Saturday, 2 February 2019

Frequent Power Quality Disturbances & Its Impact on Commercial Building

The intent of this blog is to show how power quality impacts commercial equipment/customers and what mitigation techniques and solutions can be applied to minimize shutdowns and equipment damage. The term commercial building primarily includes IT/ITeS offices, high rise apartments, malls, air, railway and bus terminals, etc. (except industrial buildings, private dwellings)


Before we move ahead to recognize the impact of poor PQ, let us first understand the key electrical loads in the commercial buildings. 
It can be seen from the above figure that the largest commercial building electrical load is Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning / Cooling (HVAC) System (around 39%), followed by Lightning (23%), Office Equipment (18%)and others. In India and other countries also, HVAC and lightening serves as the two most energy consuming end-use applications within a building.

With the extensive application of sensitive power electronic equipment like VSDs and non-linear loads like CFL, electronic choke, SMPS based systems etc in commercial buildings, various problems like power surges/sags, poor voltage and frequency regulation, harmonics, switching transients, electrical noise and Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) effects are frequently encountered which leads to poor power quality. The actual PQ problem of commercial building varies, depending on its electrical characteristics like the systems, energy sources, equipment, etc.

Some of the key physical manifestations of the PQ issues are mentioned below:
Equipment affected due to poor PQ
External Manifestation of poor PQ
Electrical PQ problem
Air Conditioning / HVAC equipment
Premature compressor failure
Voltage variation
Lighting  control
Flickering / fluctuations of lights, unit damage
Transients / voltage variation
Data processing
Data loss / data error / data corrupt
Voltage variation
Digital Scale / Thermostat
Unit damage
Transients / EMI
Fire / Security System
False alarms, unit damage
Transients / EMI / voltage 
Computerized equipment
Unit damage
Copy machine
Touchpad damage
Bar code scanner
Scanner damage
EMI / Transients
Energy Management
Loss of control

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