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Why you need to conduct a power quality audit

Perhaps your business is suffering from unexpected electrical failures, equipment faults or power surges? If you’re working in an industry that is heavily reliant upon the quality of your electrical equipment, then it is time to conduct a power quality audit to ensure that the efficiency and safety of your electrical system is up to scratch. 

 

What will a Power Quality Audit tell me?

Essentially a power quality audit evaluates the electrical energy which is accessing the electrical devices/equipment in the form that will allow it to operate at its optimal level, whilst minimising any long term risk or damages to that particular equipment/device. When the power quality is at its optimum, it maintains control over: process automation, digital controls and motor drives. However, poor voltage waveforms can result in unnecessary and costly interferences to the electronic devices. 

A power quality audit verifies that the continuity of the power supply is safe and healthy, meaning whether the power is in the network, is available on a regular basis and is able to power the electrical device efficiently and effectively. It will also check the quality of the voltage, ensuring that there are no low or high frequency currents which can cause disturbances and potentially damage the system’s components. 

 

What does the ‘quality’ of energy mean?

When checking the quality of energy, the factors that auditors are looking for includes that the electrical power supply is available at all times, always within the frequency and magnitude tolerance limits and always has a perfect sinusoidal waveform. 

According to Leonardo Energy, ‘A perfect power supply must guarantee an uninterruptible service within voltage and frequency tolerance limits with a distortion-free sinusoidal waveform. The acceptability of deviations from specified power ratings depends on the kind of use, the systems installed and their requirements.’. 

Reliable and safe energy is essential for any business, especially for those industries that require constant support / use of electrical equipment such as hospitals and call centres. 

 

What particular issues will a Power Quality Audit find?

Majority of the power quality issues that are determined during the audit have a negative impact on the performance, safety and temperature issues (such as overheating) of electrical devices/appliances. If an audit is not conducted and these issues are present for a prolonged period of time, it can result in more serious issues such as:

  • Over voltage / current in the distribution network
  • Overheating of equipment
  • Damage to capacitor
  • Inaccuracy of instrument measurement
  • Interference in telecommunication systems
  • Nuisance tripping
  • Malfunction of automated controls

 

Ignoring the symptoms of potential disturbances in the electrical system or putting off routined quality audits runs the risk of causing potential serious damage to the electrical devices involved. The break down or damage to electrical equipment in most cases far outweigh the costs of conducting an audit in the first place, which will prevent the chances of issues from actually occurring. 

It may be time to reach out to Northern Lights Data for a Power Quality Audits (PQA’s) which will assist in identifying any issues with your power supply. Being the power management and power protection specialists, Northern Lights Data can inform you of any potential problems and will work alongside you to devise the optimum solution to meet your business’s power supply needs, both now and in the future. Not only will this service lessen the chances of critical electronic dysfunctions from occurring within the business, but it may also identify means of improving efficiency, saving your business significant energy consumption costs. 

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