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Shunt Reactors
in Power Systems

Tech News
AREVA T&D’s Expertise

FORWARD In the following sections general information will be

presented about the application of shunt reactors to
During normal operation of an electrical power system, electrical power systems and two different ways to
the transmission and distribution voltages must be specify the required ratings of the equipment
maintained within a small range, typically, from 0.95 (MVAr ratings).
to 1.05 pu of rated value. Due to the load variations,
shunt reactors and capacitors have been applied in
power systems to compensate excess reactive power APPLICATION OF SHUNT REACTORS
(inductive for heavy load conditions, and capacitive for
light load conditions). Shunt reactors are commonly The calculation of optimum ratings and points of
used to compensate the capacitive reactive power of connection of shunt reactors is generally done by
transmission and distribution systems and thereby to means of extensive load flow studies, taking into
keep the operating voltages within admissible levels. account all possible system configurations. One
approach for a single line is presented below.
The purpose of this document is to present some
information about the application and specification of Depending on system voltage, shunt reactors may be
shunt reactors for electrical power systems. inserted directly connected to station busbars (Pos. 1),
to transmission line terminations (Pos. 2) or connected
to tertiary winding of large power transformers (Pos. 3),
AREVA T&D’S TECHNOLOGY AND as shown in the picture 1.

AREVA T&D has more than 30 years of experience

in designing and manufacturing air-core dry-type
Pos.2 Pos.2
reactors (ACR) for various market segments around
the world, including power generation, transmission
and distribution systems, industrial plants, OEM Pos.3
and electrical test laboratories. Reactive shunt
compensation is one of the most common applications
of air-core reactors. Picture 1 – Shunt reactor application in power systems

Air-core shunt reactors are applicable to system

voltages up to 72,5 kV and typically they are connected The majority of shunt reactors for system voltages
to tertiary winding of large power transformers. Due to of 72,5 kV or above are in the 30 to 300 MVAr range
the required ratings, the ACR for this application are (threephase power) and they are normally connected
designed in fiberglass encapsulated technology. directly to high voltage busbar or transmission line
ending. For these voltage levels, reactors are most
In fiberglass encapsulated technology, the reactor’s commonly oil-filled type. Future reactors in the range
winding consists of numerous insulated aluminum 72,5 to 145 kV will tend to be air-core dry-type coil
connected in parallel. These conductors are units.
mechanically immobilized and encapsulated in epoxy
impregnated fiberglass filaments forming cylinders. Shunt reactors rated below 72,5 kV are either oil-
Depending on the reactor’s ratings, one or more of filled or air-core dry-type units and they are normally
these cylinders are connected in parallel between connected to the tertiary winding of large power
the aluminium spiders. The individual cylinders are transformers. The range of reactive power varies from a
separated by fiberglass spacers, which form the few MVAr to 100 MVAr.
cooling ducts of the coil.
The winding connection of three-phase reactors or
The benefits in using AREVA T&D air-core shunt a bank of three single-phase units can be either wye
reactors are: (most common configuration) or delta. Typically, for
> Maintenance free and environmentally friendly system voltages of 72,5 kV or above, the reactors are
wye connected with the neutral grounded directly or
> Conservative temperature rise for extended service life
through a neutral reactor (also named “four reactor
> Customized space saving solutions for installation in scheme”). For system voltages below 72,5 kV, the
compact areas reactors are wye connected with the neutral
> Surface treatment for protection against UV radiation ungrounded.
and pollution
> High mechanical strength to withstand elevated
short-circuit forces
> Low noise level for sensitive applications XR


W y e c o n nec t i o n (Fo ur R eact ors Schem e ) D e l ta co nn ec t io n

Picture 2 – Winding connection of shunt reactors


For the calculation of the positive sequence reactance and the

current requirements of a shunt reactor, it is necessary to know
only the rated three-phase reactive power and the rated system
voltage and frequency, as summarized in the table below.



