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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:   (doi:10.13031/2013.17777) in Power Quality. Chapter 17 in Fundamentals of Electricity for Agriculture, 3rd edition, 417-430. St. Joseph, Michigan: ASAE. . Copyright 2004 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Mich.
Authors:   Gustafson, Robert J., and Mark T. Morgan
Keywords:   Types of Power Quality Disturbances, Resolving Power Quality Issues

The quality of electrical power has become an increasingly important issue. Use of highly sensitive electronic equipment and growing use of equipment that may impact power quality are both important. Power quality problems are manifested in failure, malfunction, or reduced life of electrical equipment. Symptoms of power quality disturbances occurring may include:

  • Loss of computer data
  • Random computer data errors
  • Malfunctioning electronic equipment
  • Flicker, dimming, or brightening of lights
  • Increased service needs or decreased life of equipment
  • Overheated equipment
  • Blown fuses and overheated or tripped breakers and relays.
As was described in Chapter 1, the ac voltage produced by utility systems in North America has a sinusoidal waveform and a fixed frequency of 60 Hz (60 cycles per second). From the perspective of both power producer and consumer, it is desirable to have undistorted sinusoidal voltage and constant frequency, or perfect power quality, throughout the system. However, power quality disturbances are caused by a number of manmade and natural sources on the power system and on the consumer premises. Power quality disturbance therefore cannot be avoided, but disturbances and their impact can be minimized. This chapter will identify and define a range of sources of power quality disturbances and indicate the types of actions needed to minimize any loss from the various sources. Minimizing impact of power quality disturbances requires a partnership among power suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and customers.

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