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Electromagnetic environmental impact of power electronics equipment

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1 Author(s)
Redl, R. ; ELFI SA, Farvagny, Switzerland

A dramatic increase in the number of line-powered electronic equipment (computers and other office equipment, electronic ballasts, variable-speed drives, and consumer electronics, e.g., color televisions) has taken place. These items of equipment draw distorted, and often fluctuating, line current; they also generate high-frequency conducted and radiated noise due to the sharp edges of the waveforms characteristic of the switching power processors employed in them. As a result of the finite grid impedance, the distorted line current increases the distribution losses and causes voltage distortion; also, the fluctuation leads to visible flicker of the emitted light of lamps. The conducted and radiated high-frequency noise interferes with radio and TV reception, communication via cellular telephones, and data transmission. The result is a gradually deteriorating electromagnetic environment. This paper presents the mechanisms that generate low-frequency and high-frequency electrical noise, lists the problems caused by the various noise types, provides an overview of the standards that establish noise limits, discusses and evaluates the various mitigation techniques, and raises concerns regarding the impact of the circuitry that has to be added to the equipment to meet the harmonic limits and the pitfalls and deficiencies of the line-harmonics regulation standards

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:89 ,  Issue: 6 )