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what is reactive power

what is reactive power

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Published by Ivar Nilasta
reactive power
reactive power

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Published by: Ivar Nilasta on Jan 30, 2013
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Reactive power and Importance toPower systems and it’s Compensation
J. RavindranadhRoll No: 10521D5612
Reactive power (vars) is required to maintainthe voltage to deliver active power (watts) throughtransmission lines. Motor loads and other loads requirereactive power to convert the flow of electrons intouseful work. When there is not enough reactive power,the voltage sags down and it is not possible to push thepower demanded by loads through the lines. Hencethere is need of reactive power and analysis and designof its compensating devices.Keywords- Reactive power,
Importance of Present of Reactive Power:
Voltage control and reactive-power management aretwo aspects of a single activity that both supportsreliability and facilitates commercial transactionsacross transmission networks.On an alternating-current (AC) power system,voltage is controlled by managing production andabsorption of reactive power. There are three reasonswhy it is necessary to manage reactive power andcontrol voltage.
First, both customer and power-systemequipment are designed to operatewithin a range of voltages, usuallywithin±5% of the nominal voltage. Atlow voltages, many types of equipment perform poorly; light bulbs provide lessillumination, induction motors canoverheat and be damaged, and someelectronic equipment will not operate at.High voltages can damage equipmentand shorten their lifetimes.
Second, reactive power consumestransmission and generation resources.To maximize the amount of real power that can be transferred across acongested transmission interface,reactive-power flows must beminimized. Similarly, reactive-powe production can limit a generators real- power capability.
Third, moving reactive power on thetransmission system incurs real-power losses. Both capacity and energy must be supplied to replace these losses.
Voltage control is complicated bytwo additional factors.
First, the transmission system itself is anonlinear consumer of reactive power,depending on system loading. At verylight loading the system generatesreactive power that must be absorbed,while at heavy loading the systemconsumes a large amount of reactive power that must be replaced. Thesystem's reactive-power requirementsalso depend on the generation andtransmission configuration.
Consequently, system reactiverequirements vary in time as load levelsand load and generation patternschange. The bulk-power system iscomposed of many pieces of equipment,any one of which can fail at any time.Therefore, the system is designed towithstand the loss of any single piece of equipment and to continue operatingwithout impacting any customers. Thatis, the system is designed to withstand asingle contingency. Taken together,these two factors result in a dynamicreactive-power requirement. The loss of a generator or a major transmission linecan have the compounding effect of reducing the reactive supply and, at thesame time, reconfiguring flows suchthat the system is consuming additionalreactive power.
At least a portion of the reactivesupply must be capable of respondingquickly to changing reactive-power 
At least a portion of the reactive supplymust be capable of respondingquickly to changing reactive-power demands and to maintain acceptablevoltages throughout the system. Thus, just as an electrical system requiresreal-power reserves to respond tocontingencies, so too it must maintainreactive-power reserves.
Loads can also be both real andreactive. The reactive portion of theload could be served from thetransmission system. Reactive loadsincur more voltage drop and reactivelosses in the transmission system thando similar-size (MVA) real loads.
Vertically integrated utilities ofteninclude charges for provision of reactive power to loads in their rates. Withrestructuring, the trend is to restrictloads to operation at near zero reactive power demand (a 1.0 power factor). Thesystem operator proposal limits loads to power factors between 0.97 lagging{absorbing reactive power) and 0.99leading. This would help to maintainreliability of the system and avoid the problems of market power in which a
company could use its transmissionlines to limit competition for generationand increase its prices.
Purpose of Reactive Power:
 Synchronous generators, SVC andvarious types of other DER (Distributedenergy resource) equipment are used tomaintain voltages throughout thetransmission system. Injecting reactive power into the system raises voltages, andabsorbing reactive power lowers voltages.
Voltage-support requirements are afunction of the locations andmagnitudes of generator outputs andcustomer loads and of the configurationof the DER transmission system.
These requirements can differ substantially from location to locationand can change rapidly as the locationand magnitude of generation and loadchange. At very low levels of systemload, transmission lines act ascapacitors and increase voltages. Athigh levels of load, however,transmission lines absorb reactive power and thereby lower voltages. Mosttransmission-system equipment (e.g.,capacitors, inductors, and tap-changingtransformers) is static but can beswitched to respond to changes involtage-support requirements
System operation has three objectiveswhen managing reactive power andvoltages.
First, it must maintain adequatevoltages throughout the transmissionand distribution system for both currentand contingency conditions.
Second, it seeks to minimize congestionof real-power flows.
Third, it seeks to minimize real power losses.
However, the mechanisms that systemoperators use to acquire and deployreactive-power resources arechanging .These mechanisms must befair to all parties as well as effective.Further, they must be demonstrably fair.
What is Reactive Power?
While active power is the energysupplied to run a motor, heat a home, or illuminate an electric light bulb,reactive power provides the importantfunction of regulating voltage.
If voltage on the system is not highenough, active power cannot besupplied.
Reactive power is used to provide thevoltage levels necessary for active power to do useful work.
Reactive power is essential to moveactive power through the transmissionand distribution system to the customer 
Why Do We Need Reactive Power
Reactive power (VARS) is required tomaintain the voltage to deliver active power (watts) through transmissionlines.
Motor loads and other loads requirereactive power to convert the flow of electrons into useful work.
