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CHAPTER 11

POWER FACTOR CORRECTION

Chapter 11 Page 11-1 Power Factor Correction


POWER FACTOR FUNDAMENTALS

The total current required by inductive loads such as motors, transformers, and
fluorescent lighting may be considered to be made up of two separate types of
current.

Active current (or power producing current) is the current, which is converted into
usual work such as turning a lathe, providing light or pumping water. The power
produced by this component is the kilowatt (kW).

Reactive current (also known as wattless, magnetizing or non-working current) is


the current which provides the magnetic flux necessary for the operation of these
loads but is not converted into useful work. The power produced by this component
is the kilovar (kVAR).

The total current is the current that is measured on an ammeter. It is the sum of both
the active and the reactive components. The power produced by the total current is
measured in kilovolt amperes (kVA).

Chapter 11 Page 11-2 Power Factor Correction


Power Triangle

The relations between the various power components and the system voltage are
illustrated in the power triangle shown in Figure 11-1. From Figure 11-1, it is
apparent that the active power component is in phase with the applied voltage while
the reactive component occurs 90 degrees out of phase with the voltage.

The equation that defines this relationship is:

kVA2 = kW2 + kVAR2

Power factor is the ratio of Real Power Consumed to Total Power Consumed
(kW/kVA) and is in fact, a measure of efficiency. When the power factor reaches
unity (as measured at the utility power meter), it can be said that the plant is
operating at maximum efficiency. Depending on the local utility rate structure, a
power factor below unity may result in higher utility power bills than are necessary.

Figure 11-1

Chapter 11 Page 11-3 Power Factor Correction


Power Factor Correction

Power factor can be improved by either increasing the active power component or
reducing the reactive component. Of course, increasing the active power component
for the sole purpose of power factor correction would not be economically feasible.
Thus, the only practical means for improving a systems power factor is to reduce the
reactive power component. One method of reducing this component is to provide
reactive power locally at the load. This method will improve the power factor from the
point where the reactive power source is connected back to the source. As an
example, consider the load in Figure 11-2a. The total power required is 100 kVA of
which 80 kW is active power and 60 kVAR is reactive power. If the reactive power is
furnished locally (Figure 11-2b), the power system has to carry 80 kVA (80 kW).
Thus the power factor (from the point where the reactive power is locally supplied
back to the source) is improved to unity.

Figure 11-2

Chapter 11 Page 11-4 Power Factor Correction


Capacitors for Power Factor Correction

Properly selected, capacitors offer an ideal means for improving the power factor of
an inductive load. When a capacitor is connected to an inductive load, it acts as a
reactive power generator locally furnishing the necessary reactive current required
by the inductive load. In fact, power factor capacitors are rated in kVAR to indicate
their reactive power generating capability.

Capacitors are able to perform this function since they draw a leading current which
will effectively cancel lagging inductive current, complete cancellation of the two
current components occur and the reactive power component will be reduced to
zero. This is illustrated in Figure 11-3.

The result of improved power factor is reduced utility demand resulting in lower utility
demand charges, released system capacity and lower system losses.

Figure 11-3

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Table 11-1

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POWER FACTOR CORRECTION BENEFITS

The application of shunt capacitors to industrial power systems has several benefits:

1. Reduction of kVA Demand

Many Utilities incorporate penalty clauses associated with low power factor levels.
Low power factor (i.e. low network efficiency) increases kVA Demand. Capacitors
reduce reactive requirements thus decreasing net magnitude of the kVA or kVAR
demand. The equation below can be used to calculate effective kVA magnitude
associated with capacitor application.

2. Gains in System Capacity

Higher than required kVA Demand directly translates into higher than required
current (I) load. Network distribution devices such as transformers, switchgear,
bus and cables carry higher than necessary currents with the net effect of
operation at higher temperatures. In many cases these components are thermally
overloaded and cannot support any load additions. Capacitor applications reduce
net load current magnitude. Less current means less load on transformers,
switchgear and feeder circuits. Capacitor application can release system capacity
and postpone or avoid very costly distribution network upgrades otherwise
required to serve additional load. The percentage line current reduction can be
approximated from

Chapter 11 Page 11-7 Power Factor Correction


3. Voltage Regulation

Low voltage levels prevent motors, lights, and control equipment from proper
operation. Capacitors support and rise voltage levels along feeders improving
performance of motors and control circuits. The voltage rise realized with the
installation of capacitors is approximated from:

Where:

%ZTX - transformer impedance in %

kVATX - nominal transformer kVA rating

4. Line Loss Reduction

Since capacitor applications reduce line current therefore I2R losses decrease as
well. The reduction in power system losses is estimated from

NOTE: reduction in current magnitude and losses is realized upstream from


the capacitor connection. Current magnitudes and power losses remain
unchanged between capacitor connection and the load.

