• Gossen Metrawatt
  • Camille Bauer

Why should power quality be monitored?

Power Supply
Even in Germany, up to 46% of all severe cases of data loss are trace back to the power generating plants. Although the grid here in Germany has an average availability of 99.98%, this still means that each year there’s no current for 105 minutes. Furthermore, we also experience voltage fluctuations on a regular basis which can impair sensitive computer systems to just as great a degree as a complete failure. Money spent on an uninterruptable power supply may thus be well invested.

Source: http://www.lexware.de/unternehmer-und-organisation/it-sicherheit

Due to rapid growth in the use of non-linear power consumers within a mixed network, the appearance (characteristic curve) of current i(t) and voltage u(t) has changed. The clean sinusoidal characteristic curve produced by a generator is distorted by harmonics caused by non-linear power consumers. Many devices such as computers, frequency converters and the like don’t tolerate this distorted voltage and they malfunction as a result.

The consequences of inadequate power quality are unknowingly underestimated by many companies. However, they can cause unplanned, long-term downtime, increased energy costs and premature wear and tear for machines. Costs amounting to roughly €2.5 billion are incurred by industry and commerce each year due to poor power quality.

Production stoppages can often be avoided before it’s too late by monitoring mains power. By logging important electrical quantities such as voltage, current, frequency etc., power profiles can be created – energy consumption along with its peak values, as well as energy costs, are made plainly apparent as a result. Hard cash can be saved by monitoring these parameters, and by recognizing potential savings as early as possible.

A further point which should not be neglected is voltage stability as a quality attribute. In the meantime, voltage quality has become an important quality indicator for many manufacturers, and they frequently demand corresponding verification of power quality from the power utilities.

Costs of Poor Power Quality

  Typical
Financial Loss per
Industry Event
Semiconductor production 3.800.000 €
Financial trading 6.000.000 € per hour
Automotive 630.000 €
Computer center 750.000 €
Telecommunications 030.000 € per minute
Steel mill 350.000 €
Glass industry 250.000 €

 

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