DISTORTION AND POWER FACTOR OF NONLINEAR LOADS
Telephone: 2 155420700
Tristan A. Kneschke, P.E.
LTK Engineering Services Two Valley Square, Suite 300 5 12 Township Line Road Blue Bell, PA 19422
Facsimile: 2155427676
Email: tkneschke@ltk.com
Abstract. In recent years some electrical power utility companies have experienced a significant increase in the quantity and magnitude of nonlinear loads being connected to their systems. Loads such as fluorescent lights, rectifiers, microprocessordriven equipment, power supplies, and variable speed drives are often relatively small and well dispersed to cause a major negative impact on the power system.
However when large nonlinear loads, in the order _{o}_{f} tens _{o}_{f} megawatts, are connected to utility systems, significant harmonic voltages and currents are produced. These loads include static frequencyconvertersserving25 Hz and 16Y3Hz intercity and commuter rail systems. The converter harmonics cause increased heating of the utility and other customer equipment and can lead to system resonance. Therefore, the harmonics need to be taken into account in various system evaluations.
The difficulties in dealing with nonlinear loads encountered by
the author include the following:
Calculation of the harmonic distortion.
factor is always lower than the power factor calculated when, as often is the case, the harmonics are ignored.
In this paper the concepts of nonlinear load and harmonic are reviewed first. Subsequently, calculation of the harmonic distortion and power factor are discussed in mathematical terms and supplemented with practical examples.
1. LINEAR AND NONLINEAR LOADS
Linear loads have the following characteristics:
0
0
e
Linear loads, when connected to a system with sinusoidal voltage, draw sinusoidal currents.
The supply voltage remains sinusoidal.
Voltage and current waveforms are of the same shape and contain only fundamental frequency.
In
characteristics:
comparison,
nonlinear
loads
have
the
following
Nonlinear loads, when connected to a system with sinusoidal voltage, draw nonsinusoidal currents.
Calculation of power factor.
The IEEE method of harmonic distortion calculation is compared with an alternative method proposed in technical literature. The alternative method resolves the intuitive difficulty of visualizing harmonic distortion of over 100% when one or more of the frequencies in the harmonic spectrum
0
0
2.
The supply voltage becomes nonsinusoidal.
The voltage and current waveforms are not of the same shape and contain fundamental frequency as well as nonfundamental frequencies, socalled harmonics.
FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY AND HARMONICS
is higher than the fundamental frequency,but introduces other
difficulties, such
as understating the magnitude of distortion.
The complexity of determinationof power factor for distorted voltage and current increases as more harmonics are included in the calculation. Due to distortedwaveforms,the true power
0780355334/99/S10.006 1999JEEE
Power system analysis, design procedures, and calculation methods are developed for voltages, currents, and power demandshavingpurely sinusoidal, i.e.,undistortedwaveforms. To enable analyses and designs of systems with nonsinusoidal waveforms, the nonsinusoidal (distorted) variables must be represented by sinusoidal (undistorted) waveforms.
47
Using Fourier analysis, each periodic distorted waveform can be represented by a fundamental frequency and number of harmonics. Any required system studies can then be performed separately at each frequency and final results obtained by subsequent superposition of the results at individual frequencies.
The IEEE defies and the industry recognizes the following types of harmonics:
Characteristic harmonics or integer harmonics whose harmonic order is equal to an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency.
Noncharacteristic harmonics or noninteger harmonics whose harmonic order is equal to a noninteger multiple of the fundamental frequency. Two types of noninteger harmonics are identified:
Subharmonics  the fundamental frequency multipliers are less than I, and therefore, the harmonic frequencies are lower than the fundamental frequency.
Interharmonics  the fundamental frequency multipliers are larger than 1, and therefore, the harmonic frequencies are higherthan the fundamental frequency. The frequencies of interharmonics are between the frequencies of characteristic harmonics.