When there is not enough reactive power, the voltage sags down and it isnot possible to push the power demanded by loads through the lines."
How Reactive Power helpful to maintain a SystemHealthy:
We always in practice to reduce reactive power to improve system efficiency This areacceptable at some level, if system is purelyresistively or capacitance it make cause some problem in Electrical system. AC systems supply or consume two kind of power: real power and reactive power .Real power accomplishes useful work whilereactive power supports the voltage that must becontrolled for system reliability. Reactive power hasa profound effect on the security of power systems because it affects voltages throughout the system.Find important discussion regarding importanceabout Reactive Power and how it is useful tomaintain System voltage healthy
Need of Reactive Power:
Voltage control in an electrical power systemis important for proper operation for electrical power equipment to preventdamage such as overheating of generatorsand motors, to reduce transmission losses andto maintain the ability of the system towithstand and prevent voltage collapse. Ingeneral terms, decreasing reactive power causing voltage to fall while increasing itcausing voltage to rise. A voltage collapseoccurs when the system try to serve muchmore load than the voltage can support.
When reactive power supply lower voltage,as voltage drops current must increase tomaintain power supplied, causing system toconsume more reactive power and thevoltage drops further. If the current increasetoo much, transmission lines go off line,overloading other lines and potentiallycausing cascading failures.
If the voltage drops too low, some generatorswill disconnect automatically to protectthemselves. Voltage collapse occurs when anincrease in load or less generation or transmission facilities causes droppingvoltage, which causes a further reduction inreactive power from capacitor and linecharging, and still there further voltagereductions. If voltage reduction continues,these will cause additional elements to trip,leading further reduction in voltage and lossof the load. The result in these entire progressive and uncontrollable declines involtage is that the system unable to providethe reactive power required supplying thereactive power demands.
Reactive Power is a Byproduct of Alternating Current (AC) System
Transformers, transmission lines, and motorsrequire reactive power 
Transformers and transmission linesintroduce inductance as well as resistance
Both oppose the flow of current
Must raise the voltage higher to push the power through the inductance of the lines
Unless capacitance is introduced tooffset inductance
The farther the transmission of power, thehigher the voltage needs to be raised
Electric motors need reactive power to produce magnetic fields for their operationReactive Power is a Byproduct of Alternating Current(AC) SystemTransformers, transmission lines, and motorsrequire reactive power 
Transformers and transmission linesintroduce inductance as well as resistance Bothoppose the flow of current must raise the voltagehigher to push the power through the inductanceof the lines Unless capacitance is introduced tooffset inductance
The farther the transmission of power, the higher the voltage needs to be raised
Electric motors need reactive power to producemagnetic fields for their operationHow Are Voltages Controlled?•Voltages are controlled by providing sufficientreactive power control margin to "modulate" andsupply needs through;
Shunt capacitor and reactor compensations
Dynamic compensation
Proper voltage schedule of generation.Voltages are controlled by predicting andcorrecting reactive power demand from loadsVoltage must be maintained within Acceptable Levels
Under normal system conditions, both peak or off peak load conditions, the voltages needto be maintained between 95% and 105% of thenominal.
Low voltage conditions could result in equipmentmalfunctions;
Motor will stall, overheat or damage
Reactive power output of capacitors will bereduced exponentially
Generating units may trip.High voltage conditions may:
Damage major equipment - insulation failure
Automatically trip major transmissionequipmentVoltage and Reactive Power Voltage and reactive power must be properlymanaged and controlled to:
Provide adequate service quality
Maintain proper stability of the power system.Reactive Power and Power Factor Reactive power is present when the voltage andcurrent are not in phase
One waveform leads the other 
Phase angle not equal to Oo
Power factor less than unity
Measured in volt-ampere reactive (VAR)
Produced when the current waveform leadsvoltage waveform {Leading power factor)
Vice versa, consumed when the currentwaveform lags voltage (lagging power factor)
Reactive power limitations
Reactive power does not travel very far.
Usually necessary to produce it close to thelocation where it is needed
A supplier/source close to the locationof the need is in a much better position to providereactive power versus one that is located far fromthe location of the needReactive power supplies are closely tied to theability to deliver real or active power.Reactive Power Caused Absence of Electrical Supply inCountry-A BLACKOUT:
The quality of the electrical energy supply can beevaluated basing on a number of parameters.However, the most important will be always the presence of electrical energy and the number andduration of interrupts.
If there is no voltage in the socket nobody willcare about harmonics, sags or surges.A long term, wide-spread interrupt - a blackout leadsusually to catastrophic losses. It is difficult to imagine thatin all the country there is no electrical supply.In reality such things have already hapned a number of times. One of the reasons leading to a blackout is reactive power that went out of the control.When consumption of electrical energy is high, thedemand on inductive reactive power increases usually atthe same proportion. In this moment, the transmissionlines (that are well loaded) introduce an extra inductivereactive power.The local sources of capacitive reactive power becomeinsufficient. It is necessary to deliver more of the reactive power from generators in power plants.It might happen that they are already fully loaded and thereactive power will have to be delivered from more distant places or from abroad. Transmission of reactive power will load more the lines, which in turn will introduce morereactive power. The voltage on customer side willdecrease further. Local control of voltage by means of autotransformers will lead to increase of current (to get thesame power) and this in turn will increase voltage drops inlines. In one moment this process can go like avalanchereducing voltage to zero. In mean time most of the

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