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Application Guide for the Automation of Distribution Feeder Capacitors
Final Report, December 2005
EPRI Project Manager A. Sundaram
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Crudele T. Short This report describes research sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). 942 Corridor Park Blvd. EPRI.CITATIONS This report was prepared by EPRI Solutions. The report is a corporate document that should be cited in the literature in the following manner: Application Guide for the Automation of Distribution Feeder Capacitors. 1010655. CA: 2005. TN 37932 Principal Investigators D. Knoxville. iii . Palo Alto. Inc.
Therefore. operating and construction practices. Challenges and Objectives This guide is intended to provide the necessary background for a distribution engineer to quickly acquire a working knowledge of the issues associated with capacitor automation. Consideration is given to applications involving locally controlled capacitor banks and to systems utilizing centrally controlled. switched capacitor banks. including: • • • • • • • Types of capacitor automation schemes (local control versus centralized control) Ways capacitor automation is employed Advantages and drawbacks of different types of capacitor controls Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for capacitor control Communication systems used for capacitor control Capacitor bank sizing and protection issues Capacitor power quality issues Due to the potential variability of the capacitor control system from one utility to the next. including both locally applied and centralized control schemes. This guide is concerned with applying automated switched capacitors to distribution systems. control schemes. and lighting protection and grounding of capacitor controllers.PRODUCT DESCRIPTION This is the fourth and final report in the Electrical Power Research Institute’s (EPRI’s) capacitor reliability study. and it deals with automating distribution capacitors. Results and Findings The Application Guide for the Automation of Distribution Feeder Capacitors attempts to provide the utility engineer with the background needed to sufficiently understand automated capacitor control and the ways it might be applied to his or her distribution system. it is difficult to assign costing figures that will cover all capacitor automation systems. and capacitor-related power quality issues. Prior reports dealt with nuisance fuse operations. The guide is designed for the distribution engineer considering capacitor automation for his or her system. this Guide attempts to describe the various payback streams that come from implementing v . This guide also discusses the issues of system integration. This guide discusses commonly applied capacitor control schemes. The reader is presented with resources for locating a variety of capacitor control equipment currently available from several prominent manufacturers in this area. capacitor protection.
location.sophisticated capacitor automation schemes. Keywords Capacitor automation Switched capacitor SCADA VARs vi Capacitor control Distribution automation Volt/VAR management . These advances in capacitor automation technology. with particular attention paid to which companies currently offer commercial communication services for each medium. one chapter of this Guide is dedicated to examining SCADA communication media. The project team also researched SCADA systems used for modern capacitor automation and have attempted to provide a detailed overview of SCADA systems so readers may better understand how these systems can be utilized in distribution automation. Approach The project team began by researching all available information on state-of-the-art capacitor automation systems currently in use by utilities. coupled with the modern utility’s need to operate ever more efficiently. and Use Distribution automation has emerged as a tremendous resource for increasing efficiency and decreasing operating costs for the modern electric utility. Finally. This will allow readers to assign their own dollar savings to each category and determine their own potential payback. have utilities taking a closer examination of how capacitor automation can benefit their distribution systems. Utilities now have access to intelligent. which lead the way as perhaps the most desirable control technology in terms of increasing operating efficiency and providing a quick return on utility investments. basic capacitor application information is presented in chapters dedicated to capacitor installation sizing. protection. automated capacitor controllers from numerous manufacturers. Applications. Among the array of attractive distribution automation technologies are automated capacitor controls. Values. EPRI Perspective Capacitor automation technology has advanced greatly in recent years. This guide provides a detailed look at many of the aspects of distribution capacitor automation in order to help the distribution engineer quickly gain the background needed to seriously examine capacitor automation applications. Advancements in communication and control technologies have made many automation programs—never-before available—a part of the daily operation of utilities around the United States. From this research. This guide is intended to aid the distribution engineer or planner in determining how capacitor automation can be a benefit to their distribution system as well as provide the background information and automation fundamentals needed to seriously examine how to automate the capacitors on their system. sections have been added to discuss the various types of control schemes used for capacitor automation and local control verses centralized control topologies. Therefore. and power quality issues. No discussion of utility SCADA is complete without examining the many communication channels available to transfer data from the central station to field units and back. Many controllers on the market also have advanced communication capabilities allowing them to be easily integrated into SCADA systems.
