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The problems surrounding power conditioning and power supply are linked together. The common problem is faulty, over used power distribution systems. This is where most power quality problems arise. Some of these power quality problems include voltage spikes, power surges, and brownouts. Particularly in the high-tech centers of the world, these power quality issues have taken many victims. The recent power situation in California is a prime example of these problems.

As in a band or orchestra, it is often said; “the band is only as good as its weakest member”. This saying applies to the power distribution issues. In order to begin changing these power distribution problems, we must begin with its weakest link. These weakest links would be the electrical appliances and machinery on the consumer end. These appliances and machinery must be able to withstand power quality issues such as electrical spikes and surges as well as maintaining expected performance.

Appliances have been predominantly steady in their behavior and performance during normal conditions, where the power is a constant factor. However when the power demands have increase, appliances become victims to the more adverse power conditions. Spikes and surges can potential destroy an electrical device. Surge breakers built in or provided externally help protect against spikes and surges, but power consumption is still an issue. Brownouts may cause a device to shut down if the power input supply becomes below operating requirements of a particular electrical device. These power fluxes can cause numerous problems depending on the device affected. A common problem for the technical world would be computers and laptop. If a brown occurs and shuts your computer down, you’ve just lost your program and report that you’ve working on for hours.

In order for manufacturers to properly design against this, they need to be able to simulate these power quality issues in a controlled environment. They will need a test equipment specifically designed to generate these power quality problems. Currently, there is not a device that can accurately simulate these power quality problems. This

ECE 45125/1/2002

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