The characteristic harmonics are the conventional harmonics produced by semiconductor converter equipment in the course of normal operation. The noncharacteristic harmonics are a result of abnormal operation, and are caused by beat frequencies, demodulation, and unbalance _{o}_{f} the electrical power supply network. The noncharacteristic harmonics are are also produced by cycloconverters in the course of their normal operation.
Regardless of the harmonic type, it can be uniformly stated that all harmonics, characteristic and noncharacteristic, are potentially harmful to electrical equipment and should be limited to the lowest practical level. Harmonics add to the fundamental current already present in the equipment and increase the apparatus heating, could be a source of electromagnetic interference, and, under particularly onerous conditions may cause system resonance.
3. HARMONIC DISTORTION
IEEE Definitions
In order to quantify the level of harmonic distortion, the IEEE Standard 5 19 [ 11 defines harmonic distortion with respect to the fundamental frequency.
The Individual Harmonic Distortion (IHD) at a particular harmonic frequency is the ratio of the rootmeansquare value
(FWS)of the harmonic under consideration to the RMS value of the fundamental as shown in the following expression:
IHD =
Harmonic Frequency
Fundamental Frequency
'100
(1)
The Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) is defined as the ratio of the RMS sum of all harmonic frequencies to the RMS value of the fundamental frequency as shown below:
THD =
RMS Sum of all Harmonics Fundamental Frequency
.loo
(2)
These definitions are accepted throughout the industry and one of their advantages is their linear relationship between the magnitude of the harmonic components and the IHD or THD values. For example, it is possible to say that the value of a harmonic in a waveform with IHD _{=} _{4}_{%} is mice as high the harmonic value in another waveform with IHD = 2%.
For most nonlinear loads the magnitude of the fundamental frequency is much larger than the magnitude of any individual harmonic frequency and also much larger than the RMS sum of all harmonics. In such cases the IHD and THD are well below 100%.
Alternative Definitions
Loads such as cycloconverters have a very high content of low harmonic. For example, a 60 Hz to 25 Hz cycloconverter, such as the one used by SEPTA to supply a part of its commuter rail lines [2] produces the highest harmonics at 10 Hz, 40Hz, 110 Hz, 160 Hz. The magnitude of the 10 Hz frequency may, especially during light load conditions, exceed the magnitude ofthe fundamental frequency. In such an event, the individual and total harmonic distortion, if calculated by the IEEE method, would be higher than 100%. When expressing harmonic distortion with values over loo%, an intuitive feeling for how distorted a particular variable is may be lost. For example, when THD _{=} 130%, does it make sense to say a waveform is 130% distorted?
To avoid this disadvantage, the following alternative method for calculation of Total Harmonic Distortion was proposed [3]. The method expresses the THD relative to the RMS magnitude of the entire waveform, not relative to the magnitude of the fundamental frequency, as shown below:
~
THD =
~
RMS Sum of AN Harmonics
RMS Sum of
~~~
~
AN Frequencies
'100
(3)
This method could also be
extended
for calculation of
48
Individual Harmonic Distortion as shown in the following equation:
IEEE Limits
IHD =
Harmonic Frequency
RMS Sum of
All
.IO0
Frequencies
(4)
Using the alternative definitions,the IHD and the THD would never be above 100%. However, the linear relationship between the magnitude of the harmonic components and the resulting IHD and THD would be lost as shown in Figure 1.
It is acknowledged that the IEEE Std. 5 19 limits are severe for certain types of loads and particularly for cycloconverters. However, the approaches discussed in this paper appear to be designed to understate the distortion levels, and therefore are not recommended for general use. Instead, the following causes of action are proposed:
The IEEE Standard limits could be modified to reflect
characteristicsof various types of equipment. This can be
appropriate
accomplished
committees, task force groups, or working groups.
participation
by
at
the

s
v
2
.
Y
90
.
