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Reducing Flicker Caused increase melting capacity and pro- Point of View
duction, we worked closely with
By Electric Arc Furnaces them to establish new operating The Harvard Business Review recently
Lukens, Inc.—a steel manufacturer parameters," says John Rutkowski, stated that, on average, U.S. corpora-
with facilities in the cities of Houston major accounts manager at Allegheny tions lose half of their customers every
and Washington, Pennsylvania—has Power, the serving utility. "We sus- five years. Does that include utilities,
too? If today's answer is no, tomor-
an annual production capacity of pected that flicker problems might row's will be a definite yes. In the up-
220,000 tons. Among the equipment occur in the vicinity of the plant after coming era of utility deregulation, cus-
used at the company's melt shop in the installation and prepared for that tomer defections may rapidly increase.
Houston are two ac electric arc fur- possibility by purchasing a flickerme- Many utilities today do not have
naces (EAFs). During scrap melting, ter to measure voltage variations. insight into the causes of customer
the length of the furnace arc changes This would allow us to verify that exodus—let alone the cures. They do
rapidly and erratically, creating voltage customers were experiencing objec- not measure customer losses, make
drops in power lines supplying the tionable flicker." little effort to prevent them, and fail to
furnace. The resulting variance in line Shortly after installation of the use them as a guide to improvement.
voltage causes light flicker for cus- Some utility executives would say that
new EAF, Allegheny began to receive
the causes for customer defection—
tomers connected to the same lines. complaints about flickering lights and sometimes the customer itself—
"When Lukens decided to from residential customers near the are hard to determine. Even getting
upgrade one of their EAFs with a Houston plant. To confirm that the the right people to act within the
new 35-MVA, 55-ton furnace to new furnace was causing the prob- organization can be a challenge.
lem, Allegheny installed the flicker- The city of Roseville, California, made
meter at various locations—customer headlines across the nation when
homes, the Lukens plant, and utility NEC Electronics publicly stated that it
substations—and measured the would look elsewhere to build a new
effects of the furnace on the total $1 billion facility because of power
quality problems at its chip-making
system. The utility then compared plant there. City officials denied any
voltage flicker measurements with problems with the delivery and quality
Lukens' melt records, finding a per- of electricity and claimed to be puz-
fect match. zled by NEC's decision. However,
other government sources said that
Solving the Problem "power problems have been an issue
As a temporary solution, Allegheny at the NEC plant in Roseville." What
an unfortunate breakdown between
and Lukens worked together to deter- the city, utility, and a customer who,
mine ways to reduce furnance loading since 1984, has employed 2150 city
during the periods when flicker was residents. Didn't city and utility offi-
most noticeable. Because these cur- cials know that any work stoppage
tailments had a negative impact on due to power quality problems would
Lukens' production, the utility assisted translate into huge monetary losses
in the development of rate incentives for their customer? Do they now
understand the intimate and causal
to offset manufacturing losses. relationship between customer loyalty
Allegheny then considered and corporate profit? Roseville pro-
several options to permanently vides a valuable lesson for us all.
Electric arc furnaces can go from zero to full
resolve the flicker problem. These
load many times an hour as arcs are struck included constructing an additional
and broken in the furnace. These fluctuations parallel 138-kV line to the substation
contribute to voltage variations in the electrical
distribution system, causing flicker.
feeding the Houston plant, construct- Marek Samotyj, Manager
Power Quality Business Unit
Reducing Flicker: Continued on page 6
Controlling Induction thyristors, it is not
uncommon for a 1200
Furnace Harmonics facility without 1000
by Mark McGranaghan, Electrotek Concepts, Inc. capacitors to have

