Understanding and troubleshooting harmonic related issues can be quite frustrating without extensive related experience. Automated Drive Systems can work with your plant technical personnel to identify issues and work with you to mitigate them. Harmonics are cause by non-linear loads such as lighting ballasts, computer systems, certain types of UPS systems as well as variable frequency drives. These types of devices do not draw power in a sine wave manner like inductive or resistive devices such as electric motors do. These devices draw power in short bursts every half cycle near the peak of the voltage sine wave. This short burst of current causes a reflected or sympathetic wave that results in a current draw at frequencies other than fundamental or 60Hz in North America. As a result of this harmonic content the resulting current and voltage waveforms of the power supply are affected having many negative results.
To make things more difficult, some facilities can have a very high harmonic content and not experience any noticeable issues within their facility, however other facilities may have a lower harmonic content and experience several symptoms. At Automated Drive Systems we have the equipment to meter and identify the harmonic levels as well as the expertise to help you mitigate to eliminate related issues or prevent them in the future.
The two graphs on the right hand side of this page show voltage waveforms with and without harmonic content to help visualize the effect of having a large portion of your facilities load made up of electronic equipment. This distortion can cause high neutral current levels leading to overheating of neutrals, motor bearing currents leading to reduced bearing life, nuisance tripping of protective devices, issues and failures of electronic equipment and computers, blown fuses on power factor correction devices, as well as overheating and damage to transformers.
Unfortunately, many companies try a variety of mitigation strategies that if not properly tuned to their power system end up resulting in the problem being amplified by the filtering. For this reason it is important to work with a company that can properly analyse your power system and work with you to help solve any issues. When working with Automated Drive Systems we will provide all metering data before and after any mitigation devices are installed so you can be assured that your issues have been properly resolved.
We have the ability to help your company analyse your power system as well as provide mitigation systems from TCI, MTE as well as our own custom filtering devices made specifically for your facilities power system.
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