The 3 main causes of low power quality

  • 11 April 2018

Power Quality is gaining increasing attention in the electric power industry. The consumer of electrical energy requires electric power with a certain quality, but loads can have a negative impact on the electrical system and are thus also subject to an assessment in terms of quality. Power quality is therefore intrinsically linked to the interaction between the electrical system and loads and must take into account both the voltage quality and power quality.

Among the main causes of poor power quality in low voltage are:

  • Voltage variations, because equipment operates less efficiently.
  •  Harmonic pollution, which causes additional stress on the networks and systems, causing them to operate less efficiently.
  • Excessive reactive power, because it charges useless power to the system

Possible consequences of low power quality that affect business costs are:

  • Power failures (Release switches, fuses blowing).
  • Breakdowns or malfunctions of machines.
  • Overheating of machines (transformers, motors, etc.) leading to reduced useful life.
  • Damage to sensitive equipment (computers, production line control systems, etc.).
  • Electronic communication interference.
  • Increased distribution system losses.
  • The need to oversize systems to cope with additional electric stress, resulting in higher installation and operational costs.
  • Luminosity flickering

Interruption of production due to these impacts of low power quality entails high costs due to production loss and the associated waste. For the Industrial sector, the estimated costs due to poor power quality represent 4% of turnover (Source: Studio Leonardo Energy). The impact of production interruptions is greatest in companies with continuous production.