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1002 IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 14, No.

3, July 1999

Field Tests of a Filter to Reduce Harmonic Currents in

a Three Phase Fluorescent Lamp System

W. Mielczarski, Senior Member, IEEE w B hwrance, Member IEEE J Szczepanik

Monash University Curtin University of Technology Royal Melbourne Institute of
Department of Electrical and Computer Department of Electrical Engineering Technology, Department of Electrical
Systems Engineering PO Box U 1987, Perth, Engineering, Melbourne 3000,
Clayton, Victoria 3 168, Australia Western Australia 6001 Australia

Abstract: This paper presents laboratory and field tests of the such as inverters and rectifiers, which have inherently non-
filters constructed to reduce harmonic currents generated by linear characteristics.
three phase systems of fluorescent lamps. The main idea is to Measurements carried out on distribution lines supplying
develop a filter with high impedance for harmonic currents to ’light industry and small commercial buildings, show high
reduce harmonic distortion and a with low impedance for distortion of supply currents and a high value of the neutral
flow of the fundamental in asymmetrical regimes. This filter current with significant phase asymmetry. In industry and
is included in the neutral conductor with the primary role of high rise buildings there are often thousands of fluorescent
reducing the zero sequence harmonics. fittings, these are usually connected in a 4 or 5 wire, three
The filter design procedure is based on “levels of phase circuit. The implication of this configuration, is that the
aspirations” to reduce harmonic currents. With the use of a neutral current will increase significantly due to the additive
lamp equivalent circuit, it provides the required filter effect of the zero sequence components, in many cases
impedances for a given harmonic frequency. Rosenbrock’s combined with any current due to unbalanced loading [2], 131.
optimization procedure is employed to search for the optimal This effect leads to neutral overloading and distribution
filter parameters, minimizing the objective function transformer overheating.
formulated. A solution has been proposed, which involves splitting the
Laboratory and field tests show that a tuned filter in the main distribution transformer into two smaller transformers
neutral conductor can an effective method to reduce harmonic with the corresponding phases 180” out of phase 141. This
current distortion. It can be applied to any set of discharge connection leads to cancellation of the triplen current
lamps arranged as a three phase circuit. The method is components in the neutral, however there is no improvement
especially suitable for high rise buildings and industrial in the line current waveforms. Moreover, splitting the
installations where a large amount of electrical energy is distribution transformer is expensive. An alternative method,
consumed by lighting. proposed by the State Electricity Commission in Victoria,
was to add a series inductor to the neutral [ 6 ] .However this
Keywords: Harmonics, fluorescent lamps, filters. adds significantly to the system impedance, which should be
minimal to allow unbalanced currents to flow in the neutral.
1. INTRODUCTION The solution proposed by the authors of this paper involves
connecting a tuned filter into the neutral as shown in Fig. 1.
The presence of harmonics in power system is cause for This filter is designed so as to have a high impedance to the
increasing concern by supply authorities. The origin of these harmonic components of the neutral current and minimal
harmonics is usually attributed to power electronic devices impedance to the fundamental unbalanced component. The
neutral filter, if designed correctly, will reduce the neutral
PE-055PWRD-0-10-1998 A paper recommended and apprwed by loading as well as improving the waveform of the line
the IEEE Transmission and Distribution Committee of the IEEE Power currents. Although the scheme is conceptually simple, there
Engineering Society for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Power
Delivery. Manuscript s u b r n i i February 2, 1998; made available for
are complications due to factors such as the varying nature of
printing November 10,1998. the load impedance. Installation of filters in the neutral
conductor of a three phase system needs careful design and
verification taking into account filter structure, parameters
and equivalent circuits of three phase lamp systems.
This paper presents the second stage of the research project
leading to the verification of the harmonic filter effectiveness
in reducing harmonic distortion for various regimes of the
supply system. In the first stage, the idea of a parallel or
double tuned filter included into the neutral conductor has

