4 Common Electrical Issues Seen In Industrial Plants

Friday, August 9th, 2019
industrial electrical - wires and fuses

Industrial plants have some of the most complicated electrical systems. If you manage a plant, you understand how vital electricity is to run it efficiently. Here are some of the most common electrical issues you may run into at your plant.

Low power factor issues

Motors and other equipment that use electromagnetism draw two different kinds of power. Real power is converted to actual work. Reactive power establishes a magnetic field but moves back and forth between the source and load without being used. The sum of both types of power is called apparent power, but they are out of phase. Because of this, a ratio of real power to apparent power must be used to measure the power factor.

The power factor is simply a measurement of how efficiently you are using electricity. There is an equation that can be used to find the power factor. But, the most important thing to know about power factor is that this measurement can show how much electrical waste your plant is dealing with. A skilled industrial electrical technician can troubleshoot and correct a low power factor in your systems.

Finding hot spots in your electrical systems

There are many components in an electrical system that can overheat. These include protection devices and distribution boards. Poor connections between parts and dust or dirt build-up can cause overheating, among other problems. An industrial electrician can often visually find spots where overheating has occurred. However, by scheduling regular inspections, the electrician can use a thermal imaging camera to detect issues sooner.

Problems with harmonics

Harmonics can be even more complicated than the power factor. In electrical systems, harmonics happen when electricity currents become distorted. If your industrial plant uses variable-speed drives, digital equipment, or automatic controls, the chances of harmonics will increase.

Power quality analyzers can measure harmonics AND power factor, so they can be vital to your plant’s operations. Ask your industrial electrician if they can use this equipment to test your systems during your regular maintenance and inspection schedule.

Decreases and imbalances with voltage

Voltage issues can be difficult to understand, but they typically include decreased or imbalanced voltages.

  • A decrease is usually caused by the installation of a conductor that is too small for a current that must travel long distances. Industrial plants are large, so this is a common problem to experience.
  • Low power factor and harmonic problems can also cause a decrease in voltage. Excessive current is a typical problem seen in plants as well.
  • Voltage imbalances can be caused by imbalanced loads, as well as motor issues like poor insulation and damaged windings.

Industrial electricians in Amarillo, Texas

If you are searching for professional Industrial Electrical installation, inspection, maintenance, and repair, Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo can help. Bolton Electric, a division of Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc., has the experience necessary to handle any electrical problem that comes your way. Call us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our services.