450.00
400.00
350.00
I
300.00
250.00
IEEE Distortion
a
1
I 
Parties associated with a particular project, including the 
I 
power utility, owner, and manufacturer, could agree that the installation will not comply with the IEEE Standard limits which, after all, are only recommendations. 
A harmonic distortion study could be performed to demonstrate that any adverse effects due to harmonic distortion will be acceptable.
5
2
FT
k
200.00
150.00
100.00
50.00
0.00
Expressions for calculatingthe Individual Harmonic Distortion and Total HarmonicDistortion for voltages and currents using the IEEE and the alternative methods are provided in the Appendix.
'' Alternative Distortion
4. POWER FACTOR
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
Magnitude of Harmonic Content
Prior to developing a method of power factor calculation for nonlinear circuits with harmonic voltages and currents, linear theory with sinusoidal variables is reviewed.
Figure 1  Relationship Between the Magnitude of the Harmonic Components and the Resulting Distortion
Calculation of Harmonic Distortion in Practice
The alternative methods of distortion calculation have one further disadvantage. Since the denominator _{o}_{f} the alternative definition (fundamental and harmonics) is always higher than the denominator in the IEEE definition (fundamental only), calculations using the alternative definition would always understate the magnitude of distortion.
Another example of harmonic distortion calculations used in practice is the method proposed in [4]. Here, the magnitude of the fundamental frequency of the waveform in the denominator is replaced with a value corresponding to the rating of a line or a supply transformer. The magnitude of harmonic distortion depends on the characteristics of the load and not on rating of the supply equipment. According to IEEE, the harmonic distortion is a measure of distortion of the fundamental waveform, and not of the equipment rating. Clearly, distortion values would not change in the event that the rating of the supply line or transformer is changed.
Linear Circuits Single Frequency Analysis
Instantaneous values of voltage and current are given by:
v(t) = Vm,sin(wt
+ a)
The
instantaneous voltage and current:
instantaneous power
demand
is
I
p(t) = v(i). i(t) =
=
Vm,sin(mt
+ a).I,,sin(cd
a
P = vm,lm,
2
cos4 = Vlcos4
product
+p)
of
_{(}_{5}_{)}
the
(7)I
_{(}_{8}_{)}
49
The apparent power is defined as:
In any circuit; hear or nonlinear, regardless of the voltage and current waveforms, the power factor is defined as a factor by which the apparent power needs to be multiplied in order to obtain the real power [5] as shown in the following equation:
_{I} P = Power Factor *S
From the foregoing equation, the power factor is equal to a ratio of real and apparent power. In linear circuits with sinusoidal voltage and current waveforms, the power factor is called displacement power factor (dPF) and is also equal to the cosine of angle between the voltage and current.
Nonlinear Circuits  Harmonic Frequency Analysis
voltage
frequency and harmonics up to the m”’order, as shown below
When
a
nonsinusoidal
containing
fundamental
v(5)= p,,Isin(wt
+Vm,3sin(3wt
+a])+Vmm2sin(2wt+a2)+
+ a3)+
+V,,,sin(mwt
+a,)
h=I
is applied to a nonlinear circuit, then the resulting current will contain fundamental frequency and harmonics up to the nth order:
The instantaneouspower is again calculatedas a productof the instantaneous voltage and current:
p(t) = v(t).i(t) =
= /VmmIsin(wt ial)+ Vm,2sin(20t
+ a2)+
+Vm,3sin(3wt 
+a3)+ +V,,,,,sin(mwt 
+am)J. 
.[I,,Isin(wt 
+PI)+Im,2sin(2wt +p2)+ 

+Im,3sin(3wt 
+p3)+ .+l,,sin(not 
+p,)J 
m
h=l
n
k=I
^{(}^{1}^{5}^{)}
Using trigonometrical expansions, assuming that a,,pk = hhk, and rewriting the above equation for Rh4S values yields the following expressions for real and reactivepower. Since these expressionsinclude harmonic terms, nomenclature for the real and the reactive power has been changed from P to SRea,and Q
to SReact:
mn
~
Defming Rh4S values of voltage and current as:
enables to write equation for apparentpower. The designation of apparent power for linear circuits S is changed to SAppfor nonlinear circuits:
The P and Q are real and reactive values of power at fundamental frequency and are corresponding directly to the P and Q values in the linear system equations (8) and (9).
