The influence of personal computer processing modes on line current harmonics

P.J. Moore, I. Portugues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of the personal computer processing mode on the generation of line current harmonics has been investigated using a university library building containing over 370 PCs. The harmonics were monitored from the building switchboard using purpose-designed hardware. The PCs were set to execute four types of processing mode: idle, numerical processing, floppy, and hard disk accesses. The results recorded were indicative of harmonics caused by the PC box only, and secondary effects of harmonic production caused by distorted supply voltages were avoided. The results show that hard disk accesses cause the highest level of harmonic production affecting the 3rd and 5th components. Harmonic attenuation was very apparent when comparing the results between a single PC and 124 PCs connected to the same supply phase. However, attenuation and diversity effects due to changes in loading level on the PC power supply were not as predicted, showing an increase in harmonic generation with line current RMS level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1363-1368
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • computer power supplies
  • microcomputers
  • power supply
  • power system harmonics
  • power systems


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