Electrotek Basic PQ Training Course

Utilities, manufacturers and building designers are becoming more interested in power quality as power becomes a more critical commodity for operating their businesses. Utility customers are demanding more reliable and available power. Our digital society depends on power injected at nearly every point to keep our economy and businesses ticking. These needs are attracting more engineers to serve in the power quality industry. However, although the demand for quality power increases along with the need for engineers to learn about this exciting discipline, most universities and community colleges don’t teach power quality.

Responding to this growing need, Electrotek offers a series of power quality training courses starting with the Basic Power Quality Training course. This training is offered as a one-day condensed course, focused on the basics of power quality. The one-day training is designed to last nine hours, four hours before lunch and four hours after lunch with a working lunch where teaching continues. Two 15-minute breaks are included in the agenda. Students are encouraged to bring one question on power quality to the training course for potential course discussion. Students are also encouraged to write the questions down that come to them during the course for potential Q&A after the course. Students are invited to submit outstanding questions to the instructor via email.


Each course covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to Power Quality
  • Power Quality Definitions
  • The Compatibility Concept
  • Power Quality Disturbances
  • Causes of Power Quality Problems
  • Accessing the Utility Customer & the Power Quality Auditing Process
  • Power Quality Monitoring
  • Power Quality Software
  • Power Quality Case Studies

About the Topics

In the Introduction to Power Quality session, each student will learn:

  • How power quality becomes a topic for the mainstream press
  • Common instances of power quality problems
  • How changes in our electrical environment over the past 50 years had led to power quality problems
  • The standard definition of power quality and what it means
  • Examples of high energy faults that occur on utility systems leading to power quality events
  • The standard definition of system compatibility and why it’s so important in reducing power quality problems
  • Equipment sensitivity to power quality events causes susceptibility to common everyday disturbances
  • Cost of power quality problems is staggering with some concerns more prevalent in some industries
  • What basic power quality disturbances look like
  • What types of disturbances typically occur on utility systems
  • Power quality disturbances are becoming more complex
  • Wiring and grounding errors are a significant cause of power quality problems
  • An array of power conditioning technologies are available to solve many power quality problems
  • Taking proactive steps into avoiding power quality problems is far less costly than the alternative

In the Power Quality Definitions session, each student will learn:

  • Basic terminology used in power quality (over 50 terms)
  • Definitions of the basic terms with graphics to illustrate
  • Where additional information on the definitions can be found
  • Introduction to IEEE Standard 1159-2009

In the Compatibility Concept session, each student will learn:

  • The definition of system compatibility and why it’s important to utilities, their customers and equipment manufacturers
  • How and why the Compatibility Concept was developed
  • How electrical disturbances occurring on the grid relate to the Compatibility Concept
  • How the Compatibility Concept is used to define equipment performance in terms of power quality
  • How the Compatibility Concept is used by utilities and manufacturers to improve customer satisfaction

In the Power Quality Disturbances session, each student will learn:

  • How disturbances are defined in IEEE Standard 1159-2009
  • The seven categories of disturbances
  • What disturbances look like
  • How disturbances are generated by the utility, the customer’s electrical system and the customer’s loads
  • How to tell if a disturbance is an internal influence or an external influence
  • What a current disturbance might look like when a voltage disturbance occurs
  • An introduction to harmonics – Are harmonics disturbances?

In the Causes of Power Quality Problems session, each student will learn:

  • How utility grid operations can cause disturbances
  • Timing characteristics of disturbances from IEEE Standard 1159-2009
  • Introduction to power quality disturbances and cost of disturbances to customers
  • How different types of disturbances can impact equipment
  • Introduction to wiring and grounding errors in facilities and how such errors can magnify disturbances

In the Accessing the Utility Customer & the Power Quality Auditing Process session, each student will learn:

  • What is a power quality walk-through?
  • What is a power quality audit?
  • The steps for conducting a power quality audit
  • How to define an audit in terms of scope for a customer
  • What background research one must do before conducting an audit
  • How to plan an audit before arriving at the site
  • Tools of the trade one will need to carry out an audit
  • What Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is required during an audit
  • How to document the parts of a customer’s facility electrical system
  • How to develop the proper questions to ask parties involved in a power quality problem
  • How to set up a pre-audit site meeting and who to invite
  • What are the expected results of an audit
  • Typical findings resulting from an audit
  • How to inspect wiring and grounding systems during an audit
  • How to document the findings of an audit

In the Power Quality Monitoring session, each student will learn:

  • What is power quality monitoring?
  • Why monitoring is an essential ingredient for a power quality investigation
  • What types of monitors are available on the market
  • What is the expected outcome of successful monitoring
  • How to determine where to install a monitor
  • How to determine the proper monitoring period
  • How to safely install a monitor
  • What types of power quality parameters may be measured by a monitor
  • When to suggest temporary versus permanent monitoring
  • How to set monitor thresholds and what do they mean
  • Examples of monitoring waveforms: events versus trends
  • What are statistical probability curves in monitoring and why are they useful
  • What monitoring modes are available in a monitor
  • What monitoring standards are available (e.g., IEC 61000-4-30)
  • How to monitor for events versus harmonics

In the Power Quality Software session, each student will learn:

  • Why is software beneficial in power quality?
  • What types of software packages are available
  • What is DranView software
  • What is Encore software
  • What is PQView software
  • What can software reveal about a power quality problem
  • How software can be used as a reactive tool versus a proactive tool
  • Introduction to DranView 7, Encore , and PQView

In the Power Quality Case Studies session, each student will learn:

  • What is a power quality case study?
  • How are case studies beneficial to the customer, utility and power quality investigator
  • How to plan for a case study during an investigation (audit)
  • How to write a case study
  • Examples of case studies in residential, commercial and industrial customer sectors
  • How to sanitize a case study


The Basic Power Quality Training course can be offered at any time during the year. A minimum of six weeks’ notice is required. Contact Electrotek Concepts at pqtraining@electrotek.com to schedule a course at your facility.

Notebook and CD-ROM

A notebook and CD-ROM will be provided to each student attending the course.


The cost of Basic Power Quality Training is $3,500 for up to 20 students plus travel expenses.


Registration for the Basic Power Quality Training can be made at the Electrotek website at www.electrotek.com/training/basicpq. Students may elect to register and submit payment to Electrotek via check or credit card, pay at the site, or pay through our website.