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Whatistheimportanceofreactivepowerintransmission
lines?
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AkshayAiyer,Busy!

Doesthereactivepowerinamotorreachthesource
ordoesitgetdissipatedintheline?Ifitdoes,won'tif
affectthecurrentoutputoft...

12.1kViews

POWER

Howlongdoesittakejusttoenergisea400kv
transmissionlineduringpowersystemrestoration?

Electricpoweristherateatwhichelectricenergyistransferredbyanelectriccircuit.It
istransformedtootherformsofpowerwhenelectricchargesmovethroughanelectric
potentialdifference,whichoccursinelectricalcomponentsinelectriccircuits.

Howdotheswitchgearsandprotectiondevices
functioninadistributionandtransmissionlineandin
apowerstation?

InACcircuits,theelectricalcomponentswhichareinductorsandcapacitorsmightgo
underaperiodicchangeinthedirectionofenergyflow.ThisinturngivesrisetoActive&
Reactivepower.
Theportionofpowerthat,averagedoveracompletecycleoftheACwaveform,resultsin
nettransferofenergyinonedirectionisknownasactivepower(realpower).The
portionofpowerduetostoredenergy,whichreturnstothesourceineachcycle,isknown
asreactivepower.

HowdoIgetcompleteinsightabouttransmission
linesandpowercables?
WhyweneedQ(reactivepower)torisevoltage?
Canreactivepowerbeutilized?
Willincreasingpowerfactordecreasetheefficiencyof
thetransmissionline,oritwillincreaseit?
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32Followers
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LastAskedAug12,2015
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Whenwepassanelectriccurrentthroughawire,itobviouslyproducesmagneticfield
aroundit.Whenthisfieldalternatesbetweenoppositepeakvaluesbothintimeandspace,
aninducedvoltageisproducedinanyoftheconductorslyinginthepathofthisfield.This
particularfieldcanalsoreactwithanyothermagneticfieldestablishedbyanyother
conductorandamechanicalforceiscreatedbetweenthetwoconductors.Thisalternating
fieldproducedbyanalternatingcurrentisthebasisforenablingustouseelectricpower
extensively.ADCcurrentwithasteady,nonalternatingfield,doesnotofferthis
advantage.
Thealternatingfluxposedalotofproblemsandoneofthembeingthereactivepower.
Itisthepowerrequiredtoestablish&maintainanACfluctuatingmagneticflux,without
whichnoenergytransfercantakeplace.Againstthiswehaveactivepowerwhich
deliverspowerinanelectrical,mechanical,thermaloranyformwewant.
Reactivepowerisanecessity.Withoutwhichthesystemwon'tfunctionproperlyyetitis

theoneposingamajorproblem.TheproblemarealinkedwiththeACfieldsare
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reactances,arcs,surges,resonances,skineffect,huntingtorque.Toovercometheabove
problems,CAPACITORisaneffectivetool.
Whenavoltageisinitiallyplacedacrossthecoil,amagneticfieldbuildsup,andittakesa
periodoftimeforthecurrenttoreachfullvalue.Thiscausesthecurrenttolagbehindthe
voltageinphasehence,thesedevicesaresaidtobesourcesoflaggingreactivepower.
AcapacitorisanACdevicethatstoresenergyintheformofanelectricfield.Whencurrent
isdriventhroughthecapacitor,ittakesaperiodoftimeforachargetobuildupto
producethefullvoltagedifference.OnanACnetwork,thevoltageacrossacapacitoris
constantlychangingthecapacitorwillopposethischange,causingthevoltagetolag
behindthecurrent.Inotherwords,thecurrentleadsthevoltageinphasehence,these
devicesaresaidtobesourcesofleadingreactivepower.
Electricgeneratorssupplyreactivepower(inadditiontoactivepower)thatisconsumedby
customerload.
PurposeofReactivePower
Synchronousgenerators,SVCandvarioustypesofotherDistributedenergyresource
(DER)equipmentareusedtomaintainvoltagesthroughoutthetransmissionsystem.
Injectingreactivepowerintothesystemraisesvoltages,andabsorbingreactivepower
lowersvoltages.
Voltagesupportrequirementsareafunctionofthelocationsandmagnitudesof
generatoroutputsandcustomerloadsandoftheconfigurationoftheDER
transmissionsystem.
Theserequirementscandiffersubstantiallyfromlocationtolocationandcanchange
rapidlyasthelocationandmagnitudeofgenerationandloadchange.Atverylow
levelsofsystemload,transmissionlinesactascapacitorsandincreasevoltages.At
highlevelsofload,however,transmissionlinesabsorbreactivepowerandthereby
lowervoltages.Mosttransmissionsystemequipment(e.g.,capacitors,inductors,and
tapchangingtransformers)isstaticbutcanbeswitchedtorespondtochangesin
voltagesupportrequirements
Systemoperationhasthreeobjectiveswhenmanagingreactivepowerandvoltages
a.First,itmustmaintainadequatevoltagesthroughoutthetransmissionand
distributionsystemforbothcurrentandcontingencyconditions.
b.Second,itseekstominimizecongestionofrealpowerflows.
c.Third,itseekstominimizerealpowerlosses.
WrittenMar25,2015ViewUpvotes
Upvote 16

