INDUSTRIAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS ARE COMPLEX ONES
The effects of Power Quality on LED lighting performance generally receive little attention prior to installation. Power quality issues such as dips, harmonics, interruptions, can result in expensive, early replacement of damaged or failed LED lighting equipment.
As a result end-users are forced to absorb:
- increased Installation costs: over-dimensioning of electrical installation
- increased Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs: electrical labor costs to remove failed luminaires, replace drivers, and re-hang fixtures.
Electrical environments of industrial plants are very complex and many LED drivers and fixtures are designed without considering it.
Non-linear loads, such as variable-frequency drives (VFDs) and other high-power equipment like induction motors generate power quality disturbances. Other power quality phenomena can be generated by the switching of contactors or may come from outside the plant or caused by meteorological factors.
Industrial buildings need to take Power Quality issues into account before making the change to LED lighting because they can contribute to power quality issues if preparation is overlooked.
Power quality problems can cause a range of costly facility issues, from overheating equipment to power failures and increased utility costs.
LEDs AUTO-CONTRIBUTE TO POOR POWER QUALITY
The same LED lights can be a source of poor power quality.
Issues coming from the LED lighting are:
- Harmonics – LED lights are non-linear loads producing harmonic distortion in the plant’s electrical system, including the lighting one.
- Power Factor – LED drivers with a low power factor reflect harmonics back to the mains. A poor power factor can cause equipment degradation, power losses in your system, voltage drops, and utility company penalty charges.
- Inrush Current – LED lighting with compensated power factor can cause high inrush current and surges of energy. This can cause damage and malfunction of equipment.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
It is a good practice to start with documenting the non-linear and high-power loads operating in the building.
As a second step you need to conduct power quality monitoring on your critical, first-tier loads and the panels currently powering the lighting systems.
Every electrical network and its problems with Power Quality are unique and need:
- planning of the measurement campaign,
- preparing the site,
- measuring activity,
- and finally understanding where the problem is.
THE ELECTREX MONITORING SOLUTIONS AND POWER QUALITY ANALYZERS
Electrex, permanent or portable, Power Quality Energy Analyzer & Web Data Manager devices are designed to monitor and analyze Power Quality.
Our devices are IoT type, including an embedded web interface and communication ports that make it possible to display measurements and control the device remotely.
In addition it is possible to activate an embedded “energy PLC” functionality allowing to create energy automation applications within the same energy analyzer.
Our Power Quality analyzers can be used for:
- the recording of PQ events
- preventive maintenance on the LED lighting system
- PQ measurement campaigns for specific periods defined from the user
- monitoring of the compliance with PQ standards or service standards
The final step instead is focused on analyzing the power quality data. As in many other fields, in depth analysis will require power quality experts.
Kilo D6 PQ Electrex-Power-Quality-Dip-PH1-graph
In order to support end users and professionals with data understanding the Electrex Power Quality analyzers include, among other functionalities, the “event’s graphic detail” and “events timeline” which can display detailed info of each event and a timeline of the succession of events.
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Included in the embedded web server, the graphs and charts, permit also to a non-expert user to identify the statistical frequency, the magnitude and the possibility to cause a malfunction.
Kilo D6 PQ Electrex-Power-Quality-Overcurrent-PH3-graph
Other functions, for example, permit identifying the direction compared to the monitoring point, therefore identifying the source of the disturbance.
Summarizing, the success of any LED lighting project—whether it’s a retrofit or new industrial construction—is the understanding, identification, resolution, and prevention of power quality problems.
Preventive and continuous Power Quality monitoring can ensure a smooth installation and reliably operating system.
The Cost of Analysis is always Small if Compared to the Cost of Equipment Replacement.
Since 1993 Electrex designs, develops, manufactures and markets, Made in Italy, instruments and software for energy management and control.
The Electrex solutions are used in the Energy Efficiency and Energy Automation applications, for the industrial, commercial, public, civil, and renewable energy sectors allowing a rapid return on investment.
The solutions provided up to now allow the management of over 485,000 measuring points and more than 870,000 points are controlled via Energy Automation applications.
Electrex, one of the first companies to operate in these sectors, has acquired over the years a considerable experience and competence that few other companies can claim to have. With over 40% of the staff dedicated to R & D, we demonstrate our strong commitment to innovation and continuous improvement in order to anticipate the needs of our customers.