Harmonic Cancellation Within AC Low Voltage Distribution for a Realistic Office Environment: Article No. 107325

Arthur Santos, Gerald Duggan, Peter Young, Stephen Frank, Aidan Hughes, Daniel Zimmerle

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Scopus Citations


    An increase of non-linear loads, primarily from power electronics, has substantially increased current harmonics in commercial buildings, which contributes to decreased transformer efficiency / lifespan and poor power quality. This study uses recorded power consumption data from common miscellaneous electric loads (MELs) seen in offices, combined with detailed characterizations of example MELs, to simulate harmonic cancellation within building circuits. Typically, harmonic cancellation studies assume that AC converters operate across their rated power range. However, this study finds that common MELs operate below 40% of rated power the majority of the time when not quiescent; 89% of sampled devices never operated above 60% of rated power. Simulations using these more realistic power levels indicate current-harmonic cancellation ( to harmonic) is significantly lower than that predicted when using full-range power assumptions, resulting in minor errors for low-order harmonics and larger errors for higher order harmonics. Increased MELs load diversity increases harmonic cancellation, but insufficiently to eliminate errors. In contrast, blending lighting loads with MELs on the secondaries of distribution transformers improves harmonic cancellation to near those predicted by traditional methods. These results indicate that realistic power levels, as well as better characterization of harmonics from typical MELs, should be used to estimate harmonic cancellation.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems
    StatePublished - 2022

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/JA-3500-78371


    • AC converters
    • diversity factor
    • harmonic cancellation


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