0885-8977/99/$10.00 0 1998 IEEE

been verified by the construction and testing of a laboratory filter is relatively simple as under the assumption that reactor
installation 161. This has confirmed the effectiveness of the resistance is a function of reactance, only two parameters, L
new idea giving experience in equivalent circuit derivation. and C leading to parallel resonance. for the dominant 3"
filter design and construction. Laboratory equipment and harmonic. have to be calculated. The reduction of reactor
computer programs for parameter optimization were also resistance leads to smaller filter losses. However, higher
developed. In the second stage, a filter for field tests has been impedance at the resonant frequency narrows the impedance
designed, constructed and subjected to tests in a system with characteristic. This may result in degradation of the filtering
high level of distortion and fluctuating loads. effects when system parameters and frequency are varying.
Harmonic voltage distortion depends on harmonic current Fig. 2 shows the structure of the tuned filters used in
and the supply system impedance hence it is difficult to verify laboratory and field tests. Switches S1 and S2 and terminals
the effectiveness of the new circuit by analysis of voltage T1 - T4 allow the changes in the filter structure and
distortion. In laboratory and field tests, harmonic current measurements of currents and voltages. There are three
reduction has been used as a measure of the filter possible filter combinations:
effectiveness. No Filter - Switch S1 is closed
Parallel Filter - Switch S1 is opened while S2 is closed
Lsmp A Double tuned filter, (DBL) - Both switches S1 and S2 are
, - opened
A m The absolute value of the filter impedance for n' harmonic
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is given by

Lamp B
, -

B . m
Lamp C 4
~ ~~~~~~~~.~~ where R I , R = resistances of the inductors. L , ,L 2 = the
reactance of inductors, C,, C2 = values of capacitors.

The supply system selected for field tests, supplies the

engineering laboratories at Curtin University of Technology
and is subjected to large load fluctuations. Moreover, other
nonlinear loads in the neighborhood, cause harmonic
pollution, in particular 5*, 7'h, 11' and 13' harmonic currents
Fig. 1. Three phase system of fluorescent lamps generated by six-pulse bridge rectifiers as well as by single
phase electronic equipment. Facing large variations in the
3. FILTER DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION supply system, a simple equivalent seen from terminals
( O , O 0 )has been selected to represent the average conditions
There are two candidates for the neutral current filters: of supply.
parallel LC filter and double tuned filter. Design of a parallel

Fig. 2. Filter construction

The idea of a tuned filter included in the neutral conductor
is based on assumptions that in symmetrical regimes, the filter
5'" = 0.05, 5"' = 05; 5'"' = 05 represent "a priori"
will be subjected to the flow of harmonic currents of zero selection based on experience from the first stage of the
sequence such as 3d, 9" and 15" order generated by project.
fluorescent lamps. In practice the filter is subjected not only The required impedances were calculated for three
harmonic currents generated by a --phase fluorescent
to harmaiics, for which it has been designed, but also to a
wider range of hamonic currents, positive and negative lamp system, namely 3rd7 9" and 15" ordq. Assuming that the
resistance of the inductive reactors is a &tion of inductive
sequence, resulting from system asymmetry and other
impedance, the filter design requires the manipulation of four
nonlinear loads.
parameters to obtain the assigned impedance values. To
The filter has been designed assuming that a three phase
simplify the design process, the resistances of both reactors
system of fluorescent lamps can be represented by a Thevenin
were assumed to be equal to 0.1 Ohm. It has led to the reactor
equivalent seen from terminals (OL,OG),see Fig. 3. The
being designed for fixed resistance and reactance resulting
measurements carried in the laboratory for an experimental
from filter calculation. To select double filter parameters for
set of 3 x 7 ~(2*40W) fluorescent lamps, provided experience
in how to evaluate the equivalents seen from (O,O,)and which the filter impedance satisfies the required impedance
apply them to filter design [6]. values, the objective function has been constructed as
The following assumptions are set up as levels of aspiration
of harmonic current reduction:
filters should reduce the 31d harmonic current in the
neutral conductor to at least 5%of the previous value
double tuned filter should additionally reduce the 9"
harmonic current and 15" harmonic current to at least
50%of the previous values
+ &(Zf3o - f3 (x[11..-d41)) -!-P 3 (zf90- f 9 (x[11..-d41)) +
+ P4(Zfl5a - f15(x[11...x[41))
where f,,(411. . - filter impedances for the nthharmonic
current as functions of filter parameters, xi11...xi41 -
arguments of impedance function which represent values of
filter elements C,,C2, L,,L2 ,
a l , a 2 , ~ 3 , a 4 , P 1 . P 2 , P 3- ,weightingcoefficients
selected experimentally.
The optimization process based on Rosenbrock's
procedure provided the following filter parameters:
- C,= 1,25OpF, C2 = 340pF, L1 = 4.4mH, L2 = 3.3mH and
Fig. 3. Equivalent circuit with filter connected into the neutral
RL, = 0.lR, R L 2 = 0.lR
The filter impedance assumed and obtained for harmonic
When the filter is connected to terminals (OL,0,)the currents is shown in Table 1 .
system can be 'considered as a voltage divider, see Fig. 3, for Specially manufactured capacitors (by ABB) and reactors
a particular harmonic and the filter impedance required can allow to match impedances resulting from the optimization
be easily calculated as procedure. The filter construction has been designed to carry
up to 200%of maximum values of the expected currents and
voltages. As the total weight of the filter is above(@kg, the
filter elements are installed on a trolley to allow easy
transport, see Fig. 4.
where 5'"' is a ratio of the required current reduction for
harmonic (n),ZgLr - the filter impedance for harmonic 4. LABORATORY TESTS
number (n), and z:$" - the equivalent impedance for
Before field tests, a number of laboratory tests have been
harmonic (n). carried out to verify filter construction and performance. A
Impedances of the system subjected to the field tests were set of 3 x 7 (2*40W)
~ fluorescent lamps has been employed to
evaluated as generated harmonic currents. Although the currents obtained
z:~=4.3~, = 1 2 ~ ,z::= 2 m . ~ h e r a t i o s o f t h e in laboratory tests were smaller than the currents expected in
harmonic current reduction assigned to particular harmonics: field tests, the laboratory tests confirmed good the filter
effectiveness in reducing harmonic current flowing in a,three Table 2 shows phase and the neutral currents for all
phase fluorescent lamp system, see Fig. 5 . configurations. The supply voltage was fluctuating close to
Both filters are very effective in the reduction of 3d 240V.Tests were carried out on a live system with some
harmonic currents with smaller impact on harmonic distortion fluctuations of load and supply voltages during
resulting from other nonlinear load. measurements, so some differences in results occurred due to
changing supply conditions.

