Power factor correction

What is Power factor? Power Factor = Active Power (kW)/Apparent Power (kVA) And kVA = √ kW2 + kVAr2 • • • • Hence Power Factor can never be greater than 1.00 Power Factor at best can be equal to 1.00 Usually P.F is always “Lag” (Inductive): This is because in any Industry, the majority of the Loads (for e.g. Induction Motors, etc.) are inductive in nature and consume reactive power to meet their magnetic field requirements. Some times P.F can be “Lead” (Capacitive): This situation normally arises when there are excessive capacitors in the installation compared to actual kVAr requirement of the Inductive Loads in the installation.

Why power factor is important? Low Power Factor means • Inefficient use of Electrical Energy: • Overloading of Transformer/Generator; • Overloading of Cable, Switchgear, Busbar … • Higher temperature due to increased losses • Imposes larger kVA demand • Limits No. of loads that can be connected • Reduced revenue to Electrical Utilities • Poor Voltage regulation Why improve power factor? • Avoid power factor penalties • Reduction in current drawn • Reduction in line losses • Enables more load to be connected • Reduction in kVA Demand • Increased life of Electrical Equipment • More revenue to Utilities • Improved Voltage regulation Insert page 23 from LV manual.

What is the power factor of various loads? • Incandescent Lamps - 1.00 • Resistive Heaters - 1.00 • Induction Motors - 0.7 to 0.85 • Fluorescent Lighting - 0.6 • Compact Fluorescent - < 0.9 lead • Computers - < 0.9 lead • Induction Furnace - 0.7 to 0.8 What is the origin of power factor? • Electrical Equipment need Reactive Power • Inductive loads draw Reactive Power • Phase difference between current & Voltage • Reactive Power to maintain magnetic fields in Motors.

How to improve power factor? Power Triangle analogy

S1(kVA) Q
S1 (kVA)

S2(kVA) Q(kVAr)




kVA=√(kW)2 + (kVAr)2 PF = kW/kVA = Cos


QC = P (Tan Cos Cos
1 2


- Tan


= Initial Power Factor = Final Power Factor

Uncompensated Load

Partially compensated Load

HOW TO CALCULATE kVAr REQUIRED? Active Power = 50 W. ; Power Factor = 0.6 Apparent Power = Active Power/ PF = 83.33 VA. Reactive Pr.= √(VA)2-(W)2 = √(83.33)2-(50)2 = 66.67 VAr. Hence if the power factor has to be improved to unity 66.67 Var of capacitor needs to be connected to the tube light. Example 2: However in a Industry, unity power factor is not always the target power factor. Though Unity Power factor is ideal, the Choice of target power factor is mainly based on Cost to benefit ratio

The cost to benefit ratio is subjective to the tariff structures adopted by the electricity board, where the plant is located. Tariff structures prevalent in India: 1.The Tariff structure employed by the electricity board is normally reflected in the electricity bill. The Tariff structures adopted are different for different electricity boards. There are mainly three types of tariffs employed The single part tariff: The two Part tariff The Three part tariff LT Industrial installations: In single part tariff, the user is charged for the kWh charges only. Earlier the Electricity Boards only insisted that the consumer provide capacitors whose kVAr is a certain percentage of the Total inductive Load in the installation, and levied penalty if this was not done. With the installation of Tri-vector / Electronic meters at a majority of LT industrial installations this scenario is fast changing as the Power factor is recorded directly by the Meters and if this is found to be below limits, a penalty is imposed for Low Power factor. The minimum limit for power factor is 0.85 Lag –0.90 Lag depending on the various electricity Boards. From the Bill of the LT installation, the kWh consumption in units and the average Power Factor recorded can be obtained. If load details are not available, the customer should be asked for the no. of operating hours of the Plant for the period of billing. The average KW loading can be estimated using the relation KWavg = kWh/ (No. of operating hours for the period of billing) Power factor is provided in the Bill. The kVAr required = kW(Tan Where And
1= 1

- Tan


Cos-1 (Initial power factor) -1 2 = Cos (Final power factor)

Once the kVAr is estimated, the Type of Compensation has to be decided upon, which is illustrated in the following pages

Two part Tariff: HT installations: In the Two part Tariff System, the Electricity Board charges the consumer for energy charges (kWh) and Demand (KVA) charges. The Electricity board also records Power factor in the Installation. • Industrial Installations with Electromagnetic meters:

The Industry is installed with a kWh meter, a kVArh meter and a MD indicator. The average Power factor is computed from the kWh and kVArh meter as follows KVArh/kWh = tanϕ ϕ = tan-1(KVArh/kWh) PF = cos ϕ If the Power factor recorded is below the limit imposed by the Electricity Board, then a penalty for maintaining Low Power factor is imposed on the Consumer. Normally the minimum Power factor to be maintained is 0.85 Lag. This figure varies with different electricity boards and is steadily increasing. In most places, the Industry is installed with a kWh meter and a kVAh meter. The average Power factor is computed from the kWh and kVAh meter as follows. PF = kWh/kVAh The Maximum kW Loading can be estimated using the relation MD x PF And hence KVAr required can be estimated using the relation. The kVAr required = kW (Tan Where And •
1= 1

