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Electric Pow

G.T. HEYDT Arizona Sfufe University

Electric power quality is an aspect of power engineering t h a t h a s been with us since the inception of power systems; however, topics in power quality have risen t o t h e forefront since the advent of high power semiconductor switches and networking of transmission and subtransmission systems. Also, the trends in modern power engineering h a v e b e e n t o extract the most from t h e existing installed system, and this too has placed stress on issues of sinusoidal waveform fidelity, absence of high a n d low voltage c o n d i t i o n s , a n d other ac waveform distortion. What exactly is power quality? This is a q u e s t i o n with n o fully accepted answer, but surely t h e response involves the waveforms of current and voltage in an ac system, the presence of harmonic signals in bus voltages and load currents, the presence of spikes and momentary low voltages, and other issues of distortion. Perhaps the best definition of power quality is the provision of voltages and system design so that the user of electric power can utilize electric energy from the distribution system successfully, without interference or interruption. A broad definition of power quality borders on system reliability, dielectric selection in equipment and c o n d u c t o r s , long-term outages, voltage unbalance in threephase systems, power electronics and their interface with the electric power supply, and many other areas. A narrower definition focuses on issues of waveform distortion. One reason for the renewed interest in power quality at the distribut i o n level is t h a t t h e e r a of deregulation has brought questions of how electric services might be unbundled and compared from one provider to another. It is possible to

uality: A Tutorial lntro

riodic (nonrepeating) signals have encountered signal components that are not integer multiples of the fundamental, and these have been called fractional or interharmonics. The main issues in electric power quality relating to harmonics have been: Harmonic power flow study. This is a software tool t o analyze how harmonics propagate in electric power systems. The method is Newton-Raphson based. Injection current analysis. This is a software technique for the analysis of the effects o f injecting harmonic signals into power systems. Losses. Losses in magnetic devices (machines, transformers) depend o n t h e harmonics present. The accurate analysis is rather complex, and various methods and standards exist for this purpose. Fractional and interharmonics. These signals a r e not truly harmonics in the Fourier sense, however noninteger multiples of t h e power f r e q u e n c y d o exist in power systems as a result of async h r o n o u s switching, nonlinear effects, and aperiodicity. Probabilistic methods of analysis. Some researchers have proposed to analyze the probability of the occurrence of harmonics. Instrumentation and power. Issues of b a n d w i d t h , dynamic r a n g e , effects of t h e interaction of voltage and current creating power (and r e a c t i v e power), a n d t h e standardization of methods have been a point of focus in power quality engineering. A main reason for interest in harmonics is the presence of nonsinusoidal voltages and currents in solid s t a t e switched circuits. For example, t h e six-pulse three-phase Graetz bridge rectifier p r o d u c e s current harmonics on the load side, and these harmonics propagate in the distribution network. A p pulse bridge produces harmonics of t h e
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provide additional services to some customers on an optional basis, and t o charge for t h o s e services. Perhaps several competing distribution companies might base their competition on t h e level of power quality provided. This is an evolving area. Also, modern power engineering is frequently cost-to-benefit ratio driven. Power quality indices often provide ways to measure t h e level of electrical service and t h e benefits of upgrading the supply circuits. These areas have brought focus to power quality as evidenced by s e v e r a l new t e x t b o o k s in t h e area, one magazine, several conferences, and a number of programs and departments in electric utility companies infrastructures.

Types of Power Quality Problems

The main classifications of power quality problems are steady state and transients. Table 1 contains a list of commonly encountered power quality problems.

Harmonics are integer multiples of a fundamental frequency of a periodic process. If a periodic voltage u(t) of period T is resolved into a Fourier series,

v(t) = a,

+Eai cos(ici),t + (pi>

i =I

individual t e r m s in t h e s u m a r e called h a r m o n i c s , and a. is a d c term. Sometimes the Fourier series is written a s a double-sided sum, and that form is equivalent to the indicated form. Also, there are exponential and rectangular forms of t h e sum. The fundamental frequency is related to the period T by




Some engineers, in analyzing ape-


. .

