 80–81
ANSI C62.41-1991 Standard, 78
ANSI/ IEEE 57.110-1996 Standard, 84, 87
Arcing, 45, 117, 154, 221, 229
Arc DC furnaces, 13, 55, 121, 192, 198, 257
Arrester, 41, 62, 106, 108
Averaging-responding meter (see mulitmeters, average-responding)
Bandwidth, 182–183, 187
Benefit/cost, 264, 267–268
Bipolar, 146, 147
Blackout. 211, 276
Bonding, 62, 222
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA),
98, 121, 203, 215, 235, 276
Braun, Karl, 185
Brownout 6, 38
Cable:
coaxial, 148, 161–162
fiber optic, 153, 162
selection of, 160–161
Cable: (cont’d.)
shielding 162–163
twisted pair, 161–162
CAIDI,78
California Public Utility Commission
(CPUC), 16
Capacitor, power factor improving, 57–58,
198, 227, 229
CBEMA, 157
CBEMA curve, 10–11, 98
CENELEC, 71
Chokes (See harmonics)
City of Richland, 203
Circuit, electric, 140
Clamp-on devices 178, 184
Common-mode noise, 112, 114
Computer simulation, 215, 235
Conductor, 138
Consolidated Edison (Con Ed), 203, 283
Consultants, 19–20
Consumers Power, 292
Cost effective, 57, 212, 236, 239–240, 256
Cost:
of disturbance, 247–248
of flicker, 254–255
of flicker elimination, 257–258
of harmonic distortion, 254
of harmonic mitigation, 257
of interruption, 248–250
of labor, 249–250
of interruption, 248–250
of power quality improvement, 256–257
of total owning power quality, 240–241
of voltage sags, 250–251
Crest factor, 161, 182
Critical load, 230, 244
357
358
Index
Crowbar devices, 107
Current limiting feeder reactors, 259,
260–261
Current measurement Hall effect, 184
Current, rms, 183
Current transformer, 152, 184
DC (see Direct current)
Dedicated isolate ground, 158
Deregulation, 15–17, 198–199, 215,
278–280, 289
Deregulation vs. regulation, 178–179,
191, 294–295
Digital multimeter (DMM), 223
Dips (see voltage sags)
Direct current, 27, 180
Dirty power, 32, 158, 211
Distortion:
current, 48, 84
harmonic, 254
voltage, 84, 254
Distribution company (DISTCO), 16–17,
199, 204, 281, 290–292, 294
DSTATCOM, 122–123
Dynamic voltage regulators (DVRs), 36,
299
Earth ground testers, 195–196
Economic analysis:
steps, 241–242
value-based, 244
Eddy current losses, 87
Effective (see root-mean-square or rms)
Edison, Thomas, 27
Electric arcs (see arc furnaces)
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI),
16, 22, 284, 295, 297
Electricité de France, 270, 297, 299
Electromagnetic:
compatibility (EMC) 69, 267
field, 102
interference (EMI), 63, 153–154, 162,
223
Electromagnetic transients program
(EMTP), 235
Electron bean furnace, 289
Electrostatics:
discharge, 190, 232
noise, 86
shielding, 117
Electrotek Concepts, Inc., 235
EMTP (see Electromagnetic transients
program), 235
End user (s), 22
equipment manufacturers, 20–21
Energy Policy Act (1992), 15, 277–279
Energy Service Company (ESCO), 17,
204, 216, 281, 289, 293–294
EPRI’s PEAC, 74, 215–216
EPRI Power Quality Toolbox, 235, 297
Equipotential ground system, 151
Equivalent first cost, 266
ESKOM, 71
European Norm (Euronorm), 71, 295
Fast tripping, 245
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC), 15, 276
Federal Information Processing
Standards (FIPS) 62, 89, 94
Filter:
active, 130–131, 299
harmonic, 129–130, 262, 264
low-pass, 111
noise, 110–112
passive, 130
series, 130
sheent, 130
Flicker, 121, 291
meter, 192–195
Florida Power Corp., 233
Fluorescent lighting, 52, 220,
223–224
Franklin, Ben, 154, 236
Frost and Sullivan, 283–284
Gaussmeters, 191, 224
General Electric Co. (GE) flicker curve,83
