SMPS units, ballasts, rectifiers and fluorescent lamps are some sources of power distortion. These loads appear as non-linear when connected to the electrical line. They cause the waveform of the power line to distort and generate harmonics that are multiple of the fundamental frequency. When this happens, equipment may malfunction and eventually fail if not corrected.
Technicians use power quality analyzers to determine how distorted the power line waveform is. They also measure the generated harmonics and other voltage variations. These tools help engineers plan for the optimum line conditioning. One of the best analyzers today is the Dranetz PX5. It has a compact and portable design which makes it suitable for field applications. The LCD screen doubles as the control panel. The Dranetz PowerXplorer 5 is touch controlled which reduces the need for interface buttons. This makes the analyzer smaller and lighter. It can measure harmonics up to the 63rd in three phase electrical systems.
If you need to conduct power quality analysis, consider renting equipment from Protec Equipment Resources. We carry power quality analysis tools, cable testers and other electrical testers. Do not hesitate to call us at 1-866-352-5550 for assistance.