Power quality (PQ) issues are relatively new: years ago this was a problem concerning only power stations and arc furnace engineers. It is only recently that the electrical engineering community has had to deal with the analysis, diagnosis and solution of PQ problems, even if it has not become a major topic in the industry. Professionals are being confronted with PQ issues on a daily basis, yet only the latest generation of engineers has been trained to face and solve these issues.
The main reason is probably due to the fact that PQ is a complex area covering many different topics. This is also something that makes a comprehensive book difficult – each PQ topic can warrant an entire book, but time is more and more a constraint.
If PQ issues applied to utility networks are relatively new, the same concepts applied to customer installations and equipment have attracted the attention of the electrical world only in really recent times. The problems related to PQ are often difficult to solve, and may allow different solutions, so the choice is not always simple for those engineers and professionals who are not trained in PQ.
The optimal solution to a PQ problem is usually a mix of solutions for a specific situation. In such a situation, it is necessary to identify that problem and propose different solutions to allow the technicians to make the optimal choice. Evaluation of solutions is probably the key element in PQ problem solving, chiefly for economic reasons.
Actually, some solutions require higher investments, and thus the necessary management approval, but managers usually lack the knowledge to evaluate the problems properly. For these reasons, in 2000 a group of academics and industrialists launched a cultural programme (www.lpqi.org) co-founded by the European Commission and fully dedicated to PQ from the perspective of not just power suppliers but electricity users too.
Seven years later this program has more than 100 partners around the world and numerous sub-projects focused on specific issues related to PQ. It was at one of these, LPQIves (LPQI Vocational Educational System), during the Berlin meeting in April 2005, that the idea for this book was born. Basically, the aim of the LPQIves project was to develop a system of vocational training consisting of methodology and content and, in some countries, expert certification.
The members of this project came to the conclusion that the book should be on system components. The authors felt that the book should be a manual for participants on educational courses. Furthermore, the book can serve as a reference book for teachers and a handbook for students on regular university courses, and as a guidebook for people who seek background information on practical solutions to PQ problems.
The unique character of the book is a well-balanced one between a scientific approach and practical knowledge which can be used in everyday situations by people who have only a fundamental electrical engineering background. To reflect this, one of the first decisions taken by the authors was to illustrate each chapter with a case study of a practical application, its measurements and solution.
This multi-use approach makes the book very comprehensive, practice oriented and attractive for a relatively broad audience: namely, scientists looking for links between their specific domain and other PQ domains; engineers seeking a methodology and information on the identification, analysis and solution of a PQ problem; electricity users who need explanations of different PQ terms and definitions; managers looking for background information on the economic consequences of PQ; and students who require a comprehensive manual covering the whole spectrum of PQ.
In order to consider PQ from different perspectives and topics, this book has been organized to cover five ‘themes’. The first is dedicated to power system issues. The second is fully dedicated to PQ phenomena in terms of physics, parameters, measurements, sources and mitigations. The last three are dedicated to PQ in practice, PQ problems and economical aspects of PQ.
The case studies and other specific content from each chapter are also available on the companion website, www.wiley.com/go/powerquality Before you begin what I hope is interesting reading, let me mention that, although I was still young at the time of the 2005 Berlin meeting, prior to coordinating this group of creative authors around the world, I have been indicated as the main author of this book.
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