As the name suggests, a power quality evaluator is designed for the sole purpose of identifying issues involving power quality. It works by strategically sampling the AC voltage at various points along a waveform shape. From there, it digitizes all points or values and utilizes a microprocessor in order to execute a numerical analysis (which arrives at harmonic frequency magnitudes).
Being able to monitor current, a power quality analyzer can systematically calculate and display common power values, what gives you a whole picture of how your system works and where it fails miserably. It is worth remembering, however, that PQAs are not all the same. Some of them are built for single-phase systems only, while others are designed to evaluate three-phase systems. So, it is important that you use a PQA that perfectly fits your electrical system, both in design and maintenance.
Here are some important points that will help you find the right power quality evaluator:
- Determine the total power of your system. Is it single-phase or three-phase? Or is there a solar involved?
- Do you require logging and/or connectivity capabilities?
- What sort of values do you want to see on the device’s display?
- What voltage events are you looking to capture (e.g. dips & swells, flickers, harmonics, transients, etc.)?
- Are you interested in other parameters or calculations, such as crest factor, power inverter efficiency, etc.?
- What standards are you looking for a power quality evaluator?
Remember that poor power quality can always result in wasted energy, which means more costs. Try using a power quality evaluator and see the real difference it makes.