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Power quality, not a problem to be shirked! Says Metrel

“With the increased complexity of the network, we are all having to pay more attention to the quality of power the distribution companies deliver to our installations and the effect that our installations have on their supply.” said Brendan Beaver, the UK manager of Metrel, the supplier of innovative electrical test solutions.

“Distributed generation and the widespread use of electric motors, etc. are all adding to the distortion of what used to be a simple sine wave. And with this, sensitive electronic equipment such as variable speed drive motors can malfunction or even lock up. Even lighting can be noticeably effected.

“A number of companies sell a range of power quality analysers and loggers. Indeed, Metrel offers a line of Class S to Class A power quality analysers and loggers, which are immensely capable and modestly priced, for those who have who wish to invest in stand-alone equipment to make specialist studies of facilities.

“However Metrel’s versions of the installation multi-function tester, MI3155 and MI3152, offer installers and engineers a cost-effective alternative for basic power analysis. Not as powerful as the stand alone instruments, both these testers are capable of measuring total harmonic distortion (THD) for voltage and current to the 12th harmonic. They can both measure active power (P), reactive power (Q), apparent power (S) and power factor (PF). The results can be quickly and easily committed to the tester’s on-board memory for future reference.

“All very usable as a baseline measurement for future trouble-shooting and to confirm the installation is not affecting the network negatively.

“An added bonus for the engineer who is not habitually doing power quality studies; both testers have clearly readable help screens, to serve as a reminder of the connections that are required to made the to do the measurements.”

“When you hear of things like 3-phase motors can draw significantly more energy than specified, from the network, if there is a voltage imbalance. The extra energy means unnecessary heating and that could lead to damage of the motor and even more cost. It makes you think.

“Given our preoccupation, these days, with energy efficiency, an installation tester with power quality capabilities, for a similar price as an ordinary tester, seems a wise investment.”

For more information visit www.metrel.co.uk

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