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What Does Power Quality Mean & Why Is It Important

What Does Power Quality Mean & Why Is It Important

Power Quality
Power quality has become a major concern of both electricity providers and their customers. For customers, the economic impact of power disturbances can range from several hundred dollars for repairing or replacing home appliances to millions of dollars in production losses and cleanup. For utilities, system disturbances can lead to customer dissatisfaction and to load and revenue losses.

What Does Power Quality Mean?
Power Quality refers to the characteristics of the power, or specifically the current and voltage, provided to the customer. The power is to be provided in clean sinusoidal waveforms at a frequency of 60Hz that does not contain sags or spikes, which allows the customer’s equipment to operate reliably.

Why is Power Quality Important
With the introduction and widespread use of sensitive electronic equipment, energy users have become much more aware and sensitive to transients and other power anomalies. Previously, equipment was fairly immune to short-term power fluctuations and did not project problems back into the utility’s system. Now, with the introduction of nonlinear devices, harmonics are created which can affect the customer’s equipment and the utility’s equipment. The utility is no longer just providing power to turn lights on and start motors. As a result, there has been an increase of problems experienced by electrical end-users. To determine the source of these issues, there are available means for customers, utilities, and consultants to easily monitor, record, and analyze the electric power. Based on the source of the problem, power treatment methods are available to cure or limit the problems.

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