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Presentation 15.

Testing Power Quality Meters using a CMC Test Set


Reinhard Kuntner, OMICRON, Austria
indicate necessary connections. It describes the
measuring methods but does not define limit values.
Situation
Power systems are increasingly being operated at the
limits of their capacity. Concurrently an increase in nonlinear loads can be observed which have a detrimental
effect on the quality of the supply voltage. As a result,
European power systems are becoming more
susceptible to extensive and longer lasting power
outages. Rising interference levels in the power
systems combined with increasing sensitivity of
consumer's electrical systems to interference make
voltage quality an important issue for utilities and
consumers. This is why the European Regulators'
Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) has drawn up a
paper containing suggestions for CENELEC regarding
the amendment of the power quality (PQ) standard EN
50160. This paper identifies the increasing demand for
the assessment of power quality using suitable
measuring equipment.
Another aspect that is mentioned only very rarely during
this discussion is the reference testing of PQ analyzers.
The testing of energy metering (amount of energy) is
guaranteed by procedures established in various
calibration specifications. However, there are currently
no binding rules regarding measures enabling a reliable
calibration chain for equipment verifying the quality of
energy supply. Nevertheless, there is growing demand
to verify the capability and reliability of PQ meters to
detect harmonics, flicker phenomena, voltage
unbalances and voltage sags. Consumers are
demanding from their suppliers both an accurate
measure of the quantity and an acceptable quality of
the delivered energy. This article introduces a quick and
easy method for testing power quality monitoring
devices using an OMICRON CMC 256 test set with the
new PQ Signal Generator software module.

The standard IEC 61000-4-30 is part of an EMC


standard and describes two device classes. Class A is
to be used if accurate measurement is required, e.g. for
applications that are relevant to contracts, for standard
conformity certifications in case of dispute, etc. Class B
devices can be used, for example, for statistical
investigations, trouble-shooting purposes and other
applications that do not require extreme accuracy. The
subject of IEEE 1159 is "Recommended Practice for
Monitoring Electric Power Quality"
The standard EN 50160 describes the characteristics of
the supply voltage within public power systems.
EN 50160 is not an EMC standard, but describes the
expectable voltage quality in Europe.

Power quality characteristics (voltage quality)


Power frequency (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.1)
PQ meters should display the frequency every 10
seconds. The frequency is determined by dividing the
number of integer cycles by the cumulative duration of
these cycles. The number of cycles and the cycle
duration are determined from the zero crossings.
Example: 499 complete cycles within a time period of
9.996 seconds result in a frequency of 499/9.996 =
49.92 Hz.
Voltage Magnitude (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.2)
This parameter is determined by measuring the t.r.m.s.
value (true root mean square, includes harmonics, DC
components, etc.) over a period of 10 cycles (50 Hz) or
12 cycles (60 Hz).

Standards

Flicker (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.3 IEC 61000-4-15)

When considering Power Quality, primarily the


standards IEC 61000-4-30 (2003) and EN 50160 (1994)
are applicable. The corresponding ANSI standard is
IEEE 1159.

Periodic voltage variations occurring with a frequency


between 0.005 Hz and 35 Hz lead to changes in
brightness of lighting equipment that, depending on
their intensity and dimension, can influence the
subjective feeling of well-being and therefore indirectly
influence human health and capability. The
instantaneous value of the flicker is represented using
the "perceptibility unit" P. A weighted averaging of this
value over different periods in time delivers the typical
10 minute value Pst for perceptibility (short-term value).
A Pst value of 1 is the threshold of perception. The
long-term value Plt (usually 2 hours) is composed of a
weighted averaging of 12 Pst values.

The standard IEC 61000-4-30 defines the measurement


methods and the interpretation of results for PQ
parameters on 50/60 Hz power supply systems. This
includes the voltage and the current, however, the focus
is on the voltage; additional current measurements are
considered to be useful, particularly to find out the
causes of mains disturbances. The standard specifies
the functionality of measuring devices but does not

OMICRON electronics GmbH 2007 International Protection Testing Symposium

Presentation 15.2

Fig. 1: Sinusoidal modulation with 8.8 Hz and V/V=10%

Fig. 3: Periodic transient voltages (notches)

Voltage unbalance (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.7)

Fig. 2: Rectangular modulation with 2 Hz and V/V=10%

Voltage dips and swells (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.4)


A voltage dip is characterized by two parameters: the
undershooting of a defined limit value (usually between
70 and 90 % of the nominal value) and the duration of
this undershooting. The voltage dip event ends as soon
as the voltage value returns above the limit value plus
hysteresis (typically 2 % of the nominal voltage). This
correspondingly applies for voltage swells.

