Causes of Harmonic Distortion
Nonlinear loads, such as Variable Frequency Drives and UPS systems, reduce energy costs and provide system efficiencies. However, they also create harmonic distortion, also known as current distortion or line distortion. Non-linear loads are products that draw non-sinusoidal current from the distribution line. This non-sinusoidal current is derived from waveforms that combine the fundamental frequency with integral multiples of that frequency. The resulting harmonic distortion is a basic result of the operation of nonlinear loads. When these types of loads are a significant portion of an electrical system, harmonic distortion may begin to cause problems throughout the entire system.
Indicators of Harmonic Distortion
- Poor Power Factor
- Transformer and distribution equipment overheating
- Random breaker tripping
- Sensitive equipment failure
- Voltage unbalance