Financial Incentives Drive Power Quality Improvements
Utilities and system operators are now considering, and in some cases implementing, financial incentives to customers to maintain power quality. Certain types of load are well-known for causing power quality impairments, such as harmonics and flicker.
Managing Power Usage
These power quality impairments are measured in accordance with international standards, such as the IEC 61000-4 series. Harmonics and flicker are summarized in reporting periods, generally 10 minutes (though other periods can be used). As with multi-rate billing, the amounts of money can be significant, so customers often operate their own monitor ‘in parallel’ with that of the utility. Nothing causes disputes faster than monitors that disagree on the measurements, and the measurements are certain to disagree if the reporting periods are not synchronized.
Providing accurate, traceable time eliminates this potential source of disagreement. Low-cost, accurate clocks are therefore an enabling technology for power quality incentives.