In the case of voltage unbalance, a negative sequence


component and / or a zero sequence component exists
in addition to the positive sequence. The voltage
unbalance is defined as the ratio of negative
sequence to positive sequence or zero sequence to
positive sequence shown as a percentage.
Voltage harmonics (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.9 IEC 610004-7)
The standard refers to devices for measuring spectral
components up-to 9 kHz but explicitly demands a range
up to the 50th harmonic. Harmonics are integer
multiples of the fundamental frequency.

Voltage interruption (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.5)


Voltage interruption is characterized by two parameters:
the undershooting of a defined limit value (e.g. 5 % of
the nominal value) and the duration of this
undershooting. The voltage interruption event ends as
soon as the voltage value rises above the limit value
plus hysteresis (typically 2 % of the nominal voltage).
Voltage transients (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.6)
This applies to voltage transients (notches) in lowvoltage systems. Current transients are also of interest,
since they are often the cause of transient voltage
variations. Compared to the cycle duration, the duration
of transient processes is short or very short. Defining
specific signal shapes based on the standard is difficult,
but voltage transients can be characterized by the
following: frequencies up to 10 MHz with small
magnitudes and durations up to 200 s or up to 1 MHz,
with higher magnitudes and durations up to 2 ms.
Voltage and current peaks can reach 6 kV or 5 kA.
Typical transients are small periodic notches with a
duration of 1 - 2 ms, caused by thyristor circuits.

Fig. 4: 5th harmonic at 10 % superimposed on to a 50 Hz sine


wave

Voltage interharmonics (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.9


IEC 61000-4-7)
Interharmonics are spectral components of a frequency
between two consecutive harmonics. The 5 Hz distance
of the spectral lines for analysis and representation of
interharmonics is the inverse value of the time slot
length of 200 ms used for the fast-Fourier transform
(FFT).

AF remote control signals (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.10)


Here, an audio-frequency carrier is superimposed to the
50 / 60 Hz sine wave (an interharmonic of e.g.
316.67 Hz). In contrast to the interharmonic function,
the PQ meter should not scan the entire spectrum for

OMICRON electronics GmbH 2007 International Protection Testing Symposium

Presentation 15.3

interharmonics but deliberately search for the specific


signal of a known audio frequency and determine its
magnitude.

Fig. 5: 473.75 Hz at 7 % superimposed to 50 Hz sine wave

higher accuracy than the guaranteed maximum error of


0.05 %, particularly for higher voltages (100 V, 230 V).
After calibration, the measuring errors are normally in
the range of 0.002 to 0.005 % which are clearly lower
than 0.01 % (under specified temperature conditions).
In the end, it is left to the user to assess the suitability of
a CMC test set for calibration purposes and, if
necessary, to provide suitable measures such as
traceability of calibration and shorter calibration
intervals for the test set. The CMC 256 (EP or plus) is
not suitable for the calibration of current measuring
channels for harmonics of a higher order, without
simultaneous comparison measurement and a
corresponding adjustment value correction.

Rapid voltage change (IEC 61000-4-30; 5.11)


Rapid voltage changes are fast transitions of the r.m.s.
(root mean square) value from one steady voltage level
to another. Suitable thresholds have to be defined:
minimum rate of change, minimum duration of steady
state, minimum difference between the two steady
states and constancy of the steady states. The
thresholds for the RMS values are always within the
limits for a voltage dip or swell.
Positive or negative voltage deviation (IEC 61000-4-30;
5.12)
In Europe, very little attention is paid to this criterion. It
defines positive or negative deviations of the mains
voltage from the defined nominal values. A mainly
positive deviation of the mains voltage can influence the
lifetime of operating components and lead to
undesirable high energy consumption.

