Top 5 Plant Equipment Impacted by Power Quality

Electrical Equipment Powers Us

Electricity powers the electrical equipment used in our lives. It is a streaming force we rely on every day that we easily take for granted. In general, electricity is always there when we need it. For example, when you walk into a dark room and flip the switch, you come to expect that the light will turn on.

Electricity can present issues with the expected value received at the point of connection to the electrical system. When this occurs, plant equipment can become impacted by this occurrence.

But what do you look for?

How can you ensure your facility runs smoothly and without issue?

The first step begins in identifying the plant equipment most susceptible to failures.

Top 5 Plant Equipment Impacted by Power Quality

1. Computers – Microprocessor

Computers are electronic equipment physically on a voltage, changed from the primary voltage to a secondary voltage through a power supply. They require delivery of the secondary voltage at a consistent value with little tolerance for change.

Consequently, if the primary voltage encounters a change in power quality, it affects the secondary voltage. This results in the failure of the power supply or electronic components of the computer such as the microprocessor.

Microprocessor Computer Equipment

2. Variable Speed Drives

Variable Speed Drives, also known as variable frequency drives (VFD), are devices that drive a motor controlling the speed and torque of the motor by varying the input frequency and voltage.

Variable Speed Drive Equipment

Moreover, these devices are designed to change the frequency and voltage output of the motor. They expect the frequency and voltage they receive to be within tolerance.

Therefore, power quality deviations from expected values out of tolerance on VFD input can create a failure to the VFD output. Additionally, this causes the VFD or supply protection to fail.

3. Lighting Equipment

Lighting equipment our modern world has moved beyond the Edison light bulb.

Most lighting equipment transforms the primary voltage into a secondary voltage that is different to drive LED, fluorescent, and HID lights. As a result, power quality events can impact lighting to the point of failure.

Lighting Equipment

4. Electric Motors

Electric Motors Equipment

An electric motor is an electrical machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Poor power quality will cause these motors not to operate smoothly.

In short, this may cause harmonic distortion within the electrical system. These effects will wear out the motors at a higher rate and add to the cost of operations.

5. Relays

Relays are electrically operated switches used in various situations to control the action of automatic or process functions.

APT provides solutions to identify failures as they happen. We notify the people who need to know faster and better information – reducing or avoiding impact.

Relay Equipment

Be Prepared

Power Quality Events (PQ Event) can occur when for many reasons. Is your facility capable of knowing when this type of event has occurred? Additionally, preparing your facility with Power Quality Meters and an Electrical Power Monitoring System (EPMS) allows facilities to see the unseen.

Above all, the ability to see the effects and reactions your facility has to a Power Quality event will give your team control of the unseen.

At APT, we know how quickly small issues can turn into big problems. Our goal is to give our customers the tools to understand and identify potential problem areas before they occur and impact day-to-day operations. Don’t wait until problems arise to solve them.

Have more questions? Let us help. Contact APT for help with your power quality needs before they impact your facility.

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Brian Curnutt, Service Manager Lead Meter Electrician APT