Fix Power Quality Issues Before They Damage Your Electrical System

Power has become the most crucial element required for the functioning of an economy since the Industrial Revolution. Different industry sectors are heavily dependent on energy, from domestic to agricultural and to service and governmental operations. The importance of power continuity for a business puts strain on the reliability of power equipment. Hence, the power quality of the systems is of utmost importance to minimize any source of power disturbances. 

As per the IBF reports, India ranks second globally in power consumption. With a rapid surge in energy demand, the power facilities must undergo proper maintenance and regular audits to promote efficiency. Additionally, early detection of faults can help in preventing outages and improve the productivity of plant equipment and assets. This article will address the causes of power quality disruption and how businesses can prevent it. 

Power Quality Monitoring to Boost Equipment Reliability

Electric parameters are prone to fluctuations due to unbalanced load, the occurrence of faults, and other external factors. Power quality issues affect the entire electrical system, including the equipment, plants & installations, and electricity distributors. 

The continuity, efficiency, and safety of organizations’ equipment depend on maintenance. While we cannot avoid the deterioration of the power quality, analysis and detection can surely aid in maintaining the equipment’s performance. 

Power quality monitoring significantly improves equipment reliability and infrastructure support through better management of electricity distribution. Furthermore, thermographic testing of the equipment utilizes infrared energy to inspect various electrical components for defects, regardless of disturbances such as voltage sags/drops, harmonic distortions, imbalances, complete breaks, power quality analysis diagnoses these inadequacies. 

However, one must ensure to take thermography testing along with power quality analysis. Infrared inspection, commonly called thermographic testing, is a non-destructive predictive maintenance method. Besides power quality, it detects connection defects, overloads, deteriorated insulation, and other potential problems in electrical components.

Some of the major purposes of power quality analysis and thermography testing are:

  1. Downtime Reduction: Considering equipment failure and outages, businesses need to check the power source. Therefore, a power quality audit helps detect potential problems, implement corrective actions, and avoid facility downtime. 
  1. Cost-Effective: Poor voltage, power imbalances, and fluctuations often lead to unwanted disruptions for electronically controlled equipment. This, in turn, deranges the valuable assets and precision of an organization and creates a real-time loss.
  1. Business Safety: In a condition of improper power supply to machines and equipment, they run the risk of overheating. Besides, when machines overheat, their breakdown can cause significant damage to property and people. Thermography testing is an effective solution to measure surface temperatures and reduce the possibility of overheating. 
  1. Drives Potential: Prolonged interruption of power reduces productivity and hence, the output, which places a heavier drain on the power source. If we do not check it timely, it causes energy wastage along with the halt. Predictive maintenance services such as a power quality audit and thermography allow the address of such problems.
  1. Lowers Electricity Bills: Be it a sag, dip, or power outage, these fail to meet the efficient power factor that directly impacts billing. Essentially, thermography testing spots such areas of loose or corroded connections that cause increased resistance in the circuit. Consequently, power quality analysis provides practical measures to mitigate the risks.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) approximates the fire hazards in facilities due to electrical failures to be around ten percent. Several power quality issues include data errors, overheating, excess power usage, increased maintenance cost, etc. An audit proves to be proactive at these stages and provides businesses with effective solutions. 

Radical Approach for Industrial Safety

When an electrical system fails to perform as expected, the first step is to identify the cause and implement corrective actions. Power quality is primarily monitored to ensure the stability of electrical power. Furthermore, it investigates an electric device’s ability to function appropriately in the presence of a distributed amount of energy. Poor power quality can cause unstable equipment operation, complete failure, shorter lifespan, supply interruption, and plant downtime.

Therefore, thermography testing and power quality audit provide temporary monitoring of electrical appliances in a detailed procedure that includes:

  1. Analyzing power equipment: The first step to framing a feasible solution for systems is to determine the area of unfamiliarity. We can derive conclusions from the equipment whether the faults are ongoing or recurring, and this analysis helps obtain baseline data for today and future purposes.
  1. Data Interpretation: Before taking initial quality measurements, it is necessary to inspect the environment of power equipment. The first step is to measure and interpret the magnitude of voltage fluctuations, harmonic disruptions, and duration of changes. It culminates the severity and locates distribution systems that one must monitor for imbalance.
  1. Power Quality Verification: While the auditors analyze the data, thermographic testing enables the detection of corroded connections deteriorated insulations, which are then replaced. Hence, modifying the power system or installing equipment within the business premises.
  1. Securing through Dry-run: Given the corrective measures, the auditor conducts a dry run and monitors voltage in the meter. Furthermore, businesses must ensure all wiring is secure and not exposed to moving parts or high heat sources. Once everything is safe and secured, the equipment is equipped in a cabinet. 

A critical step in solving power quality issues is learning how to measure electrical parameters associated with the proper operation of equipment.

The utility model of electricity, i.e., Power Quality Analyzer, is a device that gathers and analyzes electricity measurement data into useful information. The most commonly used devices for deriving data and troubleshooting are Analyzers. The data derived from existing electrical infrastructure provides clear feedback on the system and its areas for improvement. This information helps in identifying upgrades and changes within a facility. 

We observe the data through voltage recorders and in-plant power monitors to record periodic waveforms and voltage spikes or dips. Businesses can further share the following information with other utility providers to analyze regional grid issues and with operations personnel responsible for maintaining power quality.

Thermography Test & Root Cause Analysis with VNT

Thermographic testing and power quality analysis are complex processes involving exposure to live electrical components. Therefore, it is crucial to seek trained consultants who have undergone specialized training in conducting thermography and power quality.

 VNT provides technical solutions primarily in power inspection and energy management. We offer varying levels of power quality to meet the needs of different customers. Electrical systems are prone to unexpected failure; however, a noticeable increase in heat in various parts precedes equipment failure. We identify such precedents and ensure the safety of your business and its equipment through thermography testing.

We specialize in evaluating, auditing, and addressing a wide range of power quality issues to increase plant, motor, and equipment efficiencies. Our trained professionals handle the whole spectrum of power quality, from technical audits to on-site industrial energy audits. We thoroughly analyze the power system to comply with the standard regulations IEEE Std.1159 and IEC 61000 – 4 – 30. We ensure the sensitive equipment’s reliability, safety, and simplicity of operations. 

With VNT’s audit and thermography test, you can seek electrical maintenance services and the improved lifespan of your existing equipment. Moreover, we provide businesses with a sound system that improves power-generating equipment’s performance, efficiency, and longevity. Our services limit the disturbances to the power distribution system and thereby ensure safety, risk reduction, maximize productivity, and reduce delay costs. 
If you want to optimize the service life of your business equipment and troubleshoot power quality issues, contact us