Downvote Comment 1

MayurBalwani,IamanElectricalEngineeringstudent!
4.9kViewsMayurhas30+answersinElectricalEngineering
OriginallyAnswered:Whyisreactivepowerneededinatransmissionlinetotransferpowerfromthe
sourceendtoreceivingend?

Firstly,Iseethereisabitofconfusionbetweencauseandeffectrelationship.Reactive
powerisn'tactuallyneededtotransfertheactivepower.
It'stheanotherwayofsayingthatifsomeactivepoweristransferredtotheload,there
mustbethepresenceofthereactivepowerinatransmissionlineassumingthere'sno
powerfactorcorrectioninstrumentconnectedtoit.
Reactivepoweristhecomponentofpowerwhichisoccupiedbytheinductorintheform
ofmagneticfieldinthetransmissionline.Itisnotneeded,asitreduceseffectivepower
transfercapabilityofthetransmissionsystem,butispresentduetotheinductiveelements
presentinthepowersystem.
Ifyouapplypowerfactorcorrectionsattheloadend,supposebeforeaninductionmotor,
therewon'tbeanyreactivepowerconsumptionsbythetotalload!
(Although,motordrawsthereactivepowerwhichiscompensatedbyCapacitorbank,

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resultanteffectonthegeneratoriszero!)

Sayingmoresimply,ifyoupourabeerintheglass,therewillalwaysbebeerfoamsinthe
glasswhichwillreducetheeffectivevolumeoftheglasstocarrytheliquidtemporarily,but
itsreverseisn'ttrue,youcanpourbeerinsuchawaythattherewon'tbefoamwhich
doesn'tmeanthere'snobeerinit!
Moreimprovedversionofthestatementcouldbelikethis,
Therewouldalwaysbeareactivepowerinthelinewhiletransferringtheactivepowerto
theloadduetotheinductivenatureofthetransmissionSYSTEM,butthatcouldbe
compensatedbythepowerfactorcorrectionsystem!
Inductancewillcontinuetochargebutcapacitancewillcompensateitinsuchawaythat
powertransferredatthegeneratorsideistotallyactive!
UpdatedAug9,2015ViewUpvotes
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LakshyaMittal,Electronsflowthroughmyveins
3.4kViews
OriginallyAnswered:Isthereactivepowerwithoutreactivepower?

Thanksforasktoanswer.
Yes,intheidealsituationitcanbe!
WhatisanIdealsituation:
Iftheloadconnectedtoanypowersystemnetworkispurelyresistive.
Forexample:
Considerthefollowingcircuit,whereapureresistor(R)isconnectedtoanACvoltage
source.

