The Bad Effects of Power Line Distortion in Motors and Transformers

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Inefficient power lines can cause problems especially in transformers and motors. If the power line problems are not corrected, premature aging or damage to equipment may occur.


Motors and transformers are the most affected devices when power quality suffers. If a power line is plagued with harmonics, the motors bearings and coupling can deteriorate. This happens when the 5th harmonic generates a counter-rotating magnetic field in the windings and the 7th harmonic generates a rotating field outside its synchronous speed. The jittering torque causes premature wear and tear which shortens its operating life. Transformers are also affected because the harmonics causes excessive formation of eddy currents which results to overheating. Since the fundamental frequency already generates eddy current losses, the multiples add up to these losses. 

Improving power quality can help prolong the operating life of your equipment, thus saving you money. If you need power quality analyzers like the PX-5 from Dranetz or high voltage test equipment, consider renting instead. This is considerably cheaper than buying test equipment that you will seldom use. 

Rent equipment you need from Protec and enjoy excellent service at affordable rental fees. If you want to learn more of our services, contact us and one of our experts will be ready to assist you.