Examples of harmonics-related malfunctions in electrical installations : case of “High harmonic distortion loads”
Last case of malfunctions caused by Harmonics is :
High harmonic distortion, disturbing sensitive electronic loads
Harmonic currents generated by non-linear loads can create major voltage distortion and disturb the operation of sensitive electronic loads.
This phenomenon is accentuated when power factor correction capacitors are present and/or the system impedance is high (installation at the end of the line or powered by a relatively low-power generator).
A few examples:
- Primary substation in Sainte-Ségolène (Haute Loire): total harmonic distortion for voltage measured on the site is commonly in the range of 5%, due to the presence of numerous plastics plants largely equipped with variable speed drives, and low short-circuit power. This substation is closely monitored by EdF.
- Courchevel ski resort (Savoie): the presence at the same time of ski lifts powered by several hundreds of kW, capacitor banks and low short-circuit power in a mountainous region is at the origin of particularly high distortion. Complaints have been recorded by EdF as a result of electronic equipment malfunctions (lifts, cash registers).