Why LED Light is an Electrical Fire Risk

LED Light

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps are becoming increasingly popular in replacing incandescent lamps and fluorescent lamps owing to its energy efficiency, resilience and long life and being environmental friendly. It does not contain hazardous toxic substance like mercury. Individual LED light is illuminated by 2/ 4V DC supply. With a LED light fixture, a set of series parallel LED lights receive power supply either from a constant current LED driver 350/ 750mA DC or constant voltage LED driver 12/ 24V DC. LED drivers are power supply devices that convert 120/ 240/ 277V, 50/ 60Hz AC supply to DC power as required by the LED lamps. It manages the amount of power for a LED lamp or LED lighting system and protects individual LED lamp from thermal runout and power surge. Since LED drivers are a switching device, it generates harmonic currents, and causes electromagnetic interference (EMI) problem for the building's electrical power system. It creates a significant percentage triplen harmonic current also known as zero sequence harmonic current into the facility's electrical power system which unlike phase current does not get cancelled but trebled at neutral.

Giving an example, if a 3phase LED DB has 10A each in R, Y, and B phases with 30% THDi total current harmonic distortion; each phase would carry 3A triplen harmonic current. That being in phase with the neutral conductor would add up to 3A+3A+3A = 9A in the neutral conductor consisting mostly of 3rd harmonic (3 x 50/ 60Hz) currents and 9th harmonic (3x 50/ 60Hz) currents. These high frequency neutral triplen harmonic currents are all pervasive and with any infirmness in the building's neutral/ ground system, it's a serious electrical fire risk that could strike as a bolt from the blue.

What further complicates the facility's electrical fire risk is, its extensive cabling network. Every modern building employs a labyrinth of cable networks that passthrough floors, risers/ shafts, and ducts/ trenches. If Triplen Harmonic Currents are not contained at each floor level they would travel through the cable labyrinth and multiply freely. Unlike the phase current conductors, neutral/ ground paths must be secured firmly, always, and infirmness is a very serious electrical fire risk. Besides the buildings' extensive cable networks are not suited for the onslaught from the high frequency triplen harmonic currents on a 24/7 basis. It eventually loosens up somewhere. Encon triplen harmonic filter removes those dangerous high frequency triplen harmonic currents also called zero sequence harmonic currents from the building's electrical power system, through a floor by floor, and section by section implementation procedure. And provides a comprehensive electrical fire safety solution for the entire building.

Triplen harmonic current easily penetrates the LEDs power supply driver. If significant number of LED lamps are installed as like in a hospital, hotel, corporate building, shopping mall, airport etc., the resulting triplen harmonic currents would circulate in the building's electrical power system and get absorbed into LED drivers' power supply system heating it up. That heat build-up would eventually take its toll. Encon triplen harmonic filters, apart from providing comprehensive electrical fire safety solutions, also eliminating failure of LED power supply drivers and LED lamps.

That apart, Encon harmonic mitigation solutions improve power quality by reconstructing harmonically distorted waveform back into sine wave, balance 3phase voltage and currents and is an effective surge suppressor. It effects energy conservation and extends LED light life and its performance, and protects sensitive equipment within the building applications.