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ABB harmonics surveys keep distortion in check

Posted: Thursday 15th December 2016

On-site surveys ensure companies understand their harmonics challenges.

ABB offers harmonics surveys that help companies reduce the risk of harmonic distortion and ensure they comply with G5/4-1 recommendations.

The surveys, which are carried out by ABB or a member of its network of authorised value providers (AVPs), look at all the potential risks and the current level of harmonic distortion.

Harmonics surveys are one of many services offered as part of ABB's 20+20 vision for improving customer outcomes in the water industry.

Caused by non-linear loads such as variable-speed drives and other rectifier technology, high harmonic currents and high harmonic voltage distortion can cause a wide range of problems, often causing disruption to business operations.

Stuart Foster, UK & IE water industry manager - drives & controls, ABB Limited, says: "Water companies can be particularly affected, as many sites are in rural locations with weak networks that are especially susceptible to harmonics. This means that for the water industry, harmonics can be a major factor in increasing maintenance bills.

"Our harmonics surveys are an excellent way for water companies to get a handle on the harmonics challenges they are facing and begin to manage them."

Under Ofwat's latest Asset Management Plan, AMP6, water companies are being encouraged to re-focus attention away from the traditional area of spending less on capital and towards a total expenditure, or TOTEX, approach. This places more emphasis on controlling operational and maintenance costs.

An initial site visit will involve:

Investigating the supply transformers

Establishing the Point of Common Coupling (PCC)

Assessment of the single line distribution including Power Factor Correction equipment

Determining how to connect the monitoring equipment to be used in the survey

The monitoring equipment is connected typically for a week to record site conditions. Data gathered from the monitoring phase is then used to produce a comprehensive report that analyses harmonic levels and confirms compliance with the Energy Networks Association's G5/4-1 engineering recommendation, which sets strict limits on the level of harmonics emissions allowed.

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