Richard P. Bingham

Power Quality Columnist

Richard P. Bingham, a contributing editor for power quality. He can be reached at 732.287.3680.

Articles by Richard P. Bingham

May 2016
When people send in data from a power quality monitor to be reviewed, some common questions include “Is my site normal?” and “Does this data look OK to operate my facility?” Such questions usually get the same ambiguous answer: “It depends.” The quality of electric power as supplied and how much is consumed is not one-size-fits-all.
  • Figure 1: Notching caused by semiconductor-controlled rectifier switching during commutation period
April 2016
Maybe it is because they are rarely seen by the human eye or because the proliferation of surge protector strips makes everyone feel immune, but transients still exist and can wreak havoc with electrical equipment. The high magnitude and fast rise time of voltage transients, caused by lightning or switching operations, can degrade or cause immediate failure in all equipment classes. READ MORE
March 2016
With the fifth generation of power quality monitors comes more parameters, features, communication modes and, for some users, challenges getting the answers that they want from the instruments. More of everything means more things to set up or program and, with that comes more chances to do it incorrectly. READ MORE
  • Figure 1: Using horse and railcar to explain power factor
February 2016
While few would argue about of the wealth of information on the Internet, there isn’t a mechanism for qualifying its accuracy. Basically, anyone can post anything. Even such peer-reviewed sites as Wikipedia can fall short of the facts. A relatively simple concept in power is a good example. READ MORE
January 2016
I often give my power quality (PQ) 101 course to new engineers or salespeople. This introduction starts with the basics: an overview of PQ phenomena based on IEEE 1159 Table 4.2 followed by Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s laws and how they apply to power quality. I also still receive data or comments about data from PQ monitors, which would appear to disprove or invalidate these long-standing laws. READ MORE
  • Phasor diagram and equivalent sinewave plots
November 2015
When considering power quality disturbances or the quality of the electrical supply, phenomena such as rms variations (sags, swells and interruptions), harmonics, unbalance and flicker usually come to mind. READ MORE
  • Figure 1: Distorted current waveforms from six-pulse converters
October 2015
The basic principles of harmonics have been the same since 1822, when Joseph Fourier first proposed that some functions could be composed of an infinite sum of harmonics. READ MORE
September 2015
There is an old saying that liars figure and figures lie, which implies that the truth can be a challenge to discern from both people and data. At a recent standards-making conference, I encountered some examples of this concept that seemed worth sharing.
  • Figure 1: Typical magnitude of voltage sag as percent of nominal compiled of EPRI DPQ Project in 1990s
August 2015
A customer recently called me about the information on his power quality monitor screen. He said about a dozen different events were showing up, but the lights had just blinked once. He wanted to know what all of the other nonsense was supposed to tell him. Why did his process stop when the lights blinked off for a second? READ MORE