- Tan


Cos-1 (Initial power factor) -1 2 = Cos (Final power factor) Industrial Installations with Tri-Vector meters:

Most Tri-Vector meters are capable of measuring parameters such as • Maximum Demand in kVA • Instantaneous Power factor • Average Power factor • Energy consumption in KWh, kVArh and kVAh.. With the ability to measure these parameters, the Electricity Boards/ Utilitites have become more creative in structuring their Tariffs,

Most Electricity Boards Charge the consumer for • Maximum Demand (in kVA) • KWH consumption • Low Power factor surcharges The above parameters are indicated in the Bill In such cases, The Maximum KW loading can be estimated by using the relation KW = kVA demand * Power Factor recorded The kVAr required = kW (Tan 1 - Tan 2) Where And Cos-1 (Initial power factor) -1 2 = Cos (Final power factor)

Three Part Tariff: Some electricity Boards also have the following Tariff structure Maximum Demand Charges kWh charges kVArh charges Power factor surcharge. The calculation of kVAr in this case does not change, but the payback calculations are affected. This is an approximate method of evaluating the kVAr required. However it is best that the KVAr requirement be estimated based on the actual loading details and loading conditions of the plant. Incentives being provided by Electricity Boards: Electricity boards to improve the energy efficiency has provided incentives to the consumers like ToD tariffs: Time of Day tariffs Incentives on maintaining high power factor: ToD tariffs: This is similar to STD charges prevalent for telephone communication. In other words the energy charges varies with time of day of operation. For example the energy charges for the kWh consumed during the peak hours will be very high and the energy charges for the kWh consumption during lean periods (like during the night or on holidays) will be very low. This is to encourage the consumers to operate their plants during unconventional timings so as to prevent overloading of the Grid.

Incentives on maintaining high power Factor: To encourage the consumers to maintain high power factors, Electricity board provide incentives if the power factor is maintained above 0.95 lag. For example MSEB provides the following incentive. If the Power factor is maintained at 0.96 lag, the EB gives the customer 1% discount/ rebate on the Total electricity bill, 2% rebate if the PF is maintained at 0.97 lag, 3% for 0.98 lag , up to a maximum of 5% for unity PF. The value of monthly electricity bills of Industrial installations runs into Lakhs of rupees, and hence the discount offered for maintaining high power factor is a very attractive option. Hence if the utility is providing such incentives to the customer, it is best to estimate the kVAr for 0.99 lag or unity. Example for Payback Calculations:

Note; Some electricity boards specify a Contract demand for the Installation, which is provided based on an application put forth by the consumer. The consumer in this case is charged for the Contract demand, even though the maximum Demand recorded is much lower. But if the MD recorded exceeds the Contract Demand, heavy penalties are imposed on the consumer. For example Say the contract demand of the installation is 1000 kVA The MD recorded = 756 kVA PF = 0.84 Lag KWh = ******* units Though the MD is 756 kVA, the consumer is charged for 1000 kVA at say 350Rs./ kVA, and a power factor surcharge is also levied, since the power factor maintained is low. In other cases, though the Contract Demand has been specified, the recorded Maximum Demand is the Billing Demand. Hence consider the above example, the customer is charged for 756 kVA itself though the contract demand is 1000 kVA. Before submitting payback calculations to the customer, these points have to be evaluated.

WHERE & HOW TO CONNECT CAPACITORS Once the kVAr required to improve the power factor is estimated the next step is to evaluate the Type of compensation to be employed, whether 1. Fixed compensation 2. Variable compensation 3. Combination of Fixed and variable Again under Fixed compensation, we have 1. Individual compensation 2. Group compensation 3. Central compensation Fixed Compensation can be employed for – Steady Loads – No load compensation of Induction Motors – No load compensation of Transformers Individual Compensation • Directly at the Load terminals Ex. Induction Motors: Capacitors can be connected directly to the terminals of the induction motor, but the capacitive kVAr should not be estimated using the formula kVAr = KW (Tan 1 - Tan 2). In the case of individual compensation for Induction motors, care should be taken that the Capacitor current does not exceed 90% of the NoLoad current of the induction motor, this is due to the fact that when the capacitor current exceeds the No load magnetizing current of the induction motors, excessive voltage surges can occur due to self excitation, in the event of interruption of Power supply, which can prove harmful to both the capacitors and the Motor. Consider a 100 HP, 4 pole, 415V, 3phase, 50 Hz Induction motor. The Capacitive kVAr required is estimated as follows KW rating of the motor = HP*0.746 = 100*0.746 = 74.6 kW The Full load current of the Motor = (kW *1000)/(√3 * 415*PF*η) Normally the Power factor of the induction motors is 0.8 PF lag under Full load conditions and the efficiency η = 85%. Hence IFL = (74.6*1000)/( √3 * 415*0.80*0.85) = 152.6 Amps