Inthiscase,currentIrpurelydependsuponresistorRandvoltagesource.Aspure
resistanceisalinearcomponent,thephasedifferencebetweenIrandVrwillbezero.See
thephasediagrambelow:

Here,VrandIrinthesamephase(Thus=0).iscalledpowerfactorangle.
Thus

cos(Powerfactor)=1
andSin=0
Soasweknowmathematically:
RealPowerP=VICos0
while,ReactivePowerQ=VISin=0
Aswecansee,intheparticularcasedescribedabove,theReactivepowerisZero.
Deviationfromtheidealsituation:
Theabovescenarioexistsonlyonpapers(Theunattainabledreamofmankindand
IbetitwillsurelyfetchaNobeltothepersonwhoclaimsunitypowerfactorinpractical
powersystem)becausethereisnoloadintheworld,whichcouldbepurelyresistive(even
thepurestofresistorswillcontainsomeinductance/capacitance).
Ingeneraleverypowersystemloadcontainssomecombinationofresistance,inductance
andcapactiance(Howevermajorityofthemareofinductivenature,Ex:lamps,heaters,
mixers,washingmachines,inductioncookeretc).
Thepresenceofinductive/capacitivecomponentsintheloadcreateaphasedifference
betweenvoltageandcurrent,thus0.Consequently,thereactivepower0.
Consider:
(1)ResistiveInductiveLoad:

Hereor0.Thusthereactivepowerinnotzero.
(2)ResistiveCapacitiveload:

Herealso0.Thusthereactivepowerinnotzero.
P.S.:TheaboveexplanationistrueforACnetworks.
IncaseofDCnetworks,thereisnoconceptofreactivepowerbecausewhen
connectedtoDCvoltage,inductanceandcapacitancebehaveasopenand
shortcircuitrespectively.Iwillexplainthisindifferentanswer.
WrittenAug25,2015ViewUpvotesAnswerrequestedbyDakalaLakshmi
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Anonymous
3.6kViews

BeforeexplainingthedetailsofReactivepowerinaTransmissionLine,Weneedto
understandtheTransmissionLine.
IwilltrytoexplainthebitaboutwhythereisaneedofreactivepowerinPower

TransmissionLine.WithConsecutiveinputsandEditsIwilltrytoProvideasmuch
InformationasPossible.
PowerTransmissionLinecanbeModeledasDistributedseriesLineInductance(s)and
DistributedShuntCapacitance.
IfthereisDCSupplyThenAfterthetransientperiodtheseriesreactorgetsshortcircuited
bygettingtherequiredenergyforcreatingthemagneticfieldinsideit.ButInthecaseof
ACSystemtheamountofenergyrequiredtodosoisfulfilledbyreactivepower.
SomeoftheQuestionsneedtobeansweredbeforegettingintothedetailsofReactive
Power.
1.WhatwillhappenwhenthecurrentflowsthroughInductance?
2.HowandWhytheenergystoredinReactorandCapacitorinknownasReactivePower?
ThereasonthispowerisknownasreactivepowercauseThispoweronlyamountstocreate
theFieldInsideaCapacitororinaReactor.ThisReactivepowerdoesnotgetwastedLike
theRealPowerLossinaresistor.
Powerinaresistor:

SoThePowerBecomesPositivealwaysandTheaveragepoweramountstothepowerloss.

ImgSRC:ElectronicComponent s
WhileIncaseofLorC:
ThecurrentLagsorLeadswhichcreate

foridealInductorthepowerisshown.ThispowerwhenaveragedforafullcycleofVoltage
Itsvaluebecomeszero.
InthiscaseTakingpositivecycleofpoweryoucansaythiswasduringthecreationofthe
fieldorwhilethereactorischarging.FordifferentInstantyoucananalysethecircuitand
findyourconclusion.
Inthiscurvethesteadystateoperationisshown.
Observations:(WhenmentionedincreaseordecreaseImeantmagnitude)
V=+ve&I=+vethenP=+ve
(ReactorFieldCharging|CurrentIncreasing)

V=ve&I=+vethenP=ve
(ReactorFieldDischarging|CurrentDecreasing)
V=ve&I=vethenP=+ve
(ReactorFieldCharging|CurrentIncreasing|similartofirstcaseonlyinveDirection)
V=+ve&I=vethenP=ve
(ReactorFieldDischarging|CurrentDecreasing|similartofirstcaseonlyinveDirection
)
SamecasebeDoneforCapacitor

