Course Number: SEM-E-2011

Length of Course: 2 hours – Several topics can be combined to provide up to an 8 hour seminar session

Seminar Location: This seminar is available for on-site training

In How Harmonics are Generated, you’ll learn …


  • What harmonics are and how they are generated
  • How modern electronic devices cause harmonic distortion
  • How harmonics are generated in diodes, silicon-controlled rectifiers, and triodes for alternating currents
  • How the third harmonic produces excessive neutral currents


The purpose of this seminar is to show how harmonics are generated by modern electrical and electronic systems. Harmonics claim our attention because they can affect other electrical equipment and even other customers on the electric grid. Even if they are not seen, harmonics can cause problems for power companies, which are responsible for delivering clean, usable power to their customers.

We will begin by examining and discussing classical harmonic generators and some older electronic devices. Our emphasis will be on single-phase systems and the way harmonics are generated by diodes, silicon-controlled rectifiers (SCRs), and triodes for alternating currents (TRIACs). At the end of the webinar, we will look at examples of how the third harmonic can cause excessive neutral currents to flow in a three-phase Wye voltage source feeding a three-phase balanced resistive load.

This seminar requires very little math, but it does use graphs generated by Excel programs, so it would be helpful, though not necessary, for you to understand how Excel can generate graphs and charts.

Take away and learning objectives

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Historical causes of harmonic distortion
  • Harmonics of a square wave
  • Harmonics caused by half-wave single-phase rectifiers
  • Harmonics caused by full-wave single-phase rectifiers
  • Harmonics in three-phase systems
  • Harmonic generation in 6-pulse and 12-pulse full-wave rectifiers

Speak to a Representative to Schedule a Seminar

For more information contact:
Ken Hudspeth, General Manager
Phone 1-877-PDHengineer (1-877-734-3644)