5 Reasons why it is difficult to manage Power Quality (PQ)?

26 Jun 2018

The availability of electrical network is dependent on the Power Quality (PQ) in many different ways. While availability is binary, Power Quality is not. This is one of the key reasons why its difficult to attribute how bad PQ affects electrical network availability.

Particularly, there are 5 reasons why companies find it difficult to manage Power Quality.

PQ is multi-thronged and dynamic: Power quality is affected by many elements including grid supply, earthing quality, patterns in power consumption of individual equipment to name a few. Further, PQ is a collective result of how the electrical network behaves as a system, across all these elements. Given the multi-thronged, dynamic nature its always difficult to pin-point the causes of bad PQ.

Good PQ is relatively difficult to define: Yes! The definition of good PQ will change from one electrical network to another. While there are equipment specific norms and well-established standards that are useful, but given the fact that no two electrical networks are the same, the definition of good PQ also changes.

PQ improvement is specific to the systems being reviewed: Good PQ is essentially improving the balance between various parameters that affect PQ. Improving PQ is about maintaining the right balance across various parameters such as earthing, unbalances, harmonics, power factor, voltage and more, for a live and performing system. Achieving absolute improvement in individual parameters may not yield good PQ and hence what works for a particular system may not yield the same results in case of other systems.

PQ – End user Vs. Utility Vs. OEM responsibility?: What if the bad PQ is a due to bad supply voltage or harmonics induced by a key equipment? The interdependent nature of PQ, with responsibility, rested with entities outside of the electrical network makes it even more tricky to maintain good PQ.

How much and when to invest to improve PQ? – Financial and life-cycle benefits of good PQ may not be upfront or obvious. Improving PQ is an ongoing process that calls for investments of time, effort and money. The results almost always pay for itself with avoidance of just a single or few failure/malfunctions of the equipment/network in question

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