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Electric Power Systems Research 95 (2013) 140147

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True power factor metering for m-wire systems with distortion, unbalance and direct current components
C.T. Gaunt , M. Malengret
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
Two companion papers describe an internally consistent general power theory valid for instantaneous and average power for systems with any number of wires, under conditions of unbalance, distortion or dc components. Measuring apparent power and power factor under non-ideal conditions, even in typical three-phase four wire systems, needs the resistances of the wires, particularly the neutral wire, to be dened, and without this detail all conventional power theory approaches are inadequate and give misleading measurement results. This paper illustrates the practicality of measurement of distorted power supplies, and describes laboratory tests showing the differences between measurements using the new approach and a conventional instrument. Applications of the new approach in real power systems are described, including hybrid ac/dc systems and smart grids, and in measuring quality of supply affected by disturbing loads, and the non-active power in transformers subjected to geomagnetically induced currents. The nature of changes required in international standards and the implications for further practical research and development are identied. 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 16 June 2011 Received in revised form 28 June 2012 Accepted 31 July 2012 Keywords: Power theory True power factor Meter Compensation

1. Introduction Building on two companion papers [1,2], an approach to multiphase power system measurement based on the general power theory has been implemented in practice and the results illustrate the practical feasibility and signicance of the approach. The key concepts and some implications are presented here in ve sections. First, in Section 2, a specication for power meters is dened in the context of the need for accurate measurement and the practical problems encountered by others. The specication is not an exploration of conventional metrology, which is covered in other papers and standard specications, but identies the conditions for which the meters must be appropriate and the parameters needed as inputs to the meter for apparent and non-active power to be measured under non-ideal conditions. In Section 3, a prototype hardware and digital signal processor (DSP)-based true power factor meter that uses the general power theory is described. The concept of the prototype was extended to a computer based measurement system based on the transducers and processes of a conventional power meter, so Section 4 describes laboratory tests that demonstrate practically the differences between measurements with a conventional standard-compliant instrument and

using the new approach. In Section 5 the benets of the new methods of measurement are discussed in four practical application areas. Finally, in Section 6 a possible approach to future standards for measurement of apparent power and power factor is proposed. 2. Specication of meters for accurate apparent power measurement The IEEE standard 14592010 [3] clearly identies various reasons why accurate measurement of distorted and unbalanced power is needed. Briey, loads on modern power systems have the potential to disturb the delivery networks and the equipment being used by customers, and there is a need to maintain supplies of acceptable quality and apportion the costs of doing so to those causing the disturbances. In addition, meters and instruments are needed for energy billing, energy quality evaluation, detection of the sources of distortion, and design of lters and compensators. The purpose of the standard is to provide criteria for designing and using metering instrumentation. Similarly, many authors have addressed the need for compensation of voltage unbalance and distortion, although, in practice, all proposed solutions have been inadequate in coping with combined distortion, unbalance and zero sequence or dc components. Jeon [4] identied applications that require a theory suitable for m-wire systems with wires of any resistance, including a multipath transmission system and a three phase four-wire system in which the neutral conductor is of different resistance to the phase

Corresponding author. Tel.: +27 21 6502810; fax: +27 21 6503465. E-mail addresses: (C.T. Gaunt), (M. Malengret). 0378-7796/$ see front matter 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

C.T. Gaunt, M. Malengret / Electric Power Systems Research 95 (2013) 140147


i1 i2 i3 in

e1 e2 e3 en

i1 i2 i3 in
Current waveform for compensation with and without energy storage D to A output for compensators Static VAr Compensator (External)

Analogue input interface

e1 e2 e3

Display: Power kW Apparent Power kVA Power Factor

Rn = 0 Rn = Rl Rn =

Digital Signal Processor A to D sample and hold and calculations

Display Unit

Select neutral wire resistance ref

Load Real Power Load Apparent Power Power Factor Components of non-active power

ica1 ica2 ica3 ican

icA1 icA2 icA3 icAn

Fig. 2. Processor block diagram for the TPF meter. Fig. 1. The TPF meter with input and output signals, display and selection buttons.

