How to eliminate harmonic currents

Power Quality
09 August 2023
How to eliminate harmonic currents


In the vast landscape of electrical energy, harmonic currents emerge as a problem that requires attention and effective solutions. These currents, characterised by multiple frequencies of the fundamental, can cause operational problems and damage electrical equipment. This article will explore key strategies to eliminate harmonic currents, thereby promoting more efficient and reliable power distribution.

What is a harmonic current

Harmonic currents represent periodic variations in the electric current, with frequencies multiple of the fundamental frequency of the system. These can be produced by equipment such as computers, inverters and control devices. The interaction of such currents with the impedance of the system can cause distortions and problems in the power supply.

Impact of harmonic currents

The consequences of harmonic currents are significant and negative. Electrical equipment can suffer overheating and accelerated wear and tear due to harmonic distortion. These phenomena not only cause an increase in maintenance costs, but can also lead to a shorter service life of the equipment itself. Furthermore, the reactive energy associated with harmonic currents can lead to energy losses and, consequently, higher energy costs for consumers.

How to identify harmonic currents

Identifying harmonic currents is the first step in addressing the problem. Technologies such as spectrum analysers and current meters make it possible to detect and monitor the presence of these unwanted currents in the electrical system. This information is crucial for implementing elimination strategies.

Techniques for eliminating harmonic currents

There are several techniques to eliminate harmonic currents and improve power quality. Passive filters are electrical devices that reduce harmonic currents by attenuating unwanted frequencies. Similarly, active filters act more dynamically, generating reverse currents that cancel harmonics. The use of isolation transformers can separate harmonic currents from the load, preventing them from spreading through the system.

Benefits of eliminating harmonic currents

The positive effects of eliminating harmonic currents are manifold. Increased energy efficiency is one of the main benefits, with a reduction in electrical losses and associated costs. The service life of electrical equipment can be significantly extended, as harmonic distortion is minimised. This leads to a reduced need for maintenance and increased reliability of the electrical equipment.


Eliminating harmonic currents is a crucial step towards a more stable and efficient energy distribution. Through the use of passive and active filters, isolation transformers and advanced sensing technologies, the harmful effects of harmonic currents can be mitigated. These solutions not only improve the quality of energy supplied to consumers, but also help reduce energy and maintenance costs. In a context of increasing environmental awareness, the elimination of harmonic currents is an important step towards a more sustainable and reliable electricity system.

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