No load current of the motor = 30% of IFL = 30/100 * 152.6amps = 45.78 Amps = 90% of No load current = 41.20 Amps Hence capacitive kVAr required = (√3 * 415*41.20)/1000 = 29.61 kVAr =~ 30 kVAr

Capacitor current

The Power Factor of the Motor and hence the IFL varies with the No. of Poles and hence the RPM of the Motor. Hence the Capacitive kVAr is also subjected to change with the RPM of the Motor. refer graph G-6 from page 31 of LV manual. Guidelines for installing Fixed capacitors for motors: Some industries frequently switch On/Off their induction motors, as their production requirements call for it. In some parts of India, there are frequent power interruptions and sometimes the power is restored within 60 secs. This could happen a number of times. In the case of Brown outs the Starter contactors used for Starting the induction motors may switch ON/OFF, due to the momentary loss of voltage at the No-Volt coil of the Starter contactor. Normally the discharge time of the capacitors is 60secs. Once a capacitor is switched OFF, it is mandatory to allow the capacitor to discharge completely, before switching it ON again. But in the event of the above situations, this practice is violated and hence could lead to Superposition of the supply voltage onto the capacitor voltage leading to self healing and hence PSD operations in turn leading to the reduction of kVAr output of the capacitors. Hence in all cases where the switching cycle of the capacitors is less than the discharge time of the capacitor, it is recommended that a contactor and a timer circuit be provided to prevent the capacitor from being switched ON before the 60 secs has elapsed. NO Load compensation for Transformers; Transformers, are devices which work on the principle of Electromagnetism and therefore consume reactive power for their own needs. The table below can be used to determine the approximate individual transformer compensation required according to its On-Load or off –load magnetizing current. As a thumb rule the No-load reactive power requirement of the Transformer will be approximately 2% of the KVA rating of the Transformer. The Full load reactive power of Transformer = (% Z of Transformer * kVA rating)/100 Total reactive Power for Transformer = No-load kVAr + Full load kVAr
i.e. kVArtrafo = ((2 + %Z)* kVAtrafo )/100

Refer Page 36 from LV manual. • Individual compensation gives maximum benefit to user:

AS the Reactive power demanded from the system and hence the current drawn is reduced till the point of connection of the capacitors, the line losses and the Current loading on the Cables connected upto the point of connection of the capacitors is reduced. Individual compensation is not recommended for Drives: Individual Compensation should not be recommended for AC/DC drives due to the following reasons: High dV/dt during the instant of switching of the Capacitors can lead to the failure / malfunctions of the Thyristors. Discharge of Stored energy from the capacitors into the Drives can cause malfunctions/failure of the Solid state devices. Consistent Over Voltages in the event of leading power factor situations.

Individual compensation -Costly solution. Though Individual compensation is most recommended, it is a more expensive solution as compared to group and central fixed compensation. This is because connection of individual capacitor banks calls for additional cables, banking and Switchgear requirement. Moreover maintenance of individual capacitor banks is more cumbersome compared to Group/central Fixed compensation.

Group Compensation Group compensation can be defined as Single compensation for Group of Loads. For example if a MCC (motor control Cabinet) is feeding 10 Nos. of 10 HP, 415V, 3 phase, 50 Hz Induction motors, it makes more sense to provide a single capacitor bank rated for 30 kVAr rather than providing 10 Nos. of 3 kVAr capacitors for individual motors. Moreover the capacitor rating that can be directly connected to terminals of the motor is restricted due to the limitations explained in appendix xx . Hence the extra capacitors required to achieve the Target PF can be connected in the group compensation mode.

• •

Group Compensation gives moderate benefit to user: However group compensation provides moderate benefit to the user as compared to Individual compensation due to the reasons stated above. Few Capacitor Banks and hence relatively easy to maintain: It is evident that though group compensation may not make a significant reduction in kVAr, it definitely reduces the no. of capacitor banks to be connected. It is easier to connect and maintain a 100 kVAr capacitor bank located at a one particular location compared to 5 Nos. of 20 kVAr capacitor banks distributed downstream.

Central Compensation • Directly connected at the incomer: In central compensation the kVAr estimated is connected at the incomer (that is at the secondary of the Transformer/ at the Power control Cabinet level.). • Improves PF at the metering point: Central compensation helps improve the Power factor at the metering point and hence the average power factor recorded by the EB meter is higher depending on the capacitive kVAr connected. Hence the KVA demand recorded by the meter is reduced and Power factor penalties imposed by the Electricity board are eliminated.

• •

Line losses continue to prevail down stream: Since , in central compensation the capacitor banks are connected at the Main feeder bus, the line losses are reduced only to that point, since the apparent current drawn is reduced only till the point of connection of the Capacitor. Hence the current and therefore the Line losses downstream of the capacitor banks continue to be high. Hence central compensation is least beneficial to the user. Extremely easy to maintain: Insert Page 39 from LV manual.