conductors. However, his solution for distortion due to harmonics was only valid for a balanced load. Similarly, Mishra et al. [5] described the short-comings of load compensation approaches in power electronics proposed by other authors and formulated another compensation technique, and they too found their scheme was inadequate, in this case working for unbalanced but not distorted voltages. Montero et al. [6] compared four widely used strategies for controlling shunt active power lters in 3-phase 4-wire systems and reported that only what they called the perfect harmonic cancellation strategy was capable of correct action under any conditions of use under the power denitions of IEEE Standard 1459, but it still did not achieve complete compensation to unity PF. More recently, Ustariz et al. [7] identied a signicantly distorted 3-phase supply to a 6-phase, 12-pulse rectier as a practical installation requiring accurately calculated compensation, but their solution did not allow for the supply wires to have different resistances. By contrast, Ate and Sanaye-Pasand [8] studied the power factor of a supply to an arc furnace with a neutral wire of negligible resistance, which they found has signicant effect in the physical meaning of the apparent power. While their solution provides rigorous analysis it does not propose how compensation will be controlled. Clearly, practical combinations lead to measurement problems underlying any compensation control, apportionment of costs or understanding of undesired losses, voltage drop and EMC problems [9]. The generalised theory contributes to an improved understanding of all these practical problems and offers complete compensation, providing practical measurement of apparent and non-active power and power factor that is strictly accurate taking into account the wire resistances, is able to display the measured quantities, and generates the inputs needed by compensators. 3. Initial true power factor meter for three-phase systems The rst meter conceived was for three equal resistance phase wires and a neutral wire with an assumed resistance of value zero, innite or equal to the phase conductors. This was termed a true power factor (TPF) meter and a provisional patent was registered. A prototype TPF meter was assembled around the Texas Instrument DSP TMS320F240 and used to measure unbalanced and distorted 3-phase supplies, comparing results with conventional meters, without relying only on simulations. The meter displayed power, apparent power and power factor according to the selected resistance of the neutral wire, and provided two signals suitable for input into two compensators without and with energy storage. Fig. 1 illustrates the TPF meter in a block diagram showing the sequence of sensing the input parameters, processing the data

according to the relative wire resistance values, and outputting a result. The meter inputs consist of four currents and voltages derived from transducers on the lines supplying the load. (Subsequently only m-1 currents were sensed as the m-th current is dened by the others by Kirchhoffs law.) The labels of the inputs correspond to the load and compensators in the circuit connection diagram in the companion paper [2], without the apostrophe representing resistance weight or the (t) representing that they are a function of time. Fig. 2 illustrates how the instantaneous values of line currents and voltages are processed by the DSP. The user of the instrument can select three conditions depending on the nature of the neutral wire. The instrument output is calculated according to the value attributed to the neutral wire, assuming the resistances of all the phase wires are equal. Clearly, this prototype instrument had the shortcomings of assuming all phase wires had equal resistance and the limitation of the neutral resistance to only three values, but it demonstrated the practical possibilities of the approach to metering and compensation. The exercise also claried an important issue distinguishing instrument design and construction from the broader topic of understanding the performance of power systems. It was still necessary, however, to assess the effects of the general power theory approach on practical power measurements and compare them with the measurements made by conventional power instruments. 4. Experimental laboratory measurements Instrument design and manufacture is a specialised area and the risk of error in construction and calibration of a physical meter make it difcult to obtain strictly comparable results using a laboratory prototype TPF meter. Instead, a laboratory proof-of-concept demonstration was implemented by taking voltage and current samples with a good quality conventional (commercial) 3-phase power meter. By adopting the sensing systems of a conventional power meter compliant with industry standards, all the conventional issues of metrology are removed from comparison by making them common to the conventional and novel approaches, and the effect and practicality of the proposed new approach to measuring apparent power are demonstrated. The calculations can be made by computer using the sampled signal data, and enable a direct comparison of the algorithms using a common base of physical measurements for the conventional and new methods. This computer-calculation approach has an advantage of exibility in demonstrating the practicality of the new method for different conditions because alternative calculations can be carried out more easily by computer than by programming a physical DSP, but in a practical instrument the calculations would be carried out in a DSP.


