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In fact, it is a device for comparing an imp erfect capacitor C2 in term of a loss-free standard capacitor C1 [figure 1]. The imperfect capacitor is represented by its equivalent loss-free capacitor C2 in series with resistance r [figure 2].
For high voltage application, the voltage is applied at the junction shown in th e figure. The junction between arms 3 and 4 is earthed. Since capacitor impedanc es at lower frequencies are much higher than resistances, most of the voltage wi ll appear across capacitors. Grounding of the junction affords safety to the ope rator from the high-voltage hazards while making balancing adjustment in arm 3 a nd 4.
For balance, Z1Z3 = Z2Z4 Or,
Separating the reals and imaginaries, we have C2 = C1(R4/R3) and r = R3.(C4/C1). The quality of a capacitor is usually expressed in term of its phase defect angl e or dielectric loss angle which is defined as the angle by which current depart s from exact quadrature from the applied voltage i.e. the complement of the phas e angle. If ɸ is the actual phase angle and δ the efect angle, then ɸ+δ=900. For smalle r values of δ, tan δ = sin δ = cos ɸ (approximately). Tan δ is usually calle the issipat ion factor of the R-C circuit. For low power factors, therefore, issipation fac tor is approximately equal to the power factor. As shown in figure 3,
Dissipation factor = power factor = tan δ =r/Xc=r/(1/ωC2)= ωrC2 Putting the value of rC2 from above, Dissipation factor = ωrC2 = ωC4R4 = po er factor