25 June 2019 : Interview with Ken Sakai, Research Engineer, Hioki E.E Corporation, talks to us more about Power Quality Analyzer PQ3198

Power Quality Analyser PQ3198 

Hioki has launched the Power Quality Analyzer PQ3198, a new instrument that revamps the functionality and specifications of its predecessor, the Power Quality PW3198. The product  makes it even easier to record and analyse power supply issues, including by eliminating the need for a dedicated sensor power supply and by enabling power and efficiency measurement of 2 circuits.

Leading industry magazine Industrial Automation Asia had recently interviewed Ken Sakai, Senior Research Engineer of Hioki E.E Corporation, who had told us more about the company’s latest innovation, Power Quality Analyzer PQ3198. Below are his replies.

 Highlights of the PQ3198… 

When there are many events to record, making settings can be very challenging using typical power analyzers.  The PQ3198’s PRESET feature lets you make the basic power analysis measurement settings easily because the instrument automatically configures event threshold settings based on generally accepted standards or practices.  Customers can choose from 5 different “courses” depending on the issue they are facing, and the PQA will make the appropriate settings to provide the proper analytical data.

Also, if you use the high harmonic event detection function, if a harmonic exceeding 3kHz appears on your line, you can record the waveform and conduct additional frequency analysis on a PC with our free software, PQ ONE.  This lets you discover the cause of harmonic problems in a more convenient way.

The differences between the legendary product PW3198 & PQ3198… 

The biggest difference and advantage provided by the new PQ3198 is the ability to power current sensors directly from the unit rather than using a separate AC power supply.  Another major improvement is the ability to record 9,999 events, versus only 1000 events with the earlier product.  This helps prevent the recording from stopping when 1000 events are reached.

Another big difference is the ability to calculate efficiency using the power measurement values from Channel 4.  This in effect makes the PQA a simplified inverter efficiency measurement device for simple testing of inverters.  For more precise and advanced testing, of course we recommend our flagship power analyzer PW6001 or PW3390.

Another addition to the PQ3198 is the FTP server function that will enable customers to download their data from remote locations easily.

Challenges faced in developing PQ3198 and possibility of an improvised version… 

The legacy PW3198 and its predecessor were very successful products, so we wanted to maintain the same ease of use and functionality with the new PQ3198, while providing greater value in terms convenience and meeting real application needs.  The challenge was identifying what they were, and we concluded that the ability to record more events and streamlining the entire measurement system by removing the use of additional power supplies to drive the current sensors were the most important improvements that we should be providing to our customers.  Going forward, we will continue to closely monitor for changes in applications, as well as to international power quality measurement standards so that our PQA is always compliant.

The applications of PQ3198 in EV car and others…

Thanks to isolation between Channels 1/2/3 and Channel 4, customers can safely measure the primary and secondary sides of an inverter at the same time without fear of short-circuits stemming from the connection of lines with different electrical potentials.  In addition, customers can use Channel 4 to measure power or efficiency.  This capability opens up opportunities for applications involving the inspection of the power quality of EV rapid charging stations to evaluate power conversion efficiency.  The PQ3198 can measure the current and power of equipment operating at a fundamental frequency of 40 to 70Hz, and maximum carrier frequency of 20kHz, with performance that is almost equivalent to the more advanced Hioki Power Analyzers PW3390 or PW6001.

The biggest and most important application is, of course, troubleshooting power quality issues, especially when the cause is unknown.  With the variety of event settings and number of recordable events, customers using the PQ3198 will have a very easy and effective tool to resolve power quality issues.

Your development goals for the Power Quality Analyzer PQ3198… 

Our goal is for the Power Quality Analyzer to be used by as many customers as possible from around the world so that we can contribute to improving the quality of electricity at customer sites, and by extension, save our customers time and money by increasing productivity and yield.