Vh (Volts)
a power factor
Induction furnaces are used in a below 60%. 600

variety of metals-processing applica- Adding capacitors 400

tions and can range in size from a to the furnace
few hundred kW to about 3000 kW. aggravates the
These furnaces typically use a six- harmonic problem 0
by creating parallel 0 10 20 30 40 50 60
pulse, phase-controlled rectifier feed- Ih (Amps)
ing a frequency converter to deliver a resonance
300- to 1000-Hz alternating current between the
capacitors and the rent Correlation between feeder harmonic voltage (Vh) and harmonic cur-
to the furnace coil. This variable- (Ih) injected by a customer with multiple arc furnaces.
frequency ac allows for more efficient source inductance.
operation of the furnace and better Worst-case condi-
control of the heating process. tions occur when the parallel-reso- vidual feeder circuits. They may be
While offering these benefits, nance frequency for the circuit corre- switched by a time clock or based on
frequency converters can also gener- sponds to the fifth or seventh har- load variations, resulting in a system
ate harmonic currents that propagate monic—the characteristic harmonics response that changes over the peri-
through the supply transformer onto for induction furnaces. Parallel reso- od of a day.
the utility distribution system. These nance results in higher voltage dis- Resonance problems that
harmonic currents cause distortion tortion at the customer facility, which intensify harmonics or cause tele-
problems at both the customer can cause capacitor failures and fuse phone interference may only occur
facility and on the distribution sys- blowing. These voltage harmonics for a particular combination of
tem. Electrical load can also be very can also inject higher harmonic levels capacitors in service. The frequency
sporadic because high power is into the electrical distribution system, response plot below illustrates how
needed only when material is being causing telephone interference and resonances on the distribution sys-
heated. equipment misoperation for other tem can correspond to the character-
These problems are often com- customers. istic fifth and seventh harmonics of
pounded by the need for power- induction furnace loads. With the
The Distribution System Response wide variety of possible configura-
factor-correction capacitors. Because
induction furnaces are controlled by How the utility system responds to tions, it is usually difficult to imple-
delaying the firing angle of the harmonic currents is determined by ment harmonic control measures at
several factors: the the distribution level that work well
combination of for all conditions.
Frequency Scan at Mid-Feeder shunt capacitor The utility can use monitoring
40 banks in the elec- at the point of common coupling
Light Load
trical system, the between the distribution system and
short-circuit the customer to evaluate the relation-
Impedance (Ohms)

capacity of the sys- ship between system distortion levels
tem, and the and harmonic currents generated by
20 Heavy Load
damping effect of the customer. Two methods can be
resistive loads. used to evaluate the impact of a
10 Most systems have particular customer on the system:
a number of
0 capacitor banks • Compare the time variations of
0 6 12 18 24
distri-buted voltage distortion on the distribu-
Harmonic Level
between the sub- tion system with time variations
station and indi- of the customer load.
Distribution system frequency response characteristics.