and capacitor-related power quality issues. examines automating switched capacitors at the distribution level. therefore. The reader is presented with a variety of resources for locating capacitor control equipment from several prominent manufacturers in this area. from 2002 through the present. Initial scoping helped identify and prioritize several issues affecting the overall reliability of capacitors. This guide discusses commonly applied capacitor control schemes. This project series was established. These investments are justified. The first recommendation involves the physical location at which the capacitor controller should be mounted with regard to the control power transformer (CPT) from which it draws power. and the end-users. Experience at utilities reveals that capacitors are unavailable for operation too frequently. The second recommendation involves grounding considerations for the controller supply power (EPRI 1008573). 2005. The EPRI capacitor reliability study spans several years. Reports from previous years have covered: • Utility Survey and Literature Search (2002): This study was a utility survey and literature search to assess the issues related to the reliability of switched capacitor banks used in distribution systems (EPRI 1001691). This guide also discusses the issues of system integration. utility practices for providing transmission level VAR support with distribution capacitors were reviewed. Grounding and Lightning Protection of Capacitor Controllers (2004): Investigate the two primary factors influencing the magnitude of surges reaching capacitor controllers and provide controller mounting and wiring configurations for minimizing surge magnitude. vii . This guide attempts to provide the utility engineer with the background needed to sufficiently understand automated capacitor control and the ways it could be applied to their distribution system. Fusing and Transmission Support (2003): This study investigated causes of nuisance fuse operations on capacitor banks. • • This year’s report. including locally applied control and centralized control schemes. Additionally.EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The EPRI Capacitor Reliability Study Utilities have a substantial investment in distribution line capacitors. based on certain derived benefits to the power delivery system. the utilities. the anticipated benefits will not be achieved. When capacitors are not available due to some failure or operating error (or are otherwise off-line). Each year a report is prepared dealing with a different aspect of capacitor reliability. control schemes. and additional utility needs were assessed (EPRI 1002154). capacitor protection. to improve capacitor reliability.
current. viii . temperature. and to reduce line losses. Communication technology allows centralized control of distribution capacitors as if they were substation banks. There are many types of controllers on the market. and more reasonably priced than even before. and combination control programs Control Intelligence Location: Local control. the capacitor controller is mounted lower on the pole. to manage distribution voltage profiles. thereby further improving their operating efficiency. This adds the benefit of having the capacitors located closer to the loads they service. central coordinated control. with examples cited from prominent manufacturers Voltage and Current Measurements: Information on line parameters typically measured and the potential for modern capacitor controllers to gather and report a wide array of line data to aid distribution engineers in investigations beyond VAR management Capacitor Sizing and Placement: Detailed information size and placement of capacitor banks on the distribution system Capacitor Installation Protection: Detailed information on proper application of fuses to protect capacitor banks. with additional information regarding protecting capacitor controllers from line surges and lighting strikes • • • Background There is considerable industry activity in applying distribution feeder capacitors. with many different configurations. A typical switched capacitor bank installation is shown in Figure ES-1. These advancements in automation control and communication allow utilities to operate switched distribution capacitors in a manner that has never before been possible.Project Objectives The primary focus of this guide is to provide distribution engineers with the necessary information to examine options for applying a switched capacitor automation scheme on their distribution system. Automated line capacitors are being added by many utilities. local control with central station override Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems: Components commonly found in SCADA-based capacitor control systems. as substitutes for substation capacitors. Although Figure ES-1 only shows the capacitor assembly near the pole top. Automation and communication technologies are more advanced. voltage. date. approximately 10 ft (3 m) above the ground. Utilities are using capacitors in a variety of ways—to supplement transmission VARs. including: • • • Control Schemes: VAR. more readily available. time. This guide provides a detailed discussion of the all the key aspects of distribution capacitor automation.
thus capacity is freed up to produce more real power.) • • If applied and controlled properly. The main benefits that capacitors provide are: • Reduced Losses and Increased Capacity: By canceling the reactive power to motors and other loads with low-power factor. The most danger of overvoltage is under light loads. Reduce Voltage Drop: Capacitors provide a voltage boost that cancels part of the drop caused by system loads. having an ancillary benefit of reducing the number of operations on voltage regulators. Good planning helps ensure that capacitors are sited properly. (In addition. But if not properly applied or controlled. capacitors decrease the line current. This reduces maintenance costs on regulators and LTCs. Compared to ix . generators no longer have to produce VARs. Reduced Cost of Production or Cost of Purchased Power: Because line capacitors provide VARs.Figure ES-1 Example of a Switched Capacitor Bank Configuration Distribution line capacitors provide tremendous benefits to distribution system performance by providing volt-ampere-reactives (VARs) at or near the VAR-consuming loads—and they do this at a low cost. Reduced current also significantly lowers I2R line losses. the reactive power from capacitor banks can create losses and can also create high voltages. capacitors can significantly improve the performance of distribution circuits. transmission and distribution lines no longer have to transport those VARs. both line (and to a lesser to degree) substation regulators and load-tap-changers (LTCs). Reduced current frees up capacity. Switched capacitors serve to regulate voltage on a circuit.