The power factor is again defined as a ratio of real and apparent power. In nonlinear circuits with distorted voltage and current waveforms, the power factor is called true power
50
factor (tPF) and is no longer equal to the cosine of angle between the voltage and current.
Comparingthe equation for displacementpower factor and the equation for true power factor it can be concluded that latter power factor will always be lower.
The differencebetween the true and displacementpower factor increase with content of harmonics and can be substantial for variableswith large harmonic content.
Distortion Power
When a nonsinusoidal voltage containsfundamental frequency and harmonics up to the mth order, two sets of voltage
frequencies can be considered. One set, x = 1 
p, 
is due to the 
nonsinusoidal voltage, and the other set y = l 
q 
is due to the 
nonlinear load. Similarly, a current, containing harmonics up
to n" order, will include two sets of frequencies, x = l 
p 
due 

to the nonsinusoidal voltage, and the other set z = 1 the nonlinear load. 
r due to 
With this definition of harmonic content, power components due nonsinusoidal voltage and due to to nonlinear load can be identified and separated.
Expressions for the real and reactive power due to nonsinusoidal voltage can be written in the form of equations (16) and (1 7). Since the variables have a different harmonic content than SRea,and SReact,the nomenclature for the power expressions has been changed from SRealto Spand from S,,,,,
to s,:
I
_{I} x=I
x=I
~
I
_{I}
Frequencies due to nonlinear load, y = 1
=
I
r
q for voltages and z
for currents form socalled distortion power SD. The
distortion power is defined using the following equation:
y=I
x=l
ar
y=l
r=l
The apparent power is defined as:
~
~~
and the true power factor is:
The true power factor component are defined as follows:
s$ =
PP
v;'c I,' cos2 4xx
x=l
x=l
x=l
r=l
y=l
:=I
Field Test Example
(28)
I
A traction power substation for a light rail transit system with one transfonnerlrectifier unit rated at 1,000 kW and input voltage rating of 4.16 kV was tested using a BMI 303013060 Power Profiler measuring instrument. A short circuit was applied at the rectifier output terminals and the input voltage was increased only to a level permitting flow of full load current. Due to the fact that the load in the test circuit was
51
formed by the highly reactive transformer windings, low power factor results were expected. The magnitude of the phase voltages and currents, true and displacement power factors, as well as the total harmonic distortion data are shown in Figure 2.
POWERPROFILER SITE _{S}_{e}_{p} _{1}_{7} _{1}_{9}_{9}_{8} _{(}_{I}_{h}_{u}_{)} 

BMI 
3838 METERS 
11:29:32 AM 

Uclt.age: 
292 Urrtis 

Phase AE: 
389 
Urms 

Phase BC: 
284 
Urms 

Phase CA: 
284 
Urnis 

Imbalance: 
5,6% 

Current: 
241,3 A tli\S 

Phase A: 
141.4 A rms 

Phase 8: 
144,8 I? rms 

Phase C: 
132.5 A rms 

Imbalance: 
4,9% 

Power: 
8.83 
kW 

UOltAlbpS: 
78.61 kUA 

UA React.iwe: 
69 I 88 
kUAR 

Power Factor: 
8.12 
_{P}_{F} 
Displacement Factor: 
8,15 dPF 
Voltage THD: 
4.4%THD 
ANm Volt: 
4,4% THD 
ENm Volt: 
3.2% THD 
cth Volt: 
5.5% THD 
Current THD: 
8.1%THD 
A Current: 
8.5% THD 
B Current: 
~7%THD 
C Current: 
8.9% THD 
Figure 2 Harmonic Distortion and Power Factor Measurement
It is interesting to note that for overall voltage THD of 4.4% and current THD of 0.7% the true power factor, when harmonics are considered, is 0.12 in comparison with the displacement power factor of 0.15 at fundamental frequency. This represents a change of 25%.
