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Load Characteristics

Load Characteristics
The demand of an installation or system is the load at the
receiving terminal averaged over a specific interval of time
Load may be given in kilowatts, kilovars, kilovoltamperes,
kiloamperes and amperes
Demand Interval
Period over which the load is averaged
Generators of required capacity will continuously supply
the fixed load
Optimal system operation

Load Characteristics
Ideally the load should remain constant throughout the
day/month or year. Does it remain constant?
Practically load varies from time to time
Domestic load varies according to daily activity
Industrial load varies according to work shifts
Load varies due to seasonal changes

Effect of variable load
Variable load increases Example: In a coal powered
the complexities of Power generation plant, equipment
generation must be installed to supply
1. Additional equipment is more coal to the boiler to
required to generate generate more steam to
variable power instantly meet the demands of
increased power

Effect of variable load
2. Increases the cost of If the load demand
producing electrical reduces to 5 MW, the
energy synchronous generator
A 10 MW synchronous can be controlled to
generator will operate produce 5 MW, however
at maximum efficiency the efficiency will be
when it is producing 10 compromised
MW of electricity Poor efficiency increases
the cost of production

Effect of variable load
What could be the possible solution to reduce the cost
of production at variable loads?
Have multiple power generating units
Have power generating units of different capacity
Carry out load shaping
What is load shaping?
Encourage consumers to use loads during off-peak

Daily load curve

Monthly, yearly, seasonal load or demand variation

curves can also be plotted
Importance of Daily load curve
Load curve helps in selecting the size and number of
generating units
Load curve helps in preparing the operation schedule of
the station
Load curve provide the following information
1. Variation in Power
Daily load variation curve shows variations of load on the
power station during different times of the day
2. Area under the curve
gives the number of units generated during the day
Information obtained from the
Daily demand variation curve
3. Highest point on the curve
indicates the maximum demand on the station during the
4. Area under the curve divided by the total number of
gives the average load on the station during the day
5. Ratio of area under the curve to the total area of
rectangles which covers the area
Gives the Load Factor

Important terms and factors
Variable load problem has introduced the following terms
and factors in Power Plant engineering
Connected Load
Sum of connected loads of all the consumers
Maximum Demand
Greatest demand of load on Power station during a given
Maximum demand is usually less than connected load,
consumers dont switch on their load simultaneously
Station must meet the maximum demand
Determines the installed capacity 10
Average Load
Average load occurring on a power station in a given
period (day, month or year)
Daily Average Load = Units generated in a day/24
Monthly Average Load = Units generated in a month/720
Yearly Average Load = Units generated in a year/8760

Load Factor
Load Factor = Average Load/Max. Demand
If plant is operated for T hours then
Load Factor = Average Load x T/Max. Demand x T
Load factor is the ratio of actual energy consumed to the
maximum power recorded for the same period
Load factor is always less than 1
Lower the load factor more expensive will be the per unit
Power companies invoice the industry for the energy
consumed and the power demand
Load Factor
Demand charges are intended to recover the cost of
facilities including power plant, transformer and
transmission lines installed to provide customer with
maximum amount of electricity demanded at any time
Power plant operators encourage industrial units to
consume maximum energy by offering lower unit rates
Load factor can be improved by
Increasing energy consumption
Decreasing maximum demand

Load Factor Examples
Monthly energy consumption = 36000 kWh
Peak Demand = 100 kW
Billing period days = 30 days
Load Factor = 36000/(100 x 30 x 24) = 0.5 = 50%
What is the Load Factor if Peak Demand is 80 kW?
Load Factor = 36000/(80 x 30 x 24) = 0.625 = 62.5%

Load Factor Examples
A generating station has connected load of 43 MW
Maximum Demand is 20 MW
Units generated per annum are 61.5 x 106
Load Factor?
= 61.5 x 106 /(20 x 103 x 24 x 365) = 0.35 = 35%