I Frequency I Impedance I Parallel 1 Double-tuned 1

assigned filter filter
50 Hz 022 1.1722 0.23R
150 Hz 81.7S2 96.622 96.9Q
150 Hz 81.722 96.622 96.9@'
450 Hz 12R'" 1.1622 10.9822
750 Hz 2122'" 0.6522 19.922


The filter was constructed at Monash University in

Melbourne and subjected to laboratory tests there.
Afterwards, it was transported to Perth for field tests carried
out in the engineering laboratories. Supply waveforms were
strongly distorted, not only by fluorescent lamps but also by Fig. 4.Filter during field tests.
six pulse bridge rectifiers working in the neighborhood.
The tests were carried out for three configurations of the Fig. 6 presents the reduction of harmonic current in three
networks, reflecting possible loading of the system:
cases for three options: No Filter, a parallel filter, and a
Case A - three phase system (symmetry)
double-tuned filter (DBL).
Case B - two phase system (asymmetry 1)
Case C - single phase systems (asymmetry 2)


3 5 7 9 11 13 15 1 3 5 7 9 11 1 3 1 5
Hamania, Hamwnica

1.o 12
SO.8 %a
E 8
f 0.6
U 0 6
$0.4 $ 4
f 0.2 2
no 0
3 5 7 9 11 13 15 1 3 5 7 9 11 1 3 1 5
m c s Harmonics

Fig. 5. Reduction of harmonic currents during laboratory tests: (a) Symmetry - Phase Current, (b) Symmetry - Neutral
Current, (c) Asymmetry - Two-phase regime - Phase current, (d) Asymmetry - Two-phase regime - Neutral current.

