Electronics Industry Awards

A power analyser to meet tomorrow’s challenges

by Anoop Gangadharan, Yokogawa Europe E

ngineers working in sectors like renewable energy, electric vehicles and energy-efficient technologies

are forever striving for efficiency improvements. Devices such as solar inverters, for example, are already reaching overall efficiency levels of 90- 96 per cent and to increase the efficiency, even by a few decimal points, is a challenging and important goal. As a result, there is an ever-increasing need for even more accurate power measuring instruments that provide the necessary levels of precision to truly confirm the smallest improvements in efficiency. Other industries and application areas such as motors and drives, semiconductors, lighting and domestic appliances also have this requirement to measure power with higher levels of accuracy and stability. The need for reliability in testing to

enhance safety, efficiency and performance has never been greater. Changing application needs and evolving industry standards call for custom measurements

the harmonic superimpositions from switching circuits. Minimising the interference from this switching noise requires isolated inputs, high-speed sample rates, and measurement data gathered over long periods. In addition, motor-drive technology has

become more complex in recent years, with pure sine-wave PWM signals becoming less common.

The changing power grid In the area of power transmission and distribution, new developments such as renewable energy stations, energy-positive buildings and infrastructures mean that electricity no longer has a unidirectional flow from the power station to the consumer. With a multitude of renewable and non-renewable power stations feeding the grid, engineers in charge of ensuring a balanced grid need robust testing and accurate measurements to reduce the impact of noise, distortions and harmonics from multiple sources. Power generation stations and large consumers

measurements. With mean voltages increasingly differing greatly from the fundamental voltage waveform, harmonic measurements are also needed to establish the values of derived measurements such as active power. Similarly, addressing the challenges of measuring parameters such as energy efficiency, harmonic content and power factor require both progressively greater accuracy and consistency in measurement over the specified ranges and conditions.

A new generation These challenges are addressed in the new Yokogawa WT5000: a Precision Power Analyser that offers exceptional measurement accuracy of ±0.03 per cent combined with stability, noise immunity and plug-in modular flexibility. Seven built-in slots for user- swappable power input modules and diverse mainframe options enable users to expand or reconfigure the WT5000 as their applications and their requirements change. Key features include the ability to use

and consistent accuracy, meaning that engineers need a test and analysis platform that not only delivers reliable measurements today, but is also ready for the challenges of tomorrow.

Automotive demands In the automotive sector, for example, meeting the demands of electric and hybrid vehicles for greater charging capacity, shorter charging times, and greater travelling range requires thorough positive and negative cycle evaluations of battery charge and discharge characteristics. Similarly, tests on inverter signals need to account for

32 May 2019

also need to evaluate the effects of their power outputs and usage levels on the grid and on other users.

Reliability and versatility These developments require a versatile test platform that not only delivers reliable measurements today but is also ready for the challenges of tomorrow. Hence power measurement solutions now need to achieve accuracies that stay relevant for years to come. As pure sine-wave PWM signals become

less common in motor applications, measuring instruments need to include the ability to carry out high-frequency

Components in Electronics

5A or 30A input modules in conjunction with the split-screen touch display to compare multichannel measurements; simultaneous measurements on up to four motors; carrying out measurements under highly fluctuating input and/or load conditions; and custom measurements for added flexibility. The WT5000 also performs harmonic measurements including comparisons of two simultaneous measurements up to the 500th order. The design of the WT5000 minimises

the effects of high-frequency common- mode voltage, resulting in an excellent

CMRR (common-mode rejection ratio) characteristic. A full touchscreen interface, supported

by hardware hotkeys and powerful software for remote measurements, make connecting configuring and measuring easier than ever before. Internal memory of up to 32Gb enables the storage of large quantities of measurement data in field applications.

The availability of up to seven input

channels allows the instrument to support applications that previously could only have been measured by synchronising several separate instruments. As a result, the WT5000 offers considerable savings in installation space, communications overheads and cost-effectiveness. power-analyzers/wt5000/

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