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Power Quality Monitoring Part 1: The Importance ...

Power Quality Monitoring Part 1: The Importance ...


This article discusses the importance of power quality (PQ) measurements in today’s electric infrastructure and reviews areas of application for PQ monitoring. It will cover the IEC standard for power quality and its parameters. Finally, it summarizes the key differences between Class A and Class S power quality meters. A subsequent article will illustrate recommended solutions on “How to Design a Standards Compliant Power Quality Meter.”

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The Need for Power Quality Measurement in Today’s Electric Infrastructure

Power quality has found a renewed interest due to changing power generation modes and consumption dynamics. The unprecedented growth in renewable sources at different voltage levels has increased the amount of PQ related issues. Consumption patterns have also seen a wide transformation due to unsynchronized loads added at multiple entry points of the grid and voltage levels. Some examples are electric vehicle (EV) chargers that can require hundreds of kilowatts and a great number of data centers and their related equipment such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. In industrial applications, arc furnaces that run by variable frequency drives, switching transformers, etc. not only add a lot of unwanted harmonics to the grid, but are also responsible for voltage dips, swells, transient brownouts, and flicker.

Figure 1. Power quality issues.

Power quality in the utility space refers to the quality of the voltage delivered to the consumer; a series of prescribed regulations for the magnitude, phase, and frequency determine this quality of service. However, by definition, it denotes both voltage and current. While the voltage is easily controlled by the generation side, the current is governed largely by consumer usage. The concept and implications of PQ issues are rather widespread depending on the end users.

The economic impact of bad PQ has been studied and surveyed extensively in the last few years; its effects are estimated to be in the region of billions of dollars worldwide.1 All these studies conclude that monitoring the quality of power has a direct impact on the economic results of many business sectors. Even though it is clear how bad PQ negatively affects the economics of business, monitoring it efficiently and effectively at scale is not an easy task. Monitoring PQ in a facility involves having highly trained personnel and expensive equipment installed on multiple points along the electric system for long or indefinite periods of time.

Power Quality Monitoring Areas of Application

Power quality monitoring is often seen as a cost saving strategy for some business sectors and a critical activity for others. Power quality issues can arise in a broad range of electric infrastructure, as illustrated in Figure 2. As we’ll discuss later, power quality monitoring is becoming increasingly critical in business sectors such as electric generation and distribution, EV charging, factories, and data centers.

Figure 2. The dynamics of generation and consumption can lead to power quality issues across electric infrastructure.

Electricity Utility Companies, Electricity Transmission, and Distribution

Utility companies serve the consumers with distribution systems that include generating stations, which are power substations that supply electricity via transmission lines. The voltage supplied via these transmission lines is stepped down to lower levels by substation transformers, which inject certain harmonics or interharmonics to the system. Harmonic currents in distribution systems can cause harmonic distortion, low power factor, and additional losses as well as overheating in the electrical equipment2, leading to a reduction in the lifetime of equipment and increases in cooling costs. Nonlinear single-phase loads served by these substation transformers deform the current’s waveform. The unbalance of nonlinear loads leads to additional losses on power transformers, additional load of neutrals, unexpected operation of low power circuit breakers, and incorrect measurement of electricity consumed.3 Figure 3 illustrates the effect of these linear loads.

Electricity generation by wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar systems injected into the grid cause several power quality problems as well. On the wind generation side, wind intermittency creates harmonics and short-duration voltage variations.4 The inverters in PV solar systems create noise that can produce voltage transients, distorted harmonics, and radio frequency noise because of the high speed switching commonly used to increase the efficiency of the energy harvested.

Figure 3. The impact of current harmonics generated by a nonlinear load.

EV Chargers

EV chargers can face multiple power quality challenges, both in power sent to and from the grid (see Figure 4). From a power distribution company perspective, power electronics-based converters used in EV chargers inject harmonics and interharmonics. Chargers with improperly designed power converters can inject direct currents (DC). Additionally, fast EV chargers introduce rapid voltage changes and voltage flicker into the grid. From the EV charger side, faults in transmission or distribution systems lead to voltage dips or interruption of supply voltage to the charger. Reduction of voltage from the EV charger tolerance limits will lead to activation of undervoltage protection and disconnection from the grid (which leads to a very bad user experience).5

Figure 4. Power quality issues for EV chargers.