Each half cycle. When charged to a given voltage. Control Strategies Local Control Switched capacitor banks are controlled either locally or through centralized system controls. Current Control: The capacitor is switched on and off based on the line current measured downstream of the capacitor. followed by the next upstream bank. Therefore. This frees up the lines to carry real power that actually performs work. Capacitors oppose changes in voltage. Reactive current can be determined from line current when the power factor of the line is known. and so on. There are several local control strategies available for switched capacitor banks. the banks should then trip in the opposite order by which they switched in (that is. the controls should be set such that the bank furthest downstream comes on-line first. Capacitors are simple devices—two metal plates sandwiched around an insulating dielectric. Current control engages the capacitor during periods of heavy loads which generally have the greatest VAR requirements.simple controllers (like a time clock). It takes time to fill up the plates with charge. This benefits the system because that reactive power (and extra current) does not have to be transmitted from the generators all the way through many transformers and many miles of lines. the capacitor is there to provide it. VAR control is susceptible to interaction from downstream capacitor banks (downstream banks affect the reactive current flow upstream of their location). • x . the last to switch in should be the first to trip out). and the capacitor is there to absorb it. (Short 2004b): • VAR Control: The capacitor is switched on and off at an optimum point in the load cycle based on VAR measurements on the line. it takes time to discharge the voltage. Capacitors and reactive loads continue to exchange this reactive power. The strong attraction of the charges across the very short distance that separates them creates a tank of energy. Furthermore. VAR control is the most efficient control strategy for maximizing the reduction of loss and demand on feeders having only one capacitor bank installed. capacitors don’t store their energy very long—just one-half cycle. The net real power is zero. more sophisticated controllers (such as a two-way radio with monitoring) reduce the risk of improperly controlling capacitors. when applying multiple capacitor banks using VAR control on a single feeder. the capacitors can provide the reactive power locally. therefore. Capacitors provide power just when reactive loads need it. and once charged. On ac power systems. As the name implies. local controls sit on or near the same pole as the capacitor bank and govern the switching operations of only one local bank. However. the motor releases its excess energy. a capacitor charges up and then discharges its stored energy back into the system. Then in the next half cycle. Although not as effective as VAR control schemes. current control provides a fairly good combination of loss reduction and voltage control. opposing charges fill the plates on either side of the dielectric. as shown below (Marx 2003). Capacitors work their magic by storing energy. At the time a motor with low-power factor needs power from the system.
The capacitor should have a minimum effect of 2 V (on 120 V reference). VAR control is typically used rather than power factor control. In general. and the cap on-to-off difference should be approximately 1. While this is the least expensive control option. Voltage controls can be influenced by both upstream and downstream capacitors. Loads can be different than those anticipated at any time. Many are usable in combination. Most time-clock controllers allow for programmable on and off time settings. because switching is based on expected line conditions rather than on measured conditions. Temperature Control: The capacitor is switched based upon the temperature. temperature controls are set to turn the bank on at 85-90º F (29. both of which make the system more complicated. the voltage regulators operate only when the capacitors cannot maintain the desired voltage profile. power factor controls may also incorporate voltage and current overrides. xi . To prevent excessive operations.4–32. which are susceptible to mistaken time settings and inaccurate clocks. Due to these reasons. they will turn capacitors on for either low voltage or high temperature. Voltage regulators can also cause capacitor control pumping problems. To compensate for this shortcoming. time-clock controls are not susceptible to interaction with other banks. for example. capacitor controllers using voltage control schemes should be configured to operate prior to the local voltage regulators. mostly owing to the fact that power factor is not a suitable parameter for controlling capacitor switching. Since power factor is not necessarily an indication of load. based upon the time of day. as well as time delays and bandwidths. can switch the capacitor at times other than those planned. power factor controls may fail to switch in the capacitor during high loads.• Voltage Control: The capacitor is switched on and off based upon the voltage. Like time-clock controls. Since temperature control is not based on line measurements.2º C) and turn the bank off again at 75-80º F (23. threshold minimum and maximum voltages are programmed into the controller.5 times the expected voltage rise when the bank is switched on (Marx 2003). • • Many controllers offer some or all of these control strategies. Time-clock control represents the most basic approach for switching a capacitor on and off. Time-clock controllers. Typically. if the power factor is also high. Since time control is not based on line measurements. but holidays and weekends are particularly challenging. It should also be noted that voltage control schemes provide the greatest value on feeder sections further from the substation. Voltage control is best suited for applications in which the capacitor mainly provides voltage profile control and regulation. they are not susceptible to interaction with other banks. as well as settings for weekends and holidays.7º C). it is also the most susceptible to energizing the capacitor at the wrong time. In this manner. • Time-Clock Control: The controller switches the capacitor. Power Factor Control: The capacitor is switched based upon the power factor measured on the line. since they affect the voltage along the whole line.8–26. This method of control is rarely used by utilities. temperature controllers also provide a very basic level of capacitor control.