Variable Compensation Automatic Power Factor Correction (APFC): The reactive power compensation required to maintain the desired level of power factor may vary in a given installation due to significant load variations within the installation to meet inherent process requirements or any other reasons which are specific to the type of Industry/ installation. In such a situation it is desirable that variable compensation be provided to match the load variations that occur from time to time. This method when executed without manual intervention is referred to as Automatic power factor correction Systems. The general structure and the operation of the APFC panel is summarized below. • Capacitors grouped into several steps. • Suitable switching devices with coupled with inrush current limiting devices are provided for each step • Power Factor sensed by CT in line side • kVAr required to achieve target PF is computed by the Microprocessor based APFC relay • APFC relay switches appropriate capacitor steps • CT senses improved PF and gives feedback • Thus target PF is achieved

. WHICH PRODUCT TO CHOOSE i.e. MPP or MDXL etc? The choice of capacitors is mainly dependent on two factors. a) Type of loads in the installation ( percentage of Non-Linear loads). b) Total cost i.e Purchase+ operating cost. Complete details are provide in chapter 6 (Selection of capacitors and APFC) of the RPM catalogue Page Nos. 11 &12. WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OF THE VARIOUS DESIGNS? Ans. Refer page Nos. 13, 14 for the features of various designs. Technical data of the capacitors are given in the following pages. MPP-D – Page No. 15 MPP-S - Page No. 17 MPP-H - Page No. 19 MD-XL - Page No. 21 MD - Page No. 23 FF - Page No. 25

WHAT IS WATT LOSS / kVAr, HOW IT IS CALCULATED & HOW IT EFFECTS PAYBACK PERIOD? Ans. All capacitors like all other electrical loads exhibit losses due to the following factors. a) Di-Electric Losses b) I2R losses internal to the capacitors c) Losses in the discharge resistors. These losses are measured in watts and hence known as watt losses of the capacitors. These losses are specified as watts/ kVAr. The watt loss of the capacitors are determined using Schering Bridge, and cannot be estimated at site. Generally higher watt loss/ kVAr means higher operating costs, thereby increasing the Payback period. For effects on payback period refer page no. 12 (Chapter 6.1.2 cost base selection). The watt Loss/kVAr of all the types of capacitors are given in the technical data of the capacitors. WHY 440V or 415V RATING & HOW TO CALCULATE THE CURRENT? Ans. Various installations have various operating voltages depending on the loads. The broadly used system voltages are 415V and 440V, and capacitors need to be provided as per the system voltages. In some cases a 440V capacitor is recommended for a 415V system to withstand high over voltages which may occur in the system. In this event the kVAr output of the capacitor is less than specified.

For Example; Consider a capacitor rated for 25 kVAr, 440V, 3 phase, 50Hz installed on a 415V system. The kVAr output of this capacitor will be 22 kVAr at 415 V as per the relation below. (System Voltage)2 L-L ----------------------* Rated kVAr of the capacitor. 2 (Rated Voltage of capacitor) [(415) 2 / (440)2 ]* 25 kVAr = 22.23 kVAr I = kVAr * 1000/ ( 3 * System voltage in Volts)

Current drawn by the 25 kVAr, 440V, 3-Phase, 50Hz capacitor at 415V, 50 Hz shall be I = 22.23 *1000 / ( 3 * 415) = 30.9 Amps. USING CAPACITORS IN PANELS & HOW TO SAFEGUARD? Ans. 1.Timers have to be provided, to prevent switching ON the same capacitors within the discharge time of the capacitors (60 secs). If this is not done, superposition of voltages will occur, leading to premature failure of the capacitors. 2. To limit the “INRUSH Current” of the capacitors at the instant of switching a) Parallel switching should be done using special capacitor duty contactors. b) If not switched using capacitor duty contactors, adequate inductor coils should be provided to limit the inrush current. c) For installing APFC panels in Harmonic rich environment, suitable reactors coupled with the capacitors should be used to block the harmonics. WHAT ARE THE SYSTEM CONDITIONS THAT SHOULD BE ANALYZED BEFORE RECOMMENDING RPM SOLUTIONS? Ans. a) System Voltage b) Total Working Load (in KW) c) Continuous / Base load (in kW) d) Variable Load (in kW) e) Percentage of Non- Linear loads (or Non-Linear Loads in KW) Refer page 10 for summary of non-Linear loads. f) Existing power factor and Desired power factor. g) Existing capacitors in the installation (HT and LT) h) Recent monthly electricity bills of the plant i) Single line diagram.

