Power Quality: Causes & Solutions

Power Quality: Causes & Solutions

Does your company have reliable power quality? SolaHD defines power quality as “the sensitivity of the load to a disturbance in the facility under the customer’s control.”

Poor power quality causes various costly issues; productivity goes down while downtime goes up. Thankfully, your company doesn’t have to become a victim of poor power quality. SolaHD has a wide range of power quality solutions to keep your business up and running.

What causes power disturbances?

According to SolaHD’s research, 70% of all power quality issues are internally generated in a facility and include noise, impulses, power interruptions and voltage fluctuations (sags, swells, and brownouts). Induction loads such as motors, elevators, welders and office equipment are among the culprits which can cause these internally-generated disturbances. Wiring and grounding errors, heavy loads and poorly-specified power conversion products also can create power quality problems.

This leaves 30% of power quality issues resulting from externally generated sources including lighting strikes and utility switching issues. Even with a properly designed distribution system, you must be ready for unavoidable power issues caused by accidents and weather.

Types of power disturbances:

  • Voltage Surge: A temporary rise in RMS voltage that can cause permanent damage to hardware
  • Power Interruption: A loss of power which can cause equipment shutdown and data loss, as well as downtime and safety issues
  • Brownout: While not a complete loss of power like a blackout, a brownout is a drop in voltage which can cause hardware crashes and equipment failure.
  • Voltage Sag: A temporary drop in voltage which can result in hardware crashes and reduce the lifespan of electrical equipment
  • Voltage Transient: A narrow, high voltage impulse which can cause equipment failure or damage and data loss
  • Frequency Variation: Changes to the 60 Hz sine wave that can cause permanent damage to hardware
  • Harmonic Distortion: Distortion to the sinewave which can result in loss of system capacity
  • Electrical Noise: Low amplitude and current, high frequency disturbances which can cause software errors and system lock-ups

Solutions to power disturbances

Power conditioning, surge suppression, filters and UPS systems can provide protection against various types of power quality issues. Products like constant voltage transformers can help regulate voltage levels while providing noise filtering and surge protection.

SolaHD’s large selection of power quality products includes AC and DC UPS systems, both free- standing and DIN Rail mount. Sola offers the three basic UPS technologies of:

  • Off-line
  • Line Interactive
  • On-line/Double Conversion

SolaHD has solutions you need to protect your facility from power quality issues and keep you up and running, including surge protection devices (SPDs) for everything from the service entrance to data and signal-line protection.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about SolaHD’s solutions to address power quality, please contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.  You can also browse our in-stock selection of SolaHD products on our website.