You are on page 1of 8

Power Quality

Training Courses

Voltage fluctuations/flicker

LPQIVES is co-finaced by:

LPQIVES is a programme of:

LPQI is part of:
Module 3

Voltage fluctuations/flicker

Voltage fluctuations are the specific type of electromagnetic disturbances as their main effect – the
phenomenon of light flicker – appears in the form of a negative direct influence on the human
organism. Light flicker is the subjective sensation of variations in the luminous flux, whose
luminance or spectral distribution fluctuates with time. Moreover, voltage fluctuations are the
reason of adverse effects of technical and economic nature.

1.1 General aims

The seminar describes the flicker phenomenon and discusses the sources of voltage fluctuations
and their effects. It presents methods for analysis, measurement and limitation of voltage
fluctuations in electric power networks. It describes the current state of standardization of the
phenomenon in the light of international and national rules, and particularly considers the problems
that are important for contracts closed between energy suppliers and consumers.

1.2 Target groups

This module’s target group are mainly:
− end-users of equipment
− designers
− installers or contractor of installations
− electric networks operators
− equipment sellers and services providers in the electricity sector.


The pathway of learning consists of a 2 days course, subdivided in sections (with different
duration), with these contents and related aims.

1st day
Contents Introduction, Basic terms and definitions, Description of the disturbances, Sources of
voltage fluctuations
Effects of voltage fluctuations
Measuring methods and instrumentation
Aims Supplying knowledge concerning theoretical basics of disturbances, its sources, effects,
and methods of assessment by means of measuring
2nd day
Contents Standardisation of voltage fluctuations, flickermeter – emission and immunity tests,
customer connection requirements (responsibility of the supplier, and the customer),
measurement and assessment of voltage fluctuations
Aims Supplying knowledge concerning principles of measuring, contract formulation. Use of
the obtained knowledge to analysis and solving problems related to voltage fluctuation
(ASD, wind generation), and to practical measurements in laboratory.

Below there’s a detailed overview of the course contents.
2.1 Pathway of learning flow chart

Time progression

First day:

60 mins Participants registration - Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza, Kraków Pawilon B1, sala


5 mins Openning, informations, course introduction, course introduction

55 mins Section 1: Introduction

− Basic terms and definitions
− Description of the disturbances
− Sources of voltage fluctuations (arc furnaces, induction motors etc.)
− Effects of voltage fluctuations (influence on human organism, light sources,
other equipment)
Modality: Lesson and discussion

60 mins Mitigation of voltage fluctuations (general considerations, synchronous

compensator, static compensators - SVC)
Modality: Lesson and discussion

15 mins Coffee break

60 mins Section 2: Measuring methods and instrumentation (flickermeter, measured

flicker severity)
Modality: Lesson, computer laboratory and discussion

Second day:

45 mins Section 3: Standardisation of voltage fluctuations (general considerations,

compatibility levels, emission of voltage fluctuation, immunity levels, connection
of disturbing customers in MV and HV systems, voltage fluctuations in national
Modality: Lesson and discussion

45 mins Static compensators

Modality: Laboratory and discussion

15 mins Coffee break

60 mins Section 4: Flickermeter – emission and immunity tests

Modality: Laboratory and discussion

60 mins Customer connection requirements (responsibility of the supplier and the

− Case study 1 - ASD
− Case study 2 - wind generation
Modality: Lesson and discussion

15 mins Coffee break

60 mins Section 5: Measurement and assessment of voltage fluctuations

Modality: Laboratory and discussion

30 mins Final discussion and conclusions, End of the course, user satisfaction survey
(user’s questionnaire),
Confirmations of attendance


− each day there will be two coffee breaks according to the seminar program;
− at the beginning of the course the lecturer will explain course aims and at the end he will verify
their fulfilment;
− the course will be divided in theoretical and practical sections;
− at the end of the lessons, a user satisfaction survey will help the lecturer in monitoring the course


Teaching methods are summarized in three main moments:

− knowledge transfer (Lesson)

topics exposure by the lecturer with the help of slides and presentation of practical cases;
− deepening/learning verification (Discussion)
general discussion stimulated by the lecturer (also during the lesson) to verify knowledge
− practical training, laboratory activities; group work

During all the sections, the lecturer will always attend, with teaching and/or activity coordination


The didactic tools which will be used by the lecturers will be:
− Blackboard
− Video-projector
− Notebook
− Microphone

The lecture room will be suitable to allow the use of all the above listed didactic tools and to enable
group work for the attendants.

Each user will receive, during the registration, a folder containing:

− course program;
− lecture notes containing all or part of the lecture slides;
− LPQIVES knowledge database access personal key.

All this didactic material, and eventually some additional electronic tools, will be available also in
electronic format at:

The folder will also include a user satisfaction questionnaire and a knowledge test (which will be
both filled and submitted at the end of the course).


The following (on the basic level) shall be prerequisite for the participant:
− electric circuits theory: AC circuits
− electric machines
− electric power engineering; power system
− power electronics
electric metrology.


The knowledge acquired during the course should be sufficient for:

− identification of the distortion nature

− distortion source identification
− disturbance assessment by means of measuring
− evaluation of technical and economic effects of disturbance
− proposing remedial measures
formulation of contract between the supplier and consumer of electric power on the basis of the
existing standards and regulations.


1. PR-00011, McGranaghan, M, Economic evaluation of power quality, IEEE Power
Engineering Review, 01/02/2002
Facility managers and utility engineers must evaluate the economic impacts of the power quality
variations against the costs of improving performance for the different alternatives.
2. PR-00020, Gurney, J, Hughes, B, Li, C, Neilson, B, Xu, W, Virtual PQ troubleshooter,
IEEE power & energy magazine, may/june 2003
The authors describe a prototype instrument that locates the sources of power quality disturbances and
is geared toward power system troubleshooting and management.