HOW TO COMPENSATE WELDING LOADS? Ans. Refer page No. 49 and 50 (Chapter 8.4 ‘IntellVAr-D’ Thyristor switched APFC) WHAT IS LEADING PF & WHAT HAPPENS TO METER READING? Ans. In some cases due to overcompensation the power factor tends to go towards the leading side. This leading power factor is rightly displayed as leading PF by most of the Trivector meters, but often misinterpreted as lagging PF by the concerned User. Thereby the customer tends to add more capacitors making the power factor to go even further towards the leading side. The customer in this event may complain of the Non-performance of the capacitor For example Case 1: Consider a installation having PF of 0.84 (lag). If the installation is over compensated then the PF will go towards leading side say 0.84 (Lead), This PF indicated will still be 0.84 on the Trivector meter, with some kind of indication to indicate Leading PF. The user may mis-interpret this to be lagging PF. Customer Complaint: Capacitors not working. Case 2: Consider a installation with PF 0.86(lead). Customer adds capacitors assuming that the PF is 0.86 (Lag). In this event the PF will further go towards the leading side say 0.74(lead). Consistent Leading PF can lead to over voltages at the secondary of the Transformer. If a leading PF situation arises at the Terminals of the DG set, the AVR (Automatic voltage regulator) of the DG set may fail. To ascertain the right amount of compensation refer page 5 & 6 of the RPM catalogue.

Power Factor correction in Harmonic Environment WHAT ARE HARMONICS & THE VARIOUS SOLUTIONS? What are Harmonics ? Electrical loads can be classified as linear and non-linear loads. A linear load is one which draws a sinusoidal current when subjected to sinusoidal voltage as shown in fig 1(a). The current wave may or may not have a phase difference with respect to the voltage. A pure resistance, inductance or capacitance or any combination of these forms a linear load.
On the contrary a non-linear load is one which draws non-sinusoidal or pulsating current when subjected to sinusoidal voltage as shown in fig 1(b). For Example in a Half Wave

rectifier, if a sinusoidal voltage is applied to it, the current is drawn in the positive half cycle only due to the forward biasing characteristics of the single diode present in the circuit. So if the Input voltage and current waveforms are compared, it can be observed that though the voltage applied is sinusoidal, the current drawn is NonSinusoidal.

Fig 1(a)

Fig 1(b)

Any non sinusoidal current can be mathematically resolved into a series of sinusoidal components ( Fourier series ). The first component is called as fundamental and the remaining components whose frequencies are integral multiples of the fundamental frequency are known as harmonics. If the fundamental frequency is 50 Hz, then 2nd harmonic will have a frequency of 100Hz and the 3rd will have 150Hz and so on. A diagrammatic representation of the various harmonics of a non-sinusoidal wave is shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. - 2. Distorted Wave.
f1 f5 f7 f11 Total

f1 – Fundamental f5 – Fifth harmonic f7 – seventh harmonic f11 – Eleventh harmonic


What Loads generate Harmonics • Equipments using Switched Mode Power Supply - Television - Computers, other IT Loads • Equipment using Power Electronic Devices - AC & DC Drives - Frequency Converters - Rectifiers - Arc & Induction furnaces - UPS - Compact Fluorescent & other discharge Lamps Type of Harmonics Characteristics Harmonics - Characteristic harmonics are related to circuit configuration and have a fairly predictable frequency spectrum, i.e. the Harmonics generated are related to the number of pulses of the Rectifier circuit. For example AC/DC converters or rectifiers are mainly used for feeding DC motors, battery chargers, electrolysis plants etc.; and are normally 3 Phase, 6 or 12-pulse type. The characteristic harmonic current generated by rectifiers can be calculated based on the Fourier theorem using the formula as follows: n = ((p ) x (k)) +/- 1, where p = number of the pulse and k = 1,2,3,4,5…. which gives n = 5,7,11,13,17,19,23,25….for six pulse rectifier. Similarly, the 12 pulse rectifier generates n= 11,13,23,25… where “n” is the order of the harmonic

Magnitude inversely proportional to order: The rms value of the individual harmonics for an ideal rectifier can be calculated using the formula: In = I1 / n where: I1 = rms value of the fundamental current n = harmonic order. For example I5 = I1/5 = 0.2 * I1 Non-characteristic harmonics. Harmonics produced as a result of imbalance in the a.c. power system or unsymmetrical delay of firing angle of the converter. They are also produced by other non-linear, time-varying devices, e.g. frequency changers, florescent lamps, arc furnaces, electric welding machines, etc. Inter-harmonics a sub group of Non-characteristic harmonics are those harmonic frequencies which are non integral multiples of the fundamental frequency, for e.g., n = 5.5, i.e., 5.5 x 50 Hz = 275 Hz. Triplen Harmonics - Triplen harmonics are defined as odd harmonics that are multiples of 3. - Triplen Harmonics are given by the relation 3.(2n+1) order n = 0,1,2… i.e 3,9,15,21.. Etc
R - phase. Y - phase.