. .

Ringing waves Transient (decaying oscillarory) Three phase JllbalanCe, neuirai currents Noise Steady state

A transient high frequenoy (e 9.. -17 harmon%) __ .-Power ireqtiency

Capaccor swiiching, transformer energi7ation Three-ph&se systems


InrJsli current. shunt capacitors

Unbalanced load. improper ground, unbala w e d volrage supply Improper ground
. .

. - .-. . -. .



TransicnV High frequenc es present steady state Steady 1 state High frequencies prcscnt

In many ac systcms

-. . - .. . . .

Notchcs in sindsoiaal wavc

Due to switching of I r d m i v e circuits Lasing solid state switches

Adjustable speed drives

order np 1 where n = O,l,Z, ... in the ideal case. The details of these harmonics depend on the rectifier delay angle, the inductance of the supply circuit, t h e d c rectifier load, and other circuit parameters. Other common sources of periodic, nonsinusoidal signals, and hence harmonics, are adjustable speed drives, inverters, and compact fluorescent lamps.

cy spectrum (i.e., the component frequencies present) in the voltage u(f]. Analysis of a wide bandwidth using Fourier transforms entails considerable calculation because the analysis must be carried out over a very wide range of frequencies. However, one may u s e t r a n s i e n t s in t h e definit i o n of t h e i n t e g r a l t r a n s f o r m ; s u c h is t h e case in t h e use of t h e wavelet transform,

the literature of the area is rich on the selection of the mother wavelet, how wavelets are applied, and how they a r e calculated. This is a new area, and software and valid results have not been commercialized fully.

Power Quality Indices

Several indices are in common use f o r t h e quantification of electric power quality. These indices are convenient for condensing complex time a n d f r e q u e n c y domain waveform phenomena into a single number. The power acceptability curves have

Transients are signals with a finite Ofe, that is, a transient dies to zero in a finite time. Examples of transients a r e impulses c a u s e d by lightning s t r o k e s o r switching. Frequency based analysis h a s been common since Fouriers time; however, frequency analysis is not ideally suited for transient analysis, because Fourier (frequency) based analysis is based on t h e sine a n d cosine functions, which are not transients. This results in a very wide frequency spectrum in the analysis of transients. A solution to the problem is to appeal to the use of transients to analyze transients. As an example, consider the usual Fourier transform of a voltage v(Q,

V(a,b)= .f(a)J v(t)w(a,b,t)dt.


+I V ( 0 )+ -J v ( t ) e - w t


The spectrum of ~CO), the Fourier transform of u(t), shows the frequen16 IEEE ComputerApplications in Power

In t h i s t r a n s f o r m , t h e t r a n sient voltage u ( f ) is resolved into its component wavelets denoted w(n,b,f) in t h e integral. The terms a and b represent t h e dilation r time scale factor of t h e wavelet, and b represents the shift, or where the wavelet is located in time. The term f(a] is a scale factor. A wavelet is a transient itself as seen in Figure 1. A wavelet is a m a t h e m a t i c a l f u n c t i o n t h a t is a transient with specialized oscillatory p r o p e r ties. T h e wavelet s p e c t r u m Of is O f t e n more narrow an e f re q u e pe and is easier using wavelets. T h e r e a r e many candidate wavelets, and
t r u m g

C8 Cb

-1 0



1. A Wavelet. The Horizontalscale is time and - Figure may be scaled further by a dilation factor denoted as a.The wavelet is centeredatzero here, butmay be shifted by some parameter, b. The vertical scale is the function value ofthe wavelet w (a, b, t j .