Compensation of Reactive Power
Examining the above equations for various voltage and load conditions, the following four circumstances can arise:
Sinusoidal Voltages  Linear Load s, = VIcosq5 = P S, = VIsinq5 = Q
S,=O
S, can be completely compensated with capacitors and in that case tPF _{=} dPF _{=} _{1}_{.}
Sinusoidal Voltages  Nonlinear Load
P
sp= VIcosq5 =
S, = VIsinq5 = Q
S,#O
S, cannot be fully compensated by capacitors due to
Therefore,
cross products at different frequencies.
tPF< 1 even if S, is completely compensated.
0 Nonsinusoidal Voltages  Linear Load
sp = CVCICOSq5 #
S, = CVCIsin4 * Q
S,=O
S, cannot be fully compensated by capacitors due to
cross products at different frequencies. Therefore
tPF<1.
Nonsinusoidal Voltages  Nonlinear Load s, = pc1cos4 + P
P
S, = CVCIsinq5
Q
SD#o
S, and So cannot be fully compensated by capacitors
frequencies.
due to
cross
products
at
different
Therefore tPF< 1.
It should be noted that for linear and nonlinear circuits with sinusoidal voltage S, = P and S, = Q, SI, exists only for nonlinear loads, for linear loads _{S}_{o} is zero.
The above evaluation presents an interesting proposition that in systems with distorted voltages andor nonlinear load, the power factor cannot be compensated to unity with capacitors.
5.
APPENDICES
List of Symbols
a 
Voltage phase shift 
P 
Current phase shift 
4 
Difference between voltage and current phase shifts 
0 Angular velocity 1,2, 3, h, k, n, x, y, and z are harmonic frequency indexes Displacement power factor Instantaneous value of current RMS value of current for single frequency Maximum value of current Maximum value of current at fundamental frequency Maximum value of current at frequency _{2} Maximum value of current at frequency h Maximum value of current at frequency n RMS value of current at fundamental frequency RMS value of current at frequency 2 RMS value of current at frequency h RMS value of current at frequency n Individual Harmonic Distortion of current at frequency h Individual Harmonic Distortion of voltage at frequency h
52
Instantaneous value of power RMS value of real power for single frequency RMS value of real power for harmonic frequencies RMS value of reactive power for single frequency RMS value of reactive power for harm. frequencies RMS value of apparent power for single frequency Distortion power RMS value of apparent power for all frequencies RMS value of real power for fundamental frequency and all frequencies due to nonsinusoidal voltage RMS value of reactive power for all frequencies RMS value of real power for all frequencies RMS value of reactive power for fundamental frequency and all frequencies due to nonsinusoidal voltage Time Total Harmonic Distortion of current Total Harmonic Distortion of voltage True power factor Instantaneous value of voltage RMS value of voltage for single frequency Maximum value _{o}_{f} voltage Maximum value of voltage at fundamental frequency Maximum value of voltage at frequency _{2} Maximum value of voltage at frequency h Maximum value of voltage at frequency n RMS value of voltage at fundamental frequency RMS value of voltage at frequency 2
RMS value of voltage at frequency h
RMS value of voltage at frequency n
IEEE Std. 519 Definitions of Harmonic Distortion
Individual Harmonic Distortion of Voltage
IHh =&I00
”
VI
Individual Harmonic Distortion of Current
IHDI,, = k.I00
II
Total Harmonic Distortion of Voltage
(31)
(32)
(33)
Total Harmonic Distortion of Current
Alternative Definitions of Harmonic Distortion
Individual Harmonic Distortion of Voltage
ICh= I
Individual Harmonic Distortion of Current
Total Harmonic Distortion of Voltage
53
J
THDv =
Jv:+v22+vj2+
+v,2
(34)
(37)
Total Harmonic Distortion of Current
6. REFERENCES
1. IEEE Std. 519, IEEE Recommended Practices and Requirements for Harmonic Control in Electrical Power Systems, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 1992.
