In power supply sectors such as data centres, healthcare, rail & marine – maintenance managers are faced with unpredictable threats of unplanned increases in power consumption, interruption to power supplies and system downtime.

These threats can carry heavy consequences in terms of spiralling costs, financial penalties, reduction in service and potentially loss of life.  Protecting systems can simply be improved if organisations are aware of the risks and use equipment which is able to provide early warning or immediate notification when problems arise.

Linetraxx power quality monitoring (PQM) units from Bender UK mitigate these risks and provide the ability to predict and prevent problems, while also reducing costs and avoiding issues caused by so-called ‘dirty’ power systems suffering from interference.

They are designed to meet the needs of customers who can’t afford failures and are available alongside Bender’s residual current monitoring (RCM) units and advanced on-line earth fault location systems to offer a complete solution to deliver robust and stable power systems.

Interference in modern power systems can result from a number of sources – frequency converters, switched-mode power supplies, uninterruptible power supply systems (UPS) and electronic ballasts.

These units distort the sine wave of the electrical power and superimpose different frequencies on it – causing the power supply to become ‘dirty’.  Systems interactions can also cause interference in neighbouring equipment.

High system availability

By employing Bender power quality monitoring (PQM) units users can ensure high availability and a power supply free from interference.

The most frequent problems result from harmonic components on the electrical supply – typically produced by other items of electronic equipment.  These ‘third order harmonics’ build up in the neutral conductor and in extreme cases the resulting current can be greater than the individual phase currents.  That leads to neutral conductor overload and if the situation goes unnoticed there can be a risk of fire.

Regulations require overload detection for the neutral conductor if an excessive load is anticipated due to harmonics, and it should ensure that a protective device trips out thereby protecting the neutral conductor.

But this safety measure simply moves the problem elsewhere – resulting in reduced availability due to frequent downtime.

Power Quality Monitoring

Bender’s monitoring equipment enables early detection of a potentially dangerous situation – allowing enough time to correct the problem without the need to shut down equipment.

Power quality monitoring is particularly effective when combined with residual current monitoring (RCM) which detects degradation in the level of insulation in an installation or component – again improving availability by signalling the problem at an early stage before safety shutdown.

Bender’s PQM device also acts as an energy meter while checking the system quality, determining the energy consumption per cost centre and reducing high overhead costs.  For example, it can determine how much energy is consumed by the measures taken to prevent system interaction, and will also show the effect of energy-saving measures on the quality of the electrical supply system.

The dual function of monitoring energy consumption and energy quality helps to reduce energy costs while at the same time delivering high availability of supply.

Comprehensive protection

Combining Bender’s RCM and PQM units provides comprehensive protection for electrical supply systems in terms of safety and efficiency:

Safety: RCM delivers continuous monitoring of the residual current to reduce the risk of fire while PQM signals overloads due to power quality issues.

Efficiency: RCM ensures power installations maintain good EMC characteristics – with no stray protective conductor currents – to deliver trouble free operation and high availability. 

Energy management and power quality monitoring (PQM) in one device and one software application enables qualified evaluation of the measures implemented and value delivered in terms of shutdowns avoided.

Structural detail is a crucial element for effective energy management and cost control in a complex installation because energy use by each cost centre and each different device must be identified.  Power Quality Management and Energy Measurement devices can identify individual faults only if the system area monitored is clearly defined.

In a typical system a Bender PEM 735 monitors the quality of the voltage for the supply, delivering high resolution logging through measurement of transients, flicker and harmonic components.

Effective Energy Management

The PEM 5 series offers advanced power quality and revenue-accurate measurements, high-resolution waveform recording capabilities, comprehensive data logging with a 4MB log memory, high speed data recording, setpoint alarms, extensive I/O and standard dual RS-485 ports and Modbus protocol support.

PEM 3 series compact universal measuring devices are positioned to replace energy meters and represent cost centres.  This effectively creates an energy management system to control overhead costs for electrical power. This type of monitoring system configuration ensures quick and straightforward analysis to locate power quality phenomena which may put the installation at risk

All measured data is collected, filtered and evaluated at a central point and can now be displayed on the Bender CP700 Condition Monitor – a new generation of gateway. For more information on Bender energy efficiency products 01229 480123 or visit