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Automatic Power Factor Correction Capacitors In a Harmonic Environment The use of automatic adjusting capacitor

Automatic Power Factor Correction Capacitors In a Harmonic Environment

The use of automatic adjusting capacitor banks is a growing trend in providing power factor correction. Compared with load based or fixed compensation automatic banks provide increased serviceability, accurately display the power factor and other metered parameters, indicate alarm conditions, and lower the total installed cost. A second trend is the growing use of AC and DC drives in industrial and commercial operations. These trends combine to create new challenges and concerns in providing

effective, and reliable power factor correction. Providing power factor correction in a harmonic environment presents several design issues including; switching delay times, switching filter steps based on power factor requirements, harmonic sources (AC versus

DC drives), and changing network conditions. The following discusses each of these

issues.

Switching Delay Times

Low voltage automatic capacitor or filter banks typically use a delay time of 30 – 40 seconds between steps. This delay time is chosen to ensure that the capacitors have discharged prior to being re-connected. The long delay time limits the autobank’s ability to track rapidly changing loads. The slow response time may result in an overload condition in filter banks. Consider the case where a large harmonic producing load is turned on. The initial steps of the filter could be overloaded before the autobank has time to connect the required compensation. Acceptable solutions must account for this switching delay.

Switching Steps based on Power Factor

Automatic banks use a power factor controller to switch capacitor, or filter steps

in and out. The compensation level connected is based on the power factor need not

the harmonic filtering need. A control method based on power factor works well with

standard capacitor banks. However, when the application involves harmonic filters the control method may not be valid. Reactive power and harmonic current are not always proportional. AC drives have a high power factor and the power factor for DC drives can range from 20% - 85% depending on the application. The variability in the relationship between the power factor and harmonic current may result in an unbalance between the need for power factor correction and the need for harmonic filtering. When the filtering requirement exceeds the power factor need the filter may be overloaded.

ABB Control Inc. 1206 Hatton Rd

Telephone:

Fax:

Wichita Falls, TX 76302

1-888-385-1221

940-397-7085

Harmonic Sources (AC versus DC drives) The discussion above noted the variability between a load’s

Harmonic Sources (AC versus DC drives)

The discussion above noted the variability between a load’s reactive power and the level of harmonic current. AC drives have a power factor around 95%. The power factor of a DC drive can vary from 20% to 85%. However, the current distortion for AC and DC drives are similar. The uncertainty concerning the relationship between power factor and harmonic current should cause one to pause when considering automatic switch filters.

Changing Network Conditions

Passive filter design must be concerned with changing network conditions. Changing network conditions include the addition of new loads, and a change to the feeding system. How much can the harmonic load increase without overloading the filter? What will be the impact on the filter if the system switches to the emergency generator, or if a normally open tie circuit breaker is closed? How much margin is in the automatic filter system design?

Having detailed the primary concerns of automatic switching passive filter we will now seek an acceptable solution. ABB developed the Automatic Anti-Resonance Bank to address each of the potential issues raised concerning the design and operation of automatic filter banks. The typical Anti-Resonance Bank uses a tuning point of the 4.08 th . This tuning point, and conservative sizing of components protects the Anti- Resonance bank against overloads due to switching delays, changes in the network, and the variability between the load’s reactive power and harmonic current. Simply stated the Anti-Resonance Bank has sufficient design margin to address all of the application issues which could overload a filter bank tuned to 4.7 th harmonic. ABB’s Anti- Resonance Bank significantly increases the reliability and the range of applications where the automatic switching filter bank can be used safely. To achieve the same safety margin with a bank tuned to the 4.7 th harmonic a rms current rating of more than twice the fundamental current would be required. Typically systems that use 4.7 th tuning are only rated for approximately 1.5 times the fundamental current.

ABB’s Anti-Resonance Bank answers the concerns of overloading a automatic switching filter bank. The remaining question is does the Anti-Resonance bank fulfill the customer’s requirements. The typical objectives involved with the addition of switching filter banks include; 1) maintaining a set power factor, 2) avoiding a parallel resonance condition, and 3) limiting the harmonic distortion to an acceptable level. Proper sizing of the Anti-Resonance Bank will enable the system to maintain an acceptable power factor. The tuning point is selected to avoid parallel resonance. In order to determine if the

ABB Control Inc. 1206 Hatton Rd

Telephone:

Fax:

Wichita Falls, TX 76302

1-888-385-1221

940-397-7085

harmonic distortion will be limited to an acceptable level each case must be analyzed independently.

harmonic distortion will be limited to an acceptable level each case must be analyzed independently. (The same analysis is required for a bank tuned to the 4.7 th .)

The following case study is taken from a typical industrial application. A 1500 KVA, 5% impedance transformer feeds a facility with a peak load of 650KW at a power factor of 81%. Approximately 50% of the total load is harmonic producing and the total harmonic current distortion is 17%. The available short circuit power at the point of common coupling is 117MVA. The object is to reduce the distortion to IEEE-519 levels and improve the power factor to above 98%.

Based on the existing load conditions IEEE-519 recommends that the total harmonic current distortion be no higher than 15%. Currently the total harmonic distortion exceeds the recommended level and the fifth harmonic current distortion exceeds the 12% level recommended by IEEE-519. A 350Kvar automatic Anti-Resonance bank was designed to fulfill the customer requirements. The power factor was improved beyond 98%, and the distortion was limited as required. The total harmonic current distortion was reduced to 10.7% and the voltage distortion on the customer’s system was reduced from 5% to 2.9%. The Anti-Resonance Bank met or exceeded each of the customer’s requirements while providing a reliable solution that addresses the concerns of automatic filter banks. There are cases where the Anti-Resonance Bank, nor a filter system tuned to the 4.7 th , will be able to reduce the distortion to IEEE recommended levels. In such cases ABB would propose a comprehensive approach selecting from the broadest range of passive and active filter technology in the industry. Based on the types of loads employed and their operational characteristics an appropriate solution would be reached.

ABB Control Inc. 1206 Hatton Rd

Telephone:

Fax:

Wichita Falls, TX 76302

1-888-385-1221

940-397-7085