Indications of a power quality problem could be as subtle as lights dimming or momentary power outages.
Quality issues can arise from many events such as lightning strikes, the starting and stopping of heavy equipment, circuit overloads, or improper wiring. Whatever the case may be, power quality problems can be disruptive to our daily activities.
Power Quality is Important
We understand that having access to a safe and reliable supply of power is important to our customers. That’s why we endeavor to maintain a distribution grid that delivers electricity at the customer’s service entrance with consistent quality and reliability.
In cases where customers require higher reliability or security of electricity supply, other than the standard provided by Hydro Ottawa, they are responsible for their own back-up, standby facilities, or special protective equipment for their electrical devices to minimize the effects of momentary power outages, loss of a phases, circuit overloads, power surges and other disturbances.
Power quality - What is it?
Hydro Ottawa has defined the scope of power quality to include voltage limits, voltage distortion, and current distortion as measured at the customer’s service entrance.
Power quality investigations
Hydro Ottawa will respond to all power quality concerns and verify the power supply at the customer’s service entrance.
We will use appropriate industry standards as per our Power Quality Guideline (ECG0008) while maintaining power quality on the distribution system. If the source of the power quality problem is from our electricity supply, and where industry standards are not met, we will rectify the problem.
If the power quality problem lies on the customer side, the customer will be responsible for rectifying the problem.
Farm stray voltage
Customers who suspect high levels of stray voltage, also known as “tingle voltage” on farms, can request an investigation. Further details are available at hydroottawa.com/farms.
Prevention of problems
With proper wiring and grounding, most power quality problems can be eliminated.
The customers must ensure that their electricity usage or distributed energy resource facility does not adversely affect the distribution system. Customers with large non-consistent loads or a distributed energy resource facility must maintain acceptable power quality by implementing proper corrective measures, such as installing proper filtering and/or grounding or protection.
Also, the customer is to ensure that the starting current of any motor does not exceed their associated distribution supply circuit limitations. The customer can also experience voltage flicker on their secondary system if the motor(s) are supplied from a transformer bank which also supplies lighting or other sensitive equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What can I do to protect my facility and equipment from power quality disturbances?
A: What Hydro Ottawa has found through different investigations is that most problems are related to customer equipment or customer wiring issues such as grounding. Customers are encouraged to troubleshoot power quality disturbances with their electrical consultant and/or technician prior to contacting Hydro Ottawa.
Q: How do I know if I have experienced a power quality disturbance?
A: If you have experienced any of the following, you may have experienced a power quality issue:
- Lights dim or flicker,
- Computer equipment shut down or reboots,
- Equipment mis-operating,
- Circuit breakers trip without overload, or
- Automated systems stop without reason.
If you have experienced a power quality issue, please contact Hydro Ottawa’s Customer Service.
For more information, please refer to Hydro Ottawa’s Conditions of Service and/or Distribution System Voltage and Power Quality - ECG0008.