Power quality problems caused by power supply variations and voltage disturbances, cost approximately $119 billion (U.S.) per year for industrial facilities in the United States, as per an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) report.6 Additionally, 25 EU states suffer an equivalent of $160 billion (U.S.) in financial losses per year due to different PQ issues, according to the European Copper Institute.7 These figures are linked to subsequent downtime and production losses as well as the equivalent of intellectual productivity losses.8

Degradation of power quality is usually caused by intermittent loads and load variations from arc furnaces and industrial motors. Such disturbances give rise to surges, dips, harmonic distortions, interruptions, flicker, and signaling voltages.9 To detect and record these disturbances inside a factory installation, it is necessary to have power quality monitoring equipment in several points throughout the electric installation or, even better, have it at the load level. With the arrival of new Industry 4.0 technologies, power quality monitoring at the load can be addressed by industrial panel meters or submeters to have a comprehensive view of the quality of the power delivered to each load.

Data Centers

Presently, most business activities depend on data centers in one way or another to provide email, data storage, cloud services, etc. Data centers demand a high level of clean, reliable, and uninterrupted electricity supply. PQ monitoring excellence helps managers prevent costly outages and helps manage equipment maintenance, or replacement, required due to issues on the power supply units (PSU). The integration of uninterruptable power supply (UPS) systems into rack power distribution units (PDUs) represents another reason to add PQ monitoring to IT racks inside the data center. This integration can provide visibility to power issues at a power socket level.

UPS system failure, including UPS and batteries, is the primary cause of unplanned data center outages according to a report made by Emerson Network Power.10 Around a third of all reported outages cost companies nearly $250,000.11 UPS systems are used on every data center to ensure clean and uninterrupted power. These systems isolate and mitigate most of the power problems from the utility side, but they do not protect against issues generated by the PSU of IT equipment itself. IT equipment PSUs are nonlinear loads that can introduce harmonic distortion in addition to other problems caused by equipment such as those that can result in high density cooling systems with variable frequency speed-controlled fans. Apart from these issues, PSUs also face interferences that come in multiple forms such as voltage transients and surges, voltage swells, sags, and spikes, imbalance or fluctuations, frequency variation, and poor facility grounding.

Power Quality Standards Defined

Power quality standards specify measurable limits to the electricity magnitudes as to how far they can deviate from a nominal specified value. Different standards apply to different components of the electricity system. Specifically, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) defines the methods for measurement and the interpretation of results of PQ parameters of alternating current (AC) power systems in the IEC 61000-4-30 standard. The PQ parameters are declared for fundamental frequencies of 50 Hz and 60 Hz. This standard also establishes two classes for measurement devices: Class A and Class S.

  • Class A defines the highest level of accuracy and precision for the measurements of PQ parameters and is used for instruments requiring very precise measurements for contractual matters and dispute resolution. It is also applicable to the devices that need to verify compliance of the standard.
  • Class S is used for power quality assessment, statistical analysis applications, and diagnostics of power quality problems with low uncertainty. The instrument in this class can report a limited subset of the parameters defined by the standard. The measurements made with Class S instruments can be done on several sites on a network, on complete locations or even on single pieces of equipment.

Figure 5. IEC power quality standards.

It is important to note that the standard defines the measurement methods, establishes a guide for the interpretation of the results, and specifies the performance of the power quality meter. It does not give guidelines on the design for the instrument itself.

The IEC 61000-4-30 standard defines the following PQ parameters for Class A and Class S measurement devices.12

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  • Power frequency
  • Magnitude of the supply voltage and current
  • Flicker
  • Supply voltage dips and swells
  • Voltage interruptions
  • Supply voltage unbalance
  • Voltage and current harmonics and interharmonics
  • Rapid voltage change
  • Underdeviation and overdeviation
  • Mains signaling voltage on the supply voltage


Figure 6. Classification of power quality parameters in a timescale.

Key Differences Between Class A and Class S Defined by the IEC 61000-4-30 Standard

Although Class A defines higher levels of accuracy and precision than Class S, the differences are beyond just levels of accuracy. Instruments must comply with requirements such as time synchronization, quality of probes, calibration period, temperature ranges, etc. Table 1 presents a list of requirements that instruments shall meet to be certified in one or the other class.

