Poor power quality?

Avada Kedavra!

Tom Marvolo Riddle, known as Voldemort, or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, is the primary villain in the famous Harry Potter series by J K Rowling. In the books, his rise to power is marked by atrocities so horrifying that few wizards dare to even speak his name. He is also a stark example of the havoc evil can wreak, if allowed to grow unabated in something that is inherently good and powerful.

Power quality works somewhat in a similar manner. Good power quality is a key building block of a stronger, smarter and greener grid. It means reliability and availability of the supply network. It reduces transmission losses, enables energy efficiency and creates lower carbon emissions. But poor power quality is a bit tricky. When it first starts to taint the system, we feel its effects only in small ways: a washing machine or dishwasher malfunction, a flicker on the computer screen in the office. Left unchecked, however, poor power quality can have serious impact: equipment breakdown at an industrial plant, system failures, potentially resulting in considerable losses, damages, high energy bills and penalties.

The origins of poor power quality are numerous and diverse, from lightning strikes and reactive power to network surges and harmonics caused by the equipment used to make installations more energy efficient. However, the most common causes can be broken down into four distinct areas: harmonic pollution, low power factor, load imbalances and voltage variations.

In the wizarding world, Harry falls into the book’s so-called “pensieve” of memories- sometimes unknowingly- as intended by the magical school’s headmaster Albus Dumbeldore, and at times deliberately, to discover and know the truth behind Lord Voldermort’s actions. It makes perfect sense that Rowling would pepper Voldemort’s past with clues readers can recognize and under-stand. She shows that to defeat evil we not only have to fight it, but also try to understand where it comes from in the first place.

Watch these videos to understand the causes of poor power quality and ABB’s solutions that battle them:

Poor power quality – Causes and solutions for load imbalance

Poor power quality – Causes and solutions for voltage variation

Poor power quality – Causes and solutions for low power factor

Poor power quality – Causes and solutions for harmonic pollution

Power quality solutions from ABB



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About the author

Shweta Agarwal

I am the Global Communications Manager for the High Voltage Components product group. I have more than seven years of experience in developing communication strategies and in designing and implementing internal and external communication campaigns for a wide range of industries. Being with ABB gives me a front row view on worldwide developments in reliable, clean and quality power and the opportunity to experience technologies that will shape the creation of smart and sustainable power networks in the future.
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