Generation company (GENCO), 16–17,
199, 281, 290
Georgia Power Co., survey for, 213
Glitch, 211
Green wire, 167
Ground:
circuit impedance testers, 195
faults, 142
isolated, 167–168
ring, 165–166
rods, 145, 163–165
wires, 49, 142, 144
Index
Grounding, 140
end-user power system, 148–149
electrode system, 231
for lightning and static electricity, 154
system, 140
telecommunications system, 148
tester, 231
towers, 145–146
solutions, 163
standards, 90
wrist straps, 155–156
Harmonic (s), 43, 289
distortion, 293
effects, 47
standards, 83
triplen, 155–156, 159–160
Health care standards, 93
High-voltage direct current (HVDC),
296
Hingorani, N., 300
IEC, 69, 257
standards, 75
standard 1000-3-2, 92
standard 1000-3-7, 194
IEEE Gold Book, 76
IEEE Green Book, 62, 140, 194
IEEE Emerald Book, 140, 151, 152,
168–169, 194, 214–215, 220
IEEE Orange Book, 78, 90
IEEE Red Book, 90
IEEE standards, 75, 91, 158
IEEE Standard 446, 79, 90
IEEE Standard 519, 45–46, 83, 203,
290–291, 293
IEEE Standard 1159, 32, 40, 73
IEEE Standard P1346, 78
2
I R loss, 180
Impedance, 161
Independent power producer (IPP), 281,
294
Independent system operator (ISO), 16
Infrared detectors, 191, 221
Inrush current, 159, 198
Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers (IEEE), 16, 68
Interconnected power systems, 13–15
Interruption, 39–40, 293
ITIC, 10–11, 157
359
Joule, 108
Kennedy, Barry, 87, 266
Key, Tom, 74
K-factor, 86, 189
computation of, 87
transformers, 97
Kilowatthour meter, 175–177
Lawyers, 23
Liability, 245–246
Life cycle, 265
Lightning, 142
rod, 154
Loose connections, 154, 220, 229
Magnetic synthesizers, 120
Mega-NOPR, 15–16
Meter service provider (MSP),
281
Monitoring equipment manufacturers,
21
Monopolar, 146
Moore’s law, 7–8
Motor drives, adjustable-speed (see
adjustable-speed drives)
Motor-generator sets, 119
MOV, 108
Multimeters, 178, 223
average-responding, 181, 223
true rms, 181, 223, 231
Nameplate, transformer (see Transformer
nameplate)
National Electric Code (NEC), 12, 140,
145, 148–150, 158, 161, 168
National Electrical Contractors
Association (NECA), 284
Neutral conductor,
156
standards, 88
Noise, 49, 114, 148
common mode, 114
normal mode, 113
Nonlinear load, 10, 46, 52, 156–157, 198,
229
North American Electric Reliability
Council (NERC), 276–278
Northwest Power Quality Service Center
(NWPQSC), 125, 284
360
Index
Ohmmeter, 223
Ohm’s law, 161, 186, 195
Orange plug, 160
Oscilloscopes, 185, 231
Outage (see blackout)
Overvoltage, long-duration, 37
Retail wheeling, 278–279
Research and development, 297
organizations, 18
Resistance, 28–29
Ride-through, 40
Root mean square (rms), 180
Panel board, 159
Point of common coupling (PCC), 199,
289, 292
Power conditioning equipment, 62
installation, 102
manufacturers, 22
Power factor, 54
data, 202
measurement, 189
true, 60
Power quality:
contracts, 290
cost of, 243
definition, 4
market growth, 283
monitoring, 196, 289
need for, 5
pager, 187–188
parks, 299
problems, 33, 50, 299–300
programs, 283
standards, 20, 71, 74, 295
solutions, 65
survey:
planning, 214–215
purpose, 208
theory, 31–33
training, 284
Power Quality Toolbox, 297
Power Quality Workbook, 98, 100
Power system, 141
Present worth, 266
Programs, utility (see utility)
SAIFI, 77–78
Samotyj, Marek, 235
SARFI, 76–77
Sensitive electronic equipment standards,
90
Sensitivity analysis, 268, 270
Separation, 159
Service entrance panel, 227, 256–257
Setup test instruments, 230
Shielding, 162