• Plot the correlation between the is usually sized according to power- Hotline Highlights
feeder voltage distortion and factor-correction requirements, rather
harmonic current from the than harmonic loading. Hotline reports contain some inter-
customer facility, as shown in the In cases where multiple esting, and sometimes unexpected,
figure above. induction furnaces are supplied from customer responses to light flicker.
At Puget Sound Power and Light in
the distribution system, it may be
Controlling the Harmonics the Northwest, John McClaine says,
more economical to implement "The increased use of electronic and
Harmonics generated by induction harmonic filtering on the distribution compact fluorescent lighting in
furnaces are best controlled with primary rather than have multiple offices and heavy use of incandes-
harmonic filters. The best place to installations of lower-voltage filters. cent lamp dimmers in homes are
locate the filters is at the low-voltage If so, the effect of other capacitors on creating a new set of complaints."
bus supplying the induction furnace. the system and other harmonic- Some customers are distressed
A harmonic filter consists of power- producing loads should be consid- about the flickering they see, others
factor-correction capacitors and a ered in the filter design process. This worry about potential damage to
series-tuned inductor to provide a type of filtering has been successfully their house wiring or electronic
low impedance near the fifth har- im-plemented at a number of appliances, and some just want to
alert the utility to a possible problem
monic. While the filter generally locations.
in the system.
reduces harmonic current injection Harmonic filter specifications
into the distribution system for all should allow for harmonic loading Alabama Power's Pat Coleman has
harmonics above the tuned fre- from the distribution system as well found that people with new houses
are more apt to complain about
quency, it provides the most benefit as local harmonic sources. For small
flicker than neighbors in older homes
near the tuned frequency. The filter filters, harmonics from the distribu- using the same type of lamps. "In a
also provides the power factor cor- tion system can be just as important new house, the owners want every-
rection for the furnace load. In fact, it as harmonics from the specific load thing to be just right and tend to
being filtered. Voltage rise across the look hard for possible flaws," he says.
series inductor at the fundamental At CINergy in Indiana, Larry Conrad
Filter Configuration frequency must also be considered says, "Some customers seem satis-
because it increases the steady-state fied just to know that the utility is
480-Volt Bus voltage on the capacitors. working on the situation." Like
Harmonics are clearly an Puget Power, CINergy has found
XI = 0.0272 Ohms important consideration for induction that flicker causes some customers to
furnace facilities, and they should be be concerned about the wiring in
evaluated along with power-factor- their homes. And, one customer
600 kVAR at
600 Volts correction requirements. Institute of worried that perception of flickering
Electrical and Electronics Engineers lights was an early warning sign for
a seizure or heart attack.
Capacitor Specifications (IEEE) Standard 519-1992 provides
Voltage Rating = 600 Volts With the many different types of
kVAR Rating = 600 kVAR
guidelines for limits and mitigation of
kVAR Provided at 480 Volts = 384 kVAR harmonic levels. ■ ballasts and lamps on the market
today, it is likely that more incidents
Reactor Specifications and new types of light flicker will be
Inductance = 0.0720 millihenries observed and reported to utilities.
Reactance (60 Hz) = 0.0272 Ohms
Total RMS Current Rating
Testing at PEAC has shown that
= 660 Amps/Phase some new lighting technologies
Fifth Harmonic Current Rating reduce flicker, while others tend to
= 450 Amps/Phase increase it. Now, the easiest solution
to a flicker problem may be to
Harmonic filter for a 1000-kW induction
change the lamp type, rather than
furnace supplied by a 1500-kVA transformer. the power system.
Highlights come from the PEAC Hotline.
If you have problems you would like
addressed, call 1 (800) 832-PEAC.

Integration of Steel Mills Into • Power Generation. The
unbalanced loads and
Electric Power Systems fluctuating currents
by Edward L. Owen, Power Systems Engineering created by EAFs can
Department/GE Electrical Distribution & Control overheat turbine gen-
erator (TG) rotors and
Among all of the process and manu- increase the potential
facturing industries, the steel industry for power system
is unique because of its large, fluctu- instability. Also, both
ating electric power requirements. harmonic and inter-
The electric arc furnaces (EAFs) and harmonic currents
hot-strip mills used in steel produc- generated by steel
tion are high energy users, and their mills can stimulate
real and reactive power demands torsional response, a
vary substantially within short peri- cause of stress and Steel mill loads can cause problems for electric utilities because
ods of time. Other industrial plants fatigue on TGs. Inter- they present abruptly fluctuating demand for power.
purchase as much or more power, harmonics is a rela-
but their power draw does not tively new term which refers to power drawn by EAFs, reducing the
change to the same extent. spectral components at voltage fluctuations that produce
The 1990s have become an frequencies other than normal light flicker (see Reducing Flicker arti-
extremely competitive decade for the integer multiples of power system cle on the front page of this issue).
steel industry, and the mini-mill— frequency. For example, the fifth Shunt capacitors can be tuned with
with its EAF process—is playing a harmonic of 60 Hz is 300 Hz. A series reactors, producing a harmonic
key role in lowering costs and spectral peak occurring at 4.7 times filter that diverts harmonics from the
increasing productivity. Currently, the fundamental (4.7 x 60 = 282 power system.
some 30 mini-mill projects are on the Hz) is an inter-harmonic. Institute As technologies and applica-
drawing board worldwide, with about of Electrical and Electronics tions undergo changes, however, so
one-third of them in the United Engineers (IEEE) Standard 519 must the power engineering solu-
States. To assure that these projects prescribes protocols for coordinat- tions that accompany them. For
serve their mutual objectives, utilities ing integer harmonics at the point example, in the 1960s and 1970s
and steel companies need to cooper- of common coupling between the there was little reason to worry that
ate in the planning, design, and utility and customer. It indirectly an EAF located near a hydro plant
operation of the mini-mills. They addresses inter-harmonics by might cause generator heating. With
must also work together to identify, discussing cyclo-converters but today’s furnace technology, it is cru-
evaluate, and meet technical chal- does not provide any guidelines for cial to examine this possibility when
lenges. These challenges can be limits. IEEE has convened a task the furnace is located near one or
divided into two categories: force to develop suggestions for more TGs.
addressing inter-harmonics in
• Transmission and Distribution. Torsional Issues
Standard 519.
Utilities must protect their other
TG torsional issues have mostly been
customers against voltage fluctua- Addressing the Challenges associated with power system
tions, which cause incandescent
Due to the substantial economic switching events such as line faults
lights to flicker, and harmonics,
implications of these challenges, and out-of-phase synchronizing,
which may interfere with the oper-
solutions now exist for just about any sub-synchronous resonance due to
ation of customer equipment. In
interface problem. Monitors and series capacitors, and control inter-
addition, utilities must be prepared
relays are available to detect and actions with high-voltage dc trans-
for increased thermal loading of
diagnose potential interactions with mission and SVC systems.
their transmission facilities and a
generators and avert equipment However, in addition to having
potential for voltage-regulation
damage. There are devices to solve torsional effects on a utility’s TGs,
problems on their networks due to
flicker and harmonics problems steel mill loads can also impact other
the relatively large power require-
affecting residential and commercial industrial customers. This occurs
ments of steel mills.
customers. Static var compensation when an industrial plant—or the
(SVC) smoothes variations in reactive

