Understanding Power & Power Quality Measurements

The threatened limitations of conventional
electrical power sources have
focused a great deal of attention on
power, its application, monitoring and
correction. Power economics now play a
critical role in industry as never before.
With the high cost of power generation,
transmission, and distribution, it is of
paramount concern to effectively monitor
and control the use of energy.
The electric utility’s primary goal is to
meet the power demand of its customers
at all times and under all conditions.
But as the electrical demand grows in
size and complexity, modifications and
additions to existing electric power
networks have become increasingly
expensive. The measuring and monitoring
of electric power have become even
more critical because of down time
associated with equipment breakdown
and material failures.
For economic reasons, electric power is
generated by utility companies at relatively
high voltages (4160, 6900, 13,800
volts are typical). These high voltages
are then reduced at the consumption site
by step-down transformers to lower values
which may be safely and more easily
used in commercial, industrial and
residential applications.
Personnel and property safety are the
most important factors in the operation
of electrical system operation. Reliability
is the first consideration in providing
safety. The reliability of any electrical
system depends upon knowledge, pre-
ventive maintenance and subsequently
the test equipment used to monitor that