Power Quality implications of new residential appliances
Power Quality (or more accurately Voltage Quality) has become a significant issue in New Zealand with the changing nature of the loads. In the residential sector, many home appliances being bought now have electronic power converters which characteristically draw a non-sinusoidal current waveform. This results in increased harmonic levels in the distribution network. Unfortunately, some of these appliances are also relatively heavy loads, and many of the lighter loads have little harmonic diversity between them. An investigation is in progress by the EPECentre and University of Canterbury (funded by Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) and the EEA) to develop Power Quality guidelines. As part of this, characterisation of the harmonic emissions from home appliances being sold and used is required so that the possible effect on distribution networks can be determined. Moreover, this will point to possible mitigation options that can be implemented. This paper gives an overview of the home appliances tested so far, so as to provide some insight into how they will impact Power Quality levels in a distribution network.