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Original Title: How Capacitors Improve the Power Factor and How to Calculate Them

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calculate them?

P OST ED N OV 16 2016 BY E DVA R D IN E N ER GY AN D PO W ER , E N ER GY EF F IC E N CY W IT H 2 CO MM EN TS

How capacitors improve the power factor and how to calculate them? (photo credit:

johnsonphillips.co.uk )

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.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Its purchase cost

Its ease of use

Its service life (approximately 10 years)

Its low maintenance (static device)

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 .

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.

Power diagram

Where:

P Active power

S1 and S2 apparent powers

(before and after compensation)

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:

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

Example for the subscriber //

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

transformer secondary: PkW-cosFI

Example //

An establishment supplied from an 800 KVA HV/LV subscriber station wanting to

change the power factor of its installation to:

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

PkW = 475

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:

Actual transformer load = 75%

Cos of the load = 0.80 } k = 0.421

Cos to be obtained = 0.95 } see table below

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 .

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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