Semiconductor factories require high levels of electrical power quality. The sensitivity of equipment, processes and the high value of the products make them vulnerable to voltage sags.
Semiconductor manufacturing is one of the most complex and capital-intensive industries today. Manufacturing a chip consists of thousands of steps. As the technology continues to improve the raw material and components keep getting smaller, the need for tighter process and quality control becomes extremely challenging. These are some of the most common problems identified:
Voltage sags are the primary cause of unplanned production stoppages in industry. Causes include electrical network faults due to weather, animals across terminals, traffic accidents, load switching upstream, startup of large loads or transformer energization.
A sudden change from the nominal voltage or current may be caused by faults in the network, switching of large loads, load shedding, or switching of capacitor banks upstream in the utility network. Voltage surges also occur but may be less severe.
Momentary power loss is complete loss of voltage on one or more phase conductors between 0.5 cycles and 3 seconds. The most common forms of power failure are due to utility protection systems, e.g. recloser operations, switching, breaker tripping and equipment failures.
The use of non-linear loads is the main cause of harmonic distortion. The injection of harmonic currents results in voltage distortion which may cause electronic equipment failure, increased heat in drives and transformers, unwanted tripping, malfunction of sensitive equipment and controls and failure of imaging and scanning equipment.
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