plant of an independent power pro- Case Study
ducer—is connected near a steel mill
load. The plant's large synchronous by Larry Conrad, CINergy
and induction machines behave like CINergy recently investigated a case To address these challenges, CINergy
TGs, responding to torsional excita- in Indiana where a continuous weld- tested an International Electrotech-
tion. This situation becomes more ing machine at a steel fabrication nical Commission (IEC) flickermeter
complex when two or more mills plant caused light flicker problems for that had been modified for use on
are located near the affected plant. nearby customers. While planning for 120-volt lamps (the European stan-
a new product line, the steel maker dard is 230 volts). The IEC flickermeter
Fortunately, in most cases utility
had found that voltage fluctuation lev- uses a sophisticated system model to
generators are very large and act els caused by its welder would exceed evaluate voltage and provides an out-
as a shunt to power disturbances, the limit of irritation for light flicker, put in units of customer irritability.
protecting other industrial plants on as published in Institute of Electrical Because the system was close to the
the system. and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) acceptable limit for flicker, it was a
Technology is now available Standard 141-1993. Cost estimates good test of the meter’s ability to pre-
that allows utilities to differentiate clearly favored adding equipment for dict human irritation from a voltage
load-caused disturbances by cus- adaptive var compensation to lower measurement. The meter did accurate-
tomer. Torsional vibration protective system impedance, rather than ly predict that flicker severity had sur-
devices, or relays, installed on TGs enlarging the feeder and service passed the borderline of irritation.
detect its response to inter-harmonic capacity. The adaptive var compen- This case also gave CINergy the
currents. When an excessive response sator, a slower-acting cousin to the opportunity to test a state-of-the-art
static var compensator, was purchased system model developed by Purdue
in the form of a current transient and installed. However, the new prod-
occurs, monitors placed at strategic University, which shows the combined
uct line had much heavier welding operations of the welder, compensator,
locations can identify the source of requirements than anticipated, and and a lamp/eye-brain model compara-
the current. the one-cycle response characteristics ble to the algorithm used in the IEC
Public Service Company of of the compensator had a tendency to flickermeter. The model allowed
Colorado (PSCC), for example, double the frequency of voltage varia- CINergy to test different combinations
experienced a vibration-induced, tions, causing noticeable flicker. of compensator size and control
retaining-ring failure due to the elec- The main challenge for CINergy was strategies by providing standard volt-
tromechanical interaction of a power to find the best way to modify the age and current waveforms.
plant with a nearby steel mill. To compensator control to eliminate Since electric power systems can be
identify the source of vibration, the complaints. Because the compensator modeled with relative ease and speed,
utility conducted on-site tests, increases flicker complexity, it pre- combining the use of the IEC flicker-
measured the vibration response of vents meaningful application of IEEE meter with the Purdue model should
the TGs using specially developed 141-1993 and makes it difficult to be a useful tool for solving future
torsional monitors, and resolved prove that voltage fluctuations are flicker problems. The final solution in
violating the standard. It also raises this case will be reported in a future
electrical waveform signals with the question as to the best way to
spectrum analyzers. PSCC found a issue of Signature.
reduce flicker using standard monitor-
positive correlation between operat- ing equipment alone.
ing conditions at the steel mill and
TG torsional vibration at their
Comanche station. The link was a
continuous on-line vibration moni- study, impacts of inter-harmonics and torsional
low-level spectral component—or
tors on the TGs to detect process vibration on turbine generators, and perspec-
inter-harmonic current—at 55 Hz.
conditions that lead to the offending tives on delivering power to and obtaining elec-
This spectral component was a lower
inter-harmonic current. ■ tric service for mills and mini-mills. Edward
sideband on the 60-Hz power
_____ Owen will participate in the session's summary
frequency. It was produced by modu-
The Summer Meeting of the IEEE Power panel. For more information, call Duane
lation processes similar to amplitude-
Engineering Society (PES)—to be held this July Torgerson at the Western Area Power
modulation used in commercial radio
in Denver, Colorado—will feature a panel ses- Administration, (303) 275-2006, or contact
broadcast. To prevent reoccurrence of
sion on steel-making and electric power issues. IEEE at
this problem, PSCC has installed
Topics for discussion include the PSCC case summer96.htm by e-mail.