Table 1. IEC 61000-4-30 Class A and Class S Key Differences Class A Class S Voltage Measurement Accuracy ±0.1% ±0.5% Current Measurement Accuracy ±1% ±2% Voltage and Current rms Calculation Half-cycle steps One-cycle steps Frequency Measurement Accuracy ±10 mHz ±50 mHz 150/180-Cycle Aggregation No gaps permitted, synchronized with UTC 10 min tick Gaps between aggregations allowed Measurements of Harmonics up to Order 50th 40th Time-Clock Uncertainty per 24 Hours ±1 second ±5 seconds Time Synchronization GPS receiver, radio timing signals or network timing signals Not required Operation Temperature Range 0°C to 45°C Specified by manufacturer


Power quality issues are present across the whole electric infrastructure. Having equipment that monitors these PQ issues helps to improve performance, quality of service, and equipment lifetime while reducing economic losses. In the subsequent article “How to Design a Standards Compliant Power Quality Meter,” we will introduce an integrated solution and a ready to use platform that can significantly accelerate development and reduce costs for developing PQ monitoring products.


1Panuwat Teansri, Worapong Pairindra, Narongkorn Uthathip Pornrapeepat Bhasaputra, and Woraratana Pattaraprakorn. “The Costs of Power Quality Disturbances for Industries Related Fabricated Metal, Machines and Equipment in Thailand.” GMSARN International Journal, Vol. 6, 2012.

2Sai Kiran Kumar Sivakoti, Y. Naveen Kumar, and D. Archana. “Power Quality Improvement In Distribution System Using D-Statcom in Transmission Lines.” International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA), Vol. 1, Issue 3.

3Gabriel N. Popa, Angela Lagar, and Corina M. Diniş. “Some Power Quality Issues in Power Substation from Residential and Educational Buildings.” 10th International Symposium on Advanced Topics in Electrical Engineering (ATEE), IEEE, 2017.

4Sulaiman A. Almohaimeed and Mamdouh Abdel-Akher. “Power Quality Issues and Mitigation for Electric Grids with Wind Power Penetration.” Applied Sciences, December 2020.

5George G. Karady, Shahin H. Berisha, Tracy Blake, and Ray Hobbs. “Power Quality Problems at Electric Vehicle’s Charging Station.” SAE Transactions, 1994.

6David Lineweber and Shawn McNulty. “The Cost of Power Disturbances to Industrial and Digital Economy Companies.” Electric Power Research Institute, Inc., June 2001.

7Roman Targosz and Jonathan Manson. “Pan-European Power Quality Survey.” 9th International Conference on Electrical Power Quality and Utilisation, IEEE, 2007.

8Subrat Sahoo. “Recent Trends and Advances in Power Quality.” Power Quality in Modern Power Systems, 2020.

9A. El Mofty and K. Youssef. “Industrial Power Quality Problems.” 16th International Conference and Exhibition on Electricity Distribution, 2001. Part 1: Contributions. CIRED (IEE Conf. Publ No. 482), IEEE, June 2001.

10“Cost of Data Center Outages.” Ponemon Institute, January 2016.

11“Data Center Outages Are Common, Costly, and Preventable.” Uptime Institute.

12“IEC 61000-4-30:2015: Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)-Part 4-30: Testing and Measurement Techniques-Power Quality Measurement Methods.” International Electrotechnical Commission, February 2015.

Power Quality Surges in Importance - PQ is a Major Factor ...

Putting Power Quality in Perspective

Anyone who's experienced a brownout or a mysterious series of control system trips should appreciate how power quality, or PQ as it is commonly known, impacts facility operations. As power travels through the wires and energizes downstream equipment, the quality of the power can be altered, making it less suitable for the next device. These changes in power quality, which can include increases and decreases in voltage and other troublesome manifestations, are especially common in systems-intensive industrial and commercial facilities.

It has been estimated that large industrial customers in the U.S. lose up to $114 billion every year due to under- voltage events and sags, and another $39 billion from power interruptions. The fact that the U.S. electric power system, according to the Galvin Electricity Initiative, is designed to operate at a reliability level of three nines-at least 99.9 percent-still equates to supply interruptions in the electricity supply that cost American consumers more than $150 billion every year.

It may come as a surprise to some, but a significant percentage of the cost and effort of maintaining a company's power supply involves identifying and defeating the problems caused by PQ phenomena interacting (Figure 1) with the building's electrical infrastructure and loads. According to industry sources, half of all computer problems and one third of all data losses can be traced back to the power line. Furthermore, some 30-40 percent of all business downtime is power-quality related. A few of the ways that power quality problems impact businesses include:

• Lost productivity, idle people and equipment

• Scrap

• Lost orders, good will, customers and profits

• Lost transactions and orders not being processed

• Revenue and accounting problems such as invoices not prepared, payments held up, early payment discounts missed

• Customer and/or management dissatisfaction

• Overtime required to make up for lost work time.