Chapter 11 Page 11-8 Power Factor Correction


OPTIMUM LOCATION FOR THE CAPACITOR BANK

2
3
1

Figure 11-4

Chapter 11 Page 11-9 Power Factor Correction


OPTIMUM LOCATION FOR POWER FACTOR CORRECTION
CAPACITORS
OPTIMUM LOCATION FOR
(WHEN
POWERTHERE ARE NO
FACTOR HARMONICSCAPACITORS
CORRECTION IN THE SYSTEM)
(WHEN THERE ARE NO HARMONICS IN THE SYSTEM)

C
M M

Figure 11-5
Location A:

Location B:
Location A:
Location
Location B: C:

Location
Location C: D:
Location D:

Chapter 11 Page 11-10 Power Factor Correction


OPTIMUM LOCATION OF CAPACITOR BANKS
OPTIMUM PLACEMENT OF CAPACITOR BANKS
IN THE PRESENCE OF HARMONIC SOURCES
IN THE PRESENCE OF HARMONIC SOURCES

OPTIMUM PLACEMENT OF CAPACITOR BANKS


IN THE PRESENCE OF HARMONIC SOURCES

Might have
harmonic
problems
Might have
harmonic
problems

Figure 11-6

Less likely
to have
harmonic
Less likely
problems
to have
harmonic
problems

Figure 11-7

Chapter 11 Page 11-11 Power Factor Correction


OPTIMUM LOCATION
OPTIMUM OF CAPACITOR
LOCATION BANKS
OF CAPACITOR BANKS
IN THE PRESENCE OF HARMONIC SOURCES
IN THE PRESENCE OF HARMONIC SOURCES
OPTIMUM LOCATION OF CAPACITOR BANKS
IN THE PRESENCE OF HARMONIC SOURCES

Only put
capacitor
banks
Only putat
bus that
capacitor
has no
banks at
harmonic
bus that
sources
has no
harmonic
sources
Figure 11-8

What if the
harmonic
source was
on the
What high
if the
voltage side
harmonic
source was
on the high
voltage side

Figure 11-9

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CAPACITOR UNIT RATINGS (ANSI/IEEE 18-1980)

Capacitors:
1. Shall be capable of continuous operation up to 110% of rated terminal
r.m.s. voltage, including harmonics.

2. Shall be capable of continuous operation up to 180% of rated r.m.s.


current, including fundamental and harmonic currents.

3. Shall give no less than 100% and not more than 115% of rated active
power at rated sinusoidal voltage and frequency.

4. Shall be suitable for continuous operation at 135% of rated reactive power


caused by the combined effects of :

a) System Voltage

b) Harmonic Voltages

c) Manufacturing Tolerances

Chapter 11 Page 11-13 Power Factor Correction


CAPACITOR UNIT RATINGS (IEC 871)

MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE VOLTAGE

Long-duration voltages

Capacitor units shall be suitable for operation at voltage levels according to Table
11-2

Table 11-2 – Admissible voltage levels in service

Switching Overvoltages

The residual voltage on a capacitor prior to energization shall not exceed 10 % of


the rated voltage. The energization of a capacitor bank by a restrike-free circuit-
breaker usually causes a transient overvoltage, the first peak of which does not
exceed 2,2 times the applied voltage (r.m.s. value) for a maximum duration of 1/2
cycle.

It is assumed that the capacitors may be switched 1 000 times per year under these
conditions.

(The associated peak transient overcurrent may reach 100 times the value IN;

In the case of capacitors which are switched more frequently, the values of the
overvoltage amplitude and duration and the transient overcurrent shall be limited to
lower levels. These limitations and/or reductions shall be agreed upon in the
contract.

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MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE CURRENT

Capacitor units shall be suitable for continuous operation at an r.m.s. current of 1,30
times the current that occurs at rated sinusoidal voltage and rated frequency,
excluding transients.

Depending on the actual capacitance value, which may be a maximum of 1,15 CN,
the maximum current can reach 1,5 IN

These overcurrent factors are intended to take care of the combined effects due to
harmonics and overvoltages up to and including 1,10 UN according to long duration
overvoltages.

