Harmonics: A Growing Problem

As we know, the fundamental wave of the current in our environment has a frequency of 60 Hertz., That is to say that the sinusoid changes 60 times per second of direction. But this happens when this current is used in equipment such as incandescent bulbs that use electric current in a continuous and linear manner. In recent years we have incorporated into our daily lives a series of computers called computers, faxes, and other electronic equipment that, although they undoubtedly facilitate our lives, have complicated the electrical distribution system. The electronic equipment does not use the current continuously but when it is required or what is known as "as needed basis", the resulting load is not linear and produces waves that are not sinusoidal or not proportional to the voltage source. As a result, this voltage is reinvested in the distribution system in the form of harmonics and waves without sinusoidal forms.


If the necessary measures are not taken, the presence of harmonics can cause overheating of transformers, deterioration of the insulation, failure of structural parts and disastrous results in transformers. July 31, 2003