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    Fourier Analysis of Time domain waveform using Excel and THD

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    Q3. Preamble

    Techniques involving the electronic control of power to a load such as controlled rectification and variable frequency drives are widely used by industry. There can be, however, serious problems with these techniques because of the generation of harmonics and the consequential harmonic distortion. Harmonics, when fed back to the supply, can have adverse effects on other electrical equipment. It can increase the current in power lines resulting wasted power that causes higher temperatures in neutral conductors and distribution transformers. High order harmonics may cause excessive heating in the core of a.c motors and can also interfere with communication systems. Increased temperatures can damage power systems and shorten the life of electronic equipment.

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    Solution Preview

    The Fourier Analysis tool solves problems in linear systems and analyzes periodic data by using the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) method to transform data. This tool also supports inverse transformations, in which the inverse of transformed data returns the original data.

    The Fourier Analysis Toolpack is available under the "Tools" tab then selecting "Analysis Toolpak". Most bare versions of Excel will by default not contain the "Analysis Toolpak" in the first instance so you may need to initially install this so follow the steps below.
    Installation of Excel "Analysis Toolpak"
    • Open Excel spreadsheet and hit the "Tools" tab and then select "Add Ins" from the drop down options.
    • Tick the "Analysis Toolpak" option and then OK

    To carry out Fourier Analysis with Excel
    • Open Excel and hit the "Tools" tab
    • Select and hit the "Data ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution provides an analysis of given time domain waveform into fourier components using Excel Fourier analysis tools and then identification of main frequency components. Further from this information the total harmonic distortion (% THD) is determined