C.T. Gaunt, M. Malengret / Electric Power Systems Research 95 (2013) 140147

Measurements were taken with a Yokogawa WT1600 Digital Power Meter connected as three-phase, four-wire system (3-P 4-W) with equal wire resistances. According to the Yokogawa manual, power measurement complies with standard IEC76-1(1976). Within the meter, the apparent power and non-active power are derived from the sum of the three separately measured products of RMS voltages and currents. Several aspects of extracting the voltage and current samples determine their adequacy for the calculation of the derived values. All readings must be simultaneous; in this instance the simultaneous sampling is managed by the instrument at a sampling rate of approximately 12.5 kHz. (The required rate depends on the order of harmonics that are signicant in the distorted waveforms, and this sampling rate in 50 Hz systems is close to the 9-2LE implementation guideline of 256 samples/cycle used for power quality applications). Then, the accuracy and resolution of the sampled signals must comply with standard specications for meters this requirement is exactly the same in the Yokogawa meter, which generates a digital value of the voltages and currents as the basis of the calculated outputs. The voltages are measured from the neutral wire, and the neutral current can be calculated directly from the three line currents. The accuracy of the calculated values of power and apparent power requires a sufciently large number of samples to be added during a period T of a periodic voltage source (not limited to one wavelength) so that an error of less than one sample is not signicant, while the summated truncation error is limited to approximately half the largest truncation error (per unit) of a sample measurement. The observation interval (the number of cycles over which the measurement is made) can be dened in terms of a number of cycles or a time at a selected system frequency, and could be chosen differently anything from one to many cycles for special applications. Four experiments were undertaken. (1) Using a nominally balanced supply from a three-phase variac connected to the Universitys laboratory supply and with balanced star-connected resistive loads each comprising three 1 kW resistance heating elements with the star point connected to the neutral wire. (2) Balanced supply and balanced star-connected reactive loads comprising in each phase a 56 ohm resistance in series with a reactance of 16.80 ohms at 50 Hz. (3) Balanced supply and unbalanced star-connected resistive loads. (4) Positive sequence supply and balanced star-connected resistive load, with zero sequence voltage introduced by connecting a single phase voltage between the star point of the load and the neutral wire using a step-down single phase isolation transformer. For each of the experiments a set of 1002 instantaneous values of voltages and 1002 instantaneous values of current recorded by the Yokogawa power meter over four cycles were transferred to a computer. (To identify four cycles is easy in post-event processing but in a practical meter the fundamental wavelength would be identied by a Fourier transform). The instantaneous values of voltages and currents were used to calculate the apparent power and power factor using three different methods: the conventional method (equivalent to that used by the meter itself) and two of the methods that allow for a neutral wire of resistance equal to the phase wires, or zero resistance. The calculations with zero wire neutral resistances were included to illustrate the change in results if the voltage null reference is changed accordingly, given the same physical measurements of current and voltage. (An equivalent calculation for a system in which the neutral wire has innite resistance, but using the same set of measurements would not be valid, because the current owing in the neutral cannot be ignored). The results of the

three calculation methods were compared with the actual readings collected from the power meter, resulting in four sets of data for each experiment. 4.1. Calculations The calculations in accordance with the conventional specication for the measurement of power are dened as follows. First, the RMS values of each phase current and voltage measured from the neutral are calculated from the 1002 sampled values. Then the power associated with each phase (P1 , P2 and P3 ) is calculated from the sum of the products of the sampled pairs of voltage and current, and the total power P is the sum of the three phase components. The apparent power of each phase is the product of the RMS current and RMS voltage and the total apparent power S is the sum of the three phase components. The power factor is the ratio P/S. For the other calculations, the methods applied for each case are summarised here from the companion paper [2], using the symbols illustrated in Fig. 1 and with to represent summation of the 1002 sampled values. Note that in these three special cases (with rn = 0, r1 or ) S = ||V2 || ||I|| = ||V2 || ||I||, but this is not generally true. In each case, S = ||V2 || ||I|| and power factor = P/S, but the derivation of the value ||V2 || and ||I|| is different for each case as dened in the companion paper on average power [2]. Clearly, the arithmetic processes are relatively simple for any DSP. When rn = r1 = r2 = r3 then in = (i1 + i2 + i3 ) and I =
2 + i2 + i2 + i2 )/1002 r 1/2 (i1 . n 2 3 Since v2 = (e eref ) = {e1 eref , e2 eref , e3 eref , en eref } where eref = (e1 + e2 + e3 )/4 Note that eref is a function of time and must be calculated at every sample reading. Calculating the RMS vales and deducting eref (the null point RMS offset value) will lead to erroneous results. V 2 = [( (e1 eref )2 + (e2 eref )2 + (e3 eref )2 Then 1/2