Signal isolator, 153
Signal reference grid, 163, 168
Sine wave, 30, 35, 44, 180
Skin effect, 86–87
Spectrum analysis, 186
Standards organizations, 19, 68, 70–72
Static discharge meter (voltmeter), 190,
224
Static electricity, 63
standards, 89
Static var compensator (SVC),
121, 260
Static voltage regulators, 260–261
Superconduting magnetic energy storage
(SMES), 127
Surge arrester (see arrester)
Surge suppressor (see TVSS)
Switches, 260
solid-state, 128
Switch-mode power supplies, 53,
156–157, 257
Radio-frequency interference (RFI),
162–163, 222
Receptacle circuit testers, 194
Regulator:
buck-boost, 117
line voltage, 115
Regulatory commissions (regulators), 217
Retail company (RETAILCO), 17, 204,
291, 293
Tap changers, 116
Telephone standards, 90
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), 203, 276
Tesla, Nikola, 29
Three-lamp circuit testers (See receptacle
circuit testers)
Time value of money, 266
Total demand distortion (TDD),
48, 223
Total harmonic distortion (THD), 48, 189,
223
Index
Transformer, 229
constant-voltage, 118
isolation, 112, 169
nameplate, 229
noise (see also noise), 229
standards, 86
Transient (voltages), 40, 293
Transient voltage surge suppressor
(TVSS), 41, 105
standards, 79
Transmission (service) company
(TRANSCO), 16–17, 199, 204, 281,
290, 291
Triplen harmonics, 155, 159–160
UL 1449, 79, 81, 237
UL 1561, 87
UL 1778, 80
Unbundle (unbundling) services, 216, 280
Undervoltages, 38
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS), 122
standards, 80
United Kingdom (UK), 296, 298
Utility (utilities), 22
international competition, 295
programs, 282
rates, 275
United States, 276–277
wires, 295
Visual inspection, 227
Voltage clamping device,
107–108
Voltage dip (see voltage sag)
Voltage fluctuation(s), 42
standards, 82
Voltage probe, 178
Voltage regulation,
291
Voltage sags, 34, 292–293
standards, 75
Voltage swells, 36
Voltage unbalance (imbalance), 41,
291
standards, 80
Voltohmmeteter (VOM), 175, 177
Watts, 27
Weighting factors, 253
Western Area Power Institute (WAPI),
284
Westinghouse, George, 29
Written-Pole, 128
Wye connection, 114
Z (see impedance)
Zero reference point,
140–141
Zigzag transformer, 157
361
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About the Author
Barry Kennedy, PE, is CEO of Kennedy Consulting
Solutions, contributing editor for Electronic World T&D
Magazine, and adjunct professor at the University of
Portland. He was formerly senior electrical engineer and
project manager responsible for transmission and distribution system efficiency, power quality, and power factor
research and development for Bonneville Power
Administration, a successful supplier of electricity to retail
utilities and large industrial companies. Well-known within
the industry for his seminars and consulting work preparing power companies and their customers for deregulation,
he has developed notable methods, guidebooks, software,
training programs, and solutions. Mr. Kennedy is also
author of Energy Efficient Transformers. He is the project
manager and developer of the Workbook for Utility and
Industrial Applications and the Industrial Power Factor
Analysis Guidebook. He is a registered professional engineer in Oregon, with a Master’s degree in Electrical
Engineering from Purdue University. He resides in
Sherwood, Oregon.
Copyright © 2000 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
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