Reducing Flicker: Continued from page 1 away from the steel
ing a 500-kV substation, rewiring the plant and near a resi-
existing 138-kV lines, and installing a dential area. The natural
static var compensator (SVC). Analy- location of the SVC was
sis showed that installation of the adjacent to the substa-
SVC had the lowest cost and could tion, but noise created
be done in the most timely manner. by the unit's large shunt
The SVC supports power sys- reactors—which enable
the SVC to supply

Photo courtesy of CANA

tem voltage by reacting to changes in
var flow to the plant and supplying inductive loading when
the var requirement that otherwise needed—was likely to
would come from the Allegheny disturb the neighbors,
transmission system. This resulted in just 100 feet away. The
decreased voltage variation on the utility determined that
the neighbors could Static var control system.
138-kV transmission due to the
reduction in var loading. Var loading tolerate without com-
is the reactive power requirement of plaint a noise level of 50 to 52 filters would need to be installed. A
the Lukens furnace. decibels (dBa). damping filter tuned to the second
Allegheny supplies power to Because this was the utility's harmonic was installed to help sup-
Lukens at a nominal 25 kV, which is first SVC installation, they contracted press harmonics across the whole
derived from a 138- to 25-kV trans- with CANA—a division of Cegelec— spectrum.
former bank in a substation located to design, supply, install, and com- Eighteen months after the
mission the SVC. CANA worked with initial order, the SVC was tested to
the equipment manu- verify that performance requirements
2 facturer to obtain the had been met—and placed in service.
1.8 necessary noise limit for "It has been designed to handle the
the SVC. full EAF load, giving Lukens the
Before SVC "The shunt reactors ability to melt at capacity without
for the SVC were the causing flicker," says Coates.
largest the manufacturer Pretesting by CANA had
had ever produced dic- revealed that there must be no load
tating this degree of on the power delivery system during
0.6 noise reduction," says energization. Therefore, the SVC was
Percent Voltage Change