Testing and calibrating power quality meters using


only one signal source
Using a sufficiently accurate signal source, such as a
CMC test set, is the only feasible way to test the
measuring functions of a PQ meter. A simple
verification of the functions, for the purpose of a
plausibility check, does not make great demands
regarding the accuracy of the signal source. However,
accuracy five times higher has to be provided by the
test equipment for calibration purposes. The following
table shows a comparison of the accuracy requirements
stated in IEC 61000 and the specifications of the test
set CMC 256-6 EP (Extended Precision) respectively its
successor CMC 256plus. Reference is made to PQ
meters of Class A.
Comparing the required accuracy for "voltage
magnitude" with the guaranteed values of a
CMC 256plus delivers a ratio of 2:1. A comparison
against the typical values of a CMC 256 (EP or plus)
delivers a ratio of 5:1. It has to be observed that, in
practice, newly calibrated CMC 256 test sets provide far

OMICRON electronics GmbH 2007 International Protection Testing Symposium

Presentation 15.4

Relevant standards / test object specification


Characteristic
EN 50160
Frequency

Range
synchronous to transm. network:
49.5 50.5 Hz (99.5%)
47 52 Hz (100 %)
not synchronous
49 51 Hz (95 %)
42.5 57.5 Hz (100 %)
Range
Four-wire systems
230 V L-N
Three-wire systems
230 V L-L
Range
Plt 1 during 95 % of a period of
one week

Voltage

Flicker

Plt = 3
Voltage drops and swells

P12
12

sti

i =1

No. of dips per year "between some


10 and 1000". Most of them shorter
than 1s, depth of the dip < 60 %.
Swell: VL-N can reach the value of
V L-L (up to 440 V). In MS systems
1.7 2 times the supply voltage.
Short interruptions:
some 10 up to some 100 per year,
t < 1 s in 70 % of all occurrences.
Long interruptions:
< 10 to 50 with duration t >3 min.
up to 6 kV and 1 s rise time

Voltage interruptions

Transient voltages

IEC 61000-4-30

Signal source specification


CMC 256plus
Suitability

Meas. value over period of 10 s


Accuracy
0.01 Hz

Range
10 3 kHz
Accuracy
1.5 ppm (10 .. 100 Hz)

Measured quantity
RMS value over 10 cycles
Accuracy
0.1 %

Range
0 300 V
Accuracy
0.05 %,
0.02 % typically
Range
Pst = 0 20+ (Pst >100)
Accuracy
not applicable

Range
Pst = 0 20
Accuracy
5 % at Pst=1
(Pst = Flicker intensity over a period
of 10 minutes)

9
9
9

Measured quantity
RMS value over 1/2 cycle
Accuracy
0.2 %

Range
0 300 V
Accuracy
0.05 %,
0.02 % typically

Measured quantities
RMS value over 1/2 cycle

Range
0 300 V
Accuracy
0.05 %, typically 0.02 %,
duration < 300 - 500 s
Range
0 3.1 kHz
0 300 V

9
8

Accuracy
Duration < 2 cycles
up to 10 MHz and 6 kV
Accuracy
not stated

9/8

(cyclic notch)

9
Voltage unbalance

0 2% (in rare cases up to 3%)


negative sequence component in
95 % of the measured values of a
period of 1 week.

Voltage harmonics and


interharmonics

Max. permitted harmonic content


acc. to table 1 of EN 50160
(defined up to 25th harmonic)
Voltage interharmonics are currently
discussed. For MS, table 2 and the
following applies:
THD < 8%, calculated from the 2nd
to 40th harmonic
Not treated

Current harmonics and


interharmonics

Range
1 - 5 % U0 or U1 of Unom
Accuracy
0.15 % for negative and zero
sequence system with regard to the
positive sequence system
Range
2nd 50th harmonic
Accuracy
Umeas 1% Unom 5% Umeas
or
Umeas < 1% Unom 0.05% Unom

Accuracy
0.05 %,
0.02 % typically
(accuracy of symmetrical
components corresponds to
accuracy of natural system)
Range
2nd - 60th harmonic1 (50 Hz)
2nd - 50th harmonic1 (60 Hz)

Range
2nd 50th harmonic

Range
2nd 60th harmonic (50 Hz)
2nd 50th harmonic (60 Hz)
Accuracy
Strongly depends on the load.
Therefore inaccurate,
particularly in case of
harmonics of higher order (no
error correction)
Range
up to 3 kHz

