Blog posts

Why clean power is critical to smooth operations

When optimizing productivity in industry, energy use is one of the few inputs you can readily control. The consequences of poor power quality, such as power factor and harmonics, can not only be a direct hit on the bottom line...

What are demand (kVA) and power factor?

Demand is the measure of the amount of power used to run machinery and equipment during a certain period of time. Also known as apparent power, demand found by multiplying (kVA = V x A) and is expressed as...
Why peak demand management matters

Why peak demand management matters

There are hundreds of power quality measurements you can take on electrical systems and equipment. Peak demand management is one of the best ways to help you uncover hidden costs, protect equipment from damaging conditions and reduce unscheduled downtime,...

Electrical Power Explained – Part 4: Unbalanced three-phase AC power

In our last blog, we described how balanced three-phase AC systems act like three independent single-phase systems. There's no neutral current, and the total active and reactive powers are just the sum of the active and reactive phase powers....
voltage fluctuations, flicker and power quality

Voltage fluctuations, flicker and power quality

Flickering lights can have an adverse effect on health, causing fatigue, lack of concentration, migraines and in some cases, epileptic shock. The severity of reaction and sensitivity varies from person to person. Some people can see a higher rate...
435-II Power Quality and Energy Analyzer

For installation, a digital multimeter is no longer enough

Harmonics can cause high neutral currents in three-phase systems — even ones that are balanced. They heat up cables, which can cause fires. Many installers now check their work using a multimeter, but multimeters can't measure harmonics. Equipment installation needs...
transformer failure

What causes a transformer to fail?

Symptoms of power quality issues include vibration, excessive buzzing or humming and overheating. Technicians should occasionally check the power of transformers that supply nonlinear loads, such as variable frequency drives (VFDs) or switching power supplies. Doing so ensures operation...
In industrial environments harmonics, unbalance and excessive heat can result in wasted energy

3 hidden causes of industrial energy waste

Companies tend to pay attention to global energy trends such as changing oil prices, yet the smartest companies monitor their utility usage regardless. As a result, diagnosing and fixing common causes of energy waste is critical. More than utility...
three-phase AC power

Electrical Power Explained – Part 3: Balanced three-phase AC power

Large three-phase motors and the equipment they drive should consume power equally from each of the three mains phases. However, that often doesn’t happen. Unbalance and harmonics can cause instability, with motor vibration that reduces both efficiency and lifetime....

Electrical Power Explained – Part 2: Single-phase AC power

You need a thorough grounding in single-phase power before you can understand the three-phase supplies used in large industrial and commercial facilities. That means understanding the relationships between the sinewave voltage supplied by your utility and the resultant non-sinewave...

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How to setup the 173x series energy logger

Most of us work in tech support departments and one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is: how to set up a energy...

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