You are on page 1of 18

# Complex Power

## It is very conceptual and essential to understand. For establishing the

expression of complex power, we have to first consider a single phase
network that's voltage and current can be represented in complex form as
V.ej and I.ej. Where and are angles that voltage vector and current
vector subtend with respect to some reference axis respectively. The active
power and reactive power can be calculated by finding the product of voltage

## to conjugate of current. That means,

This ( ) is nothing but the
angle between voltage and current, hence that is phase difference between
voltage and current which is normally denoted as .

## Therefore, the above equation cab be re-written as,

Where, P = VIcos and Q = VIsin. This quantity S is called the complex
power. The magnitude of complex power i.e. |S| = (P2 + Q2) is known as
the apparent power and its unit is volt-ampere. This quantity is a product
of absolute value of voltage and current. Again absolute value of current is
directly related to heating effect as per Joule's law of heating. Hence, rating
of an electrical machine is normally determined by its apparent power
carrying capability within allowable temperature limit. It is noted that in the
equation of complex power, the term Q [ = VIsin ] is positive when [=
( )] is positive that is, current lags the voltage which means the load is
inductive in nature. Again Q is negative when is negative; that is current
leads the voltage that means the load is capacitive.
Single Phase Power
A single phase electrical transmission system is practically not available, but
still we should know the basic concept of single phase power first before
going through modern three phase power system. Before going to details
about single phase power, let's try to understand different parameters of
electrical power system. Three basic parameters of electrical power system
are electrical resistance, inductance and capacitance.
Resistance
The resistance is an inherent property of any material, due to which it resists
the flow of current by obstructing the movement of electrons through it due
to collision with stationary atoms. The heat generated due to this process is
dissipated and known as ohmic power loss. While current flows through a
resistor, there will not be any phase difference between the voltage and
current, which means current and voltage are in same phase; the phase
angle between them is zero. If I current flows through an electrical
resistance R for t seconds, then total energy consumed by the resistor is
I2.R.t. This energy is known as active energy and corresponding power is
known as active power.
Inductance
Inductance is the property by virtue of which an inductor stores energy in
magnetic field during positive half cycle and gives away this energy during
negative half cycle of single phase power supply. If a current 'I' flows
through a coil of inductance L Henry, the energy stored in the coil in form of

## magnetic field is given by The power associated with an inductance is

reactive power.
Capacitance
Capacitance is the property by virtue of which a capacitor stores energy in
static electric field during positive half cycle and give away during negative
half cycle of supply. The energy stored between two parallel metallic plates
of electric potential difference V and capacitance across them C, is expressed

## as This energy is stored in form of static electric field. The power

associated with a capacitor is also reactive power.
Active Power and Reactive Power
Let us consider a single phase power circuit in which current lags behind
the voltage by an angle . Let the instantaneous electric potential difference
v = Vm.sint Then the instantaneous current can be expressed as i = I m.
sin(t - ). Where, Vm and Im are the maximum values of sinusoidally
varying electric potential difference and
Active Power
Resistive Power
Let's take the condition first where the single phase power circuit is fully resistive in nature, that
means the phase angle between voltage and current i.e. = 0 and hence,

## From the above

equation it is clear that, whatever may be the value of t the value of cos2t cannot be greater
than 1; hence the value of p cannot be negative. The value of p is always positive irrespective of
the instantaneous direction of voltage v and current i, that means the energy is flowing in its
conventional direction, i.e. from source to load and p is the rate of energy consumption by the
load and this is called active power. As this power is consumed due to resistive effect of an
electrical circuit, hence sometimes it is also called resistive power.
Reactive Power
Inductive Power
Now consider a situation when the single phase power circuit is fully inductive, that means the
current lags behind the voltage by an angle = + 90. Putting = + 90
In the above
expression, it is found that the power is flowing in alternative directions. From 0 to 90 it will
have negative half cycle, from 90 to 180 it will have positive half cycle, from 180 to 270 it
will have again negative half cycle and from 270 to 360 it will have again positive half cycle.
Therefore this power is alternative in nature with a frequency, double of supply frequency. As the
power is flowing in alternating direction i.e. from source to load in one half cycle and from load
to source in next half cycle, the average value of this power is zero. Therefore this power does
not do any useful work. This power is known as reactive power. As the above explained
reactive power expression is related to fully inductive circuit, this power is also called
inductive power.
This can be concluded as if the circuit is purely inductive, energy will be
stored as magnetic field energy during positive half cycle and give away
during negative half cycle and rate at which this energy changes, expressed
as reactive power of inductor or simply inductive power and this power
will have equal positive and negative cycle and the net value will be zero.
Capacitive Power
Let us now consider the single phase power circuit is fully capacitive, that is the current leads the
voltage by 90, therefore = - 90.
Hence in the
expression of capacitive power, it is also found that the power is flowing in alternative
directions. From 0 to 90 it will have positive half cycle, from 90 to 180 it will have negative
half cycle, from 180 to 270 it will have again positive half cycle and from 270 to 360 it will
have again negative half cycle. So this power is also alternative in nature with a frequency,
double of supply frequency. Therefore, as inductive power, the capacitive power does not do any
useful work. This power is also a reactive power.
Active Component and Reactive Component of Power
The power equation can be re-written as