CAPACITANCE TOLERANCES

The capacitance shall not differ from the rated capacitance by more than:

–5 % to +15 % for capacitor units or banks containing one unit per phase;

–5 % to +10 % for banks up to 3 MVAR total rating;

0 % to +10 % for banks from 3 MVAR to 30 MVAR total rating;

0 % to +5 % for banks above 30 MVAR total rating.

Chapter 11 Page 11-15 Power Factor Correction


CHOICE OF INTERNAL FUSES
General

In selecting fuses, consideration should be given to minimizing the probability of


case rupture in the event of a capacitor unit failure by making use of the best
available data and guidelines.

The data and the guidelines employed shall be agreed upon by the purchaser and
manufacturer.

This requirement refers to power-frequency overcurrent as well as to stored energy


in parallel with the failed unit.

Non-current-limiting fuses

These are usually of the expulsion type, with renewable fuse links.

They have little or no current-limiting action on either working frequency current or


stored energy discharge.

The total energy stored in the capacitor in parallel with the failed capacitor should be
less than the fuse can discharge without exploding, and less than the energy
required to burst the failed capacitor.

This type of fuse may be used where the working frequency overcurrents which can
be supplied to the faulty unit are sufficiently low.

Current-limiting fuses

This type of fuse limits working frequency overcurrents to less than the prospective
value and reduces the current to zero before the normal working frequency current
zero.

A properly designed current-limiting fuse will discharge only a portion of the stored
energy available to the failed capacitor.

The amount let through by the fuse should be less than that required to burst a failed
capacitor.

These fuses should be used when either the working frequency overcurrents or
maximum stored energy in parallel with a possible failed unit is high enough to
cause bursting of an expulsion fuse or a failed capacitor. Properly designed current-
limiting fuses impose no upper limit on the parallel stored energy available to a failed
capacitor.

Chapter 11 Page 11-16 Power Factor Correction


CHOICE OF EXTERNAL FUSES

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Chapter 11 Page 11-18 Power Factor Correction
CAPACITOR GROUP RATINGS

VOLTAGE RATINGS
Y-Connected Capacitor Banks

Number of Series Groups*

Available Capacitor Voltages (kV per Unit)


VLL VLN
kV kV 21.6 19.92 14.4 13.8 13.28 12.47 9.96 9.54 8.32 7.96 7.2 6.64
500 288.7 14 15 20 21 22 29 30 35 36 38
345 199.2 10 15 16 20 21 24 25 27
230 132.8 10 14 16 17 18 20
161 92.9 7 14
138 79.7 4 6 6 6 8 10 12
115 66.4 5 7 8 9 9 10
69 39.8 2 3 3 4 5 6
46 25.56 2 4
34.5 19.92 1 2 3
24.9 14.4 1
23.9 13.8 1
23 13.28 2
14.4 8.32 1
13.8 7.96 1
13.2 7.62
12.47 7.2 1

Table 11-3

* This table shows, for a particular system voltage, the number of series-connected
capacitors per phase of a wye-connected bank which operates near rated
capacitor unit voltage

KVAR RATING

Capacitor banks are generally available in the following ratings:

- 50 KVAR - 200 KVAR

- 100 KVAR - 300 KVAR

- 150 KVAR

Chapter 11 Page 11-19 Power Factor Correction


CAPACITOR BANK ARRANGEMENTS
AND CONNECTIONS

DELTA CONNECTION

 Delta connected banks are


generally used only at low voltages

 No third harmonic currents can flow


in a delta connected capacitor bank

GROUNDED WYE CONNECTION

 Grounding the bank reduces surge


voltages

 Third harmonic resonance may be


a problem

 Provides a low impedance path to


ground for harmonic currents

Chapter 11 Page 11-20 Power Factor Correction


UNGROUNDED WYE
 Usually, capacitors do not require
current limiting fuses

 Connection does not pass third


harmonic currents during system
ground faults

 Neutral must be insulated for full


line voltage

UNGROUNDED DOUBLE WYE

NEUTRALS

 Two neutrals may or may not be


tied together

 Used when individual capacitor


bank ratings exceed fuse sizes

 Similar to ungrounded Wye


connection

 If two neutrals are not tied together,


system unbalance cannot be
detected

Chapter 11 Page 11-21 Power Factor Correction


GROUNDED DOUBLE WYE
 Similar to grounded wye connection

 Will pass third harmonic currents

 Unbalance between the two parts


of the bank can be detected

 The two neutrals should be directly


tied to ground through a single
connection

GROUNDED WYE BANKS

MULTIPLE SERIES GROUPS

 Are composed of two or more


series groups of two or more series
groups of parallel connected
standard voltage capacitor units per
phase

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