large numbers of distribution banks can be switched on. most controllers used for centralized control will have fail-safe modes in which they will revert to a type of local control (voltage. time. Capacitor Controllers The capacitor controller is really the backbone of the automated switched capacitor system. Time Scheduling: Capacitors can be remotely switched. and this carries a significant equipment cost—much higher than just measuring at the substation. VAR. current. they are switched on or off in some specified order. and other wireless technologies have become ubiquitous in modern life. Operators can dispatch distribution capacitors just like large station banks. along with substation VAR measurements. Cellular phones. it still allows operators to override the schedule and dispatch VARs as needed. pagers. There are several control schemes available for remotely controlled capacitor installations. If a feeder has three capacitor banks. coupled with increasing capability for two-way data transfer. This feature is one of the key reasons utilities automate capacitor banks.) if communication with the central station is lost. Other Methods: More advanced (and complicated) algorithms can be used to dispatch capacitors. turning up in new applications. Local voltage override prevents the capacitor from switching if doing so will push the voltage beyond limits set by the user. based on a combination of local VAR measurements and voltage measurements. temperature. based on the time of day and possibly the season or temperature. combination. based on the power factor on the feeder measured in the substation. This control scheme is usually used in conjunction with other controls. Capacitor Location VAR Measurements: The continuing advancement or capacitor controller capabilities. Both local control schemes and centralized control schemes utilize a local capacitor controller. are now making it possible for capacitor controllers to measure line parameters at their location and report that data back to a central station controller. At the xii . A major detractor of this type of operation is that current transformers (CTs) need to be installed at each site in order to make VAR measurements. If VARs are needed for transmission support. • • • • All of the control strategies mentioned above will typically utilize a local voltage override feature. While this may seem like an expensive time control. Additionally.Centralized Control Advances in wireless communication technology have made remote capacitor control more achievable and more economical than ever before. and so on. such as remote capacitor control. Substation VAR Measurements: A common way to control feeder capacitors is to dispatch based on VAR/power factor measurements in the substation. including: • Operator Dispatch: Most schemes allow operators to dispatch distribution capacitors. especially if the controller has only one-way communication capabilities. The central station controller examines the data from each capacitor location (and possible the substation as well) and makes decisions for switching each capacitor individually.
two-way Communication Channel: Radio. telling it when to open and close. and 3) provides switching logic in the event that communication with the central station is lost. power factor. current. the controller provides the interface to the capacitor switch. Control Type: Volt. In central control schemes. one-way. there is also a corresponding wide variety of features among currently produced capacitor controllers. Some examples of capacitor controllers from various manufacturers are shown in Figure ES-2. the controller 1) houses and interprets the signals provided by the data radio. watts.most basic level. of the possible features that a utility may require. cellular. There are many models of capacitor controllers available from numerous manufacturers. some controllers have the functionality to calculate proper set points and compensate for atypical line measurements during reverse power flow conditions. Additionally. copper line. time. current. The controllers are typically packaged in weatherproof enclosures and are intended to be mounted on the same pole as the capacitor bank and switch. paging. temperature. Figure ES-2 Examples of Capacitor Controllers from Various Manufacturers Since there is wide variability in capacitor control needs from one utility to the next. Most manufacturers try to cover most. fiber optic. if not all. and so on. failing capacitor units. such as blown fuses. temperature Data Storage: Some controllers can store operational data locally for retrieval by utility field personnel via laptop computer Reverse Power Detection: As part of their monitoring capability. Neutral Current Monitoring: Monitoring the capacitor bank neutral current can help diagnose problems. combination control Monitoring: Some controllers with two-way communication ability to also report data on a variety of parameters: voltage. 2) provides switching override functions based on local conditions. Further information on neutral current monitoring is available in Chapter 5.” • xiii . VAR. “Voltage and Current Measurements. the controller provides the switching logic. and high harmonic currents. In local control schemes. including: • • • • • • Communication: None (local control only). some controllers can detect reverse power conditions on the feeder.
or hard-wired networks. With one-way communication. but there is xiv . VAR. SCADA Systems Basic SCADA systems. time. consist of a master station(s) communicating with one or more remote terminal units (RTUs) to provide data acquisition and control functionality between a central location and dispersed field units. cellular. each with distinct communication capabilities. Some offer one-way communication while others offer two-way communication. modem. the master station may provide overall coordination and data archival. Most manufacturers also cover both local control and centralized control with one. commands can be dispatched to the capacitor controllers in the field.Most controllers have functionality for all local control types (volt. Figure ES-3 Components of a Basic SCADA System Communication Technology There are several technologies currently in use for communicating with the capacitor controllers. current. The communication channel between the master controller and remote units can be any one of a number of technologies. although the DNP3 protocol tends to dominate new capacitor control systems. and so on. process control. including radio.or two-way communication capabilities. while dedicated servers run individual function programs. The master station runs application software that provides the human-machine interface and also provides the functionality to perform the specific tasks for which the SCADA system is used (that is. such as the DCC system illustrated in Figure ES-3. A very simplistic diagram of a SCADA system is provided in Figure ES-3 to illustrate the concept of centralized control of dispersed field units. and they can often run a combination program incorporating two or more of these parameters in a hierarchical manner. There are numerous protocols available that define how communications between the master station and remote units should be structured over the communication channel. capacitor control. temperature.). in larger multifunction SCADA systems. data acquisition). also referred to as telecontrol systems. frequently by providing different models. Alternatively.