## This above expression has two

consonants; first one is Vm. Im.cos(1 cos2t) which never goes negative as because value of
(1 cos2t) always greater or equal zero but cannot have a negative value.
This portion of
the single phase power equation represents the expression of reactive power which is
alternatively known as real power or true power. The average of this power will obviously have
some non zero value means, the power physically does some useful work and that is why this
power is also called real power or sometimes it is referred as true power. This portion of the
power equation represents the reactive power which is alternatively known as real power or true
power. Second term is Vm. Im.sinsin2t which will have negative and positive cycles. Hence,
average of this component is zero. This component is known as reactive component as it travels
back and forth on the line without doing any useful work. Both active power and
reactive power have same dimensions of watts but to emphasize the fact that reactive
component represents a non-active power, it is measured in terms of volt-amperes reactive or in
short VAR. Single phase power refers to the distribution system in which; all the voltages vary in
unison. It can be generated simply by rotating a moving coil in a magnetic field or by moving
field around a stationary coil. The alternating voltage and alternating current so produced, thus
referred to as single phase voltage and current. Different types of circuits show different
response to the application of sinusoidal input. We will consider all type of circuits one by one
that include electrical resistance only, capacitance only and inductor only, and a
combination of these three and try to establish single phase power equation.
Single Phase Power Equation for Purely
Resistive Circuit
Let's examine single phase power calculation for purely resistive circuit. Circuit
consisting of pure ohmic resistance is across a voltage source of voltage V, is shown below in
the figure. Where, V(t) = instantaneous voltage. Vm =
maximum value of voltage. = angular velocity in radians/seconds.

Ohms law ,

## Substituting value of V(t) in above equation we get,

From equations (1.1) and (1.5) it is clear that V(t) and IR are in phase. Thus
in case of pure ohmic resistance, there is no phase difference between
voltages and current, i.e. they are in phase as shown in figure (b).

Instanta

## neous power, From single phase

power equation (1.8) it is clear that power consist of two terms, one
constant part i.e. and another a fluctuating part i.e. That's
value is zero for the full cycle. Thus power through pure ohmic resistor is

## Single Phase Power Equation for Purely

Inductive Circuit
Inductor is a passive component. Whenever AC passes through inductor, it
opposes the flow of current through it by generating back emf. So, applied
voltage rather than causing drop across it needs to balance the back emf
produced. Circuit consisting of pure inductor across sinusoidal voltage source

## Vrms is shown in figure below.

We know that voltage across inductor is given as,
Thus from above single
phase power equation it is clear that I lags V by /2 or in other words V
leads I by /2 , when AC pass through inductor i.e. I and V are out of phase
as shown in fig (e).

Instanta
neous power is given by,

Here,
single phase power formula consists of only fluctuating term and the
value of power for full cycle is zero.
Single Phase Power Equation for Purely
Capacitive Circuit
When AC passes through capacitor, it charges first to its maximum value and
then it discharges. The voltage across capacitor is given as,

## Thus it is clear from

above single phase power calculation of I(t) and V(t) that in case of
capacitor current leads voltage by angle of /2.
Power through
capacitor consists of only fluctuating term and the value of power for full
cycle is zero.

## Single Phase Power Equation for RL Circuit

A pure ohmic resistor and inductor are connected in series below as shown
in fig (g) across a voltage source V. Then drop across R will be V R = IR and
across L will be VL = IXL.

## These voltage drops are shown in form

of a voltage triangle as shown in fig (i). Vector OA represents drop across R= IR, vector AD
represents drop across L = IXL and vector OD represents the resultant of VR and VL.

is the impedance of
RL circuit. From vector diagram it is clear that V leads I and phase angle is given by,
Thus power consist of two terms,
one constant term 0.5 VmImcos and other a fluctuating term 0.5 VmImcos(t - ) that's value is
zero for the whole cycle. Thus its the only constant part that contributes to actual power
consumption. Thus power, p = VI cos = ( rms voltage rms current cos) watts Where cos

## is called power factor and given by, I can be resolved in two

rectangular components Icos along V and Isin perpendicular to V. Only Icos contributes to
real power. Thus, only VIcos is called wattfull component or active component and VIsin is
called wattless component or reactive component.
Single Phase Power Equation for RC Circuit
We know that current in pure capacitance, leads voltage and in pure ohmic resistance it is in
phase. Thus, net current leads voltage by angle of in RC circuit. If V = Vmsint and I will be
Imsin(t + ).

