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Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Voltimum Expert Topic – Power Harmonics
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK What are Harmonics? They are waveforms with frequencies that are multiples of the fundamental frequency (Typically 50Hz in UK & Europe, 60Hz in North America)
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Causes of Harmonics Harmonic currents are caused by the use of non-linear loads: –Switched mode power supplies –HF fluorescent ballasts –Inverters Variable frequency drives UPS systems
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK What do Harmonic waveforms look like? The following 4 graphs show how complex waveforms develop when harmonics are present. Fundamental Waveforms Fundamental + 2 nd Harmonic Fundamental + 3 rd Harmonic Multiple Harmonics Remember the heating effect of the current flowing in the circuit is directly proportional to the area within the curve.
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Waveforms - Fundamental Fundamental Wave, 50Hz
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Fundamental + 2nd harmonic Waveform resulting from the fundamental plus the 2 nd Harmonic Note this shows little effect on the area within the curve compared to the fundamental
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Fundamental + 3rd harmonic Waveform resulting from the fundamental plus the 3rd Harmonic Note the substantially increased area within this curve compared to the fundamental. This effect is seen with all odd number harmonic conditions (e.g. 3 rd, 5 th, 7 th etc )
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Multiple harmonics These waveforms represent the effect of multiple harmonics. Interestingly all these waveforms can represent the same content of harmonic distortion! Note – above the 9 th harmonic the distortion and therefore the heating effect is minimised
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Typical Current waveform of Switched mode power supply
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Some of the Effects of Harmonics Excessive heating in rotating machines –Causing premature failure and risk of fire Excessive currents in the phase and neutral conductors –Causing overheating and risk of fire Overloading of transformers, capacitors and other fixed loads –Causing premature ageing and degradation of function Overloading of switchgear and cables –Leading to unwanted tripping of protective devices Damage to sensitive electronic equipment –Leading to loss of functionality
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Selecting Protective Devices Points to consider in selecting Protective devices when Harmonics are present. 1.Heating effect 2.Shape of waveform
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Selecting Protective Devices 1.Heating effect on Protective Devices The thermal element of devices such as MCB’s, MCCB’s and HRC Fuse links will respond to the heating effect caused by the harmonic content. If incorrectly selected or set this will lead to unwanted tripping or premature ageing. 2.Shape of Waveform Today’s electronic protective devices measure the true RMS current flow which takes into account the harmonic content rather than responding to the heating effect. The measurement of this true RMS can be affected by the shape of the waveform ….. Reference to manufacturers data is recommended when selecting these devices.
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK How to Accommodate the effects of Harmonics Neutral sizing Odd series ( particularly the 3 rd ) harmonics within a three phase system do not ‘cancel - out’ but accumulate within the neutral conductor. This can lead to rms current values equal to and in some cases, greater than that of the phase conductor currents even in balanced load conditions. If a system is affected in this way, then neutral conductors throughout the installation should be sized accordingly
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK How to Reduce the Effects of Harmonics Good design practice is to look at methods to reduce harmonic content rather than to accept it. This could include the addition of one or more of the following:- –Passive filters –Active harmonic conditioners –Transformer based solutions
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Passive filters Capacitor and reactor combination Tuned to specific frequency (typically 189Hz) Requires higher voltage capacitors Designed for a fixed system requirement
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Active harmonic conditioner Harmonic current compensation, 2 nd to 25 th Harmonic neutral current compensation Global or selective harmonic current compensation Site adjustable compensation parameters
Copyright© Voltimum Experts – not to be reproduced without prior consent of Voltimum UK Transformer based solutions 3rd Harmonic rejection transformers Phase shifting transformers Isolation or harmonic suppression transformers
Voltimum Expert Topic – Power Harmonics. What are Harmonics? They are waveforms with frequencies that are multiples of the fundamental frequency (Typically.
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