Improving the power factor releases transmission and generation capacity as well as distribution capacity. Most commercial paging systems can be utilized. the same as regular cellular coverage. two-way systems tend to be limited to clusters around major cities. In fact. Very High Frequency (VHF) Radio: Inexpensive. Cellular Phone Systems: These systems use commercial cellular networks to provide twoway communications. These systems are mostly one-way. including towers. Two-way communications offer data flow both from the command center to the field units and from the field units back to the command center.no communication from the field back to the control center. Pager Systems: Pager systems offer inexpensive options. Implementing 900-MHz radio control on a private network requires infrastructure. intelligent capacitor bank switching controls provides several channels of payback that generally yield a very fast return on investment. especially for systems with infrequent switching. • • • • Economics Utilizing automated. Since energy wasted in heating conductors cannot be delivered to a customer. It also contributes to fatigue on line conductors and apparatuses through heating. xv • . Many vendors offer modems that are compatible with several cellular networks. it generates no revenue. energy savings (also termed loss reduction) refers to reducing line and transformer losses by using intelligent capacitor control to effectively reduce the amount of reactive current flowing in the line. there are few capital projects that a utility can undertake that provide a faster return. Capacity Savings: Improving the line power factor through proper application of capacitors reduces the total line current. one-way communications are possible with VHF radio communication. releasing line capacity allows more billable energy to be transferred to customers. thus reducing kVA demand. Cellular Telemetric Systems: These use the unused data component of cellular signals that are licensed on existing cellular networks. They allow only very small messages to be sent to perform basic capacitor automation needs. The technologies used for centralized capacitor control communications include: • 900-MHz Radio: These systems are very common and widely applied for centralized capacitor control. Coverage is typically very good. Automated capacitor control generates three main areas of cost savings as follows: • Energy Savings: In this project. There are several spread-spectrum radios available that cover 902-928 MHz applications. The benefits provided by released capacity are twofold. Another option is a simulcast frequency modulation (FM) signal that uses extra bandwidth available in the commercial FM band. but there are some two-way pager systems available. however that means that while one-way coverage is rather wide-spread. and coverage is typically very good. VHF radio bands are available for telemetry uses such as this. The second benefit of releasing line capacity is that it can enable the deferral of equipment upgrades. thus increasing the revenue that the line can generate. First.
some capacitor banks could be taken out of service and used for future installations. The ability to quickly identify and fix failed capacitors also means that fewer capacitors would need to be installed in the system. the level of existing hardware also plays a role in determining the design of the capacitor control system. This also eliminates the need to have technicians travel to capacitor installations to annually inspect bank functioning. For example.• Operation and Maintenance Savings – Required labor hours can be greatly decreased when upgrading to intelligent centralized capacitor controls via supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. they may opt for a commercially provided communication system (such as a cellular control channel) rather than building their own communication network. This dramatically reduces travel time as well as time spent adjusting capacitor bank controls. Capital costs for capacitor control systems can vary greatly. If a utility does not have any communication system is place. which amounts to a considerable savings in work-hours. then they will likely utilize that system for communication in their capacitor control system. Over time. Additional cost savings come from the ability to remotely monitor capacitor bank status to determine when capacitors fail. xvi . existing utility infrastructure can be utilized for the system. if any. However. then. Even utilities that have a communication network in place may opt for commercially provided communications. SCADA control greatly reduces labor costs by allowing for centralized switching control and monitoring of all capacitor banks. since commercial systems require no infrastructure maintenance from the utility. providing a capital cost savings. since a very high percentage would be operational all the time. depending on the level of sophistication being employed and what. if a utility already has an extensive 900-MHz radio system in place.
....3-5 Georgia Power..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................3-7 Transmission versus Distribution Optimization ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................3-6 Summary of Utility Practices ............3-1 Best Use of Distribution VARs.....................................................................................................................................1-5 2 CAPACITOR SIZING AND PLACEMENT ...............................................................................................................................................................1-3 SCADA and Communications ....................................................1-4 Project Objectives ........CONTENTS 1 PROJECT OVERVIEW.....................................................................................................................3-1 Conservation Voltage Reduction................................................................3-4 Cinergy Corp ........................................................2-19 Switched Capacitor Bank Equipment Mounting Considerations ....2-23 3 AUTOMATION STRATEGIES....2-16 Grounded versus Ungrounded ......3-3 KCPL .................................................................................................3-3 Distribution Capacitors for Transmission VAR Support...............................................................................2-13 Energy Losses ...........................................................................................................................2-1 Introduction ..............................................................2-19 Optimal Capacitor Placement Computer Programs ............3-8 xvii ............3-3 Idaho Power .....................................................................................................................................................................1-1 Control Strategies.................................................................................2-9 Voltage Support .................................................................................................................................................................................................................2-11 Reducing Line Losses ...........................................2-5 Released Capacity ..........................2-1 Capacitor Ratings............................................................................3-1 Optimizing Power Factor at the Substation ..................................................................................................................................................................2-17 Impact of Switching on Capacitor Sizing and Placement .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
........................3-8 Station versus Feeder Evaluation ......5-4 6 COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES .............................................................................................................................7-10 Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3) ....................................................................5-1 Neutral Monitoring ..................................................................................................5-1 Basic Measurements..............................................4-1 Centralized Control........................ and PLCs.............................................................4-4 Coordination of Switched Capacitors and Voltage Regulators...................6-6 Cellular Systems ..............................................................................3-12 4 CONTROL STRATEGIES ......................................7-1 Capacitor Controllers.........................................................................................................Switching Control .................................................................................7-15 MODBUS..................................................................7-1 SCADA Overview .................6-4 Pager Systems ...................................................................................6-9 Cellular Antennas .......................................................................................................................................6-7 Cellular Digital Packet Data...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................3-11 Automation and Other Infrastructure Requirements...........................................................6-11 7 CAPACITOR CONTROLLERS AND SCADA SYSTEMS......................................................................................4-7 5 VOLTAGE AND CURRENT MEASUREMENTS..............................................................6-7 Cellular Data Channel Systems........................................................................................................................................................................................................................6-5 FLEX™ Paging Protocol...................................................................7-16 xviii ...........................7-8 Master Stations .........................................................................................................................................4-1 Control Strategies......................6-1 Communications Technologies .............................................................................................................................................................................7-16 RTUs.....................................7-11 IEC 60870................................................................................................................................................................................ IEDs.................................................................................................................................................................6-9 Commercial Support for Communication Planning and Analysis ......................................4-1 Local Control ...........................................................................................................................................6-1 Spread Spectrum 900-MHz Radio Systems........................................................4-6 Coordination of Switched Capacitors and Distributed Generation .....................................................................................................7-13 Utility Communications Architecture..................................................7-10 Protocols ..................