Traditionally considered “job one” by every electric utility, simply keeping the lights on is no longer enough for today’s automated “high-tech” industrial facility. The fact that most utilities only log outages that last longer than 1-5 minutes tends to gloss over the many momentary interruptions that every facility experiences, and which annually result in millions of dollars in lost productivity for American businesses. Given the breadth and depth of these conditions, it is easy to see how understanding what power quality problems are, how to find them and how to solve or mitigate them will continue to gain importance for facility operators, electrical contractors and utility personnel. In general, power quality phenomena fall within the following categories:

• Steady-state events

• Long-duration events

• Short-duration events

• Transient events

• Frequency events

My Friend Flicker and Other Typical PQ Disturbances

Over the years, power monitoring studies have clearly demonstrated that most industrial plants around the country experience up to two dozen power quality disturbances every year that significantly impact plant operations. About 92-98% are voltage sags due to lighting strikes, accidents, animals or equipment failure on the transmission and distribution grid feeding the plant. Also, most are short-duration events of 1-6 cycles corresponding to the clearing time of upstream breakers, fuses and other utility protective equipment.

The most obvious impact of power quality disturbances is reduced uptime of plant equipment and processes that may run into many hours and many thousands of dollars in scrap, lost production and other costly ramifications. The very equipment at the heart of industrial automation—PLCs, industrial drives, motors, robots, servos, CNC equipment and more—are highly susceptible to power quality variations (Figure 2). There is considerable evidence that industrial plants experience at least 10 to 40 power disturbances every year, mainly from voltage sags. Based on voltage disturbance data from industrial plants, voltage sags occur much more frequently than swells, and it is perhaps surprising that current swells accompanying voltage sag recovery are the root cause of most of the equipment damage.

Power quality anomalies are usually characterized in terms of the effect upon the supply voltage and can be broken down into the following major categories:

• RMS voltage variations, short or long duration, include sags, swells and interruptions. Sags, the most common type of PQ disturbance, usually last from 4-10 cycles and are generated within the facility, not by the utility. Swells, formerly called “surges,” occur when nominal rms voltage increases to 110 percent or more. Interruptions occur when the supply voltage decreases to 10 percent or less of nominal.

• Voltage transients, also known as impulses, are rapid, short-term voltage increases that are categorized as either impulsive (large, short-term waveform deviation) or oscillatory (ringing signal following initial transient).

• Waveform distortion – Harmonics, interharmonics, and sub-harmonics are mainly caused by phase angle controlled rectifiers and inverters and other static power conversion equipment found in variable frequency drives, PCs, PLCs and other devices employing switching power supplies. Harmonics are defined as integer multiples of the fundamental frequency, for example, 300Hz is the 5th harmonic in a 60Hz system. Non-integer multiples produce interharmonics, for example, 190Hz in a 60Hz system. Sub-harmonics provide frequency values less than the fundamental frequency and are typically evidenced by flickering lights. Electrical noise, caused by unwanted broadband signals that distort the power frequency sine waves, is often generated by switching power supplies and can be aggravated by improper grounding methods.

• Voltage imbalance – In three-phase systems, voltage imbalance occurs when the amplitude and/or phase angles of the three voltage or current waveforms are unequal. According to the DOE, imbalance is probably the leading power quality problem resulting in motor overheating and premature failure. If imbalanced voltages are detected, a complete investigation should immediately be made to find out why. • Voltage fluctuation – Sub-harmonics in the range of 1-30Hz result in what is generally called light flicker, an amplitude modulation of the power frequency sine wave. Causes are widespread and include arc furnaces, arc welders, resistance welding machines, lamp dimmers, large electric motors with variable loads, HVAC systems, medical imaging systems and many more. Due to its nature, flicker is difficult to characterize and requires PQ analyzers with considerable processing power to characterize its effects measured as Perceptibility short-term and long-term values, or PST and PLT, respectively, as set forth in IEEE 453.

• Power frequency variation – When powered by a back-up generator, UPS, or other alternative power source, maintaining voltage and frequency stability during load changes is of concern, along with making sure the transfer mechanism synchronizes the frequency and phase angle before the switch from back-up to the grid is made.

