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Power quality, part 2

Power quality, part 2

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Published by Hany Kheir
Effects of steady state disturbances on loads, remedies and metigation techniques to reduce harmonics-related problems and transient disturbances.
Effects of steady state disturbances on loads, remedies and metigation techniques to reduce harmonics-related problems and transient disturbances.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Hany Kheir on Apr 11, 2009
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01/20/2011

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Power quality, part II
The effects of steady state disturbances on loads:
 The degree to which harmonic currents and voltage notching (distortion) can be tolerated is function of the susceptibility of the type of load and other components of the power distribution system to suchdisturbances.•Motors and generators: the major effect of line disturbances on these machines is increased heatingdue to copper and iron losses at the harmonic frequencies. In some severe cases, pulsating or reducedtorques may occur. The sum effect of the harmonics is a reduction in the efficiency and life of themachine. Generator regulating controls can also be affected by harmonic currents and voltage notching.It may result in hunting and instability and may make paralleling of generators very difficult.•Transformers: voltage harmonics cause higher transformer voltage & insulation stress. Higher voltagewill cause overexcitation and consequently high harmonics contents in the line currents due to thehigher excitation current. Transformer heating, increased copper & iron losses and reduced life are theresults of high harmonic contents in the transformer phases (lines). If the system is 4-wire, overheatingof the neutral due to the flow of the zero sequence harmonic current is a possibility.•Power Cables: medium voltage cables involved in system resonance (because of the inductance of linesor equipment and distributed or lumped capacitance) that is caused by harmonics current may besubjected to voltage stress and partial discharge that may lead to insulation failure.The flow of harmonics currents in a conductor will cause additional heating due to skin and proximityeffects, both of which are function of frequency or order of harmonic, size and spacing of cable. In 4-wire systems, additive harmonics in the neutral conductor can result in a neutral current exceeding thephase currents. This may lead to overheating of the neutral conductor that may affect its insulation andits surroundings. In 3-wire systems, the third , ninth, etc harmonics are not present.•Capacitors: Capacitors with the inductance of the system can cause resonance at a frequency otherthen the fundamental. This may impose a higher than rated voltage on the capacitor and may causeexcessive currents to blow capacitor fuses. The life of the capacitor may be shorten because of theoverheating due to current harmonics or the over stressing due to the voltage distortion. As a rule of thumb, the life of a capacitor will be halved for every 10 deg C temp. rise above normal or for 10%above rated voltage.•Switchgear and motor control centres: excessive harmonics can increase heating and losses inswitchgear/MCCs, reducing current carrying capability (continuous) of fuses and shortening the life of the insulating components.•Protective relaying: for electromechanical relays additional torque components are produced and mayalter the time delay characteristics of the relay. This may lead to incorrect tripping of the relay. For solidstate, non RMS sensing, nuisance tripping or mal operation can result if the sensed current is rich inharmonics.•Metering and instrumentation: these induction disk meters are affected by harmonic currents andvoltages. The conditions can worsen if resonance results in high harmonic voltage. The induction disk devices see only fundamental current, harmonics can cause phase unbalances which can lead to mal
 
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
π
fL)and capacitive reactance decreases directly with frequency (1/2
π
fc). At the resonant frequency, of anyinductive/capacitive (LC) circuit, inductive reactance (X
l
) equals capacitive reactance (X
c
). 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
 
are located at the equipment being affected.•Zero sequence filter: it is a specially designed zig-zag reactor which provides a low impedance path forall zero-sequence currents. This filter provides low impedance path for currents in phase and highimpedance to currents not in phase (in case of 3 phase systems to currents, 120 deg apart).•Phase multiplication: it involves phase shifting transformer to distribute power to harmonics generatingdevices, mainly rectifiers and converters. By properly shifting the phase relationship to various sixpulse converter loads, the new effect in the power system is to create 12 or 24 pulse circuit. The resultwould be less harmonics generated & transmitted through the power system. As mentioned underrectifiers, above, the harmonics remaining in the power system will be np +/-1.•Harmonic Injection: harmonics currents can be eliminated by inducing harmonic fluxes in the core of a transformer with 180 deg. phase shift from the harmonic fluxes induced by current flowing in thetransformer secondary. These devices are designed to constantly monitor the load current, inject acurrent equal and opposite to the distorted component (thus cancelling it).•Power system design: the effects of voltage distortion and harmonics currents can be minimized onother system loads by properly locating and isolating harmonics-producing equipment as much asreasonable. The power wiring to a converter can be isolated from the control wiring or other loadconductors to minimize the inductive and capacitive coupling between the different wiring systems.Voltage distortion can be minimized if the adjustable frequency drive or the harmonic producingdevices load, as a percentage of total transformer load, is kept to a minimum, also if the distributiontransformer short circuit level to the actual load current ratio is increased. Major resonant conditionscan be minimized by locating relatively smaller banks of power factor correction capacitors throughouta power system. These can be switched as needed versus using a single large bank of capacitors.•Reactors or isolation transformers: the effect of reactors or isolation transformers is to slightly changethe shape of the current wave, thus lowering not eliminating the amplitude of the harmonics currents.The reactor is placed between the harmonics generating device and the point of common coupling. Thedistortion to the power system at the point of common coupling may be reduced.•Reducing System impedance: as voltage drop in a power distribution system is function of eachharmonic current through the impedance, voltage distortion can be reduced by either lowering thecurrent or the impedance. Keeping the conductor lengths as short as practically possible, using lowimpendence transformers (this method has other advantages and disadvantages), using delta primary(this method has its disadvantages) winding in the distribution/rectifier transformer will eliminate thezero sequence currents path outside the delta, these are just a few ways to reduce the impedance in apower system.
Transient disturbances:
 Transient power problems originate outside buildings from ground faults, lightning, public utilityswitching. They also originate inside buildings from inductive loads and switching. Photocopiers, airconditioners, compressors, motors,light switches and fluorescent lighting circuits are all commonsources of power line transient disturbances. Any collapsing magnetic field or any sparking in a switchwill create transient waves which will appear at various locations with different modes and theconsequences will vary. Part III will cover this topic.

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