.9-10 Key Considerations .................................................................................................................................................................................................................9-7 Preliminary Recommendations..................................................................................SCADA Security ...........9-12 Arrester Lead Length .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................9-5 Capacitor Controller Surge Protection.............................................................................9-1 Lead Length Considerations...................................10-9 Fuse Installation Issues.....................................................................................................................................................10-1 Reasons for Relaxing Fusing ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................10-4 Maximum Fuse Sizes .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................10-6 Nuisance Fuse Operation...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................10-18 11 CAPACITOR BANK POWER QUALITY AND RELIABILITY ISSUES....................................8-1 Capacitor Control Software for SCADA Systems...........9-19 10 CAPACITOR FUSING ..........7-17 8 SOFTWARE AND DATA APPLICATIONS ...........9-19 Installation Guidelines.....................................................................9-12 Ground Loops and Shielding ............................................................9-15 Auxiliary Surge Suppression...9-12 Controller Mounting Location ....................9-19 Consult the Manufacturer.......................10-1 Fusing Guidelines.......8-3 Human-Machine Interface Issues.........................................................................................................................................................8-1 Device and Data Management Software..........................................................................................................................................................................................11-6 xix ............................................11-2 Solutions to Harmonics.............................................................................................................................................9-1 Arrester Installation Clearance Considerations ...8-4 9 CAPACITOR AND CONTROLLER SURGE PROTECTION............................9-6 Modeling of Lightning Surges Originating on the Primary Conductors .....................................................................................11-5 Switching Surges..................................................................................11-1 Harmonics ...................................................9-1 Primary Arrester Lead Length and Coordination with Fuses..........................................9-15 Pole Ground Resistance ....................10-8 Outrush and Inrush.........................................................10-16 Proposed Fusing Guidelines ............
.Adjustable Speed Drive (ADS) Tripping ...........................12-1 Energy Savings .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................12-2 Capacity Savings........13-1 xx ...........11-9 Solutions to Switching Transients .............................................................................................................11-10 Telephone Interference .............................................................................................................................................................................................................11-13 12 ECONOMICS.........................................................................................................................................................11-12 Voltage Flicker ...................................................12-2 Operation and Maintenance Savings ..........................................................................................................12-4 Estimated Cost Breakdown ................................................................................12-4 13 REFERENCES .....
................................................................................................................................................................2-10 Figure 2-5 Voltage Profiles After Addition of a Capacitor Bank ..............................4-8 Figure 5-1 Typical Capacitor Controller Mounting Configuration with a Meter Socket Courtesy of S&C Electric Company ....................................................................................................LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1-1 Example of Switched Capacitor Bank Configuration ..............................3-10 Figure 4-1 Example Feeder with a Switched Capacitor Located Just Upstream of a Distributed Energy Resource ........................................2-20 Figure 2-12 Generic Switched Capacitor Bank Equipment Configuration ............................................2-10 Figure 2-4 Extra Capacity as a Function of Capacitor Size .......2-14 Figure 2-7 Placement of 1200-kVAR Banks Using the ½-kVAR Method..........................................................................2-17 Figure 2-10 Comparison of Grounded-wye and Ungrounded-wye Banks During a Failure of One Unit .........................2-22 Figure 2-14 Example Location of Fuses and Lightning Arresters in a Switched Capacitor Installation Courtesy of Donald M.............2-3 Figure 2-3 Released Capacity with Improved Power Factor............................ and fuses......................................................................... such as surge arresters...... Parker at Alabama Power......2-21 Figure 2-13 Typical Layout of Pole-Top Equipment in a Switched Capacitor Installation Courtesy of Donald M...................................................2-16 Figure 2-9 Example of Real and Reactive Power Profiles on a Residential Feeder on a Peak Summer Day with 95% Air Conditioning (Data from East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative......................................2-15 Figure 2-8 Sensitivity to Losses of Placing One Capacitor on a Circuit with a Uniform Load .............2-12 Figure 2-6 Optimal Capacitor Placement Using the “2/3’s” Rule ......................................................5-1 Figure 5-2 Example of Connections in a 6-Jaw Meter Socket Used for Capacitor Controller Installations............................ Parker at Alabama Power ...... ..................................................................... Actual installations would also utilize hardware.................................................................................................................... Inc....... Parker at Alabama Power.....2-2 Figure 2-2 Overhead Line Capacitor Installation ....................................2-22 Figure 3-1 Three Steps for Applying Capacitors for Peak Shaving.......................................................3-7 Figure 3-2 Optimal Capacitor Location for Loss Reduction as the VAR Profile Changes..........................................................................................................................................2-18 Figure 2-11 Example Switched Capacitor Bank Installation Courtesy of Donald M..............5-3 xxi ................................................ cutouts.......) ......................................................................1-3 Figure 2-1 Capacitor Components.........5-2 Figure 5-3 Generic Example of Pole-Top Connections for Input Signals to a Capacitor Controller Note: Protection devices and other apparatuses have purposely been omitted from this drawing for clarity......................................
