Harmonics - Causes and Effects

Today, nearly every piece of electrical equipment generates harmonic currents and voltages. This Application Note gives a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the subject. It explains why harmonic problems have been increasing over recent years, how they are generated, and by which type of equipment. It presents an overview of the various problems harmonic currents can create. Most of them are either related to different kinds of overloading – leading to problems of efficiency loss and overheating – or to disturbances of control and safety devices.

This Application Note also presents a brief overview of the available solutions. The four main mitigation solutions are passive shunt filters, passive series filters, isolation transformers, and active harmonic conditioners. The Application Note concludes that good design practice, the right electrical equipment, and good maintenance are the keys to preventing future problems.

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