by Joseph Seymour
Many of the mysteries of equipment failure, downtime, software and data corruption, are the result of a problematic supply of power. There is also a common problem with describing power problems in a standard way. This white paper will describe the most common types of power disturbances, what can cause them, what they can do to your critical equipment, and how to safeguard your equipment, using the IEEE standards for describing power quality problems.
The widespread use of electronics has raised the awareness of power quality and its affect on the critical electrical equipment that businesses use. Our world is increasingly run by small microprocessors that are sensitive to even small electrical fluctuations. These microprocessors can control blazingly fast automated robotic assembly and packaging line systems that cannot afford downtime. Economical solutions are available to limit, or eliminate, the affects of power quality disturbances. However, in order for the industry to communicate and understand power disturbances and how to prevent them, common terms and definitions are needed to describe the different phenomena. This paper has attempted to define and illustrate power quality disturbances as outlined in IEEE Standard 1159-1995, IEEE Recommended Practice for Monitoring Electrical Power Quality. Reducing equipment downtime and production expense, therefore increasing profit, is the goal of any size business. Communicating by understanding the electrical environment, and equipment's susceptibility to power quality disturbances, will help in the discovery of better methods to achieve business goals and dreams.