1. What does power quality mean?
Electric power quality indicates the degree to which a power supply system's frequency, waveform, and voltage conform to the established specifications. Good power quality has a steady supply of voltage within the pre-determined or prescribed range; it has a smooth voltage curve waveform and constant AC frequency near the rated value.
2. What are the causes of power quality problems?
It is inevitable to maintain good power quality. Otherwise, it may lead to higher energy usage, increased power bills, higher maintenance costs, or equipment instability and failure. Significant causes of power quality problems are - momentary power interruptions, ground loops, lighting damage, harmonic distortion, extended power interruptions, voltage sags, surges, electric noise, etc.
3. How can the quality of power be improved?
Power quality issues fall into three broad categories. We have mentioned them below, along with power quality solutions that you can undertake to improve the quality of power:
• Harmonic voltages and currents
Harmonic voltages and currents are introduced due to multiple standard electrical devices that distort the alternating current waveform and, as a result, increase power usage. However, it can be tackled by introducing harmonic reactors or filters, which can also help cost-cutting.
• Poor power factor
It is a condition of excess reactive power in a system. This reactive power is wasteful and costly as it doesn't perform effectively. However, it can be improved using Power Factor Correction (PFC), which reduces the reactive power, stops equipment from overheating, lowers energy costs and motor failure.
• Voltage instability
Voltage instability is a side effect of low or high-voltage electricity supply. Low voltage can reduce productivity and cause brownouts. On the other hand, high voltage is detrimental to the equipment's longevity and performance. Voltage optimisation can ensure that optimal and stable voltage is supplied to the system by the equipment present on the site. Schneider Electric's power quality solutions consist of power quality systems like EcoStruxure Power and EcoStruxure Power Advisor. These solutions offer analytics-based quality power services for optimising the power system's performance.