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Power quality is not an easy term to define, as there are many factors that could be involved in the definition, but in broad terms power quality is usually related to following concepts:

  • The deviation of voltage and currents from the ideal sinusoidal waveforms

  • The electrical efficiency of the plant

  • Reliability


There are a number of ways in which electric power can be of poor quality.

Improper wiring, incorrect grounding, and unbalanced loads are just a few examples of conditions that can produce electrical noise through an electrical system and compromise power quality.There is no such thing as perfect power quality in the real world.

Service interruptions, equipment malfunction, and excess power consumption are all common symptoms of poor power quality.

To minimize the risk of lost production and damage to electrical equipment, power quality analysis is used to monitor a system for problems, find the cause, and initiate corrective action. After system data is collected in the field, a power quality engineer will look for unusual events and determine the proper power conditioning equipment or other steps needed to resolve the issue.


Power Factor is an indicative of the plant efficiency, as it is the ratio between the total power consumption and the useful power consumption. A low power factor implies that the customer is not using all the electrical power that is paying for.

Having a low power factor in the plant presents some disadvantages such as:

  • Oversizing of transformers, bus, switches, cables…

  • Increasing of the consumption of the plant.

  • Increasing of the losses

  • Increasing of the voltage drop

  • Financial penalties from electrical utility


Harmonic distortion is a specific type of perturbation that is associated with the increase in the use of power electronic equipment in industrial plants.

Harmonic distortion can cause serious operating problems like unintended faults that involve losses of power supply in the plant.Also, high levels of harmonic distortion imply a decrease of the power factor.

In order to comply with harmonic distortion requirements, some of the solutions shown below can be applied:

  • Passive filters: installed in series with nonlinear loads to absorb specific harmonic currents generated.

  • Active filters: installed in parallel with nonlinear loads to inject a counter phase current to harmonics current in our plant.

  • Install more efficient converters with lower harmonics contents (12-pulse, 18-pulse…)

As a summary, Improving the power quality involves the following benefits:

  • Decrease of the plant consumption

  • Decrease of the losses

  • Decrease of the voltage drop

  • Avoid financial penalties incurred through non-fulfillment of contract related to power quality

  • Prevent damages to another electrical and electronic equipment

  • Prevent unintended trips of electrical protections, avoiding costly plant outages

  • Reduce heating of electrical equipment, increasing his life cycle

  • Avoid unnecessary over sizing of electrical equipment (Transformers, cables….)

As it has been shown above, having a low power quality in the plant can involve several technical and economical inconveniences. Also the standards and utility requirements are becoming more demanding, therefore during the design stage of the project this issue must be studied deeply in order to find the optimal solution for the specific plant.



                                                                         We will be pleased to help you!

iTree Automation Solution is a full-service power quality consulting firm dedicated to providing clients with a complete analysis of their electrical power, telecommunications and data transmission systems. We identify system problems, review operational integrity and safety issues, and make recommendations for procedures and equipment designed to correct or avoid future problems.

Our Power Quality professionals and technicians can provide your facilities and systems with a Power Quality site audit to identify the issues that are affecting your bottom line.

iTree will conduct an analysis of the power entering and distributed throughout your facility. Our technicians, using state-of-the-art technology, can diagnose the many different types of power problems you may be experiencing. The types of problems we regularly encounter and correct include:

If you need expert’s advice at this point, don’t hesitate to contact iTree Automation Solutions.