fr F3r

fy F3y



B - phase. Addition of third harmonics in Neutral conductor

fb F3b




Observe fig above. The 3rd harmonic current is flowing in all the three phases. Also these 3rd harmonic currents are attaining maximum and minimum values at the same instant of time, which means that they are in phase with each other. Hence they get added in the neutral conductor. Source of Triplen harmonics One of the best example of the load that generates Triplen harmonic is a computer. Most of the electronic equipments are single-phase loads and essentially consists of SMPS which generate Triplen harmonics. Effect of Harmonics

• Rotating Machines- Increased losses /over heating due to Skin Effect, Pulsating • • • • •

Torque, reduced efficiency. Transformer, Switch-Gear, Power Cables- Increased losses/over heating due to Skin Effect Protective Relays - Maloperation, Nuisance tripping Power Electronics- Maloperation, Failure Control & Automation- Erratic Operation Power Capacitors -High currents & premature failure due to overload

How Capacitors & Harmonics are Related Network behaviour without Capacitors • Most of the Harmonic currents internal to Network go to the Grid as the grid offers the least impedance path to the Harmonic currents • No Resonance at harmonic frequencies • Network Power Factor 1s unacceptably low Network without Capacitors GRID Harmonic currents flow towards Grid Min. Import of Harmonics from Grid

No Resonance at harmonic frequencies Hence least Harmonic Problem

Non Linear Load


Power Factor Very Low

Network behaviour with Capacitors • Capacitors draw excessive currents & fail: We are now aware that harmonics have a frequency of n times the Fundamental frequency, where n is the order of the harmonics. The reactance or impedance (ignoring resistance) of the capacitor is given by Xc = 1/(2∏fC). Form this relation, it is clear that the Xc is inversely proportional to frequency. C is a constant for a given capacitor and hence the Xc of the capacitor reduces with increase in frequency. Consequently higher order harmonic currents tend to flow towards the capacitors, leading to overloading of the capacitors and subsequent failures. Network with Capacitors GRID ZN ZT BUS Harmonic currents flow towards Capacitors , due to parallel resonance with load “ZL” Import of Harmonics from Grid towards Capacitors, due to series resonance with network & transformer impedances “ZN” &“ZT” Increase of THD(V) in the Bus

Non Linear Load

Harmonic overloading of Capacitors, leading to its failure Improvement in Power Factor With Harmonic overload

Equivalent Load Impedance “ZL”

Internally generated Harmonic currents may amplify due to Parallel Resonance: Definition:Resonance is defined as a condition where Capacitive Reactance becomes equal to Inductive Reactance in magnitude. The frequency at which this occurs is called the resonant frequency. The resonant frequency is given by the Relation Fr = 1/(2∏√LC)
Parallel Resonance



|Z| =

Impedance of the parallel LC circuit is


jXL*-jXc j(XL -XC)

Under Resonance conditions XL = XC And hence the denominator becomes 0 Therefore Z = jXL*jXc / 0 = ∞ The analytical model for a harmonic source can be determined from the single-line diagram by creating a Norton equivalent as seen by the harmonic source as shown below:





Under this condition the Parallel LC circuit acts like a Tuned oscillatory circuit with a resonant frequency Fr. If the resonant frequency is close to the frequency of any of the Harmonic components present in the network, high amplification of those harmonics will take place leading to an increase in distortion.

Externally generated Harmonics enter Capacitors due to Series Resonance |Xl|






Series Resonance

For a Series LC circuit the impedance Z = j(XL-XC) Under resonance condition XL =XC Therefore Z = 0. The Single line diagram when looked from the Grid can be represented like a Series LC circuit (Neglecting load impedance).






Hence under series resonance the impedance offered by the Series LC circuit is negligible and hence if the Series resonant frequency is close to any of the Harmonic components present on the Grid, the series LC circuit will provide the least impedance path for those harmonic currents, hence overloading the Capacitor. Network Power Factor improves: The Primary reason for connection of the capacitors was to improve the Power Factor., which is achieved, but the capacitors get overloaded and there is an increase in Harmonic Distortion. How to improve Power Factor without causing Harmonic problem ? • Conventional Capacitors should not be used • Capacitors should be replaced by Harmonic Suppression Filters (Series combination of suitable series reactor & Capacitors) so that, • It offers Capacitive reactance at fundamental frequency for necessary Power Factor correction • It offers Inductive reactance at all higher order dominant harmonic frequencies to avoid resonance • Its self series resonance frequency “fR” do not coincide with predominant harmonics

Network with Harmonic Filters GRID ZN ZT No resonance at harmonic frequencies as filter is inductive at such frequencies Harmonic currents flow towards Grid , as it offers least impedance compared to filter Predominantly fundamental current flows through Capacitors


Equivalent Load Impedance “ZL”

Moderate THD(V) in the Bus No harmonic overloading of Capacitors


Improvement in Power Factor without Harmonic overload

Harmonic Filter • Harmonic filter comprises of a Reactor (L) in series with a Capacitor (C) • Such a filter has a unique self series resonance frequency fR at which inductive reactance of reactor equals capacitive reactance of capacitor. fR = 1/(2π√LC) • Below fR the filter is capacitive • Above fR the filter is inductive For More Details refer IEC-61642

