power quality analysis
Harmonic distortion is found in both the voltage and the current waveform. Most current distortion is generated by electronic loads, also called non-linear loads. These non-linear loads might be single phase loads such as point-of-sale terminals, or three-phase as in variable speed drives.

As the current distortion is conducted through the normal system wiring, it creates voltage distortion according to Ohm's Law. While current distortion travels only along the power path of the non-linear load, voltage distortion affects all loads connected to that particular bus or phase.
Current distortion affects the power system and distribution equipment. It may directly or indirectly cause the destruction of loads or loss of product. From the direct perspective, current distortion may cause transformers to overheat and fail even though they are not fully loaded. Conduc tors and conduit systems can also overheat leading to open circuits and downtime.

On three-phase wye systems, current distortion causes higher than expected currents in shared neutrals. A shared neutral is one that provides the return path for two or three-phases. Currents as high as 200% of the phase conductors have been seen in the field. This large level of current can easily burn up the neutral creating an open neutral environment.

This open neutral creates voltage swells and overvoltages. These voltage conditions easily destroy equipment, particularly power supplies.

Another indirect problem introduced by current distortion is called resonance. Certain current harmonics may excite resonant frequencies in the system. This resonance can cause extremely high harmonic voltages, possibly damaging equipmen