Power is
same as in the case of R-L circuit. Unlike R-L circuit electrical power factor is leading in
R-C circuit.
Three Phase Power Definition
It is found that generation of three phase power is more economical than generation of
single phase power. In three phase electric power system, the three voltage and current
waveform are 120 offset in time in each cycle of power. That means; each voltage waveform
has phase difference of 120 to other voltage waveform and each current waveform has phase
difference of 120 to other current waveform. Three phase power definition states
that in an electrical system, three individual single phase powers are carried out by three separate
power circuits. The voltages of these three powers are ideally 120 apart from each other in time-
phase. Similarly, the currents of these three powers are also ideally 120 apart from each other.
Ideal three phase power system implies balanced system.
A three phase system is said to be unbalanced when either at least one of
the three phase voltage is not equal to other or the phase angle between
these phases is not exactly equal to 120.
Advantages of Three Phase System
There are many reasons due to which this power is more preferable than single phase power.
1. The single phase power equation is Which is
time dependent function. Whereas three phase power equation is

## Which is time independent constant function.

Hence the single phase power is pulsating. This generally does not effect
the low rating motor but in larger rated motor, it produces excessive
vibration. So three phase power is more preferable for high tension
power load.
2. The rating of a three phase machine 1.5 times greater than that of
same size single phase machine.
3. Single phase induction motor has no starting torque, so we have to
provide some auxiliary means of starting, but three phase induction
motor is self starting-does not require any auxiliary means.
4. Power factor and efficiency, both are greater in case of three phase
system.
Three Phase Power Equation
For determination, the expression of three phase power equation i.e. for three
phase power calculation we have to first consider an ideal situation where the three
phase system is balanced. That means voltage and currents in each phase differ from their
adjacent phase by 120 as well as the amplitude of each current wave is same and similarly
amplitude of each voltage wave is same. Now, the angular difference between voltage and
current in each phase of three phase power system is .
Then the voltage and current of red phase will be VR = Vmsint and IR =
Imsin(t ) respectively. The voltage and >current of yellow phase will
be- VY = Vmsin(t 120) and IY = Imsin(t 120) respectively. And
the voltage and current of blue phase will be- VB = Vmsin(t + 120) and IB
= Imsin(t + 120) respectively.
Therefore, the expression instantaneous power in red phase is - V R. IR = Vm.
Imsint.sin(t )
Similarly the expression instantaneous power in yellow phase is -
VY. IY = Vm.Imsin(t. 120)sin(t 120)
Similarly the expression instantaneous power in blue phase is -
VB.IB = Vm.Imsin(t + 120)sin(t + 120)
The total three phase power of the system is summation of the individual
power in each phase-
P = VR.IR + VY. IY + VB. IB
= Vm.Imsint.sin(t ) + Vm.Imsin(t 120)sin(t 120) +
Vm.Imsin(t + 120)sin(t + 120)
= Vm.Im[sint.sin(t ) + sin(t )sin(t 120) + sin(t +
120)sin(t + 120)]
= Vm.Im.(1/2)[2.sint.sin(t ) + 2.sin(t 120)sin(t 120)
+ 2.sin(t + 120)sin(t + 120)]
= Vm.Im.(1/2)[cos(t t + ) cos(t + t ) + cos(t. 120
t. + 120 + ) cos(t 120 + t 120 )
+ cos(t + 120 t 120t + ) cos(t + 120 + t + 120
)]
= Vm.Im.(1/2)[cos cos(2.t ) + cos cos(2.t 240 ) +
cos cos(2.t + 240 )]
= Vm.Im.(1/2)[3.cos cos(2.t ) cos(2.t 240 )
cos(2.t + 240 )]
= Vm.Im.(1/2)[3.cos cos(2.t ) 2.cos(2.t ).cos(240)]
= Vm.Im.(1/2)[3.cos cos(2.t ) 2.cos(2.t ).{1/2}]
= Vm.Im.(1/2)[3.cos cos(2.t ) + cos(2.t )]
= 3.(Vm/2).(Im/2).cos
= 3VIcos This is three phase power equation The above expression
of power shows that the total instantaneous power is constant and equal to
three times of the real power per phase. In case of single phase power
expression we found that there are both reactive power and active power
components, but in case of three phase power expression, the instantaneous
power is constant. Actually in three phase system, the reactive power in
each individual phase is not zero but sum of them at any instant is zero.
Reactive power is the form of magnetic energy, flowing per unit time in an
electric circuit. Its unit is VAR (Volt Ampere Reactive). This power can never
be used in an AC circuit. However, in an electrical DC circuit it can be
converted into heat as when a charged capacitor or inductor is connected
across a resistor, the energy stored in the element get converted to heat.
Our power system operates on AC system and most of the loads used in our
daily life, are inductive or capacitive, therefore reactive power is a very
important concept from electrical perspective.
The electrical power factor of any equipment determines the amount of
reactive power it requires. It is the ratio of real or true power to the total
apparent power required by an electrical appliance. These powers can be
defined as,
Apparent Power(P) = V(Voltage) I(Current)
Real Power (P) = V(Voltage) I(Current) cos
Where, is the phase difference between voltage and current and cos is
electrical power factor of the load.
Reactive Power (Q) = V(Voltage) I(Current) sin
Reactive power is always present in a circuit where there is a phase
difference between voltage and current in that circuit, such as all our
domestic loads are inductive. So, there is a phase difference between
voltage and current, and the current lags behind the voltage by certain angle
in time domain. An inductive component takes the lagging reactive power
and a capacitive component absorbs the leading reactive power, here lagging
reactive power refers to magnetic energy and leading reactive power refers
to electrostatic energy.
In a typical AC circuit, such as RL circuit (Resistive + Inductive) or RC circuit
(Resistive + Capacitive), the reactive power is taken from the supply for a
half cycle and returned to the supply for next half cycle. For example power
consumed for an RL load is derived as:
V = Vmsint , I = Imsin(t )