Wiring and Grounding

Wiring and grounding play a key role in the proper operation of facility equipment and systems. There is much agreement that the majority of PQ-related problems originate within the facility and that the majority of those problems are wiring and grounding related. Grounding systems and equipment are used to limit the voltage imposed by lightning, line swells or unintentional contact with higher voltages. Grounding systems stabilize the voltage to earth under normal operation and establish an effective path for fault current that is capable of safely carrying the maximum fault current with sufficiently low impedance to facilitate the operation of overcurrrent devices under fault conditions. Grounding systems help protect people and equipment from shock and/or damage.

Some of the things to look for in the facility’s wiring and grounding are bad or loose connections, missing grounding (safety) conductors, multiple bonds of grounding-to-grounded conductor (neutral-to-ground connections), ungrounded equipment, additional ground rods, ground loops, and insufficient size of the grounded (neutral) conductor. The key components of grounding systems are covered in Article 250 of the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70).

In summary, Table 1 lists six most of the most commonly encountered power quality phenomena, along with their probable causes and typical mitigation solutions.

Domestic and International PQ Standards

One of the most important PQ developments in recent years has been the increasing coordination of standards developed by the IEEE in the U.S. and the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC). For example, IEEE 1159 Recommended Practice for Monitoring Electric Power Quality complements IEC 61000-4-30 Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), which is in force in Europe and most of the rest of the world.

Another important industry standard is IEEE 519 (Recommended Practices and Requirements for Harmonic Control in Electric Power Systems). Early iterations of IEEE 519 established levels of voltage distortion acceptable to typical distribution systems; however, as adjustable speed drives, rectifiers, and other non-linear loads became more common, it became obvious that IEEE 519 needed to be revised and updated to reflect changing industry conditions, especially with regard to the relationship of harmonic voltages to the harmonic currents flowing within industrial plants. The updated standard, IEEE 519-1992, established limits for harmonic voltages on the utility transmission and distribution system as well as for harmonic currents within industrial distribution systems. Other convergences of key elements of IEEE / IEC standards include:

• Voltage Sags and Reliability—IEEE 564 / IEC 61000-2-8

• Flicker—IEEE 1453 / IEC 61000-4-15

Power Quality and Energy Audits

It is not unusual for large industrial and commercial power consumers to see electric bills with demand charges as high as 50% of the facility’s actual consumption costs. As an offset, load shedding, peak shaving, installing more efficient lighting and other energy management strategies go far toward helping facility operators lower their demand penalties. However, before any of these strategies can be implemented, it is necessary to first gain an exact picture of how, when and where their energy is being used. This is the necessary first step to managing it. To that end, handheld power analysis instruments are ideal for facility energy studies and carbon footprint calculations, and for taking forward/reverse energy measurements for grid-tied alternative energy systems.

Energy audits come in many forms and can range from simple applications that monitor a single device or machine, to complex monitoring of an entire campus—and anything between. Regardless of a facility’s energy load, most energy audits have much in common. The most important parameters to measure when analyzing electrical energy are typically voltage (V), current (I), watts (W), volt-amperes (VA), volt-amperes reactive (VAR) and power factor (PF). Recorded over time, these basic parameters can provide the necessary information for a complete energy profile.

Voltage and current measurements are used as the basis to compute the other parameters. The parameters can be viewed instantaneously by a variety of instruments, but the key benefit of using an energy analyzer is its ability to record and trend parameters over time. Energy analyzers also compute the demand and energy that utilities use for billing.

What an energy-measuring instrument measures and computes is important, but how it measures can be critical. For example, some inexpensive low-resolution instruments may measure the basic parameters mentioned, but they can miss data and thereby produce false and misleading measurements.

Effective energy-analyzing instruments (Figure 3) should provide a sampling rate that is appropriate for the application while also providing the ability to take continuous readings. Power analyzers typically define sampling rate as the number of measurements taken per AC (60/50Hz) cycle. Because the instrument creates a digital representation of the analog voltage and current being measured, it is generally desirable to use an instrument that provides a higher number of samples per cycle, thus resulting in more accurate measurements of the data being collected.

Users are also encouraged to select an energy analyzer that can measure more than just the basic power parameters, since more advanced parameters may be required to also help understand the quality of the electrical supply, including: voltage and current total harmonic distortion (THD), transformer derating factor (TDF) and crest factor (CF). Additionally, with the advent of alternative-energy applications, parameters such as forward and reverse energy that record the flow of power to and from the grid are often required.

