Advances in Modern Power Quality Measurement

Recent advances in modern power quality measurement equipment have made it practical to continuously measure all parameters at high resolution without the need for setting  triggers or thresholds.  The problem with setting triggers or thresholds is that approach  results in only “snap shots” being recorded.  The ability to continuously record high resolution data has big implications, particularly with regard to trouble shooting analysis of power quality events and problems.

Quality of Supply Events Happen Very Fleetingly

Power quality events occur very fleetingly in many cases.  They also occur at random unpredictable times.  This makes them difficult to measure in many cases.

High Resolution Data Capture Essential

Because serious power quality problems can often only last for a few milliseconds, proper power quality (or quality of supply) measurements need to be very high resolution, requiring many thousand data points per second to be recorded and stored for each parameter (voltage, current, frequency etc).  Power quality meters thus require a lot of internal memory to store all this data as they record.

Old Technology Meters Rely on Triggers

However, until recently most meters did not have enough memory to measure for extended periods continuously storing high resolution data.  To overcome this limitation, various methods were used, such as using predefined triggers that would be used to only capture a limited “snap shot” period of time in high resolution within the meter’s memory when the trigger conditions were met.

This approach is still fairly common even today.

Triggers Often Result in Missed Events

The problem with this approach is that you need to know what you are looking for before you start measuring so that you can set the trigger conditions properly to enable the meter to capture the event.  But if something unexpected happens, the trigger conditions may not be met, and then the meter will not record the event making analysis of the problem difficult.

New Technology PQ Meters Solve the Problem

Luckily some modern, high resolution power quality meters have solved this problem through using techniques such as loss-less compression algorithms, that enable  them to record at high resolution continuously without the need for using triggers or thresholds to conserve memory.

Continuous Measurement Enables Problem Solving

This approach has enabled a whole new approach to managing power quality!  Engineers now can rest assured that all power quality events will be captured in high resolution, regardless of the type of event, as well as the events leading up to that, together with the after effects, all recorded in high resolution.  This has proven to be very useful for problem solving and analysis when struggling with persistent serious but sporadic power quality issues.

Continuous measurement capability has become the key difference in many cases.

Elspec Power Quality Measurement – Cutting Edge Technology

Elspec power quality meters have the unique patented PQZIP loss-less compression algorithm which enables continuous high resolution (up to 50,000 data points per second) power quality measurement.