Why mains voltage not perfectly sinusoidal !!!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Mohamed87, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Mohamed87

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 1, 2010
    6
    0
    Hi, I don't know if it's only the case for me, but I noticed that the mains voltage I measured in my lab (in europe - France) is not a perfect sinusoid but instead it's somehow clipped from the top and buttom (see joint figure).
    Does anyone have an idea where it might come from ?

    Thanks ! Tension_secteur_sonde_pico.png
     
  2. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
    2,647
    632
    What you are seeing is normal in a lot of places. It may well look different at different times of the day. A lot power supplies only draw appreciable current during the peaks, resulting in these flattened sine waves. This was one of the reasons the EU brought power factor rules into play back around the turn of the century.
     
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  3. Hypatia's Protege

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 1, 2015
    2,780
    1,221
    Harmonic distortion corollary to reactance, noisy loads, partial saturation of distribution transformers, etc...


    Best regards
    HP
     
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  4. Lectraplayer

    Member

    Jan 2, 2015
    77
    5
    To be specific, anything that pulls power on peaks, which includes most anything electronic. (computers, fluorescent lamps, battery chargers) I bet this would be the majority of your loads. This can do some wierd stuff to your electrical system. If you have something sensitive, you can filter the power with a choke coil.
     
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  5. Mohamed87

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 1, 2010
    6
    0
    Thanks a lot everybody for your answers, I think I understand now :) Basically, it's caused by everything that draws power essentially on peaks which gives rise to voltage drops and distortion of the form around the peaks.

    Regards,
     
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