CBEMA Power Acceptability Curve

IlK Power Acceptability Curve

z 5

9 m

4 0

i 5 0 5 a

Figure 2. The CBEMA and ITIC power acceptability curves

also been used as convenient measures of power. The most common of t h e power quality i n d i c e s a r e s h o w n in Table 2 . These indices have the general properties that they

The power acceptability curves are loci of bus voltage deviation vers u s disturbance time. Figure 2 is a typical power acceptability curve. The interior of the curve represents

a region of acceptable power service; that is, disturbances of a particular AlVl and duration time are plotted on the curve, and, if the plotted point falls in the region sufficiently close to

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t h e A b k 0 (i.e., no bus voltage disturbance) and sufficiently s h o r t d i s t u r b a n c e time, t h e disturbance is assumed to be acc e p t a b 1e. Sever a1 different power acceptability curves have evolved in IEEE, t h e United States military, and in private industry (e.g., the Computer Business Equipment Manufacturers Association, CBEMA), but none were truly scientifically generated in t h e s e n s e that they were created from the theory Figure 3. Power quality instmments: a pictorial of power disturcurve promoted by CBEMA) have bances. Instead, the power acceptbeen widely used for a range of loads. ability curves were generated by Recently, the CBEMA curve was modiexperience gathered by a commitfied to reflect encouragement o f comtee. The questions of the validity of puter equipment to accommodate a the curves, their use in power distriwider range of supply voltages and the bution assessment, and their approcapabilities of modern instrumentap r i a t e n e s s for different t y p e s of tion. The CBEMA curve, and its succesl o a d s a r e largely unknown a n d s o r t h e Information Technology uncorrelated to actual field evaluaIndustry Council (ITIC) curve a r e t i o n s of d i s t u r b a n c e s . Also, t h e shown in Figure 2. The upper locus application of the power acceptabili(labeled overvoltage condition) refers ty curves for the three-phase case to the upper limit of acceptable bus has not been fully studied. Despite voltage; above this locus, one has t h e s e s h o r t c o m i n g s , t h e power unacceptable power due to high voltacceptability curves (especially the

age. The lower locus is labeled undervoltage condition, and this refers to low voltage at the load (i.e., a sag); this f acceptable locus is the lower limit o bus voltage. Note that the term acceptable power in this context refers to a qualitative condition of bus voltages in a range that makes t h e delivered power useable. In this sense the power is acceptable. The upper right and lower right in both t h e ITIC and CBEMA curves are the unacceptable region. Unfortunately, t h e r e is no generic way to define power acceptability curves that are applicable to all

18 IEEE ComputerApplications in Power

load types, and both single and three phase. Nonetheless, t h e curves a r e widely used.

Instrumentation and Sensors

T h e r e a r e many i n s t r u m e n t a t i o n techniques applied to power quality, as illustrated in Figure 3. The present status of power quality instruments is summarized in Table 3. In t h i s table, the bandwidth, dynamic range, harmonic frequency measurement limits, and typical primary sensors a r e indicated. Of course, there is a distinct difference between laboratory instruments and field, dedicated instruments.

tional s t a n d a r d s of electric power quality. Two main standards are: IEEE Standard 1100, Recommende d p r a c t i c e for powering and grounding s e n s i t i v e e l e c t r o n i c equipment, (Emerald book), IEEE Standards, 1992. IEEE Standard 519-1992, IEEE Recommended Practices and Requirem e n t s f o r Harmonic Control in Electric Power S y s t e m s , IEEE Standards, 1992.

J. Arrillaga, D. Bradley, P. Bodger, Power System Harmonics, John Wiley, Chichester, UK, 1985. A.P.S. Meliopoulos, Power System Grounding and Transients, Marcel Dekker,

New York, 1988. R. Dugan, W. Beatty, M. McCranaghan, Electrical Power Systems Quality, McCraw Hill, New York, 1996.

Gerald Thomas Meydt is the director of

For Further Reading

G.T. Heydt, Electric Power Quality, Second edition, Stars in a Circle Publications,

Standards of Electric Power Quality

There are many national and interna-

Scottsdale, AZ 1995. W. Shepherd, P. Zand, Energy Flow and

Power Factor in Nonsinusoidal Circuits,

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 1985.

the ACEPS Power Quality Center at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. He has a BSEE degree from Cooper Union, New York, and MSEE and PhD degrees from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He is a registered professional engineer in New Jersey and Indiana, and he is an IEEE Fellow. He may be reached by E-mail, heydtOenuxsa. eas.asu.edu.

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