Project Info

Project Title 
Guidebook on Power Quality Guidelines for Energy Saving Products
Project Number 
Project Year(s) 
2005 - N/A

This project's goal is to develop information to help California industries to understand the power quality issues associated with energy-saving products so they can use these devices properly and minimize equipment disruptions due to power quality side effects.

Electric motors account for more than half of total energy usage in the industrial sector. Several types of technology are used to reduce the energy consumption of motors, including adjustable speed drives, motor voltage controllers, power factor correction capacitors, energy efficient motors, and, in some cases "black-box" type devices that claim considerable energy savings potential. Many California industries lack the information to understand the energy savings potential claimed by a number of "black box" type devices. In addition, the use of some energy-savings products may cause equipment to misoperate due to incompatibility of the device and the equipment. This has, in some cases, caused a negative perception among users regarding application of energy savings products.

By developing practical guidelines for these energy saving products, this project will help users to apply these devices while avoiding power quality problems. This will remove one of the barriers in the application of energy savings products by California industries.

This project supports the PIER program objectives of:
• Improving the Reliability/Quality of California's Electricity by developing knowledge and tools to avoid solve power quality problems that cause equipment failures and process disruptions.
• Improving the Energy Cost/Value of California's Electricity by reducing process inefficiency associated with power quality disturbances.

Proposed Outcomes:
1. Identify the power quality issues and their characteristics related to energy saving products, focusing mainly on energy savings measures for motors and lighting.
2. Identify the characteristics of "black-box" type energy savings products and, based on literature searches and prior testing conducted by EPRI, evaluate the potential for energy savings.
3. Develop guidelines for the application of energy saving products to minimize equipment misoperation as a result of power quality problems.

Actual Outcomes: The project team identified the characteristics of power quality issues related to energy-saving products, developed guidelines for minimizing power quality impacts, and created tools for evaluating energy-saving claims from black box energy-saving devices. EPRI delivered a report, Power Quality Guidelines for Energy Saving Products, to the Commission. This information will help remove one of the barriers to application of energy-saving devices by California industries, and enable users to apply these products without power quality impacts.

Status: The project is complete.