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Harmonic current

I hate to call them harmonic currents. The do submit to Fourier analysis, but you are probably dealing with AC to DC power supplies. If you look at the current pulses, you will see that each pulse is about 1-2 milliseconds in duration in alternating directions. If you sum these all in the neutral there is the appearance of what looks like 180 Hertz in the neutral. If you use different sized power supplies on each phase, you can see that it is just the addition of the three phases. So the neutral current when you have non power factor corrected power supplies is the sum of the three phases. Unless the current waveforms overlap, there is no cancellation of current in the neutral, hence the neutral current is the sum of the phase currents. The reasoning behind this is the rectifier diodes in the front of the power supply and the DC storage capacitors size relative to the DC load on the capacitor. The general rule of thumb is that the capacitor is about 800 to 1000 microfarads per amp of current in the capacitor.

Realize that the extra heating in the three phase delta-wye transformers is due to the extra circulating current in the primary delta causing excessive heating of the primary conductor. The world calls transformers designed to deal with this "K" factor transformers. Let the world of electrical engineers bury all this simple stuff behind the maze of Fourier analysis. Change the incoming voltage slightly and your Fourier analysis is garbage. The issue here is switches and storage caps--- not some magical mathematical garbage.

By the way if someone wanted to use the wire sizing guidelines of the National Electrical Code in the US to size wire for 100% power supply load, the neutral wire would be 8 gauge sizes larger than the phase conductors. People need to start demanding PFC power supplies. Fix a switching problem with switches.

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