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Disturbances Related to Power Quality

Clean power quality saves money and electricity. By eliminating situations such as damage and premature aging of equipment, loss of productivity or data and function, indirect savings are obtained.

Power quality will influence the overall business success, which is a reality that the management mostly overlooks.

The efficiency of electricity is essentially the relationship between electrical power and electrical devices. We can assume that electrical power is of high quality if electrical equipment works properly and consistently without being affected or stressed. 

However, some disturbances hinder a productive day at factories and in Australian homes. To prevent further loss, you can start by knowing the disturbances that interrupt your costly devices.

Disturbances in Power Quality

Electricity is generally called a product. Personal computers, workstations, area networks and other gadgets that use these or certain power supplies are very susceptible to power quality issues. On linear loads, the other devices, such as transformers, motors, circuit breakers, fuses, electrical problems, may trigger many problems.

These issues are often very noticeable. In fact, the wave quality is affected by various factors. Such disruptions are directly triggered by the power source, such as lightning. Other disruptions are caused by loads, particularly by electrical machines that are non-linear loads that trigger harmonics, primarily because of their switching power supply. Furthermore, the following are the disturbances of power quality:

Voltage spikes 

This happens when high-current equipment is powered down. An example of high-current equipment that commonly causes voltage spikes are air conditioners, photocopiers, coffee machines, and other electronic equipment.


Any temporary high frequency (harmonic from 50 kHz to 100 MHz), radio frequency (RFI) or electromagnetic interference ( EMI) generated from transformers or motors (often an elevator motor or a photocopier motor) may produce noise. Magnetic fields may even deform pictures on a cathodic screen (computer monitor) or destroy data on a hard disk, caused by a mono-phased cable or an unbalanced three-phase device.

Voltage surges 

Voltage surge lasts from 15 microseconds to half a second or more. This can be compared to voltage spikes but the difference is that it lasts longer. They are mostly triggered by the shutdown of highly loaded circuits or the high-powered network necessary commutations (e.g., Power Factor Correction, Vacuum Breakers). Evidently, such an over-voltage burst will significantly damage computers and other critical electronic devices.


This results in an improvement in conductor resistance (skin effect) and an unexpected typical mode (neutral-ground) voltage differential in turn. This would trigger the incidence of unwanted ground loops.

Power Dips

This is usually caused by the addition of heavy loads, such as the start-up of an elevator, photocopier or big generator, to an electrical panel. In this case, for a duration of 15 microseconds to half a second, the current is subject to a loss of 20 percent or more.


Brownouts are often purposely caused by the power provider to prevent a complete blackout when there is a significant electricity demand. This disturbance leads to internal memory storage losses or whenever data is stored on disk or magnetic tape. In certain situations, the automatic shutdown of certain appliances will be triggered if the brownout continues long enough.


For a lighting load, this is a voltage variation that allows the light output to flicker noticeably. In terms of electro-domestic loads, the input can be induced; however, it is often attributable to industrial loads (e.g.s start of motor or change in speed).


The total current losses typically happen as a result of faulty equipment or damaged electrical lines. This can last for microseconds and even up to hours and even days, depending on the damage and the repair process.

Power Factor

The ratio of the apparent power (VA) and the actual power (W) is the power element. Electricity suppliers transmit power at 60 Hz with a sinusoidal voltage wave. If the current and voltage waves are not matched, the system’s performance is reduced and the apparent power is greater than the actual power.


The poor quality of power can be described as any incident related to the electrical network that eventually results in a financial loss. The disturbances mentioned above damage sensitive electrical equipment essential to industrial and every public establishment like hospitals. If the disturbance is not addressed, it can lead to a partial or complete interruption in a household’s working process and a customer’s power supply.

Sydney Eastern Suburb Electrician is here to ensure a good power quality that your home is receiving. With our level 2 electricians performing a high-quality service, we can help you install, repair, and electrical inspection. 

Call us at (02) 8378 2827 to get a free quote today or book online.

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