Rated Current

Maximum Continuous Current

(Design Current)

> rated reactance per phase (positive sequence)
> rated three-phase reactive power
> rated reactive power per phase
> rated system voltage
> maximum system operating voltage
> rated current
> maximum continuous current

The zero sequence reactance (X0) depends on the winding Inserting shunt reactors at the receiving ending, the ABCD
connection and grounding of the shunt reactor. For air-core dry- parameters of the line are changed, as described below:
type units, it can be calculated as follow:

> Wye connection with neutral

directly grounded
> Wye connection with neutral
grounded through a reactor
> Wye connection with neutral So, the relation between the ending voltages of the transmission
ungrounded line is given by:
> Delta connection

Neutral reactors generally are used in shunt reactors installed in

transmission line terminations to provide a faster extinguishing of
the secondary arc current and, therefore, to allow the automatic Application Example
reclosing of the transmission line after a fault elimination
(typically, the reclosing time varies from 0.5 to 1.5 seconds). Consider a lossless radial transmission line, frequency 60 Hz,
length ℓ = 350 km, and parameters z = j 0,32886 Ω/km and bC =
j 5,097 µS/km. To estimate the reactive power of shunt reactors
OPEN-CIRCUIT OPERATION OF RADIAL to be installed in the transmission line to provide a maximum
TRANSMISSION LINES operating voltage of 1.05 pu at the open-circuited terminal
(receiving ending), when the line is energized with 1.0 pu in the
The operation of a lossless radial transmission line, which is sending ending.
energized by a generator at the sending ending (V1) and is open-
circuited at the receiving ending (V2), can be represented in the Solution:
matrix form by the ABCD parameters, where I2 = 0.
> Total impedance and admittance of the non-compensated
transmission line
> Parameter A: reactor to provide a required voltage variation in the busbar
can calculated through the short-circuit power of system at the
busbar where the reactor will be connected.

> Operating voltage at the receiving ending of the non-
compensated transmission line

> Calculation of the shunt reactor reactance: Picture 3 – Practical circuit for voltage control analysis

Our policy is one of continuous development. Accordingly the design of our products may change at any time. Whilst every effort is made to produce up to date literature, this brochure should only be regarded as a guide and is intended for information
The shunt reactor rating is given by:

purposes only. Its contents do not constitute an offer for sale or advise on the application of any product referred to in it. We cannot be held responsible for any reliance on any decisions taken on its contents without specific advice.
Application Example

To estimate the reactive power of shunt reactors to installed in

the 34.5 kV busbar in order to reduce the voltage level from 1.02
> Calculation of the three-phase reactive power of the shunt to 0.99 pu, considering a fault current of 25 kA (or short-circuit
reactor: power of 1495 MVA).

> Calculation of the three-phase reactive power of the shunt reactor:

Products-L4PS-Shunt reactor-71695-V1-EN- © - AREVA - 2007. AREVA, the AREVA logo and any alternative version thereof are trademarks and service marks of AREVA.
> Calculation of the compensation degree of the transmission line:

In order to make possible line energization on both sides, it is

recommended to install shunt reactors with similar ratings in their Remark:
two terminations. > In the analysis above, it is not considered the on tap changer

All trade names or trademarks mentioned herein whether registered or not, are the property of their owners. - 389191982 RCS PARIS
(OLTC) operation of power transformers near to the point
> The line charging of the transmission line is: of connection of the shunt reactors, which occurs in a few
minutes after the shunt reactor switching.
So, compensation degree is:
AREVA T&D is able to supply air-core shunt reactors to provide
reactive power compensation for electrical systems with rated
voltages up to 72,5 kV and three-phase ratings up to 100 MVAr.

AREVA T&D’s air-core shunt reactors are maintenance free,

BUSBAR VOLTAGE VARIATION AFTER environmentally friendly and maintain a conservative temperature
SWITCHING OF SHUNT REACTORS rise offering an extended service life.

Typically, the voltage variation at the high voltage busbar after To request technical information, please contact us by e-mail:
switching of a shunt reactor shall not be higher than 2 to 3% of aircorereactors.itr@areva-td.com
rated voltage. A practical circuit is used to simplify the analysis
of voltage control (see picture 3). The determination of the shunt

AREVA T&D Worldwide Contact Centre:

Tel. : +44 (0) 1785 250 070