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Power quality solutions for line side harmonic distortion in non-linear loads

What are Harmonics?
Harmonics can be best described as the shape or characteristics of a voltage or current waveform relative to its fundamental frequency. But what does that mean? Well, the ideal power source for all power systems are smooth sinusoidal waves. These perfect sinewaves do not contain harmonics. When waveforms deviate from a sinewave shape they contain harmonics. These current harmonics distort the voltage waveform and create distortion in the power system which can cause many problems.

The Destructive Effects of Harmonic Distortion

A power system’s ability to perform at optimal levels is compromised when harmonic distortion enters the system. It creates inefficiencies in equipment operations due to the increased need for power consumption. The increase of overall current required creates higher installation and utility costs, heating, and decreasing profitability

The Two Types of Loads
A power system can contain one or two different kinds of loads, a non-linear load or a linear load.

Linear Loads
Linear Loads have a current waveform that is proportional to the amount of voltage applied. If the voltage doubles the current doubles as well, maintaining a near perfect sinewave, creating no
harmonics. Examples of the types of linear loads are: incandescent lamps, heaters, and resistors.

Non-linear Loads
When current is not proportional to the voltage, the load is classified as non-linear. Non-linear loads are most associated with modern electronic equipment that often relies on line-operated switch mode power supplies. These loads create harmonic distortion that can have adverse effects on your equipment. Examples of non-linear loads include: Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), arc furnaces, and other uninterrupted power supplies.


Power system problems that can occur without a harmonic filter:

  • Increased installation and utility cost
  • Overheating of components
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Nuisance tripping of circuit breakers
  • Inaccurate measurements on sensors
  • Telecommunication interference


Harmonic Mitigation is Essential for Long Equipment Life
MTE offers application engineered products designed for the performance you need

Total Harmonic Distortion (THID%) Dependent on Application Used.
Without any harmonic mitigation, VFDs can generate THID in excess of 100% of the fundamental frequency.

RL reactors
RL reactors are unequalled in absorbing power line disturbances. They are
built to withstand even the most severe power spikes. They reduce nuisance
tripping, reduce harmonic distortion and minimize long lead effects.

Matrix® ONE
Matrix ONE single phase filters are optimized to work in remote and rural areas
where three phase power is not available. Its patented design provides the
harmonic mitigation you need to keep your equipment running longer.

Matrix® APAX
Matrix APAX features a one-panel design with fewer connections and optional
contactor positions, making it easier to integrate and install. The Matrix APAX
provides an easy and affordable solution that helps reduce harmful side effects
caused by harmonic distortion – without sacrificing quality. (Available in 400V only.)

Matrix® AP
The Matrix AP is the most advanced filter on the market today. It features patented
Adaptive Passive Technology that allows it to perform like no other filter – virtually
eliminating distortion. The Matrix AP can adapt to varying loads, allowing you to
meet IEEE-519 standards. It’s the best in the industry

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