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

August 2016
My January 2015 article, “It’s Just Math,” explained how various parameters used to evaluate power quality (PQ) are derived while avoiding formulas and other mathematical expressions. This article follows up on testing operational aspects of PQ monitors to verify that they meet your application’s needs. READ MORE
July 2016
A while back, I wrote about a house with 14 kilowatts (kW) of solar panels installed on the southern exposure roof. Voltage and current monitoring at the breaker panel prior to the solar panel installation had shown 10–12-volt (V) deep sags occurring as frequently as every 22 minutes. READ MORE
June 2016
At a recent meeting, a comment was made that many power quality (PQ) monitor users purchase equipment that is just “good enough.” PQ monitors can be a significant capital equipment purchase for some companies, particularly smaller electrical contracting firms. Return on investment is important, but an equally critical factor is determining what, exactly, “good enough” means.
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