Accuracy
Imeas 3 % Inom 5% Imeas or
Imeas < 3 % Inom 0.05% Inom

AF remote control signals

Reference is made to the frequency


range between 95 kHz and
148.5 kHz with signal voltages up to
1.4 V.
(See also Fig. 1 and 2 of EN 50160)

Slow voltage change

Rapid voltage change


(within the defined limits of a dip or
swell)

Number of voltage deviations


(positive and negative)

10 % Unom (95 % of all 10 min.


periods of one week)
+10 % /-15 % Unom
(100 % of all 10 min. periods of one
week)
5 % Unom (normally; 10 % under
specific circumstances).
If < 90 % Unom, this is considered as
a supply voltage dip.
(Applies to low-voltage, for
MS 4 6 %)

Not treated

Range
up to 3 kHz
Accuracy
7% of meas. value
min. threshold value 0.1 % Unom
up to acquisition length of 120 s
Not treated

Accuracy
typ. < 1 % up to the 60th
harmonic

Accuracy
typically
< 1 % up to 3 kHz

9
9
8

(21. 50.
harmonic)

9 (2. 20. harm.)

9
9

Definition
Fast transition between two steady
states.
Parameters
Rate of change and
difference between the two steady
states.
Accuracy
not stated
Definition
Number of positive and negative
deviations per interval.
Accuracy
not stated

CMC software
Ramping function provides
highly accurate adjustment of
the rate of change.
Accuracy (V)
0.05 %,
0.02 % typically

CMC software
The sequential structure
allows the definition of a
voltage behavior with any
number of positive or
negative deviations.
Accuracy (V)
0.05 %, typically 0.02 %
1) Requires special calibration of a CMC 256-6 NET-1.
For a CMC 256plus generation of harmonics up to 3
kHz is a standard feature. Standard CMC 156 or 256-6
have a frequency range up to 1000 Hz.

Table 1: Requirements given by the standards showing the suitability of the CMC 256plus

OMICRON electronics GmbH 2007 International Protection Testing Symposium

Presentation 15.5

The PQ Signal Generator software module


The PQ Signal Generator module is offered as an
option for the Test Universe software version TU 2.20.
This TU version is already available as a beta version,
but the official release is scheduled for mid September
2007. Like the earlier State Sequencer software
module, this module allows the definition of test
sequences. The difference is that the PQ Signal
Generator allows the repetition of individual parts of the
test sequence in loops as often as desired. If the test
object provides a binary output, the module allows an
automatic assessment of the test results. If not, manual
assessment can be performed. For the purpose of
manual assessment, the test can be paused for a short
time using special Assessment states. During these

Assessment states, the nominal voltages are


continuously output to the test object. Currently the
module supports the three-phase output of voltages but
not of currents. The PQ Signal Generator test module
provides the following 4 views:

Test View
Detail View
Time Signal View
Report View

Note: The following screen shots show the English user


interface. 11 user interface languages are available.

Fig. 6: Overall view of the PQ Signal Generator software module: Test View, Detail View, Report View and Time Signal View (top left to
bottom right)

Test View
The Test View is used to combine the individual test
states to a test sequence. One individual state is
available for each parameter defined in IEC 61000-430. Several states can be combined in groups that can
be executed multiple times. The test sequence can be
completed by Wait and Assessment states. During both

states, the nominal values are continuously output to


the test object. Wait states can be used e.g. to perform
settings on the PQ meter or to define new subsequent
test steps. This is a unique feature throughout the Test
Universe software. Assessment states are used to
perform a manual assessment after the execution of
one or more test states. It is also possible to execute
the entire test sequence several times.

OMICRON electronics GmbH 2007 International Protection Testing Symposium

Presentation 15.6

converted to the values Pst and Plt, if the voltage


variation stays constant over the averaging period.
The values for Pst and Plt are obtained by
weighted averaging (10 minutes or 2 hours). The
calculated Pst values for the corresponding f/V
value pairs are given in the online help of the
module. The deviation is delivered by a comparison
with the value displayed on the flicker meter. The
averaging function of the Plt value can be tested by
combining a row of 12 subsequent Pst values
(blocks of 10 minutes).
3

Fig. 7: Test View with a list of different test states

lt

P12
12

sti

i =1

Detail View for the individual state types

Frequency: Starting with the nominal frequency,


the frequency value is changed with an adjustable
rate of change and then returns to its original value.

