Power quality measurement and active harmonic power in 25 kV 50 Hz AC railway systems

Seferi, Yljon and Blair, Steven M. and Mester, Christian and Stewart, Brian (2020) Power quality measurement and active harmonic power in 25 kV 50 Hz AC railway systems. Energies, 13 (21). 5698. ISSN 1996-1073 (https://doi.org/10.3390/en13215698)

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Railway electrical networks rated at 25 kV 50 Hz are characterised by significant levels of voltage and current harmonics. These frequency components are also time varying in nature due to the movement of trains and changing operational modes. Processing techniques used to evaluate harmonic results, although standardised, are not explicitly designed for railway applications, and the smoothing effect that the standard aggregation algorithms have on the measured results is significant. This paper analyses the application accuracy of standardised power quality (PQ) measurement algorithms, when used to measure and evaluate harmonics in railway electrical networks. A shorter aggregation time interval is proposed for railway power quality measurement instruments, which offers more accurate estimated results and improved tracking of time varying phenomena. Harmonic active power present in railway electrical networks is also evaluated in order to quantify the impact it has on the energy accumulated by electrical energy meters installed on-board trains. Analysis performed on 12 train journeys shows significant levels of non-fundamental active power developed for short periods of time. As an energy meter will inadvertently absorb the financial cost of non-fundamental energy produced by other trains or other external power flows, results are provided to support recommendations for future standards to measure only fundamental frequency energy within train energy measurement meters.