0.4 Bob Coates, manager of energized when the furnace was

0.2 sales at CANA. "They being tapped or charged. During
0 required extensive new these periods, the furnace electrodes
2 engineering and design are retracted and the furnace is
1.8 modifications by the turned off. Once the SVC is ener-
1.6 reactor supplier." gized, the electrodes can be lowered
After SVC To further reduce
1.4 and the furnace operated.
1.2 noise, the SVC site was Close cooperation between
arranged with noise Allegheny, CANA, and Lukens
sources away from the resulted in minimal disturbance of
nearest neighbors. The production during SVC startup.
shunt reactors were also Lukens varied its operation of the
mounted at ground furnace to test the total range of pos-
level rather than on sible operating levels. Allegheny and
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 elevated structures. CANA coordinated the testing to
Flicker Occurrences per Second Because SVCs can minimize the effect on Lukens' oper-
generate a third har- ations. CANA also provided SVC-
Installation of a static var compensator (SVC) at the utility substa- monic, Allegheny and operator training, and demonstrated
tion serving the Lukens plant reduced flicker to the point that it is CANA conducted a how the more stable voltage from the
no longer considered objectionable. Nonobjectionable flicker is
depicted below the curve. power system study to
determine where tuned Reducing Flicker: Continued on back page

Standards Update Orange Book and grounding for sensi- • Flicker Measurement and Evaluation,
tive electronics in the Emerald Book. 2nd edition, 1991, the basic docu-
by Tom Key, EPRI PEAC
Discussions are now under way to ment behind IEC flickermeter
make the next edition of IEEE standard development.
Recent Standards Updates have Standard 1159,“Monitoring Power • Dips and Short Interruptions
covered emerging power quality Quality,”a new color book. Occurring in Industrial Installations,
standards in the international arena. In Europe, several industrial 1992, which supports other power
Most new standards are related to standards related to power quality quality guides.
the general characteristics of public have been published by the Inter-
power supply, such as harmonics or national Union for Electroheat (UIE). Today's concerns about point-of-use
surges, and to the electromagnetic These include the original flickermeter power quality are bringing renewed
compatibility (EMC) of end-use elec- standard—now International interest to some tried-and-true
tronic appliances, including immunity Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) industrial power standards. Although
and emissions limits. The current Standard 1000-4-15—and the limits many have been around for years,
interest in EMC is being fueled by related to voltage fluctuations, as pub- they just keep getting better. So, let's
increasing applications of micro- and lished in IEC EMC Standards 1000- not reinvent the wheel! The recent
power electronics equipment, espe- 3-3 and 3-5. UIE is currently prepar- attention to these standards can be
cially in the commercial and residen- ing a four-part publication, Guide to expected to promote faster updating
tial sectors, where customers need Quality of Electrical Supply for Industrial and encourage even better informa-
both the uniformity and protection Installations, which introduces EMC tion in power quality-related stan-
afforded by standards. and includes sections on voltage dips dards. Many of these classic industrial
In comparison, the industrial and short interruptions, harmonics, power standards deserve a fresh look.
sector has historically dealt with and unbalance. Other UIE power Your comments and other points of
extreme power conditions and quality publications are: view are welcome.■
unique equipment requirements. The _____
• Connection of Fluctuation Loads,
demand for proven practices to meet This column serves as an open forum on
1988, which covers flicker measure-
these requirements has been around power quality standards activities and
ment, evaluation, prediction, and
for many years. The Institute of developments. Please send your comments
assessment and provides compati-
Electrical and Electronics Engineers to for e-mail.
bility limits and practical examples.
(IEEE) has met this demand for the
last 50 years with its series of stan-
dards called the IEEE Color Books. IEEE Standard
This series—which is produced by Facility Electrical Topic Color Number Status
the Industrial and Commercial Power Plant Power Distribution Red 141-1993 7th Edition
Systems Department of the Industry Power System Grounding Green 142-1991 5th Edition
Applications Society—provides rec- Commercial Building Gray 241-1990 4th Edition
ommended practices for all aspects of
Protection and Coordination Buff 242-1986 3rd Edition
power systems in industrial and
commercial facilities. Power System Analysis Brown 399-1990 2nd Edition
The first standard, the IEEE Red Emergency and Standby Power Orange 446-1987 4th Edition Coming Soon
Book,“Recommended Practice for Reliable System Design Gold 493-1990 2nd Edition
Power Distribution in Industrial
Application of Circuit Breakers Violet P-551 1st Edition in Process
Plants,”was published in 1945 and is
now printed in its seventh edition. As Healthcare Facilities White 602-1996 2nd Edition
the table shows, the series has grown Energy Conservation Bronze 739-1984 2nd Edition Coming Soon
to ten color books, including one Maintenance, Operations, and Safety Yellow P-902 1st Edition in Process
specifically for commercial buildings
Short-Circuit Calculations Blue P-1015 1st Edition in Process
and one for healthcare facilities.
Color books provide a wealth of Power/Grounding Sensitive Electronics Emerald 1100-1992 1st Edition
guidance for designing high-quality These IEEE Color Books alert the design engineer to items that must be considered in a facility
power systems. They touch on power design. The standards, while not regulatory codes, also establish what can be classified as the
quality directly, with coverage of bat- best design practices at the time of publishing.
tery systems for critical loads in the

