Electricity is one of the most important inventions in the history of the world. It has enabled us to achieve things that would previously have remained impossible. It is a largely invisible power source, and one that we use without consideration, and is part and parcel of our daily lives. The basic premise behind generating electricity has changed very little in the century and more that we have used it. It is still created by simple processes, and yet we use it for ever-more complex machinery and devices that, in many cases, we could not do without.
Have a look around the room you are in now and, with very few exceptions, you will be able to count a number of items that require electricity to perform the function they are intended for. Simple items such as the kettle and toaster, your washing machine, fridge and freezer, the lights in your home and office, and the all-important computer and other peripherals all require electricity to function.
One of the problems that has arisen in recent years is that of a concept known as Power Quality. Put simply, this is the quality of the electrical power that can be obtained at any given source. Now, you may – quite rightly – think that electricity is a constant, and that it is the same everywhere. This is not necessarily the case. An example to consider: do you run your car on unleaded, or super-unleaded? There will be a difference in performance whichever you choose. Let’s have a look at what Power Quality is all about, and why it’s study vital in engineering practices.
What Is Power Quality?
In terms of electricity, Power Quality is the actual accuracy and quality of the electrical output used in a given device or at a set point. Say you have an appliance that requires the usual 240volt supply. It will run on less than that – to certain tolerances – but not as efficiently. If it is subject to greater, by a certain degree, it may be damaged by the extra voltage. Think of a battery-powered device; its effectiveness dies away as the battery discharges its power.
Power Quality can be affected by many different factors; it could be at source, where generation is not taking place efficiently due to certain reasons. It could be that power is being lost through faulty connections or other reasons at the transformers and along the cables on the network that delivers the power to you, or it could even be that atmospheric conditions affect it. In a local sense, Power Quality can be affected by interference by other items nearby, which can have an effect on the harmonic properties of electrical output, a major factor in many places, which is why measuring it is important.
Why Accuracy is Essential
So, we’re talking about Power Quality in the engineering sphere. If you are designing, setting up or operating equipment or other machinery, you need to make sure you are dong things exactly as they should be done. Just as length, width, thickness, weight and other measurements need to be accurate where they are an important part of the process, so electrical current and output needs to be equally so.
Thus, Power Quality needs to be monitored and studied carefully in engineering transactions, as any variation in power output or other aspects of electrical current can lead to inaccurate measurements, or malfunction. To make sure everything is in order, call in the experts from Power Meters, who can make sure.
If you think that you have problems with Power Quality in an engineering situation, you need to get it rectified as quickly as you can, and the best way to do this is to get the experts in, as they have the knowledge, expertise and equipment to make sure things are as they should be in no time at all.