+ (0 eref )2 )/1002]



V 2 = [( (e1 eref )2 + (e2 eref )2

1/2 ref )i1

+ (e3 eref )2 + (0 eref )2 )/1002] /r 1/2 , P = (e1 e (e2 eref )i2 + (e3 eref )i3 + (0 eref )in

2 + i2 + i2 )/1002] Similarly, when rn = 0 then I = [(i1 2 3 and the neutral wire is the null point so v2 = (e eref ) where eref = 0 2 + i2 + i2 )/1002] so V 2 = [(i1 /r 1/2 2 3 and P = e1 i1 + e2 i2 + Se3 i3 For completeness, a set of measurements on a system without a neutral, with rn = , would be calculated as: 2 + i2 + i2 ) (i1 2 3 1/2 1/2



Since v2 = (e eref ) = {e1 eref , e2 eref , e3 eref , en eref }where eref = (e1 + e2 + e3 )/3 then V 2 = [( (e1 eref )2 + (e2 eref )2 + (e3 eref )2 + (0 eref )2 )/1002]

P = (e1 eref )i1 + (e2 eref )i2 + (e3 eref )i3 + (0 eref )in A spreadsheet of the arithmetic calculations is available in the online version of the paper. It is limited to a small number of samples to illustrate the processes, but can be extended to any number of samples and cycles. 4.2. Results of laboratory measurements The results of the laboratory measurements and ensuing calculations produce four sets of data for each the four experiments, presented in Tables 14.

C.T. Gaunt, M. Malengret / Electric Power Systems Research 95 (2013) 140147 Table 1 Balanced resistive load. Conventional theory Yokogawa WT 1600 power meter readings Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 3-phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 3-phase Urms 230.12 232.2 230.99 231.1 230.25 232.36 230.90 Irms 4.1549 4.22867 4.1047 4.1755 4.1600 4.2885 4.1060 S 955.73 995.96 948.02 2899.7 957.77 996.47 948.07 2902.3 || I || 7.2829 7.2829 S 2913.3 2916.1 P 955.63 995.90 947.98 2899.5 957.45 994.92 947.90 2900.3 P 2900.3 2900.3


0.99989 0.99994 0.99995 0.99993 0.99967 0.99844 0.99982 0.99930

Calculated values: conventional denition

General theory: calculated values Actual circuit: (Group 1 Rn = R1 = R2 = R3 = R3) If Rn neglected: (Group 2 Rn = 0) 3-phase 3-phase

||V|| 400.02 400.40

0.99552 0.99457

Table 2 Balanced reactive load. Conventional theory Yokogawa WT 1600 power meter readings Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 3-phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 3-phase Urms 230.08 232.05 230.93 231.02 230.13 232.21 230.98 Irms 2.8125 2.9624 2.7546 2.8432 2.8168 2.9663 2.7588 S 647.11 687.43 636.11 1970.7 648.23 688.80 637.22 1974.3 || I || 4.9905 4.9905 S 1996.3 1997.7 P 451.35 479.58 436.02 1367.00 451.98 480.43 437.05 1369.5 P 1369.5 1369.5 0.68600 0.68554 0.69749 0.69764 0.68545 0.69365 0.69726 0.69748 0.68587 0.69366

Calculated values: conventional denition

General theory: calculated values Actual circuit: (Group 1 Rn = R1 = R2 = R3 = R3) If Rn neglected: (Group 2 Rn = 0) 3-phase 3-phase

||V|| 400.02 400.30

Table 3 Balanced supply and unbalanced resistive load. Conventional theory Yokogawa WT 1600 power meter readings Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 3-phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 3-phase Urms 227.26 228.19 228.12 227.86 227.30 228.39 228.15 Irms 2.2336 4.2214 4.0536 3.5029 2.2378 4.2249 4.0565 S 507.62 963.29 924.71 2395.6 508.63 964.91 925.49 2399.0 || I || 6.5818 6.5818 S 2596. 7 2598. 6 P 507.13 963.06 924.60 2394.8 507.68 963.79 925.24 2396.7 P 2396.7 2396.7 0.92300 0.92231 0.99904 0.99976 0.99988 0.99966 0.99814 0.99884 0.99973 0.99903