Details of the survey can vary greatly according to the application. The goal of an energy audit is usually to determine the energy profile of the system being monitored. Regardless of application, it helps to know some of the information about what is being monitored, such as the type of load, process or facility. These details are essential for determining the duration of the energy survey.

To obtain a complete picture of the energy profile, it is recommended to monitor several business cycles of the load being audited. For example, an industrial process that cycles (start to finish) every 15 minutes may only need monitoring for approximately an hour to capture multiple cycles and to find out what is usual or typical for that load. An office building cycling on a 24-hour basis may require a much longer survey, such as a week or more, to determine a typical energy profile. A survey replicating a utility bill may require monitoring for multiple utility billing cycles over several months.

PQ Solutions and Strategies

The importance of choosing the right tool to analyze and report the data cannot be overemphasized. But after the data has been analyzed, the next step is to apply the proper equipment or strategy to solve the problems identified by the survey. Solutions for dealing with PQ phenomena can be found under the following general classifications:

• Alternative power sources

• Back-up or standby generators

• Harmonic filters

• K-factor transformers

• Line reactors

• Overvoltage restorers/ stabilizers

• Power factor capacitors

• Power isolation transformers

• Surge-protective devices (SPD)

• UPS systems

• Wiring and grounding

In addition to the above, designing for critical operations is gaining traction in today’s digital economy, as well as other high-reliability applications that typically employ several mitigation strategies to maximize uptime to better than “six nines”—or 99.9999 percent—of availability. Although extremely close, this does not guarantee 100 percent uptime, as even highly redundant systems are susceptible to failures or unanticipated problems. In this scenario, permanent PQ monitoring equipment installed in strategic locations will help significantly to determine what happened and what is needed to prevent a recurrence.

For more information on mitigation strategies for mission-critical applications, the National Electrical Code’s Article 585 “Critical Operation Power Systems” specifically addresses the additional requirements needed to support vital operations requiring 99.9999 percent availability, including data and communications centers, financial and medical facilities and more.

Benefits of Permanently Installed PQ Monitoring Equipment

As opposed to handheld devices, permanently installed power quality monitoring systems (Figure 4) are generally Internet based and allow password-protected access from anywhere in the world. A key advantage of this type of system is the fact that multiple users can simultaneously access the same data, thus allowing the application of valuable input from multiple sources to a given problem. Permanently installed systems can range from a single device up to many hundreds of distributed units, depending on the complexity of the power quality monitoring task. Typical uses include:

• Data acquisition of problematic conditions

• Indication of trends

• Prediction of facility power quality problems

Communications flexibility is an especially useful benefit of the permanently installed system. Not only local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs) are supported, but also land and wireless modems including GSM and GPRS mobile phones. Due to bandwidth issues and other restrictions, however, it is not recommended to employ the latter method when downloading large amounts of data. Most PQ analyzers employ PC-based software programs that provide in-depth analysis of the collected data along with:

• Comparisons of multiple monitoring locations

• Comparisons of current and historical data

• Detailed reportage

• Looking for site trends


Some companies are reluctant to invest in PQ mitigation equipment, either because they lack knowledge about available solutions, or they do not want to allocate funds without a clearly defined return on investment. To help justify the expense, the first step is to determine what the cost of downtime is and how often it occurs. The next step is to determine what is causing the downtime and from that, what solutions are available to solve the problem. The good news for facility operators is that powerful, cost-effective handheld and permanently installed electrical energy monitors and power quality analyzers are now on the market. With the growing emphasis on “green” facilities, instruments from Dranetz and others offer facilities engineers and electrical contractors the ability to monitor, analyze and report on the full spectrum of facility power quality issues impacting the bottom line, as a first step in applying an appropriate, cost-effective PQ mitigation solution.

Ross Ignall is director of product management at Edison, NJ-based Dranetz, the leading provider of intelligent handheld and permanently installed monitoring solutions for electrical demand, energy and power quality analysis. He may be contacted at: (800) 372-6832 or


1. “Equipment Failures Caused by Power Quality Disturbances,” Ashish Bendre, Deepak Divan, William Kranz and William Brumsickle. SoftSwitching Technologies (Middletown, WI) and DRS Power and Control Technologies (Milwaukee, WI).

2. “Power Quality Analysis,” published by the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry (NJATC) in partnership with Dranetz ( 2010.

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