2.
T. Kneschke, Traction Power Augmentation _{o}_{f}
SEPTA’S Wayne Junction Converter Station, IEEE
Paper No. CH20206/84/00000007, IEEE Publication
No. 84CH20206, 1984 Joint ASME/IEEE Conference,
Chicago, 11.
3.
4.
5.
T. M. Gruzs, Uncertainties in Compliance with
Harmonic Current Distortion in Electric Power Systems, IEEE Trans. on Industry Applications, Vol. 27, No.4, July/August 1991.
R. F. Chu, J. J. Bums, Impact of Cycloconverter
Harmonics, IEEE Trans. On Industry Application, Vol. 25, No.3, MayIJune 1989.
W.
Reactive power for Nonsinusoidal Systems, Proc. IEE,
Vol. 119, No. 9, September 1972.
Zakikhani, Suggested Definition of
Shepherd, P.
7. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tristan A. Kneschke (SM82) graduated from the University of Sussex, UK, where he also received his Ph.D. Both degrees were in electrical engineering. Earlier in his career he was responsible for conducting a variety of studies and designs of power utility systems and industrial plants for clients in many countries. Since his arrival to the U.S. in 1977,. he concentrated on analyses and design activities for mainline railroads, commuter railroads, and urban transit systems.
Since joining LTK, he participated in more than
assignments of varying lengths and complexities. Currently, he is serving as a Project Manager on the OhioKentucky Indiana (OKI) Cincinnati 171 Corridor light rail transit project, the New Jersey Transit (NJT) Newark City Subway
80 project
(NCS) upgrade, the NJT Newark to Elizabeth Rail Link (NERL) light rail transit project, and on several system studies for Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. His responsibilities include studies and engineering of traction power, catenary, trolley, corrosion control, signaling, communication, and fare collection systems, as well as of light rail vehicles, yards, and shops.
His assignments for mainline railroads include work on the Northeast Corridor Improvement Project for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and a major investigation on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) into the feasibility of electrification of 10,000 miles 0fU.S. freight railroads. Also, he worked on traction power supply system designs for Michigan DOT, MissouriKansasTexas (MKT) freight railroad, and Quebec Cartier mining railroad.
Projects for commuter railroads include implementation of the first static frequency converter for traction power application on behalf of the southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), NJT’s North Jersey Coast Line electrification, and upgrade of MetroNorth Commuter Railroad Harlem _{&} Hudson lines.
Relevant transit projects include the Hennepin County Twin Cities Corridor LRT, the Walt Disney World monorail, the Portland Banfield, Westside, and Vintage Trolley, the SEPTA Broad Street Subway, and the MarketFrankford Subway/ Elevated line systems. He also performed studies and designs on the Los Angeles, Buffalo, San Diego, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light rail transit system projects.
Mr. Kneschke has numerous technical publications to his credit with topics including power supply and distribution system design, substation design, catenary system design, alternativesystemanalyses, power utility interfaces, harmonics and power quality issues, corrosion control issues, and electrification system design optimization and cost effectiveness.
He is the Chairman of Subcommittee _{N}_{o}_{.} 6 _{} Power Supply and Distribution of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA), the Chairman of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Power, Signals and Communications Committee, and he also served as the Chairman of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society‘sLand Transportation Division Executive Committee. He is a registered Professional Engineer in eight states and is a Recipient ofthree IEEE Industry Applications Society’sLand Transportation Committee and Vehicular Technology Committee Awards.
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