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Calculating Nonlinear Power

Joseph E. Fleckenstein, PE

In recent decades the increasing capabilities of thyristors has contributed to an ever expanding variety of new and popular electrical devices. Along with this use of thyristors there has been a widespread introduction of harmonics and nonlinear currents into electrical circuits. These harmonic currents cause distortions in the shape of currents and deviations from the preferred sinusoidal profile. At times there is a need to quantify the power associated with these nonlinear currents. Many wattmeters and watt-hour meters will not accurately measure power in a nonlinear circuit, so there is need at times for the computation of nonlinear power.

In linear circuits the voltages and currents may be readily described by sine wave functions. The computation of power is straightforward when the voltages and currents are in the shape of a sine wave. Not so in nonlinear circuits. This course outlines a method of calculating the power of nonlinear circuits.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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