This note provide the details about calculating Capacitor value for power factor improvement

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This note provide the details about calculating Capacitor value for power factor improvement

© All Rights Reserved

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11/16/2016

How capacitors improve the power factor and how to calculate them?

Its quite simple. By installing capacitors or capacitor banks. Improving the power factor of an electrical installation

consists of giving it the means to produce a certain proportion of the reactive energy it consumes itself.

There are various different systems for producing reactive energy, including in particular asynchronous compensators

and shunt capacitors (or serial capacitors for large transmission systems).

The capacitor is most frequently used, given:

1. Its non-consumption of active energy

2. Its purchase cost

3. Its ease of use

4. Its service life (approximately 10 years)

5. Its low maintenance (static device)

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Power diagram

Power factor is the ratio of working power to apparent power. It measures how effectively electrical power is being

used.

Low power factor means youre not fully utilizing the electrical power youre paying for. A high power factor signals

efficient utilization of electrical power, while a low power factor indicates poor utilization of electrical power.

To determine power factor (PF), divide working power (kW) by apparent power (kVA). In a linear or sinusoidal system,

the result is also referred to as the cosine .

PF = kW / kVA = cosine kVA

For example, if you had a boring mill that was operating at 100 kW and the apparent power consumed was 125 kVA,

you would divide 100 by 125 and come up with a power factor of 0.80.

(kW) 100 / (kVA) 125 = (PF ) 0.80

Power diagram

Where:

P Active power

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(before and after compensation)

Qc capacitor reactive power

Q1 reactive power without capacitor Q2: reactive power with capacitor

Equations:

Q2 = Q1 Qc

Qc = Q1 Q2

Qc = Ptg 1 Ptg2

Qc = P(tg 1 tg 2)

Where 1 is phase shift without capacitor and 2 is phase shift with capacitor

The capacitor is a receiver composed of two conductive parts (electrodes) separated by an insulator. When this

receiver is subjected to a sinusoidal voltage, the current and therefore its power (capacitive reactive) is leading the

voltage by 90.

Conversely, for all other receivers (motors, transformers, etc.) the current and therefore its power (reactive

inductive) is lagging the voltage by 90.

The vectorial composition of these currents or reactive powers (inductive and capacitive) gives a resulting current

or power below the value which existed before the capacitors were installed.

In simple terms, it is said that inductive receivers (motors, transformers, etc.) consume reactive energy whereas

capacitors (capacitive receivers) produce reactive energy.

Based on electricity bills to calculate the capacitor banks to be installed, use the following method:

Select the month in which the bill is highest (kVArh to be billed)

Assess the number of hours the installation operates each month

Calculate the capacitor power Qc to be installed

Qc = kVArh to be billed (monthly) / No. of hours operation (monthly)

Example for the subscriber //

Highest reactive energy bill: December Number of kVArh to be billed: 70,000

Monthly operating times: High-load + peak times = 350 hours

Qc (bank to be installed) = 70,000 / 350 = 200 kVAr

Example //

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An establishment supplied from an 800 KVA HV/LV subscriber station wanting to change the power factor of its

installation to:

Cos = 0.928 (tg = 0.4) at the primary

I.e. Cos = 0.955 (tg = 0.31) at the secondary, with the following readings:

Voltage: 400 V 3-phase 50 HZ

PkW = 475

Cos (secondary) = 0.75 (i.e. tg = 0.88)

Qc (bank to be installed) = PkW x (tg measured tg to be obtained)

Qc = 475 x (0.88 0.31) = 270 kVAr

Example

1000 kva transformer, Q capacitor = 250 kVAr

Note: This type of ratio corresponds to the following operating conditions:

1000 kVA transformer

Actual transformer load = 75%

Cos of the load = 0.80 } k = 0.421

Cos to be obtained = 0.95 } see table below

Qc = 1000 x 75% x 0.80 x 0.421 = 250 kVAr

Conversion table

Based on the power of a receiver in kW, this table can be used to calculate the power of the capacitors to change

from an initial power factor to a required power factor. It also gives the equivalence between cos and tg .

4/5

Example: 200 kW motor cos = 0.75 required cos = 0.93 Qc = 200 x 0.487 = 98 kVAr

Reference // Reactive energy compensation and power quality monitoring by Legrand

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