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A power quality audit (PQA) is a thorough assessment of a facility's electrical system in terms of reliability, efficiency, stability, and safety parameters. For this, the auditor checks the condition of the electric energy flowing throughout a system and how this energy gets used by the various equipment and appliances.
This article highlights the benefits of conducting regular power quality audits in commercial facilities that rely heavily on electrical power, such as warehouses, industrial plants, hospitals, schools and workplaces. But before we get to that, let’s first understand what 'power quality' means and the kind of results to expect from a PQA.
Electrical power has several characteristics that affect its quality and, subsequently, how it interacts with various loads. High-quality power flows are always within optimal parameters – perfectly synced phases and smooth sinusoidal waveforms, stable voltage and current peaks, correct frequency ranges and consistent magnitude tolerances and energy output.
The power source or internal load profile can inadvertently introduce disturbances in the electrical systems causing harmonic distortions, power spikes and sags, irregular AC frequencies and flickering. Poor-quality power raises safety and performance risks across the entire electrical system. However, power quality issues are easy to solve; but you have to identify them first, and that's where power quality audits come in.
A power quality auditor takes precise measurements of all electrical parameters at various key nodes. The auditor not only gauges the power quality but also identifies the source and effects of these disturbances. Electrical components and loads have (or lack) their ways of dealing with power quality issues; some might trip breakers, blow fuses, heat up or adjust their output to the incoming power. Some of the more power-sensitive equipment may malfunction or even fail to turn on with unstable electricity. The whole point of a power quality audit is to identify and resolve these electrical issues before they become big problems.
Here are the main reasons why regular power quality audits are important:
Essentially, a power quality audit helps you find electrical problems before they find you. If you're already having power quality-related issues like the ones we've discussed here, running a PQA can help identify their root causes and effective ways to solve them. Even in a seemingly perfect electrical system, a PQA might still uncover hidden power quality problems or, at the very least, validate the system’s quality assurance.
Need an expert for a PQA? Eco Electrical is here to help. Contact us or give us a call at 1300 326 353 today to learn more about our power quality audits and other commercial electrical services.
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