Reducing Flicker: Continued from page 6 process. Specific benefits include:
EPRI R&D Corner
SVC could make furnace operation • Improved EAF Operation. Furnace
The characteristics of electric arc control more efficient. operators have been able to reduce
furnaces (EAFs) along with the grow- the tap setting on the EAF because
ing use of these furnaces in the steel Benefits of the SVC more power is now being delivered
industry may be a major cause of to the furnace. This has enabled
voltage fluctuations in electrical dis- For Allegheny, the SVC moderates
tribution systems. The EPRI Power voltage fluctuation and allows the them to increase the refractory life
Electronics Applications Center utility to optimize its transmission of the furnace shell lining. Also, the
(PEAC) and the EPRI Center for lines by increasing power factor. scrap mix is now less critical.
Materials Production (CMP) have More specifically, its benefits include: • Increased Productivity. Lukens
proposed a joint project to evaluate reports an increase in productivity,
flicker associated with EAFs and the • Reduced Flicker. Installation of the
steel industry. SVC has reduced light flicker as the which it attributes to changes in
figure on page 6 illustrates. Also, melting practices, new operating
This joint effort will allow EPRI mem-
neighbors no longer complain procedures, and the SVC installa-
bers to get help with specific flicker-
causing loads at sites in their service about the problem. tion. In addition, the operating-
areas. The project is designed to iden- period curtailments enacted by the
• Acceptable Noise Levels. Sound mea- utility have been eliminated. ■
tify and share innovative and cost-
effective solutions to flicker problems, surements indicate the SVC's noise
such as the one described in the level to be 52 dBa at a distance of
Reducing Flicker article in this issue. 100 feet, meeting project specifica- Signature is a quarterly publication of the
Through its contacts within the steel tions. There have been no com- Electric Power Research Institute, Power
industry and related technical associa- plaints from neighbors. Quality Business Unit, Customer Systems
tions, CMP will determine steel mill • Enhanced Power Factor. In addition Group.
operating conditions associated with to suppressing voltage fluctuation Editor
voltage fluctuation. PEAC will mea- Marek Samotyj
with a fast open-loop control, the
sure voltage fluctuations in electrical EPRI Power Quality Business Unit
distribution systems near various steel SVC provides a slower closed-loop
mills and perform laboratory analysis control which utilizes transformer Associate Editor
of the measurements. Utilities serving current to regulate the power factor Tom Key
the steel mills will furnish information to near unity. This has been verified EPRI Power Electronics Applications Center
on their distribution systems. through upstream metering by the Managing Editor
The project will include a worldwide utility. Krista Jacobsen
literature review. Project data will be Resource Dynamics Corporation
presented at a workshop, and a report For Lukens, the SVC provides a more
on all facets of steel industry-related stable arc in both of its EAFs, result- For subscription information, contact
flicker will be distributed to partici- ing in a more efficient manufacturing the EPRIAMP Customer Assistance
pating organizations. Center at 1 (800) 4320-AMP or at
For more information, contact Tom for e-mail.
Key at PEAC, (423) 974-8289 or for e-mail.
Or, contact Joe Goodwill at CMP,
(412) 268-3435.

Electric Power
Research Institute
Post Office Box 10412, Palo Alto, California 94303 (415) 855-2000

© 1996 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI)

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