Here, Q1sin2t is reactive power that's average value is zero, this shows that
reactive power is never utilized.
Use of Reactive Power
In an electrical machine, the energy conversion needs a magnetic domain to
convert its form. In an electrical motor, the required magnetic domain is
produced by reactive power which it takes from the supply.Today almost
every electrical load needs reactive power to run in spite of real power. Even
in an electrical transformer which is the basic unit of power system, primary
input current is lagging as it takes lagging VAR to magnetize its core and
transfer the power through mutual induction.
Reactive Power in Transmission Lines
In an electrical power transmission line, the flow of reactive power in the line
decides the receiving end voltage. Managing voltage level at the receiving
end is very important, as higher voltage can damage the consumer's
equipment and there will be a great loss. In many cases, we see sudden
voltage rise or fall due to lightning or due to any fault on the healthy phases
and in any case damage to the equipment occurs. Let us see how voltage
depends on reactive power. The receiving end reactive power is given by,

## Where, is the power angle which is kept very low due

to stability reasons, Xl is the reactance of the transmission line, Vs is the
sending end voltage and Vr is the receiving end voltage. So, Qr becomes,

## get, Mathematically, the expression given for the

reactive power Note: We did not take negative sign as then Vr will become
zero when Qr is zero which is not possible. Let Q1 be the reactive power
demanded by the load at the receiving end and Q2 be the reactive power
supply from the generating or sending end. Then Qr is (Q1 - Q2).
Case - 1
When supply Q2 is equal to demand Q1 then Vs = Vr, the receiving end
voltage will be equal to sending end voltage, which is desirable.
Case - 2
When demand is more and supply is less, Qr becomes negative. And so the
receiving end voltage becomes less than sending end voltage.
Case - 3
When demand is less, supply is high, Qr becomes positive. Thus, the
receiving end voltage becomes greater than sending end voltage which is
very dangerous. In this way, we saw how voltage (and its level
management) which is very basic requirement of any electrical load;
depends on reactive power. During the daytime, the demand for reactive
power increases, therefore voltage dip occurs. On the other hand, during
morning time, demand for reactive power is less, so rise in voltage level
occurs. To maintain the voltage level we need to make Q1 = Q2.
Reactive Power Compensation
As already discussed excess of reactive power as well as its scarcity should
be monitored. For this purpose, compensation is done by using various
devices. Here the reactor absorbs excess reactive power whereas the
capacitor supplies for makeup of reactive power in cases of high demand.
For low electrical power factor loads, the reactive power demand is very
high. Therefore, we need to increase the power factor using capacitor bank.
This reduces the var demand by supplying the appropriate amount of
reactive power to the load. Other methods include use of shunt capacitor,
synchronous phase modifiers, on-load tap changing transformer and shunt
reactor. An overexcited synchronous motor is used in shunt with the load. It
serves as a capacitor and is also called synchronous condenser. A shunt
reactor is used for the reduction of electrical power factor. In the on-load tap
changing transformers, turns ratio is adjusted accordingly to maintain the
desirable voltage level as the voltage difference between the sending and
receiving end determines the reactive power. Mathematically, the expression
given for the reactive power(Q) needed to increase the electrical power
factor from cos1 to cos2 is given as, Where, P is real
power demand of the load (in watts). In case the electrical power factor is to
be decreased from cos2 to cos1, the reactive power which must be
absorbed by the shunt reactor at the load end is given by,
The values of capacitance or inductor thus required