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What is a harmonics analyser?

The presence of harmonics in an electrical system means that the current and voltage in the system are distorted and deviate from the normal sinusoidal waveforms you would expect to see. This is harmonic current and it is caused by the distribution system being fed with non-linear loads. In other words, the current that the load draws and the supply voltage have different waveforms. Harmonic current is produced and this distorted flow creates harmonic voltage, which in turn distorts the supply voltage.


What does the harmonics analyser do?what is a harmonics analyser?

When we see harmonic current in a system it results in a surge of electricity and hence we are often using more energy than we need to. This is something we want to prevent and hence we need a tool to be able to easily measure these non-sinusoidal waveforms, and that is what the harmonics analyser does.

The harmonics analyser is a hand-held device which is used to measure frequencies, amplitudes, different phases and the various components of non-sinusoidal waveforms. This instrument consists of multipliers, an input device and integrators, which are used to check the harmonics in an electrical system, ie. the electrical voltages and currents which can become distorted and hence can cause power problems in an electrical system. This enables us to quantify costs and helps to save energy usage, and hence is useful in sectors where power consumption is extensive, such as in industrial applications.     

A harmonics analyser, such as the TIS HT9023 supplied by Test Instrument Solutions, often has integrated jaws, which can be clamped around a wire or cable to measure the current, as per a standard clamp meter. This is a method often adopted by harmonics analysers to provide a system of non-contact testing and to provide the most accurate results.


The benefits of using a harmonics analyser

A high harmonics voltage can cause failure in everyday machinery and equipment, even those we see in an office environment. The harmonics analyser can carry out a detailed quality analysis of these electrical systems. This will determine the wave shapes of the current and the resulting voltage of their frequency spectrums.

So fundamentally the harmonics analyser is a very good way of providing a thorough and reliable analysis of any suspected source of harmonics voltage. The data generated by the test can be used to calculate the harmonics ratio function at a value which ranges from 0 to 100%. This ratio gives you the variation of sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal waveforms present in your system. So the resulting values indicate the presence of harmonic voltage, which can help you in the decision-making process of assessing the condition of equipment. Most importantly it can help prevent further damage and also help you save energy usage and therefore costs.

The overall benefits of using a harmonics analyser are:

  • Improve energy efficiency by identifying areas of surging current
  • Avoid damage to equipment
  • Reduce occasions of equipment breakdown
  • Identify when to replace older equipment
  • Improve operation efficiency


Please note that this section is for information purposes only. Anyone using equipment referred to in this section must be suitably qualified and/or experienced within the respective field. If in doubt before use, please consult a qualified electrician or engineer & thoroughly read all instruction booklets.

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