Some of the concepts in electrical engineering are more easily visualized by using physical phenomena. Power quality phenomena is not different, since it is just a specialized application of the same principles, particularly Ohm’s and Kirchoff’s Laws.
About a year ago, we covered some of the initiatives of the smart grid that came out of the Energy Independence and Securities Act of 2007 (EISA), which was funded last year with more than $3.4 billion of stimulus money from the America Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA).
During my career, I have encountered many electricians and engineers who considered installing power quality monitors to be a nonhazardous job that requires nothing more than hooking up the voltage clip leads and putting on the current probes to the proper conductors.
Though there are many green buildings being designed and built from the start with significant considerations for the environmental effect or footprint, many renovation projects include alternative or renewable-energy sources, such as solar power.
In the September issue, I discussed some of the claims that various organizations working on the smart grid have made in the two years since the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 passed. The act contained Title XIII, which has 10 characterizations of a smart grid.
Recently, I needed to dig up a paper I wrote more than a decade ago for a conference in the United Kingdom. Part of the paper was devoted to expert systems that were beginning to gain momentum as a possible way to solve power quality problems, rather than just provide more data or information.
My past two columns covered monitoring from the service entrance and down into the facility to record what happened and to determine what caused it. At last, we get down to probably the most important aspect: monitoring at a load to determine why it is not operating properly.
Much of the renewed focus on energy conservation and going green has been on what to do at home and in the workplace. But how about the places where people go to relax and play—resorts and other vacations spots? Are they becoming more green?
Recently, while serving on a panel session at the Power Quality and Reliability conference, a member of the audience chastised me for “not educating us on what this smart grid stuff is really all about.” It seemed like a reasonable challenge, especially given that I am a member of the Institute of
There was a sign at my college job: “Engage brain before opening mouth,” which is similar to what my parents would often say: “Think before you speak.” The same basic concept applies before you take a power quality monitor into the field, connect it up and collect gigabytes of data.
Most facilities have a hidden source of cash within their walls. People working in the energy-reduction field know that usually at least a 10 percent savings in energy can be achieved with a payback measured in less than two years, and often right in next month’s utility bill.
The word "government" often invokes “regulation” (at least until it was replaced with “bailout”). However, governmental regulation of power quality is basically nil in North America, especially in the United States.