Ultra-low harmonic and regenerative drives for increased efficiency and reliability of processes and systems

Electrical equipment runs most efficiently and reliably when it is supplied by clean, disturbance-free electrical power. However, for various reasons, power networks are often subjected to continuous or transient electromagnetic disturbances.

The most common continuous disturbances present in many networks are harmonics, and these can have a significant effect not only on power network efficiency, but also on reliability. 

Harmonics are electromagnetic pollution on the power network

Harmonics are electromagnetic pollution on the power network, and they result in current and voltage waveform distortion. This negatively affects power networks and connected equipment. The higher the harmonic content, the higher the losses in the network and the higher the risk of connected equipment malfunction and failure. The effect of harmonics on equipment reliability can have serious implications for any electrical network, but most seriously for critical applications in facilities like hospitals, utilities and data centers.


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Harmonics negatively affect power networks and connected equipment. Read the white paper to find out how harmonics can be mitigated and how this can benefit applications that require a low harmonic content.
Read the white paper

Because harmonics can have negative effects on businesses and their applications, it’s critical to select equipment based on its power quality performance, and harmonics in particular. This also applies to drives that are installed to substantially increase process efficiency. Some drive technologies can introduce significant harmonic content to the network, resulting in poor network efficiency and reliability. To overcome harmonics, additional filtering is required, which can have its own negative effect on the network, like increased losses and poor performance at partial loads.


Arnold Taddeo, Global Head of Product Management for Drive Products at ABB, explains how the latest ultra-low harmonic drives ensure reliable operations and increase energy efficiency.

Another solution is to apply drives that simply do not generate harmonics in the first place. ABB’s ultra-low harmonic (ULH) drives are based on active front end technology with DC bus capacitors, and they produce a harmonic content that is less than 3%. In systems that require minimal harmonic content, this can lead to improved overall efficiency and contribute to process reliability.

In addition, ULH drives are available in variants that have regenerative capability. This allows energy to be recovered from system mechanics, for example, during application braking, instead of wasting it as heat through braking resistors or mechanical brakes. Because the energy is recovered and can be reused, this reduces energy consumption and costs, and improves the overall energy efficiency of the application.

This white paper discusses electrical harmonics, their sources and ULH drives / ULH drives with regenerative capability for increased process and system efficiency without compromising on reliability.

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