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Soft Starters & Harmonics


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#1 GGOSS

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 10:53 PM

Hello All,

I would very much like to hear from people who can assist with the following:

1. What is considered to be the 'typical' Total Harmonic Distorion (THD) produced by a soft starter?

2. What infomation is required to enable accurate calculation of THD for soft starter applications?

3. Has anyone experienced problems arising from Harmonic Distortion created by soft starters?

Looking forward to your responses.

Regards,
GGOSS

#2 jraef

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 06:49 AM

GGOSS,

We recently did some testing for a customer re: harmonics. We used one of our 6 SCR Phase Angle power controllers since we could hold any particular firing angle long enough to measure THD. What we found was the worst THD was found right at 50% firing angle, at about 20% current distortion, under 5% voltage. Most distortion was found in the even orders, 2nd, 4th, 6th, with some noticeable levels in the 5th and 11th. THD steadilly improved as the firing angle was advanced, and was barely detectable at 95%.

If one were to consider that most applications start at 50% initial voltage and average ramp time is under 30 seconds it is my opinion that the transient nature of the event does not warrant mitigation. I have not had anyone challenge that statement as of yet. Here in the US we are frequently required to meet IEEE 519 specifications for THD, and that spec makes no allowance for time-limited events. I still have not had a problem when I provide this description to a reasonable engineer.

This of course goes out the window when a feature such as the energy saver or voltage rebalancing is used where the SCRs firing is retarded continuously. Unfortunately since we discontinued that feature in our products I was unable to get this added to the test proceedure, so I have no hard numbers on that.
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#3 GGOSS

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 04:29 AM

Many thanks jraef, this is great information. However I would have thought that the even order harmonics created by a 6 SCR system would be very low, primarily because this gives symetrical control of both positive and negative portions of the waveform.

Are you able to comment on why the even order harmonics were so high?

Regards,
GGOSS

#4 jraef

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 06:09 PM

GGOSS,
Since we have other engineers who are more specialized in matters like this, I was not directly involved in the testing other than as a liason to the user. I did get the impression that they (the other engineering group) were a little surprised by this as well, but since "why" was not at issue for the test they did not do any further analysis.

I'll ask now.:P
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#5 marke

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 10:04 AM

Hello jraef

I am likewise very surprised to hear that you found such a high proportion of even harmonics. This is what I would expect from an SCR Diode starter, but not an SCR SCR starter. I wonder if this was a digital based design, or an older analog design. From my experience, the even harmonics are very small relative to the odd harmonics. (based on measurements made)

Best regards,

#6 sgrx

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 05:11 PM

hello all,
i am working on evaluating harmonics for a customer and was surprised to see that the service provider was requesting an in-depth analysis of the harmonics generated by two 200hp soft-starters, especially since they will only start 2-4 times a day and are equipped with bypass contactor. nonetheless, my starting point was to request information from the manufacturer that i can share with you, for a model ATS48C25Y (schneider):

The harmonics level is difficult to calculate accuratly because it`s depending on the impedance of the all installation and it varies with the motor load (power factor is not constant). The following value are average for a general case. The maximum values are

Row 5 : 20% of fundamental

Row 7 : 14% of fundamental

Row 11 : 9% of fundamental

Row 13 : 6.7% of fundamental

Other rows are negligible.

with these levels, i do not think that they will be able to respect the contengencies of the service provider, therefore needing some type of mitigation...in addititon, no even row harmonics would be generated...to be continued. regards,




#7 marke

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:55 AM

Hello sqrx

Harmonics are not usually an issue with soft starters because the harmonic burst only occurs during start.

Most service providers are only concerned about the continuous harmonics such as generated by VFDs and DC drives.

You could reduce the harmonics by applying a harmonics filter such as the Mirus Lineator.

Best regards,
Mark.




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