ImgSRC:JohnandMarionHearfield
Theinductorandcapacitordoesnotdissipateenergyinsteadtheystoreistemporarilyand
returnthesamebacktothesource.
SoWhenthecurrentandvoltageareinphaseThentheamountofpoweraverageisequals
toactivepowerasaveragedpowermultipliedwithperiodistheamountofenergy
dissipatedorutilizedtodousefulwork.
Whilethequadraturephasecomponentdoesnotcontributeforworkdoneinsteadithelps
tostoretheenergy.
Ihopethewholeexplanationwillmakeyouunderstandalittlebitaboutthereactive
power.
WillEditiffurtherexplanationneeded.
WrittenJan17,2015ViewUpvotes
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Downvote Comments 1+

KevinFerguson,BSEEElectricalengineering.30yrs.experience.ActiveHam.
2.7kViewsKevinhas150+answersinElectricalEngineering

Thenonmathexplaination:
ReactivepowerispowerthatisstoredduringonepartoftheACwaveform,andreturneda
fewmillisecondslaterduringanotherpartofthewaveform.Itcomesintwoflavors,
(InductiveorCapacitive)dependingonwhichpartofthewaveformthestorageand
releasehappens.ItismeasuredinVARswhichstandsforVolts*Amps(reactive),and
shouldneverbereferredtoinWattseventhoughtheyaredimensionallythesame.

Becauseitisjustbeingstoredandreturned,itdoesn'tdoanyactualwork.Electricwatt
hourmetersaredesignedtoignoreit.(moreonthislater)
Itcausesproblemsthough,becausethedistributionsystemstillhastotransportallthethe
powerbackandforthbetweenthegeneratorsandtheloads,sothepresenceofthereactive
powerheatsthelinesandtransformers,andthelines,transformers,andgeneratorshave
tobesizedtohandleit,eventhoughitdoesn'tdoanywork.
Intherealworld,itisinductivereactancethatisaproblemduetothefactthatmotors
requirelotsofpower,andthatiswhattheyproduce.Thiscanbecanceledbycapacitor
banks.SoinductiveVARsjusthappen,andCapacitiveVARsrequiremoneytocreate.
Thereareafewloads(florescentlights)thatarenaturallycapacitive,butnotenoughof
themtomakeupforthemotors.

Electricutilitiesdon'tnormallybillforVARs,butifacustomerhaslotsofbigmotors,such
that20%ofthecurrent(.8powerfactor)ormoreisreactive,thentherewillbeaheftysur
chargeassessed.Thisistoencouragethecustomertoinstallcapacitorbanksorbetter
motorstoeasetheloadontheutilitysystem.Soeventhoughtraditionalwatthourmeters
don'tmeasurethereactivepartofthepower,modernonesdomeasurethistoensurethat
thecustomerisnotoperatingattoolowofapowerfactor.
WrittenOct14,2015ViewUpvotes
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SuvraPattanayak,aM.techstudent
3.4kViewsMostViewedWriterinElectricalGrids

Reactivepoweristheelectricalpowerthatoscillatebetweenthemagneticfieldofan
inductorandtheelectricfiledofthecapacitor.ReactivePowerCannotConvertstonon
electricalpowere.g.heat,light&torque.Instantaneousreactivepowerequaltothe
multiplicationinstantaneouscurrent,instantaneousvoltageandthesinusoidalofphase
differenceofcurrent&voltage.Itonlypresentinacpowerifthereisanyphasedifference
betweeninstantaneouscurrentandinstantaneousvoltage.
Duringcompletecycleaveragereactivepoweriszero.
Activepoweristheenergysuppliedtorunamotor,heatahome,orilluminateanelectric
lightbulb.Reactivepowerprovidestheimportantfunctionofregulatingvoltage.Ifvoltage
onthesystemisnot
highenough,activepowercannotbesupplied.Reactivepowerisusedtoprovidethe
voltagelevelsnecessaryforactivepowertodousefulwork.Reactivepowerisessentialto
moveactivepowerthroughthetransmissionanddistributionsystemtothecustomer
.Reactivepowerisrequiredtomaintainthevoltagetodeliveractivepower(watts)through
transmisionlines.Whenthereisnotenoughreactivepower,thevoltagesagsdownanditis
notpossibletopushthepowerdemandedbyloadsthroughthelines.
WrittenNov18,2014ViewUpvotes
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