Characteristics of Harmonic Filter




fR Frequency Classification of Harmonic Filters

Detuned or Harmonic Suppression Filters • Resonance Frequency fR< 90% of lowest dominant Harmonic frequency Tuned or Harmonic Absorption Filters • Resonance frequency fR within 10% of the frequency of the Harmonic to be absorbed

Selection criteria for Harmonic Filters • Detuned Filters • Power Factor correction is of paramount importance • If ordinary capacitors draw > 130% of its rated current • Reduction of THD(V) not relevant • To prevent capacitors from harmonic overload • Harmonic study not required for installing standard Detuned filters

Selection criteria for Harmonic Filters • Tuned Filters • Power Factor correction & reduction of THD(V) are of paramount importance • Ordinary capacitors draw > 130% of its rated current • Harmonic study required for installing Tuned filters • Specifically designed for each location • More bulky, since it carries large amount of harmonic currents. Hence expensive From the above it is evident that the introduction of Capacitors in the network opens up a Pandora’s Box of problems. Hence at site it is important to run a few checks before recommending a Power factor solution: Follow the guidelines given: refer chapter 5 of LT RPM manual.

Standard Detuned Filters-1 • Standard detuned filters have a fixed percentage tuning factor “p” • Percentage tuning factor is defined as Reactor reactance at system frequency Capacitor reactance at system frequency • Standard detuned filters are available for 7 % tuning factor • The resonant frequency of the filter fR is related to tuning factor “p” by fR = fS/ √(p/100) = 189 Hz for 7% filter

• • •

Standard 7% detuned filters are suitable for use in majority of installations where the dominant harmonics are higher than 189 Hz like 5th and higher. 7% detuned filters should not be used in installations where predominant 3rd harmonics are present like “IT based” industries. For “IT based” industries 14% detuned filters ( fR=134 Hz) should be used.

Design features of Detuned filter • Detuned filter consists of matched pair of specially designed Reactor and Capacitor. • Detuned filter is designed to provide the rated kVAr at the rated voltage at the Bus • The Reactor Capacitor combination is designed for the rated tuning factor • Standard Detuned filters are available for 7% tuning factor rated for 12.5, 25, 50, 75 & 100 kVAr at 440 Volts. Design features of Detuned filter Reactor Features • Reactors are specially designed to carry wide spectrum of Harmonic and fundamental currents without saturating. • They are rated for operation up to 160°C through use of class “F” insulation. • Over load thermal cut off provided to protect the Reactor Capacitor Features • Capacitor is specially designed to carry wide spectrum of Harmonic and fundamental currents without overloading. • It is designed for higher voltage to allow for increased voltage due to introduction of series Reactor • The kVAr of the capacitor is suitably designed to deliver the rated kVAr of the filter at the Bus

Calculation to estimate the rated voltage of the filter Capacitor

I L XL= (p/100) XC

I = V/ Xeq = V/ XC (1-p/100) Voltage across Capacitor VC is given by VC = I XC = V/ (1-p/100) Allowing 10% for over voltage, the rated voltage of the capacitor is given by 1.1 VC = 1.1 V/ (1-p/100)



Bus Voltage 415 415

Percentage Tuning Factor 7% 14%

Voltage Rating of Capacitor 490.86 530.81

Voltage Rating Rounded off 500 V 550 V

Note on Capacitor for Detuned filter Application • It is seen that the voltage rating of the capacitor has to be higher than the system voltage. • Hence normal capacitor of 415/440 Volts rating should never be used in series with Reactor. • Any such attempt would be hazardous to the Capacitor and the installation. CAUTION Prior to installing any de-tuned filters please ensure the following • Dis-connect all capacitors already installed in the network. • Dis-connect all automatic power factor correction equipment. • De-tuned filters with different tuning frequencies should never be combined without prior consent of the supplier. If these pre-cautions are not taken problems/failures can occur due to unequal sharing of the harmonic currents. Kindly Refer to the following documents: Guidelines to install detuned Filters IEC 61642

