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The quality of electrical power is an issue that most of us tend to leave unmeasured and unexamined. The general feeling seems to be: “Lights are on, no problem.” Yet U.S.companies waste an estimated $26 billion a year in lost time and revenue stemming from electrical power-related problems. Riverside Electrical can help your company with this issue.
This extraordinarily high figure reflects increased use over the last few years of sophisticated electronic equipment in business and industry-from front office to assembly lines-that is sensitive to the vagaries in power.
But interest in power quality has been building for the past decade. In the early ’90s, the utility-funded research organization Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) placed several hundred monitors around the country for a few months to test power quality. The results were surprising. Power quality was far worse than had been anticipated, with disturbances and interruptions, and sags and swells. That somewhat alarming survey essentially kick started broad-based discussion on power quality that continues in this new millennium.
In the years since the survey, there has been a huge increase in the use of switchable power supplies for personal computers, Internet servers, and other computer technology has seen a dramatic increase. Variable speed drives in manufacturing facilities, varistors, and rectification circuits to supply electronic loads, step motors, and similar devices, all of which can create a fair amount of “dirt” in a power system, have seen similar increases. Along with equipment such as arc furnaces for steel plants, these devices affect the quality of power received by others.