Calculated values: conventional denition

General theory: calculated values Actual circuit: (Group 1 Rn = R1 = R2 = R3 = R3) If Rn neglected: (Group 2 Rn = 0) 3-phase 3-phase

||V|| 394.52 394.81

Table 4 Balanced resistive load with zero sequence voltage. Conventional theory Yokogawa WT 1600 power meter readings Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 3-phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 3-phase Urms 208 209 289 235 207.58 209.09 288.74 Irms 3.85 3.97 5.16 4.33 3.8602 3.9734 5.1650 S 800 830 1490 3120 801.2944 830.8086 1491.327 3123.43 || I || 8.1763 8.1763 S 3296.4 3373.0 P 800 830 1490 3120 801.04 831.47 1491.1 3123.6 P 3123.6 3123.6 0.94759 0.92608 1 1 1 1 0.99968 1.0008 0.99987 1.0001

Calculated values: conventional denition

General theory: calculated values Actual circuit: (Group 1 Rn = R1 = R2 = R3 = R3) If Rn neglected: (Group 2 Rn = 0) 3-phase 3-phase

||V|| 403.17 412.53


C.T. Gaunt, M. Malengret / Electric Power Systems Research 95 (2013) 140147

In each table, the power meter reading is the actual reading given by the Yokogawa instrument and the calculated value using the conventional method is the result of the computer calculation using the 1002 sets of voltage and current values derived from the Yokogawa instrument. The instruments transducer accuracy affects the power meter reading and the calculated values equally. The accuracy of the calculated values is further affected by the cadence and resolution of the signal samples, the cumulative error in the summation over a period and truncation. The largest difference between the actual and calculated values of effectively 12 measurements of power, apparent power and power factor is 0.18%, including the effects of truncation and accumulated errors during the calculation. Correctly taking into account the relative wire resistances as required in the calculations based on the general theory, the apparent power differs from the conventional measurement by up to 8% in these experiments. Even greater differences were found with more distorting loads. 4.3. Interpretation of the results Although in these experiments all the phase wire resistances were equal and, therefore, the conditions are special cases of the general theory of average power, several characteristics can be observed from the results. (1) The apparent power and power factor calculated using the conventional calculations correspond closely with those obtained from the Yokogawa WT1600 power meter in all four experiments. This step conrms that the extraction of the primary measurements from the good quality commercial instrument and calculation of the derived values in a separate computer is consistent with the process incorporated in the meter, within the limits of the transferred values. (2) In this particular experiment all four supply wires had the same resistances and therefore only the calculations appropriate for the special case of Group 1 are valid and give the true apparent power and power factor for the actual circuit. (3) If different null points are used, as if the neutral wire resistances were not the same as the phase wire resistances, different values of apparent power and power factor are calculated. With the same currents and voltages for different neutral wire resistances, the calculated power factor decreases with the neutral wire resistance. This is consistent with an understanding that the maximum power that can be transmitted (i.e. the apparent power) increases as the resistance of the neutral wire decreases from to 0, and that the amount of power that can be transmitted for the same line losses increases as the neutral wire resistance decreases. 4.4. Implementation in a practical meter for m-wire systems The above description of metering refers to three-phase systems, with or without a neutral wire. The extension to m-wire systems requires only the additional inputs to the meter; the principal algorithms remain the same. Of course, most power systems are three-phase systems, but there are many examples of two- and six-phase systems. A completely versatile meter would provide for current and voltage inputs for multiple phases, as well as a process for entering the relative wire resistances. The identication by the user of the wire resistances should prompt the instrument to select the voltage reference and the appropriate calculation algorithm as dened in Table 1 of the companion paper [2]. Additionally, the design and manufacture of such an instrument must meet the needs for simultaneous extraction of the voltage and current inputs with adequate resolution and accuracy, the identication


r r r

i1 e1=2V e2=1V i2 i3 1 1


Fig. 3. 3-wire system with DC voltages.

of the integrating period T, and the selection of a suitable data sampling rate. The output of the instrument will be readings for a meter or control signals for a compensation controller. 5. Applications of measurement based on the general theory of power The development of a general theory has been driven by needs for solutions to particular power systems problems. Most of the time, most power systems operate with sinusoidal, balanced supplies, for which existing denitions of power are adequate. However, at other times distortion, unbalance and dc or zero sequence current components do upset systems and the conventional denitions would give misleading results. The following examples illustrate the benets of the rigorous general theory in four novel practical applications beyond the scope of the power supply compensation such as was discussed in Section 2. 5.1. Application to mixed ac and dc systems One such application for m-wire systems might be the optimal control of parallel ac and dc inputs to a system, for which m-wire metering will give a complete measurement of the apparent power and introduce alternatives ways of controlling it. Since the general theory is applicable to any waveforms on systems with any number of wires, it can also be applied to multi-wire dc systems. This is examined by application to a 3-wire dc system supplying two resistive loads and which, for simplicity, has all three wires with equal resistances, as illustrated in Fig. 3. Since one wire can be identied as a neutral and all the wire resistances have equal resistance r, this circuit belongs to the special case Group 4 identied in [2], so measuring from the neutral wire (wire 3) is appropriate and the null point calculation does not need resistance weighting but is shown to illustrate the general ve calculation steps of Section 4.5 in [2] with e = {2, 1, 0}, i = {2, 1, -3}, p = e i = 5. e = (2 + 1 + 0)/3 = 1, giving v2 = e eref = {1, 0, 1}, and v2 = ref 1/ r 1, 0, 1 and ||v2 ||2 = 2/r , g= p 5 = 2.5r = (2/r ) ||v2 ||2

ia = g v2 = 2.5 r {1, 0, 1} = r {2.5, 0, 2.5} and ||ia ||2 = r 12.5 p = v2 ia = ((1/ r ) 2)( r 12.5) = 5 and Since 2/r r 14 = 5.29 the power factor s = v2 ia = = p/s = 0.945. The dc example can be extended to the average domain by considering the current i1 in Fig. 3 to be a square wave of value 2 V, while the voltage in the second phase is a constant dc voltage of 1 V. It is obvious that the optimum reference will not be the same throughout a period T. For the rst half of T: e(t1 ) = {2, 1, 0}, i(t1 ) = {2, 1, 3} and the calculations are the same as above. For the second half of T: e(t2 ) = {2, 1, 0}, i(t2 ) = {2, 1, 1} 2 i(t2 ) = 6, i(t2 ) = 6

C.T. Gaunt, M. Malengret / Electric Power Systems Research 95 (2013) 140147


The power during the second half p(t2 ) = e(t2 )i(t2 ) = 5 is the same as during the rst half, but the reference point has changed to eref (t2 ) = (2 + 1 + 0)/3 = 0.33. Following the same calculation steps as above it is found that v2 (t2 ) = 4.666/r and ia (t2 ) = r 5.369 and again = 0.945. However, taking the average over the whole period, as described in Sections 4 and 5 of [2], V2
2 2 2

Apparent power, S Apparent power after inter-wire correction, Sa

Qa, corrected without storage Q, total non-active power QA, Corrected only with energy storage

= v2 (t1 )

1/r (2 + 4.666) /2 = 3.333/r giving V 2 kA = P/ V 2 (t2 )


+ v2 (t2 ) = 1.825/ r

/2 =

Power, P
Fig. 4. Relationship between apparent power Sa with inter-wire correction and correction towards power P only possible with energy storage components.

= 5/3.33/r = r 1.5

I a (t ) = kA v2 (t ) where v2 (t ) = r {2.5, 0, 2.5} from t = 0 to T/2 and r {1.66, 1.33, 0.33} from t = T/2 to T, I a = kA V 2 = 1.5 3.333r = 2.7384 r . P = V2 Ia = 1.825 2.7384 = 5

The maximum apparent power that can be transmitted in the higher voltage network exceeds the value indicated by conventional theory, but in the lower voltage networks is lower than indicated by the conventional theory, and under non-ideal conditions the current in the neutral affects the fault response and stability of the power system. 5.3. Quality of supply affected by disturbing loads The quality of power supplies is regulated in most countries by tariffs and quality of supply specications referring separately to harmonics, unbalance and reactive (or non-active) power components. Many disturbing loads affect all three of these parameters simultaneously and only a valid measure of the apparent power and power factor, taking into account the unbalance and distortion, will give a correct indication of the efciency of use of the transmission network. Thus, correctly measured non-active power could be an appropriate basis for tariffs designed to recover the costs of disturbing loads and encourage the improvement of their performance. It is not implied in this work that power systems or individual transmission links should operate at unity power factor. They do not at present, and a more rigorous denition of apparent power and power factor will not change the optimum economic operation in future. However, the proposed metering is capable of identifying how much compensation requires storage capacity or can be corrected merely with energy switching between wires, as illustrated in Fig. 4, from which the relevant costs of correction can be estimated even if complete correction is not implemented. 5.4. Power networks in the presence of geomagnetically induced currents Another condition that spurred the research leading to the derivation of a general power theory valid for distorted voltage conditions was the need to understand through more accurate modelling the response of power systems to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs). Quasi-dc GICs, with frequencies below 1 Hz, are induced in transmission lines by geomagnetic disturbances initiated by solar activity. The GICs ow through transformers and, by biasing the magnetic circuit and causing half-wave saturation, generate harmonics and voltage collapse. Therefore, the sinusoid is distorted by harmonics, unbalanced because of the half-wave saturation and offset by the GIC owing in the neutral and shared between all phases. It has been reported that geomagnetic storms are associated with massive swings of reactive power [10]. However, since that reactive power was measured by conventional methods that cannot take account of the dc component, unbalance or the harmonics generated in the transformers, the real behavior of the system is not described accurately. Work on laboratory models [11] shows that non-active power measurement in a transformer with an unbalanced complex load under distorted conditions is signicantly higher when

S = V 2 I = 1.825 3.027 = 5.525 where I = 1/2 r (( 14 + 6)/2) = 3.027 giving = 5/5.525 = 0.905. It can be seen that the true power factor in the average domain is less than the average of the power factors during the two half periods and, therefore, that a compensator with energy storage could decrease the losses by approximately 10% and approx 5% using compensation without energy storage. In extending the concept of apparent power and power factor to dc circuits it is clear these parameters can have nothing to do with phase angle between voltage waveforms and current waveforms but simply conrms that power factor is a gure of merit reecting the effective use of a particular supply, with the intention of minimizing transmission losses. Therefore, instruments for measuring apparent power and power factor in ac systems should measure the same parameters for dc or mixed systems, provided the inputs are sensed correctly. This concept opens up new approaches to the operation and control of mixed ac and dc power systems. 5.2. Smart grids under fault conditions The development of power systems in the direction of smart grids with less predictable sources of energy and loads had led various commentators to speculate that the key enabling technologies for transforming power delivery may include wide area metering, power electronics and demand management, all enabling fast response to system variations. For example, voltage control and fault ride-through of small turbines can be assisted by reactive power management, to use the older term. It is essential that the calculation of the non-active power and the compensating currents needed to bring systems to optimum conditions should be accurate and fast, even, or especially, when normal conditions are disturbed. Most high voltage power systems operate with neutrals effectively earthed (grounded) at all transformers, so the resistance of the neutral wire is usually a low, non-zero value determined by the substation earthing (grounding) of the power transformers, or can be neglected completely in terms of the costs of losses. On the other hand, many low voltage power systems are built with neutral conductors that are not the same resistance as the phase wires, especially where French or Scandinavian bundle conductors are installed. Although under perfect conditions there is no current in the neutral of either group of power systems, in practical cases with harmonics, unbalance, zero sequence or dc components the current in the neutral cannot be ignored. Therefore the denition of non-active power will be signicantly different for large wind generators connected to high voltage networks (rn low or zero) than for small wind generators or inverter-connected PV panels on low voltage systems (rn > r).


C.T. Gaunt, M. Malengret / Electric Power Systems Research 95 (2013) 140147

350 300
AP, Q [VA, VAr]

250 200 150 100 50 0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 S (gen th) Q (gen th) S (conv) Q (conv)

Injected DC [A]

Fig. 5. Higher apparent and non-active power (S and Q) associated with injected DC in transformer, when calculated with general power theory (gen th) instead of using conventional denition (conv).

measured according to the general power theory than according to the conventional method of measurement, as illustrated in Fig. 5. These results indicate that the reported increase in reactive power consumption in transformers subjected to GICs [12,13] and the system voltage drop need to be re-assessed and further work is required. 6. Introducing a new measurement specication The experimental results of the prototype meter and the proof-of-concept demonstration illustrate signicant differences between measurements of non-active power and power factor in disturbed or distorted conditions according to the approach used. Differences of more than 8% have been shown between measurements using the conventional approach of existing specications and the general theory that includes the resistances of the conductors to accurately determine the apparent power, non-active power and power factor. These differences have signicant implications for those publishing, using or complying with standard metering specications. Given the justiable reluctance to adopt new denitions of apparent power and non-active power in a mature industry with so much legacy instrumentation, control, metering and tariffs aligned to what might become out-of-date standards [14], an appropriate response will be required especially from the international standards organisations, including IEEE and IEC. It is proposed that a two-step approach will be useful: (1) Identify and dene when the loss of accuracy of simple, conventional instruments under disturbed conditions can be tolerated and, conversely, where the accuracies of measured parameters are sufciently important to justify installing instruments that are correct in the presence of distortion, unbalance and zero-sequence and direct current components. (2) Where accurate measurement under non-ideal conditions is required, such as for the applications described above and by several other authors, then a new specication for instruments for metering and compensation control will be required, based on suitable inputs (including relative wire resistances) and measurement algorithms. 7. Conclusion Linear algebra has provided an approach that integrates a general theory of instantaneous power with a general theory of average power. The theory provides easy ways of measurement

of power systems even in the presence of distortion, harmonics, zero sequence and dc components, and provides answers that are internally consistent in all cases. Metering can distinguish between the component of non-active power that can be corrected by interwire switching by power electronics and that which can only be corrected with energy storage components, giving practical interpretation to both components of non-active power. The differences between various other approaches to power theory and the reasons why they do not always give results that are consistent with each other, or produce complete correction of power supplies to unity power factor, can be easily appreciated. While some of the objectives of compensation might be adequately met for some purposes by other approaches, the new theoretically rigorous and easy to apply practical measurement meets the need, identied by many authors including Emanuel and Czarnecki, for an unambiguous denition of apparent power and power factor. It is immediately evident that the new approach can provide a benchmark against which any other algorithms for power factor correction can be compared, recognising it may not necessary to correct to unity power factor in all cases and that some approaches to limited correction might be useful. In addition to the issues raised in terms of practical power systems measurement and compensation, the general power theory has wide implications for the teaching of apparent power, nonactive power and power factor. Also, it provides a new tool for making power calculations in a way that takes account of important conditions occurring in practice. However, it does not yet give all the answers and there is broad scope for further research. From a practical perspective, power systems engineers will need ways to determine the effective wire resistances of power networks to the point of metering; not necessarily the absolute values of the resistances but their relative values. The general power theory opens up new ways of controlling the compensation of non-active power, such as in grids with dispersed non-synchronous generation, unbalanced loads or loads controlled by power electronics, and in communication-responsive networks, and these applications will need to be developed. Whatever losses occur at unity power factor, any lower power factor represents avoidable losses, requiring extra capacity and incurring costs. If tariffs are adopted to discourage disturbing loads because they reduce the efciency of transmission, then accurate meters and tariffs for those loads must be developed. From a theoretical perspective, Jeon [15] investigated systems with frequency dependent resistances, such as might be affected by harmonics. The present general approach to m-wire systems only considered the wire resistances to be constant, which is fully valid only after compensation. Further, it is recognised that the new approach does not include the response of the load to different voltage conditions as would arise after correction. Therefore, the action of voltage correction in response to a disturbance will need to be extended to the transient behavior of the load. The approach might be extended to allow the effect of unsymmetrical voltages to be distinguished from unsymmetrical loads. In a similar way, if voltages change because of the change in line losses achieved by compensation, iterative recalculation might be implemented, but this may change the basis of the denition of active current in systems supplying distorting loads.

Acknowledgement The authors acknowledge the valuable contributions to all three papers describing the development and application of the general theory of power that have been made by our colleagues and reviewers. The value of critical comment and review should never be under-estimated.

C.T. Gaunt, M. Malengret / Electric Power Systems Research 95 (2013) 140147


Appendix A. Supplementary data Supplementary data associated with this article can be found, in the online version, at References
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