Reactive Power Issues

What is Reactive Power?
• While active power is the energy supplied to run a motor, heat a home, or illuminate an electric light bulb, reactive power provides the important function of regulating voltage. If voltage on the system is not high enough, active power cannot be supplied. Reactive power is used to provide the voltage levels necessary for active power to do useful work. Reactive power is essential to move active power through the transmission and distribution system to the customer.

Reactive power analogies
• The “loft” in a baseball throw.

• The “lift” in an airplane.

The “loft” analogy .

The AIRCRAFT “lift” analogy .

Reactive Power is a Byproduct of Alternating Current (AC) Systems • Transformers. and motors require reactive power • Transformers and transmission lines introduce 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 to offset inductance • The farther the transmission of power. transmission lines. the higher the voltage needs to be raised • Electric motors need reactive power to produce magnetic fields for their operation .

What is Reactive Power? • While active power is the energy supplied to run a motor. reactive power provides the important function of regulating voltage. heat a home. Reactive power is essential to move active power through the transmission and distribution system to the customer. Reactive power is used to provide the voltage levels necessary for active power to do useful work. or illuminate an electric light bulb. • • .

How Are Voltages Controlled? • Voltages are controlled by providing sufficient reactive power control margin to “modulate” and supply needs through: 1. • Voltages are controlled by predicting and correcting reactive power demand from loads. Dynamic compensation 3. Shunt capacitor and reactor compensations 2. . Proper voltage schedule of generation.

Reactive Power Management and Control is Critical for Overall System Stability .

Motor will stall. Low voltage conditions could result in equipment malfunctions: 1. Damage major equipment – insulation failure 2. Reactive power output of capacitors will be reduced exponentially 3.Voltage Must be Maintained Within Acceptable Levels • Under normal system conditions. overheat or damage 2. both peak or off peak load conditions. • • . High voltage conditions may: 1. the voltages need to be maintained between 95% and 105% of the nominal. Generating units may trip. Automatically trip major transmission equipment.

Reactive Power System Sources & Sinks Sources Transmission System Sinks Line Charging (Source) Synchronous Condensers & Generators Reactive Losses (Sink) Synchronous Condensers & Generators Reactors Capacitors Reactive flow across interconnections Reactive Load Reactive flow across interconnections .

Maintain proper stability of the power system. Provide adequate service quality 2. .Voltage and Reactive Power • Voltage and reactive power must be properly managed and controlled to: 1.

Maintain Proper Stability of the Power System .

Voltage Collapse Phenomenon Inadequate reactive support Which results in: Voltage drops Which results in: Reduced reactive power from capacitors and line charging Which results in: Less reactive power support Which results in: Greater voltage drops Which results in: Tripping of generating units due to low auxiliary voltage level or TCUL actions or generator field current limiters VOLTAGE COLLAPSE .

2003 Blackout Several Causes: • Sufficient voltage studies were not conducted.August 14. • • . Operational voltage criteria that did not reflect actual voltage stability conditions and needs were used in voltage analyses. Inadequate practices without correction were used.

August 14. . Recommendation: • National Electric Reliability Council specifically recommended stricter voltage and reactive planning and assessment practices to be implemented by electric utilities. 2003 Blackout Conclusion: • The August 2003 Blackout study team concluded that inadequate voltage and reactive power planning were contributing factors to the incident.

Sufficient static and dynamic voltage support is needed to maintain voltage levels within an acceptable range. • Reactive power supply should be located in close proximity to its consumption.Voltage & Reactive Power Planning And Assessment Practices Key Principles: • Reactive power cannot be transmitted over a long distance or through power transformers due to excessive reactive power losses. • • . Sufficient reactive power reserves must be available to regulate voltage at all times.

Distribution reactive loads must be fully compensated before transmission reactive compensation is considered. • • .Voltage & Reactive Power Planning And Assessment Practices Key Implications: • Metering must be in place and maintained to capture actual reactive consumption at various points. • Transmission and Distribution planners must determine in advance the required type and location of reactive correction. Reactive power devices must be maintained and functioning properly to ensure the correct amount of reactive compensation.

Transmitting Reactive Power Reactive power cannot be effectively transmitted across long distances or through power transformers due to high I2X losses. .

Reactive Power Location Reactive power should be located in close proximity to its consumption. .

(condensers. Dynamic Compensation is ideal for instantaneous responses. tap changes).Static vs. Static Compensation is ideal for second and minute responses. generators) A proper balance of static and dynamic voltage support is needed to maintain voltage levels within an acceptable range. reactors. • • • . Dynamic Voltage Support • The type of reactive compensation required is based on the time needed for voltage recovery. (capacitors.

Load shedding schemes must be implemented if a desired voltage is unattainable thru reactive power reserves. As the load increases or following a contingency.Reactive Reserves During Varying Operating Conditions • Ideally. • • • . the system capacitors. and condensers should be operated to supply the normal reactive load. The reactive capability of the generators should be largely reserved for contingencies on the EHV system or to support voltages during extreme system operating conditions. reactors. additional capacitors should be switched on or reactors removed to maintain acceptable system voltages.

Reactive device settings 4. • . Plant voltage schedules 2. Maintaining acceptable system voltages involves the coordination of sources and sinks which include: 1. Load shedding schemes. Transformer tap settings 3.Voltage Coordination • The reactive sources must be coordinated to ensure that adequate voltages are maintained everywhere on the interconnected system during all possible system conditions.

A reduction in reactive margin available for contingencies and extreme light load conditions 3. Excessive switching of shunt capacitors or reactors 4. . Increased reactive power losses 2. Increased probability of voltage collapse conditions.Voltage Coordination • The consequences of uncoordinated operations would include: 1.

The assigned schedule will permit the generating unit to typically operate: 1.Voltage Schedule • Each power plant is requested to maintain a particular voltage on the system bus to which the plant is connected. “Under excited” or absorb reactive power under extreme light load conditions. • . In the middle of its reactive capability range during normal conditions 2. At the high end of its reactive capability range during contingencies 3.

The transformer taps should be selected so that secondary voltages remain below equipment limits during light load conditions.Transformer Tap Settings • Transformer taps must be coordinated with each other and with nearby generating station voltage schedules. • .

And • “Off” when no longer required to support voltage levels. .Reactive Device Settings • Capacitors on the low voltage networks should be set to switch “on” to maintain voltages during peak and contingency conditions.

.Load Shedding Schemes • Load shedding schemes must be implemented as a “last resort” to maintain acceptable voltages.

and install the required type and location of reactive correction • Maintain reactive devices for proper compensation • Maintain meters to ensure accurate data • Recommend the proper load shedding scheme if necessary. 1. engineer.Voltage and Reactive Power Control • Requires the coordination work of all Transmission and Distribution disciplines. . Transmission needs to: • Forecast the reactive demand and required reserve margin • Plan.

Voltage and Reactive Power Control 2. Distribution needs to: • Fully compensate distribution loads before Transmission reactive compensation is considered • Maintain reactive devices for proper compensation • Maintain meters to ensure accurate data • Install and test automatic under voltage load shedding schemes. .