Electrical power quality is routinely taken for granted by most industries irrespective of the fact that it is absolutely fundamental to the safety and operational integrity of the installation, without exception. Medium to large electrical variable speed drives; DC drives and AC variable frequency drives (VFDs) are fundamental to most operations. However, their use significantly degrades the quality of electric power, increases equipment failure, and disrupts control systems, resulting in production losses and compromised safety.
US$100m’s are lost annually across industry, directly and indirectly, due to poor power quality, by industries often unaware of where the damage or disruption to equipment originates from. Some consequences of poor power quality can appear relatively minor (e.g. the repeated failure of control relays, VFD capacitors or electric motors) but are often expensive operationally.
Common mode voltage, a largely unrecognised EMC phenomenon due to VFDs, presents a constant and increasing threat of disruption to equipment, jeopardising operational integrity and safety. All this is happening in the background and most are unaware of the threat poor power quality poses to their investment and to the safety of their employees.
Unacceptable power quality can have significant impacts on safety, the productivity of operations and profitability. The cost of mitigation required to ensure prevention is only a tiny fraction of the possible financial losses. An acceptable level of power quality is now absolutely fundamental for safety and operational integrity of all industries worldwide and will be increasingly important in future. At the very least management should know they has no problems lurking ready to strike.
When was your installation last subject to a power quality audit ?