Power Quality

Experiencing Electrical Problems?

Call our Trouble Line toll free at one of the following and request a voltage check.

Power Quality Engineers

If further investigation is needed, Hawaiian Electric has specialized power quality equipment and a group of trained Power Quality Engineers to gather and analyze data and provide recommendations and possible solutions to you. Please call (808) 543-4756.

Hawaiian Electric Can Help You

View our collection of Power Quality Publications

Power Quality Problems

Power Quality is Important

The symptoms of a power quality problem could be as subtle as a light that dims every time a large motor starts or as catastrophic as equipment failure. Whatever the case, power quality problems may disrupt your business operations. Today, there is widespread use of digital or microprocessor controlled devices in all areas of our customer's businesses.

Many of these new devices are more sensitive and may not operate properly when small variations or disruptions in the electrical supply occurs. Some examples of problems that occur due to power quality problems are: Automatic Resets, Data Errors, Equipment Failure, Circuit Board Failure, Memory Loss, Power Supply Problems, UPS Alarms, Software Corruption, and Overheating of electrical distribution systems.

Power Quality Problems

To function properly, electronic devices require voltage to flow within a consistent range. Power surges, sags, transients, and momentary interruptions can cause voltage to fluctuate outside this range. Power quality problems can be caused by external events, such as lightning strikes can impact power quality but causes can also include starting and stopping of heavy equipment, circuit overloads, or improper wiring. Some loads that cycle on or off can cause surges that can gradually degrade internal circuitry of sensitive electronic equipment.

The electric power that is generated in the United States is in the form of a 60-hertz (Hz) alternating current (AC) sine wave. A pictorial representation in time of a sine wave is shown below.

Common power quality problems are manifested by the interruption or distortion of the ideal 60-hertz sine wave.

With the proper application of power conditioning equipment and proper wiring and grounding, most power quality problems can be eliminated.

Power Quality Investigation

The main objective of the investigation is to properly identify the power quality problem so that the proper solution can be applied. This investigation should be done prior to any major electrical changes or purchase of power conditioning equipment.

A typical power quality investigation is conducted in the following sequence: