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Correction

CASE STUDY

149327R

MSc./PG. Dip in Electrical Installations 2014/15

University of Moratuwa

When an Alternative Current (AC) voltage is applied to a load which is not purely resistive, the current

will lag or lead with respect to the voltage, say by radians. The cosine of this angle is defined as

the power factor. Why cosine of is taken as p.f. can be understood by defining it in terms of power.

Power Factor =

Apparent Power (kVA)

(<1)

Apparent Power (S) = Vrms. Irms

Reactive Power (Q) = Vrms.Irms.sin

Depending on the load, power factor (p.f) could either be leading or lagging.

Due to the matter of fact that most of the electrical power is consumed by inductive motors, in a

power system, most reactive loads can be said to be inductive and hence causing a lagging power

factor.

Reactive Power

Today, the whole world runs on machines and these machines require power to build up the magnetic

flux and to rotate their shafts. For powering up these motors, industries need transformers to step

down the overhead line higher voltages to low voltage. These transformers, inductive machines

(motors), reactors as well as discharge lamps with magnetic ballasts must be fed with reactive power

for their coil magnetization.

The current waveform is shifted from the voltage waveform and this current vector could be split into

two components which are perpendicular to each other: one in phase with voltage vector (Ia - active

current component) and one lagging by 90o (Ir - reactive current component).

Instead of drawing power from the system, the reactive current causes power losses over the

transmission & distribution lines by heating the conductors. They are responsible for the voltage drops

over the power lines as well. A power system is not meant to provide the reactive currents to the

inductive loads, but only the active power (or active current). The reactive power shall be catered

locally, near to the loads.

Power Factor could better be one but not more than one either (due to voltage rises). Achieving ONE

is not practically possible technically and financially.

The producers (industries) pay for the maximum demand which is the apparent power. If they had to

pay a lot more than what is actually being consumed (active power), it is not financially worthwhile.

And also, as discussed previously, higher amount of reactive current along transmission lines causes

losses of electric power as heat and hence a massive waste of money in country. Therefore,

compensation of reactive power at load ends is vital.

The Figure 1 illustrates the relationship among the active power, reactive power, apparent power and

the phase shift angle when the reactive power is compensated.

Q1 Reactive power without any compensation

Q2 Reactive power after compensation

Qcomp Compensated reactive power

S1 Apparent power before Q compensation (paying more than we consume)

S2 Apparent power after Q compensation (paying lesser than before)

P Required Active power for the loads (constant)

Qcomp

S1

Q1

S2

Q2

2

P

P

Figure 1: Phasor Diagram

When the reactive power is being compensated, the apparent power (S) decreases while maintaining

the required active power (P) constant. The phase shift angle also reduces resulting in a higher

cos() value. Therefore, the chemistry between reactive power compensation and power factor

improvement is evident. This has led to the need for power factor correction in electrical system

designing and upgrading.

The exiting solutions for Low Voltage Power Factor Correction can be categorized as follows.

Active

Active Filter

Passive

Stepless

Reactive

Compensator

Switched Bank

Contactor

Switched

Bank

Thyristor

Switched

Bank

Fixed

Capacitor

Bank

The facility is fed by a 250kVA CEB Transformer.

The energy data was fetched using a data logger during a period of 24 hours.

(W)

(VAr)

(Source : Capacitor Bank Installation for NIBM H.O by Amithi Power Consultants Pvt Ltd)

(Source : Capacitor Bank Installation for NIBM H.O by Amithi Power Consultants Pvt Ltd)

As seen by the obtained values, the power factor of the facility is ranging from 0.75 to 0.94.

The connected inductive loads are mainly the fans, Air Conditioners and CFLs.

The target is to achieve 0.98 power factor. Accordingly, the following values can be calculated and

tabulated as below.

Maxm Avg. Demand

Active Power at Max Demand

Reactive Power

Power Factor

Before Installation

243 kVA

209 kW

124 kVAr

0.86

After Installation

213 kVA

209 kW

42 kVAr

0.98

capacitor bank.

The financial analysis can be conducted as below.

Current Reduction by Installing capacitor bank

Monthly Saving

Annual Saving by installing capacitor Bank

= 30 kVA

= 37A per phase

= LKR 22,500.00

= LKR 270,000.00

Simple Pay Back Period

= LKR 509,725.00

= 1 Year 10 Months

Although we always seek for 0.98 power factor, the optimum power factor can be obtained through a

financial optimization as follows.

C cost of capacitors/kVAr

Y economic life of equipment (generally 10 yrs)

I Annual interest rate

The study conducted for the NIBM facility lacks the above power factor optimization analysis.

Also, better performance of the capacitor bank can be achieved by automatic switching by sensing the

reactive power and connecting the required capacitive reactance.

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