Fig. 10: Flicker, sinusoidal modulation

Voltage drop and swell: Starting with the nominal


voltage, undershooting and overshooting of a limit
value is simulated. The duration and rate of change
can be adjusted.

Fig. 8: Frequency variation

Voltage magnitude: Measuring the RMS value of


the voltage magnitude is usually performed over a
period of 10 cycles (200 ms). A variation can be
defined to test the integrator function. The output
time is always 200 ms or multiples of it.

Fig. 11: Voltage dip below a trigger threshold

Fig. 9: Voltage signal with varying magnitude

Flicker: The module supports rectangular and


sinusoidal modulation. The parameters to be
defined are the voltage variation (in % of the
nominal voltage) and the flicker frequency. For this
purpose, the values in tables 1 and 2 of IEC 610004-15 (each specified for one perceptibility unit of
the instantaneous flicker intensity) can be easily

Fig. 12: Voltage swell above a trigger threshold

Voltage interruption: Simulates an undershooting of


a minimum value using the same parameters as for
a voltage dip.

OMICRON electronics GmbH 2007 International Protection Testing Symposium

Presentation 15.7

Fig. 13: Voltage interruption, undershooting of a limit value


Fig. 16: Voltage harmonics

Voltage transients: Using this state, it is possible to


simulate transient voltage notches (in practice, they
are caused by commutation currents). The depth,
duration and point of inception can be adjusted.

Voltage interharmonics (and AF remote control


signals): It is possible to output values up to 3 kHz.

Fig. 17: Voltage interharmonics


Fig. 14: Voltage notches (transients)

Voltage unbalance: The voltage unbalance can be


adjusted in the natural system or by defining the
symmetrical components, either as absolute values
or relative to the positive sequence component.

Rapid voltage change: This is a transition from one


steady voltage level to another with a specific rate
of change. Both values must be within the preset
tolerance otherwise a voltage dip or swell would
result.

Fig. 15: Voltage unbalance

Fig. 18: Rapid voltage change

Voltage harmonics: Harmonics of the 2nd up to the


50th order (at 50 Hz) can be set either with
absolute values or in percent of the nominal
voltage with a phase shift against the fundamental.

Wait state: This state can be used to pause the


test, e.g. in order to display an instruction. During
this state, the nominal voltage is output.

OMICRON electronics GmbH 2007 International Protection Testing Symposium

Presentation 15.8

traces that could, if available, represent an alarm


contact.

Fig. 19: Wait state with displayed instruction

Assessment state:

Fig. 22: Time Signal View with voltage swell

Summary

Fig. 20: Assessment of a group of test states

Test progress: During the execution of the test


sequence, a window is displayed showing
information about the general progress of the test,
the remaining time until the next assessment and
until the test end.

Using the PQ Signal Generator test module, testing


power quality analyzers can be performed considerably
faster and more easily than before. Using this software,
tests with automatic or semi-automatic test execution
can be integrated with an automatically created test
report for the first time. The three-phase output of the
signal types flicker, voltage transients (notches) and
voltage interharmonics enabled by this test module are
novel features. Up to now, the testing of PQ functions
required large investments in hardware and software.
When considering the weight and portability of the test
equipment, using only a CMC 256 with the new PQ
Signal Generator test module is a compelling alternative
to conventional signal generators, the three-phase
versions of which can in practice only be used in
laboratories.
Literature
[1] Spannungsqualitt
in
elektrischen
Netzen
Dirk Blume, Jrgen Schlabbach, Thomas
Stephanblome; VDE-Verlag, ISBN 3-8007-2265-8
[2] EN 50160 Merkmale der Spannung in ffentlichen
Versorgungsnetzen
[3] IEC 61000-4-30 EMC - Testing and measurement
techniques, Power Quality measurement methods
[4] IEC 61000-4-7 EMC - Testing and measurement
techniques, General guide on harmonics and
interharmonics measurements and instrumentation,
for power supply systems and equipment
connected thereto

Fig. 21: Window displaying the test progress

Time Signal View: The Time Signal View displays


the resulting analog signal together with the binary

[5] IEC 61000-4-30 EMC - Testing and measurement


techniques, Flickermeter Functional and design
specifications

OMICRON electronics GmbH 2007 International Protection Testing Symposium