..........................................................................................5-5 Figure 5-7 Neutral Current Drawn by Failing............................................................................................................ Inc......................................7-13 Figure 8-1 Example of Multiple Interfaces to Single Capacitor Control System........................................................... Depending on the Portion of Bank Failed................8-4 Figure 9-1 Arrester Lead Length.......................7-5 Figure 7-6 A Fisher Pierce AutoCap™ Series 4400 Capacitor Control Courtesy of Fisher Pierce / Joslyn Hi-Voltage ...........................................7-4 Figure 7-4 S&C Electric’s Intellicap® Automatic Capacitor Control Courtesy of S & C Electric ........................................................................................ Grounded-Wye Bank..... Courtesy of QEI Inc..9-4 xxii ............................................................................................................................................6-10 Figure 6-4 Example of a Yagi Directional Antenna and Resulting Coverage Pattern .................................................. QEI Inc..............................................................................................7-7 Figure 7-9 MicroCap (left) and MiniCap (right) Capacitor Switching Controllers from QEI................................................................................................................9-3 Figure 9-3 Example of Almost Zero Lead Length on a Riser Pole...........8-1 Figure 8-2 Example Screen from WinMon® Graphical User Interface Courtesy of S&C Electric Company ............6-7 Figure 6-3 Example of an Omni-Directional Antenna and Resulting Coverage Pattern .....................................................................................................6-3 Figure 6-2 SkyTel Telemetry Services Advanced Messaging Network Courtesy of SkyTel ..............6-10 Figure 7-1 Examples of Capacitor Controllers from Several Manufacturers.........7-9 Figure 7-13 The ISO Seven-Layer....................................................5-4 Figure 5-5 S&C Electric Company’s CSV Line Post Current and Voltage Sensor Courtesy of S&C Electric Company ............................................................................ ..................7-3 Figure 7-3 Cannon Technologies’ CBC-5000 (left) and CBC-7000 (right) Remote Power Factor Control Courtesy of Cannon Technologies ..............................................7-6 Figure 7-8 ProCap™ 150T Capacitor Controller by Maysteel LLC Courtesy of Maysteel LLC............................................................................................................ ..............................................................................................5-4 Figure 5-6 Neutral Monitoring of a Capacitor............... Open Systems............................... M-2937 CAMP™ Remote Communication Module (middle) and M-2980 CAMP™ Utilinet® Remote Communication Module (right) Courtesy of Beckwith Electric ...................7-1 Figure 7-2 Beckwith Electric’s M-2501B Autodaptive® Capacitor Control (left)...................................................................5-5 Figure 6-1 Reflection of Radio Signals ..7-8 Figure 7-10 Capacitor Switching Controller eCAP-9040...........................7-4 Figure 7-5 S&C Electric’s Intellicap PLUS® Automatic Capacitor Control Courtesy of S & C Electric..........9-2 Figure 9-2 Example of Considerable Lead Length on a Riser Pole .................................................................................................................................................................7-6 Figure 7-7 A Fisher Pierce AutoCap™ Series 4500 Capacitor Control Courtesy of Fisher Pierce / Joslyn Hi-Voltage .............. Interconnection Model .............7-12 Figure 7-14 DNP3 Implementation Using the Enhanced Performance Architecture (EPA) Model ..7-8 Figure 7-11 Components of a Basic SCADA System ............................7-9 Figure 7-12 Example of Basic SCADA Based Centralized Capacitor Control Using a Master Station and a Dedicated Capacitor Control Server ...... Courtesy of QEI Inc.........................................................................................Figure 5-4 Series 1301 PowerFlex® Current Sensors From Joslyn Hi-Voltage Courtesy of Joslyn Hi-Voltage .
