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Understanding Harmonics and Effective Mitigation Techniques for Clean Electricity Supply.

Understanding Harmonics and Effective Mitigation Techniques for Clean Electricity Supply.


In an electric power system, a harmonic is a voltage or current at a multiple of the fundamental frequency of the system. Harmonics can best be described as the shape or characteristics of a voltage or current waveform relative to its fundamental frequency. When waveforms deviate from a sinewave shape, they contain harmonics. Harmonic frequencies are produced by the action of non-linear loads such as rectifiers, discharge lighting, or saturated electric machines. They are a frequent cause of power quality problems and can result in increased equipment and conductor heating, misfiring in variable speed drives, and torque pulsations in motors and generators. Harmonics are usually classified by two different criteria: the type of signal (voltage or current), and the order of the harmonic (even, odd, triplen, or non-triplen odd); in a three-phase system, they can be further classified according to their phase sequence (positive, negative, zero).

There are several ways to reduce the problems of harmonics in a circuit or power distribution system. Here are some techniques that you can consider:

  1. Harmonic Mitigating Transformer (HMT): An HMT is specifically designed to minimize the voltage distortion and power losses that result from the harmonics generated by non-linear loads such as personal computers. It accomplishes this through the use of a zig-zag winding.

  2. Harmonic Filters: Harmonic filters are occasionally used to reduce harmonics. They work by either siphoning the harmonic currents off the system, blocking the currents from entering the system, or supplying the harmonic currents locally.

  3. K-rated Transformer: A K-rated transformer is designed to withstand the overheating problems created by harmonics. It is manufactured with a K-rating, which indicates the relative ability of a transformer to withstand the harmful effects of harmonics. K-rated transformers increase the size of the core, increase the size of the neutral conductor, and use special winding techniques to reduce eddy current and skin effect losses.

  4. Modify the frequency response of the system: The frequency response of the system can be modified by filters, inductors, or capacitors.

Harmonic distortion is the distortion of a signal due to the presence of harmonics. Harmonics are voltage or current signals that are at multiples of the fundamental frequency of the system.

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