Power quality troubleshooting

Manufacturers design their product to comply with standards but do not provide data and measurements that allow power quality analysis to go beyond current capabilities. To follow the guidelines set out by various standards (for example EN 50160 and IEC 61000-4-3) and record faults or disturbances, today’s meters rely solely on event-based triggers. While this method provides engineers with some information regarding an event, it does not allow for full analysis of all power parameters leading up to an event, during an event or how the overall network recovers after an event. Due to limitations in memory storage, it is likely that even the data captured by such recording method(s) will not capture all the ‘true’ power and energy parameters. In the majority of cases, these limitations prevent power quality phenomena from being truly solved and prevent solutions that will eliminate future recurrence.


Take note

  • Never confuse simply taking measurements in compliance with standards with taking measurements with a view to solving real problms – these are generally very different requirements.
  • When purchasing a power quality meter, be sure that you understand its full capabilities – and that these are appropriate for your needs.
  • Data compression technology allows continuous measurement and logging of data at high sampling rates to provide the information to effectively analyse and take appropriate action to prevent future power events.


Published as:

Monitoring power quality

Beyond EN 50160 and IEC 61000-4-30

By E Kadec, Elspec

Electricity+Control, August 2012 (pgs 30 – 38)

Email: ekadec@elspec-ltd.com