Power Quality Meters
Fortunately, Power quality meters/analyzers are the class of instruments designed to identify issues with power quality. They work by very quickly sampling the AC voltage at many different points along the waveform shape, digitizing those points of information, and using a microprocessor to perform a numerical analysis to arrive at harmonic frequency magnitudes. With the ability to monitor current as well, power quality analyzers can also calculate/display common power values. Most power quality analyzers simultaneously monitor multiple phases to quickly get the whole picture of the system.
- Harmonic Distortion
- Power Factor
- Balancing of Loads
- Phase Angle
- Energy Cost Analysis and Calculations
- IEC 61000-4-30 Classification
- Data Logging and storage capabilities
Particularly important to power quality is the synchronization of the voltage frequency and phase which allows electrical systems to function in their intended manner without significant loss of performance. This means the load will neither distort the shape of the voltage sine wave, nor cause non-sinusoidal currents to flow in the circuit.
AC power systems which have excessive harmonics can result in a number of power quality issues such as reduced electric motor horsepower output, overheated transformers, very high neutral conductor currents in three-phase systems, and electromagnetic noise which can interfere with sensitive electrical equipment.
Understanding the causes and effects of poor power quality is the first step towards identifying and improving the condition. Choosing the right Power Quality Meter for your application is important, Pacific
Test and Measurement can help!