3. REP-00002, 2004, 1-9 Power Quality Glossary, Application note
The glossary of main technical terms used in PQ
4. REP-00017, 2003, 5-1-4 Voltage fluctuation - flicker, Application Note
Extended application guide on flicker. Causes, effects, measurement, mitigation.
5. REP-00018, 2003, 5-2-2 Annex - Monitoring Instruments, Application Note
PQ monitoring instruments available on the market - comparison
6. REP-00019, 2003, 5-2-2 Voltage disturbance monitoring, Application Note
Application guide about basics of monitoring equipment. Standards
7. REP-00020, 2003, 5-2-3 Flicker measurement, Application Note
Extended application note about flicker measurement - principle, calibration.
8. REP-00021, 2002, 5-3-3 Dip resilient variable speed drives, Application Note
Application note about different methods of voltage dip mitigation.
- Effects of voltage dips and short supply interruptions
- Methods of voltage dips effects mitigation
9. REP-00023, 2003, 5-3-5 Flicker case study, Application Note
Arc furnace produces flicker. How to mitigate?
10. REP-00024, 2003, 5-3-6 Mitigation of voltage unbalance, Application Note
Unbalance standards, limits, symmetrization - examples (calculations)
- Standardization
- Principles of compensation and symmetrization
- Static compensators
11. REP-00109, 2003, Voltage fluctuation in electric supply system. Application note no.
7, Application note
Voltage fluctuations in the electric supply system - subjects:
1. What are voltage fluctuations?
2. Effects of voltage fluctuations
3. Causes of voltage fluctuations
4. Calculation of the flicker indices
5. Voltage fluctuation standards and planning levels
6. Reducing the effects of voltage fluctuations
12. REP-00125, 2002, Specification guidelines to improve power quality immunity and
reduce plant operating costs, Paper
There are many useful IEEE and IEC standards that support the design of chemical and petrochemical
plants. This article brings relevant Power Quality standards information together and provides
recommendations in areas not yet covered in current standards. Circuit configurations for cost saving
solutions are provided.
13. REP-00144, 1996, Guide to quality of electrical supply for industrial installations.
PART 1: Types of disturbances and relevant standards, Brochure
(Document available in the library of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
1. Scope
2. Introduction to the concept of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
2.1. Definition of EMC
2.2. Basic concepts
2.3. Compatibility, emission and immunity levels
2.4. The concept of electromagnetic environment
3. Types of disturbances, origins and effects
3.1. General classification
3.2. Harmonics
3.3. Interharmonics
3.4. Voltage fluctuations
3.5. Voltage dips and short (supply) interruptions
3.6. Voltage unbalance - asymmetry
3.7. Power frequency variations
3.8. Transient overvoltages
3.9. Mains siganlling
3.10. Reference to HF conducted and LF and HF radiated disturbances
4. Coordination strategies among the involved parties
4.1. Evaluation of the disturbance emission level
4.2. Immunity of equipment
4.3. Mitigation techniques
4.4. Prediction studies for installation requirements
4.5. An approach to measurement criteria
5. Main standards and othter EMC publications
5.1. Recent developments in the approach to evaluating EMC coordination
5.2. Relevant EMC standards on EMC
5.3. CENELEC and national EMC standards and publications
5.4. Relevant publication from other international bodies dealing with EMC
6. Glossary of terms and definitions
7. Abbreviations
8. References
Appendix A. Disturbance compatibility levels in figures
A-1. Electromagnetic compatibility levels for low-, medium- and high-voltage public distribution networks
A-2. Electromagnetic compatibility levels for indoor industrial plants
14. REP-00146, 2000, Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and
interruptions: 1. Overview of power quality and power quality standards, Book
Chapter 1 of the book "Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and interruptions" (IEEE
Press, ISBN 0-7803-4713-7)
Interest in power quality
Power quality, voltage quality
Overview of PQ phenomena
PQ and EMC standards
15. REP-00149, 2000, Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and
interruptions: 4, Voltage sags - Characterization, Book
Chapter 4 of the book "Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and interruptions" (IEEE
Press, ISBN 0-7803-4713-7)
Voltage sag magnitude
Voltage sag duration
Three-phase unbalance
Phase-angle jumps
Magnitude and phase-angle jumps for three-phase unbalanced sags
Other characteristics of voltage sags
Load influence on voltage sags
Sags due to starting of induction motors
16. REP-00150, 2000, Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and
interruptions: 5. Voltage sags - Equipment behavior, Book
Chapter 5 of the book "Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and interruptions" (IEEE
Press, ISBN 0-7803-4713-7)
Computers and consumer electronics
Adjustable-speed AC drives
Adjustable-speed DC drives
Other sensitive loads
17. REP-00151, 2000, Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and
interruptions: 6. Voltage sags - Stochastic assessment, Book
Chapter 6 of the book "Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and interruptions" (IEEE
Press, ISBN 0-7803-4713-7)
Compatibility between equipment and supply
Presentation of results: voltage sag coordination chart
Power quality monitoring
The method of fault positions
The method of critical distances
18. REP-00152, 2000, Mitigation of interruptions and voltage sags, Book
Chapter 7 of the book "Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and interruptions" (IEEE
Press, ISBN 0-7803-4713-7)
Overview of mitigation methods
Power system design - redundancy through switching
Power system design - redundancy through parallel operation
The system-equipment interface