Causes of disturbances

We Energies strives to maintain steady-state voltage within limits established by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW). However, all electric distribution systems are subject to occasional fluctuations in voltage. These variations, even when within PSCW limits, can sometimes cause incorrect operation of certain highly-sensitive electrical equipment within your facility.

Some power quality disturbances originate from the utility system. The causes of these disturbances are generally beyond our utility's control.

Acts of nature

  • Lightning
  • Tree limb contact
  • High winds
  • Wildlife contact
  • Ice

Unforeseen events

  • Construction activities
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Equipment failure

Normal utility operations

  • Switching
  • Capacitor bank operations
  • Maintenance activities

To limit these types of power disturbances to as few customers as possible, the utility distribution system includes a number of devices such as circuit breakers, automatic circuit reclosers, buses and sectionalizers that help isolate the effect.

A large percentage of power quality disturbances actually originate from conditions within your business or industrial facility.

Customer originated disturbance

Commercial Facilities

  • Heating and cooling system motors
  • Elevators
  • Refrigerators
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Inadequate wiring and improper grounding
  • Office machines (copiers, fax machines, laser printers)
  • Overloaded circuits
  • Magnetic interference

Industrial Facilities

  • Adjustable speed drives
  • Power factor correction capacitors
  • Large electric motors
  • Emergency generators
  • Inadequate wiring and improper grounding
  • Battery chargers
  • Arc welders
  • Over-loaded circuits
  • Magnetic interference

We realize that even the smallest voltage variation can have significant implications for your business in the form of lost time, productivity and revenue. Addressing these disturbances is a common goal of We Energies and its customers.