Planning Systems for Power Quality


Power Quality (PQ) has become a major concern in electric power systems with the increased proliferation of computer electronic loads and power electronic devices in the power system, and more consumer interest in power delivery issues. Understanding PQ requires taking on the viewpoints of the electric utilities, consumers and operators of electrical equipment. Regulatory codes require compliance with stated standards of power system performance measured in terms of quality and reliability. Yet notwithstanding all the quantitative and qualitative technical aspects of PQ, it has heretofore remained primarily a consequential characteristic rather than a planned objective for power systems. Perhaps it is time to consider integrating PQ objectives in the planning process. As such, PQ must fit in with all the other objectives of power system planning – thermal capacity adequacy, voltage security, stability, etc. The challenge for the planner is to take into account the already complicated planning process and integrate PQ.

Different conventional planning tools are utilized for power system planning: power flow studies, short circuit calculations, transient stability analysis and electromagnetic transient simulations, among others. The different planning time horizons utilized in these tools can be utilized for analyzing PQ issues arising from the simulations since PQ concerns account for time ranges.

Case studies show how PQ concepts can be applied to power system planning.  Overall, there are opportunities to integrate PQ analysis in conventional power system planning studies. The above discussion of integrating PQ analysis in various studies can be useful in providing a PQ viewpoint in the planning of electric power systems. The result is a power system planned and operated not only for economics and reliability but also for power quality.

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