The grid is a system that requires constant attention to keep it operating, so rate payers don't go without power. All parts of the power system are exposed to weather conditions and objects (e.g., lightning strikes, wind, trees coming in contact with overhead lines, contractors digging into underground power cables, etc.). The power system is a complex array of power lines and switches to help ensure the deliver of power to every customer. Utilities are always interested in increasing the level of power quality on their power systems and the quality of power delivered to their customers' facilities. While most utilities have some power quality monitors installed at specific points on their system, monitoring with the newest advanced monitors from Dranetz and using expert power quality data management and analysis software developed by Electrotek can provide much more information about the power quality problem. Engaging with Electrotek to monitor specific points of interest on transmission and distribution power systems can provide the utility with a benchmark to power quality performance of their system. Baseline power quality performance from one utility can be compared with that from other utilities and even customer points of utilization. Electrotek has the expertise and software power to perform advanced and detailed power quality analysis.
Architecture & Engineering Firms
A&E consulting firms are in constantly designing new electrical systems or upgrading existing ones for their customers. Aside from the changing weather patterns and the increase in power quality disturbances, these A&E activities are one of the prime causes of power quality problems. Every new and upgraded electrical system contains some wiring and grounding errors, despite electrical inspections. It is impossible and impractical for every piece of any electrical system to be inspected. Moreover, official commissioning of electrical systems by measurement is not required in the US, and neither is power quality monitoring at every facility. However, monitoring on new and upgraded electrical systems will reveal clues that wiring and grounding problems exist. A proper power quality data analysis will pin-point their location as well. Expert power quality engineers at Electrotek have commissioned new and upgraded electrical systems and have used monitoring to augment that process. In some cases, serious wiring and grounding errors were detected.
Most equipment manufacturers don’t own a power quality monitor. Those that do have come to recognize the importance of engaging in monitoring when failures of their products occur in the field. Unfortunately, most of the time manufacturers don’t record the right data to get an idea of what disturbances or conditions are occurring that might be causing the product failures. Working with Electrotek to have customer facilities monitored at the right point on their electrical system with the right monitor set up will reveal the power quality data needed to understand the problem. Electrotek can provide assistance with selecting the right monitor, setting it up to capture the right data, connecting it to the Internet to provide remote monitoring to Electrotek Power Quality Monitoring Center and analyzing the data to determine the location and cause of the power quality disturbances.
It is a little surprising that more end users own power quality monitors than utilities, manufacturers and A&E firms combined. With end users, the power buck stops in their facilities. The “rubber meets the road” at electrical and electronic equipment installed at end users’ facilities. Ironically, many end users don’t know how to use their monitoring equipment, but at least most of them have it installed. Expert PQ engineers at Electrotek have been working diligently to teach end users how to get the “bang for the buck” out of their equipment. One reason many end users don’t know how to use their monitoring equipment is there’s no one at these facilities who’s taken power quality “by the horns” to manage it for their facilities. In addition, most monitoring equipment is not very user friendly when it comes to extracting data and disturbance waveforms for review. However, Dranetz and Electrotek have worked together for years to improve the user friendliness of monitor operations and reading and analyzing power quality data. The overall goal is to determine why disturbances occur, where they are being generated and why are the impacting the operation of electrical and electronic equipment.