In situations where either voltage and/or current are excessively distorted, one can expect negative effects such as: overheating of transformers, overloading of phase and neutral conductors, induction machines operating under a reduced efficiency, nuisance tripping of brakers, etc.
It is important that one takes into consideration these issues at the start of a deployment of a new site. This eliminates problems over time and is consequently cost effective in relation to the curative approach. However, the problems relating to harmonics might surface on the long run, and consequently a curative approach is needed. Active filtering is in these cases the most flexible and performant approach to eliminate current harmonics.
Somtimes the complaints are not related to technical issues, which have been validated by the end user, but are issued by the grid. ATS PQ is often consulted as a third party advisor in relation to grid code compliance issues. The goal in this case is to consolidate with all the parties involved, in order to find a win-win situation for both the end customer as for the network operator.
Whereas plain capacitor banks can be initially regarded as an equal product between individual suppliers, this is definitely not the case for active filters. Different brands all use different and unique control algorithms in their filters. This makes comparison nearly impossible and sometimes comparison is not even relevant. Depending on the algorithms specific units are more suitable for specific problems. For example: some control algorithms have a higher dynamic response, or some are more suitable to work in case of resonances etc. In cooperation with the University of Ghent, a research project tries to find a recursive non-intrusive method in order to find the underlying control algorithm of any type of filter.
The advantage of ATS PQ is that there is a large scale of PQ solutions ready on the shelf. This stock enables a no-cure no-pay strategy in combination with a high level of flexibility and a short delivery time. As many of the solutions represent a significant budget, leasing or renting is possible.