IN DEPTH: High growth for low harmonics

IMS Report: Power quality issues seek a common standard as emerging economies wrestle with the issue.

06/14/2011


To view a larger version of the included graph, click the PDF at the bottom of the page.

The Asia Pacific region for low harmonic solutions is poised for 2011 growth of 17.8%, according to a new market report, The World Market for Regenerative Drives and Low Harmonic Solutions from IMS Research. China in particular will grow across many different industry sectors, unlike other developed countries that focus harmonic standards on specific industries, such as water & wastewater and commercial HVAC.

“Asia Pacific is the largest regional market for harmonic filters, representing 41.4% of sales in 2010, due to the region’s poor power quality in relation to Europe and to a lesser extent the United States,” comments IMS Research analyst Sarah Sultan.

In an interview with CFE Media, Sultan takes a deeper look at the issue of harmonics, and what global manufacturers will face in the absence of a single global standard:

CFE: Why is the problem of poor harmonics such a big problem in China and other emerging manufacturing markets?

Sultan: Poor harmonics is a big problem in China due to the enormous amounts of industrial usage, a lot of it dependent on heavy equipment which introduce harmonics. In general, China will not upgrade their current power grid, but rather build entirely new distribution infrastructure. 

CFE Media: Power quality has become a critical issue in many regions because of the high dependence on automation equipment. Both regionally and globally, how would you rate plants’ understanding of this problem?

Sultan: Plants’ understanding of this problem varies quite significantly by region. In developed regions, there tends to be less of a focus on harmonics for individual plants unless a larger internal problem arises due to harmonics. Developing regions are enforcing stricter guidelines across industry, making factories much more conscious of the problem. In all regions, focus on harmonics is becoming a greater issue and will continue to become more important in future.

CFE: The Smart Grid continues to be a topic of conversation. How does the issue of harmonics play into that debate?

Sultan: Harmonics and other power quality issues are drivers for the market for Smart Grid technologies. Electricity grids are having greater demands placed on them now as distributed generation and electric vehicle charging begin to draw upon aging electrical utility infrastructure. As harmonic issues mount, installing Smart Grid technologies, including advanced metering, distribution automation, and power quality management equipment becomes more important.

These technologies can enable the utility company to measure power quality at many points throughout the grid, pinpointing sources of harmonic distortion and working with industrial energy users to minimize power quality issues. In some regions, utilities are motivated to provide greater power quality through fees and penalties, and in turn these utilities demand more community-minded power usage from their industrial customers, driving increased concern for power quality at the industrial level.

CFE: The research also looks at the adoption of U.S. and European electrical standards. How are the two different? Do you see a time where those standards may become – pardon the expression – harmonized?

Sultan: The US harmonic standard (IEEE 519) focuses on the point of common connection rather than the input to the plant. The key point is that harmonics are only an issue in the U.S. at the point in which they affect other users. This tends to be a problem in industries that are close to the consumer power grid, such as commercial HVAC and water & wastewater. European standards focus on the input to the plant, so individual factories must be conscious of their harmonic content. In addition, European power grid quality is higher than that of the U.S., creating fewer problems to begin with.

In my opinion, I don’t see these standards becoming uniform worldwide. One reason is the U.S. market – the U.S. market handles harmonics at a utility level, and in comparison to many other regions has not been very concerned about harmonics. IEEE 519 is a guideline, and is not strictly mandated unlike other regions.

In addition, individual utility companies, of which there are thousands, handle harmonic problems with users very differently at the moment. IEEE-519 is in their bylaws and requirements, but they only enforce it when someone causes a violation. The U.S. harmonic standards would need to become uniform before possibly considering an international harmonization of standards.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me