l l 3
& 7 9 1 3 5 7 9

3 5
L7 9
CaseA Case6

Fig. 6 Reduction of harmonic distortion in phase current (Blue) in percentage of the total current for No
Filter option
The total harmonic distortion index of the phase currents was [2] E. Gluskin, “High harmonic current in fluorescent lamp
very high reaching nearly 27%. Switching in the filter led to circuits,” IEEE Trans on Industry Applications, vol. 26,
significant distortion reduction, in particular in Case C, single no. 2, MarcWApril 1990, pp. 347-351.
phase configuration. Smaller reduction of phase current [3] W. Lawrance, G. Michalik, W. Mielczarski, and
distortion occurred in Case A, symmetry. This is a result of J. Szczepanik, “Reduction of Harmonic Pollution in
reduction of only zero sequence harmonics flowing in the Distribution Networks,” Proceedings of EPDM’95, 2 1-
neutral conductor. In this case, negative (5”) and positive 24 November 1995, Singapore, IEEE Catalogue No
(7”) sequence harmonics can flow in phase currents as they 95TH8130, pp. 198-202.
are not effected by filters installed in the neutral conductor. [4] A. Liew, “Excessive neutral currents in three-phase
fluorescent lighting circuits,“ IEEE Trans. on Industry
6. CONCLUSIONS Applications, vol. 25, no.4, July-Aug. 1989.
(51 Standards Association of Australia, Disturban- ‘
Laboratory and field tests have confirmed that the inclusion mains supply networks, Part 1 - Limitation of h
of a parallel or double tuned filter in the neutral conductor caused by household and similar appliances,
leads to the harmonic current reduction in the neutral and Limitation of harmonics caused by industrial equipment,
phase currents. It can be considered as one of possible AS 2279 - 1979.
options of harmonic current reduction in particular of zero [6] J. Szczepanik,. “Reduction of harmonic distortion in
sequence components. It seems to be effective way of distribution circuits caused by discharge lamp systems,”
reducing distortion especially for low frequency harmonics, MEngSc Thesis, Monash University, 1995.
like 3d order, for which tuned parallel filters connected
between supply line and the ground are very expensive. Wladyslaw Mielczarski (M’9 1 -SM’94) received his
Although, laboratory and field tests generally confirm the M.Sc..Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from
effectiveness of the new idea, there are still many problems to the Technical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland, in 1973,
analyse, in particular, how to design low cost construction 1978 and 1987, respectively.
and influence of filters on system characteristics. From 1978 to 1990, he was with the Institute of Electrical
During tests, both filters have been subjected to strong Power Engineering, Technical University of Lodz, as a
harmonic distortion. The double tuned filter dampens more Lecturer and an Associate Professor. Currently, he is an
effectively higher harmonic currents compared to the parallel Associate Professor with Department of Electrical and
filter. However, its construction is more complicated and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University,
expensive. It is worth installation in systems with strong Melbourne, Australia. His research interests include
asymmetry and harmonic distortion resulting from other applications of optimization methods in electrical
nonlinear loads. engineering, quality of electricity supply and fuzzy logic
Filters can be applied to new and existing installations on methods.
various levels of supply systems. They can be used for a
group of lamps, one entire floor in a building or the complete William B. Lawrance (M86) received his B.Eng degree in
building supply system. The decision depends of typical electrical engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of
regimes of system loading and cost calculation. Technology, Melbourne, Australia, 1968, Master’s degrees
The most promising approach seems to install such filters from the University of Surrey, Surryy, the U.K., and
in the neutral of three phase lamp fittings. Symmetry of a Laughborough University, Laughborough, the U.K. in 1974
three phase fitting permits the implementation of a parallel and 1980 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from Curtin
filter, reducing the cost. Moreover, a three phase fitting University of Technology, Perth, Australia in 1995.
reduces the stroboscope effect of discharge lamps by shifting Currently, he is the Head of the Department of Electrical
phase voltages 120”. The common application of parallel Engineering, Curtin University. His research interests include
filters in new, three phase fluorescent fittings will allow power system harmonics and photovoltaic applications.
significant harmonic current reduction in neutral and phase
currents. Jerzy Szeczepanik received his MSc. degree in electrical
engineering from the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy,
Acknowledgment Cracow, Poland. From 1993 till 1995 he was studying
towards his MEngSc at Monash University, Melbourne,
This research project has been supported by Mineral and Australia. Currently he is a Ph.D. student at the Royal
Energy Research Institute of Western Australia, Grant E232, Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.
and ABB Capacitor Division in Melbourne.

[I] M.S. Bazaraa, and C.M. Shetty, Non - linear
programming - theory and algorithms, John Wiley, 1979.