Tagged: Printing

Power Losses and Low Harmonic Drives

Using the active filter in shunt applications has a lot of energy saving potential compared to using serial filters – either passive or active front end.

Here are some examples and what they mean to you as user. When seen as a system, the active filter in shunt mode offers a total system loss that is lower than that of the passive filter.

Passive Harmonic Filters

A passive filter has between 0.6-1.5% losses

Assuming a 6-pulse drive has 2% losses, the total system loss is the sum of the losses

Pdrive*PFilter = 2% + (1.5 <-> 0.6)%  =>  3.5% to 2.6% total system loss.

NOTE! This does not include an eventual voltage drop through the passive filter and its effect on the motor’s losses.

Serial Active Filter – Front End

An active front end drive essentially has twice the loss of a standard drive as the power has to pass through two IGBTs.

Pafe = 2% + 2% + 1% for the LCL-filter = 5% losses. Total system losses observed in documentation are 4.7-5%.

Shunt Active Filter

Unlike the serial solutions the shunt active filter only has to be sized according to the harmonic currents to be filtered out. Under normal conditions this means that in a IEEE-519 or G5/4 application the filter has to be sized 15-30% of the 6-pulse load.  This means the total system loss is also much lower even though the efficiency of the Active Filter is:

Pdrive + Padf = 0.02 + 0.02* (0,15 – 0,3) = 2.3 – 2.6 % in total system losses.

Summary from a System Owner’s View

Shunt Active Harmonic filters offer between 0 and 1.17% points lower power consumption compared to Passive Harmonic Filters.  This does not include any effect from voltage drop through the serial passive filter.

Shunt Active Harmonic Filters offer between 2.7 – 2.4 % lower power consumption compared to Active Front End drives.

Power Losses are a Significant Part of Your Life Cycle Cost Calculation

Minimising losses over time, especially in industrial process loads with more than 8000 hours of yearly operation, 1%-point saving in power consumption translates into significant value.

(Pdrive + Pcooling) (kW)* Yearly operation hours(h)*Net Losses(%) = Total cost saving potential

Energy Cost Estimate

Electrical power prices differ but the relation between cooling and electricity is roughly equivalent to

Pcooling = 0.3 * Pdrive

In the case of the AFE there are cases where the entire harmonic mitigation solution has been paid off in 2.5 years simply by choosing shunt Active Harmonic Filters instead of Active Front End thanks to lower power losses.

The Active Harmonic Filter is very competitive compared to both Passive filters and Active Front End. As the capital expenditure is very similar, a lower power consumption make the AHF a very good overall choice.

Furthermore the availability offered by a shunt installation where the drive can continue to operate even though the mitigation has failed offer a great upside through higher availability of the process.

Active Harmonic Filters In Printing Applications

Harmonics causes problems in printing plant

Harmonic Filter Restores Power Quality and Reduces Downtime Caused by Harmonics

Problems with power quality often become apparent through problems in production and surrounding equipment such as lighting.

This is what happened at one of the largest printers in Holland.


Line to line voltage with Active Harmonic Filter

Line to line voltage without Active Harmonic Filter

The printing company consists of two printing plants located in Amsterdam. The plant employs 170 people, producing six daily newspapers and several other free local papers and magazines. The plant prints up to 1 million papers every day with printing presses running almost nonstop.

Poor Power Quality – the Challenge

The printers had been struggling with power quality problems for many years. Flourescent lighting had to be changed continuously as the tubes kept failing. The electrical ballast had to be changed every six months instead of every 5 years. This kept one employee busy 2-3 days a week. In 2011 just the lighting problems and other broken components cost the printers about

300 000 €. In addition to these losses, the plant had power quality related problems during startup of the presses, which resulted in additional losses through production downtime.

Active Harmonic Filters – the Solution

Line to line voltage with Active Harmonic Filter

Line to line voltage with Active Harmonic Filter

The printing group decided on an investment in power quality and quite literally, a brighter future. Six harmonic filters with a total compensation current of 1800 A were installed to optimize the power grid and reduce harmonics.

Harmonic Filtering Gave Quick Results

Following installation and commisioning of the active harmonic filters all previous problems disappeared. The printing plant can nowuse their printing presses without disturbances from poor power quality. Due to the continuous stops in production and equipment failure, which had been a daily occurrance, the return on investment for the harmonic filtering system was very short.