operation. Positive or negative errors are possible depending on the harmonics involved and the designof the meter. Using the RMS sensing meters and relays will alleviate the aforementioned problems thatare encountered with peak sensing and induction disk meters & relays.•Electronic Equipment: power electronic equipment is susceptible to misoperation caused mostly byvoltage notching. The voltage notch can distort the voltage wave form near zero crossing point, makingit difficult to synchronize the firing pulses for phase controlled devices. Computers, electronicinstruments and control devices may incur erratic operation and sometimes malfunction should theharmonic factor exceeds 5% and 3% for a single harmonic.•Circuit breakers: the presence of harmonics, function of the type of the interrupting media and the arcquenching process, may cause the breaker to fail to interrupt the currents flowing through it. Underresonance conditions, the voltage appearing across the open circuit breaker may cause the failure of thebreaker due to stressing the insulators & insulating medium.•Communications: when a long communication line (telephone line) is run in close proximity to apower line feeding solid state devices and non-linear loads, harmonic interference can occur. The effectis interference with the transmission of information. In some cases, harmonics can emulate a signal andcause sparious system responses.•Other devices: ballasts for fluorescent or mercury lighting may have capacitors which together with theinductance of the ballast and the circuit have a resonant value. If this value corresponds to one of thegenerated harmonics, excessive heating and consequently failure of the fixture will occurs. Clock orpaging systems can be adversely affected when one of the harmonic frequencies falls on or near thecarrier frequency. Voltage notching can also cause misoperation of clock systems.
Remedies and mitigation techniques to reduce harmonics related problems:
Before getting into the available options to minimize the adverse effects of harmonics, series andparallel resonance will be covered, briefly. Inductive reactance increases directly with frequency (2
fL)and capacitive reactance decreases directly with frequency (1/2
fc). At the resonant frequency, of anyinductive/capacitive (LC) circuit, inductive reactance (X
) equals capacitive reactance (X
). For theseries resonance circuit, the total impedance at the resonant frequency reduces to the resistancecomponent only. High current magnitudes at the exciting frequency will flow. For the parallelresonance circuit, the total impedance is very high at the resonant frequency. High voltage magnitudeswill appear across the load and high circulating current will flow in the capacitance-inductance loop,although the source current will be small in comparison.
The available techniques to alleviate the harmonics problems:
•Shunt filters: a number of shunt filters tuned to specific harmonic frequencies (5, 7, 11) can effectivelyreduce the harmonics currents in a power system. Each filter consists of a series L-C circuit tuned toresonate at a specific frequency and is located relatively near the harmonic source. It will provide a lowimpedance path and will shunt most of the harmonics current to ground thus preventing it from gettinginto the power system. In some cases these traps can overheat if they trap harmonics from other sourcesthan those intended for.•Series filters: these filters consist of a parallel L-C circuit tuned to resonate at a specific frequency and