electrical installation harmonic problems part 4

Examples of harmonics-related malfunctions in electrical installations : case of  “High harmonic distortion loads”

High voltage distortion at Courchevel ski resort

High voltage distortion at Courchevel ski resort

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).

Jacques Schonek


  • I am an arson Investigator I would like to ask on what is the common appearance of the wire which undergone short circuit and eventually burn. Thank you very much this could add my knowledge on investigating arson matters .

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