Farmers tackling electrical interference

Power quality specialist REO UK has launched the CNW 163, a power line filter designed to combat electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) in the agriculture industry. Power quality has become a prominent issue for agricultural engineers and farmers in recent years as the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags has become more popular alongside power line communication (PLC) lines used in automatic farming systems.

Electrical interference is often difficult to diagnose and can result in damaged components and inconsistent power. Engineers can protect their systems and avoid any discrepancies during production by complying with the relevant electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) directives and using the appropriate EMC filters.

The CNW 163 tackles both EMI and RFI by removing high-frequency electrical noise from a power supply network with a filtering range from 50 kHz to 20 MHz. This addresses the problems caused by the rising use of RFID tags for monitoring livestock.

“RFID tags have become increasingly common in the farming sector in recent years, particularly on dairy farms to optimise milk production,” explained Steve Hughes, managing director of REO UK. “Monitoring the animals’ breeding cycle, general health and feed intake provides data that helps farmers better understand the lifecycle of each cow and maximise their conservation efforts. However, RFID systems run across the electromagnetic spectrum and connect to the same Wi-Fi and telecommunication lines used to transmit power, which can affect the overall power quality and cause disruptions.

“The CNW 163 solves the issue by filtering out high frequency electromagnetic noise without disrupting the flow of the mains power. Most electronic noise falls within the range of 50 kHz to 20 MHz and will be safely removed by the filter before it reaches the powered devices, so production remains unaffected.”

The higher yields of agricultural businesses, achieved through increased automation, often involve the use of motors and variable speed drives. This often leads to problems with the RFID tagging systems, because long cable runs and inadequate earthing combine to cause many air and mains borne sources of interference.

“The development of agricultural technology has meant that many industrial power quality products can be used,” continued Steve. “For example, the CNW 163 is used for managing the problems associated with power line communication in factories where it proves more effective than traditional EMC input and output filters.”

The CNW 163 filter can also be tailored for different frequencies to meet the requirements of specific agricultural applications. Electrical engineers can find out more about tackling power quality problems by contacting us on +44 (0) 1588 673 411.


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