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Published Article / ENY-ARTICLE-2008-208

Improving Reliability with Standby Power Supplies

Markiewicz, H (Wroclaw University of Technology) ; Klajn, A (Wroclaw University of Technology)


Abstract: The design of electrical power supply systems is a compromise between the interests of consumers - reliability and quality of supply - and those of the supply industry - realistic investment levels and operating costs. The flexibility allowed to deviate from ‘perfect’ power quality should be used to allow cheaper and simpler supply systems; it should not be wasted by permitting poor maintenance and operating procedures to compromise reliability. Electrical equipment is designed to operate optimally under normal conditions, i.e. with a supply voltage that is within rated voltage and frequency tolerances with low voltage distortion and good phase balance and within the manufacturer’s specified environmental conditions. Operation outside these limits can result in increased losses, poor efficiency and unpredictable operation. Large deviations can cause disruption due to the false operation of protection devices. Voltage quality has a decisive influence on the operation of equipment. The voltage quality at the origin of the installation (the point of common coupling) is reduced further by the effects of other loads in the installation and the resistance of the cabling, so the voltage quality at the equipment terminals is much poorer. This is especially true in cases where loads with non-linear voltage-current characteristics are present. Disruption caused by power interruption or poor voltage quality is always inconvenient and can be serious. In hospitals there is an obvious risk to patients undergoing operations or in intensive care. Public buildings, such as cinemas, theatres, exhibition halls, etc, where people are concentrated in relatively confined and unfamiliar areas, pose a particular risk during a power failure. Manufacturing industries, especially continuous process manufacturing (paper, steel) or high technology manufacturing (semiconductors), suffer long recovery cycles following any loss of power.

Note: Copyright© European Copper Institute, Wroclaw University of Technology and Copper Development Association.

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Record created 2008-11-14, last modified 2008-11-14

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