London Harmonic Voltage Issues

High Levels of Total Harmonic Voltage Distortion Causing Issues Throughout Central London

Power Quality In London

Power quality issues are becoming more apparent as we continue to add non-linear, energy saving loads to our electrical supplies. 

Whilst the use of inverters, variable speed drives, LED lights and the ever expanding use of switch-mode power supplies for PC’s, laptops and other small electrical devices has been effective in reducing energy consumption, improving productivity and modernising the way we work; there’s a huge issue developing behind the scenes – particularly in London and other major cities.

It’s true, it’s not just London that has power quality issues, but given the vast number of businesses operating in such a small area (of Central London particularly), we’ve found that harmonic problems aren’t just for those producing the harmonics; but in many cases it’s also an issue for neighbouring offices or businesses, and in our opinion, there’s not enough being done about it.

Here, we explore just how bad the harmonic voltage distortion levels are in London and how we can help you reduce the amount you produce, or tackle the wider issues of high levels of harmonics on shared supplies.

Who's Suffering and Why?

The introduction of some harmonic producing load on to an otherwise clean supply shouldn’t cause a problem. Even if the proportion of non-linear loads is high, if you’re fortunate enough to have a strong and stable voltage, the system should be able to withstand the increase in total harmonic current distortion (iTHD).

However, not everybody is connected to a strong, stable and clean supply. 

Typically, you’re most likely to suffer with harmonic voltage issues if you:

 1. Have a weak system; for example if you’re located remotely from others and are pushing the limits of your electrical supply and have started replacing “traditional” equipment with modern non-linear alternatives.

 2. Are connected to a shared supply; ie one that means you share your LV Transformer with others (usually denoted by an incoming supply that has fuses only, not your own transformer) and therefore have a local point of common coupling (PCC).

 3. Are connected to a system that has an already high level of total harmonic voltage distortion (VTHD).

    or worse:

 4. Share an LV supply that already has a high level of VTHD (commonly referred to as the base level VTHD)

Then you’re at risk at suffering from harmonic-related issues, whether you have a high proportion of non-linear loads or not.

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