Power quality management - Article - TEC - Claude Lyons

TEC products PQMv2 770pxElectrical power is the life blood of the modern world, it is a precious resource which requires careful management, without it our IT systems would fail and we would be lost in the stone age.

The rapid development of the world's economies and the expansion of commercial centres has led to an unprecedented demand on the system. New power stations are being commissioned at an alarming rate in order to keep up with demand and yet the power quality has never been under so many threats.

The problems are largely related to traditional mains borne disturbances, such as spikes, surges, brownouts and power cuts. However, to add to the situation a new phenomenon has emerged in recent years of ever increasing harmonic distortions.

Modern office buildings are filling up with sophisticated electrical and electronic equipment, much of which draws harmonic currents from its power supplies. These harmonic currents and the harmonic voltage distortion that they cause, can lead to unsafe and unreliable electrical power supplies. Operational difficulties are infrequent, but they can cause considerable disruption to the majority of organisations that rely on communications, process control or information technology.

Most large organisations are aware of the consequences to their business if power quality is not corrected and are taking measures to resolve this. Many have sought advice from power quality specialists such as TEC and Claude Lyons.

Claude Lyons are able to provide a complete service from start to finish, including site surveys, recommendations and solutions based on current and future needs, commissioning, installation, maintenance and service agreements backed up by their own fully qualified engineering teams.

The recommendations may not be as complicated as might be expected; in some cases the installation of conditioning and harmonic tolerant products such as PurePower UPS systems is all that is required and sometimes simple harmonic cancellation equipment will reduce the problems to an acceptable level, where as in other cases total correction, involving full conditioning and some form of active harmonic intervention will be necessary.

Remember the problem of harmonics is not going to go away, the generating companies although sympathetic  now will be forced to impose penalties in the future. Specifications such as G5/3, IEEE 519 and EN 6100-3-2 mean that these problems simply cannot be ignored. The solutions although not easily recognised are available and the Claude Lyons group of companies are well placed to provide them.

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