CONDUCTING MEASUREMENTS AT SITE: The following definitions pertaining to Harmonics should be known. Definitions from IEEE-519 will be inserted IN the event of the Customer inviting us to conduct a Harmonic study, the following guidelines have to be followed: Note these guidelines do not pertain only to conducting a study but also present the actual situations encountered at site. 1. Before conducting the Study, normally the customer would require a small briefing on Harmonics, as harmonics is not a widely known subject in the Electrical Field as of now, and hence their curiosity is justified. In this event a small briefing explaining as to what is Harmonics, their effects on network and on capacitors can be given. The same has been explained in this paper and also in the L&T RPM catalogue. This might take up some of your time, but the Customer will definitely be more accommodating after this briefing. Care should be taken, so as not to go too deep into the subject. 2. Ask for the Single line diagram of the installation. Read the single line diagram carefully and identify the various points of common coupling. Also identify the if there are any capacitors and/or Filters (Tuned/Detuned) connected in the Installation and their locations. 3. Normally the Single line Diagrams are old and some network changes might have taken place during the course of time. Hence the customer should be asked if there have been any changes in the network with respect to the single line diagram. If yes, the appropriate changes must be highlighted. 4. All network configurations should be considered including exceptional and emergency arrangements( for e.g. back up sources of supply) as well as possible future extensions. Special attention should be paid towards electrical machines (like generators, synchronous compensators), capacitors and Non-Linear Loads etc. 5. The Fault level of the plant, the Name plate details of the Transformers and generators, Cable dimensions, length of cables, no. of runs/phase from Power source to Point of common Coupling should be taken down. 6. Normally the primary objective of the customer is to improve the Power Factor. The electricity bills of the installation will give an idea of the existing power factor of the installation at the metering point. The tariff structure being followed by the Electricity board can also be identified from the Bills. The Target power factor and hence the kVAr required to achieve the Target power factor can be arrived at from the bill. (this has been explained in detail earlier)

7. In many installations the customer keeps a record of the daily kWh units consumption and the Power Factor at various feeders. A copy of these records for the past few months will prove very helpful in estimating the type (Fixed/Variable) and the location of compensation. 8. It is suggested to do a walk around in the Installation . This will help in getting an complete idea of the Installation, the loads connected, the type of loads, and the level of maintenance of the network. 9. After doing the above preliminary checks, request the customer to show the location of the Points of common coupling identified by you and proceed with the measurements. Preferably measurements should also be carried out at all MCC (motor control cabinets) and any Major Non-Linear Loads. 10. The instruments available with Meher at present are the • Fluke 41 B Harmonic Analyzer • MTE EZ 901 Harmonic Analyzer • Ducati Harmonic Analyzer Practical sessions of handling the Fluke 41B and the MTE will be conducted. 11. The Manuals provided along with these instruments also give detailed instructions on carrying out the measurements and the functionality of the Instrument. 10. The measurements should be carried out with and without the capacitors. With above instruments Single phase readings will have to be taken. You might experience the following difficulties while taking measurements. • • Negative Power readings: The clamp ON CT might be connected in reverse. Inverse the clamp On CT and continue with the measurement. The Power factor is abnormally low or leading: The current and voltage measurements might be in two different phases. For example the CT might be connected in R phase and the Voltage measurement will be between Y phase and neutral. This can sometimes lead to erroneous readings. Check the phases and correct. No neutral available: In the event of No neutral being available, the body earth can be taken as reference in place of the neutral HT measurements:

• •

11. What to deduce from the measurements: Note down the CT and PT ratios if the measurements are being carried at the secondary of the CT and PT. Check the current recorded by the instrument. Multiply with CT ratio (if applicable). Check if it matches the optimum load currents at that point.

Check the voltage, see if it matches with the specified system voltage. Check the THDV% recorded by the instrument, check if it is within limits. Check the harmonic current spectrum and identify the Harmonic currents which have been amplified. Download the readings on to the computer. An indication of the values measured can be given to the customer. The recommended limits for Voltage and current Distortions as per IEEE-519 will be inserted. Important formulae

Formula Symbols

C Capacitance (farads) f Frequency (Hertz) I Current (amps) Ih = rms current (amps) at harmonic (h) KVAr =Reactive Power (kvar) kVAtx = three-phase transformer rating, Ztx = nameplate impedance (%) kVAr = three-phase capacitor bank rating KVA =Total Power (kVA) kV =kilovolts (kV) KW =Real Power (kW) PF =Power Factor (no unit) P Real Power (KW) Q Reactive Power (kVAr) S Total Power (KVA) Subscript I Initial Subscript d Desired Three Phase Subscript Subscript Single Phase Subscript LN Line to Neutral Subscript LL Line to Line Th = single frequency TIF at harmonic (h) Vn = harmonic voltage magnitude Vrms, Irms = Root mean square (rms) value of voltage and current Vpk = peak magnitude Xc Capacitive Reactance (ohms) Xc = capacitive reactance (Ω), XL = inductive reactance (Ω), R = resistance (Ω) Xn = filter inductor - reactance (Ω), n = harmonic at which filter is tuned θ = power factor angle
Subscript SC Short Circuit

Capacitors Connected in Parallel Capacitors Connected in Series

Capacitive Reactance Xc

Capacitance C

Capacitive Kilovars

Power Factor

KVAr Required to Change Power Factor

= Initial

Power Factor Angle Power Factor Angle

= Final

Equations for Total Power

Equations For Reactive Power

Approximate Voltage Rise for Addition of Capacitors

Released System Capacity for Power Factor Improvement

% Loss Reduction for Correcting Power Factor

Capacitor Current

Total Harmonic Distortion


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