Evaluating The Financial Implication of Power Harmonics on Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG)’s Distribution Networks and Customers
Felix Akpagloh1, Stephen E Armah2, Osei-Owusu Alexander3

1Felix Akpagloh.
2Stephen E Armah.
3Osei-Owusu Alexander
Manuscript received on April 15, 2014. | Revised Manuscript received on April 16, 2014. | Manuscript published on April 25, 2014. | PP:11-20 | Volume-2 Issue-6, April 2014. | Retrieval Number: F0707042614/2014©BEIESP

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© The Authors. Published By: Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

Abstract: The survival and sustainability of businesses, especially in volatile developing country markets, require that businesses frugally manage input cost such as the cost of electric power. However, Power Harmonics (PH) that cause excessive dissipation of energy as heat can raise the cost of electric power for companies and for the power suppliers as well. Unknown to them, many businesses in Ghana may have been exposed to serious financial losses as a result of the presence of power harmonics in the distribution network. Such PH is essentially a negative externality caused by the users of PH producing gadgets and visited on other unsuspecting users of electric power who are essentially bystanders: a classic case of a negative externality. PH is a major contributor to the poor state of power quality internationally and have been in existence since the first alternating current generator went online more than 100 years ago. This paper presents an analysis of the financial implication of power harmonics in the distribution network of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and on customers of the company using a mixed methodology of qualitative and quantitative approaches. The results from the power system monitoring carried out confirm the presence and deleterious effects of power harmonics in the distribution network. Unfortunately, most customers are not aware of the negative effects of power harmonics. Differentiating the effect of PH from other poor power quality issues has cost consequences for most customers. Analysed results from the power system monitoring carried out shows that more than Gh¢2,396,814.00 ($1,261, 481.00 at an exchange rate ($/Ghc) of 1.9 in 2012) per annum is wasted as heat in the distribution network. There is therefore the need to introduce punitive measures against the generation of harmonics into the distribution system in order to incentivise the promulgators of PH to internalize the externality. This will ensure the survival and sustainability of businesses in Ghana’s volatile and underresourced industrial sector.
Keywords: (ECG), PH.