..........................................................................................................................................................9-16 Figure 9-13 Example Configuration for Surge Protection Covering Incoming Lines for All Surge Modes..............11-14 xxiii ..... W...............................E..................11-4 Figure 11-3 Tuned Harmonic Filter .......................................11-8 Figure 11-7 Effect of Capacitor-Switching Transient on the Direct Current Bus of an Adjustable Speed Drive.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... (Charlie) Williams at Progress Florida ..................................... Secondary Surge Arrester Courtesy of Cooper Power Systems .....................................9-17 Figure 9-14 Approximate Size Relationship of Meter Socket and Typical Auxiliary LowSide Surge Protection (Note: Actual sizes will vary depending on what equipment is used) .....10-7 Figure 10-4 Comparison of Grounded-wye and Ungrounded-wye Banks During a Failure of One Unit .....................10-17 Figure 11-1 Waveform and Harmonic Spectrum of Typical 6-Pulse ac Motor Drives........................................................................................11-12 Figure 11-9 Telephone Influence Factor (TIF) Curve ................................................................................................................................................................................ W..................... the distances are to the fault) ............... (Charlie) Williams at Progress Florida ..................................................11-7 Figure 11-5 Scenario for Magnified Transients........11-6 Figure 11-4 Example Capacitor Switching Transient ............................11-8 Figure 11-6 Example of a Transient Magnified to Individual Customers ......................................................10-5 Figure 10-3 Fuse Curves with Capacitor Rupture Curves ......................................9-13 Figure 9-10 Ground Loop Created by Grounding the CPT Output and the Capacitor Controller Neutral Terminal ...............................................9-10 Figure 9-9 Example Configuration Using Shielded Control Cable ...9-5 Figure 9-5 Blown Arrester with a Dangling Ground Lead ....................9-14 Figure 9-11 Cooper Power Systems Storm Trapper H................ out and back...10-1 Figure 10-2 Capacitor Unit with a Failed Element ..................................................9-9 Figure 9-8 Voltage at the Controller Terminals for Scenarios with and Without Secondary Arrester and Ground Loop .....................................................................11-13 Figure 11-10 GE Flicker Curve ............9-7 Figure 9-7 CPT Secondary Voltage for Scenarios with and Without Secondary Arrester and Ground Loop ............................................................................................9-18 Figure 10-1 Capacitor Bank with a Blown Fuse (EPRI 1001691 2002) .....................................................................Figure 9-4 Simulation of Protection Provided by Arresters at Adjacent Poles Only.................11-3 Figure 11-2 Harmonic Resonance ...............................................................................................................10-17 Figure 10-8 Infrared Thermovision Scan of Cutouts Tested with 83 Amps of Current Courtesy of C.........9-6 Figure 9-6 Example of Switched Capacitor Bank Configuration ...................... the resistance is the resistance around the loop.....................................10-8 Figure 10-5 Outrush from a Capacitor to a Nearby Fault........................................................................................................9-16 Figure 9-12 Axiomatic 120Vac Surge Protector Courtesy of Advanced Surge Suppressor .........10-13 Figure 10-7 Damaged Fuse Tubes from Loose Connections Courtesy of C................10-10 Figure 10-6 Outrush as a Function of the Resistance to the Fault for Various Size Capacitor Banks (The sizes given are 3-phase kVAR.......................................................................................................11-10 Figure 11-8 Transient Caused by Synchronous Switching of a Capacitor...............
.12-5 2 2 xxv ........................2-7 Table 2-5 Maximum Ambient Air Temperatures for Capacitor Application ...................................................... 1990] ..........10-11 Table 10-3 I t Comparisons on a 3-phase...........................................................12-5 Table 12-2 Estimated Cost of Instituting Automated Capacitor Control on the Kansas City Power & Light Distribution Systems ......................2-9 Table 2-6 Percent Voltage Rise for Various Conductors and Voltage Levels (Impedance is for all-Aluminum Conductors with GMD=4....................................47 kV (Iload=55............................8 A) ......2-12 Table 3-1 Substation Versus Feeder Capacitors ................................................LIST OF TABLES Table 2-1 Substation versus Feeder Capacitors..................................2-5 Table 2-3 Maximum Permissible Power-Frequency Voltages ....................................................................................... 600-kVAR Bank at 12.......2-7 Table 2-4 Expected Transient Overcurrent and Overvoltage Capability.................................8 feet) .................... 1...............10-3 Table 10-2 I t Comparisons on a 3-phase.10-12 Table 10-4 Example Fuse Application Guidelines for a 12.2-4 Table 2-2 Common Capacitor Unit Ratings ............................6-4 Table 10-1 Fusing Recommendations for ANSI Tin Links From One Manufacturer [Cooper Power Systems....................6 A)..............10-19 Table 12-1 Estimated Benefits from Instituting Automated Capacitor Control on the Kansas City Power & Light Distribution Systems ...............................200-kVAR Bank at 12.......................................6-2 Table 6-2 Pro’s and Con’s of Radio Network Ownership......3-12 Table 6-1 Frequency Bands for Typical Applications (Young 1999) ..........47/7..........................47 kV (Iload=27...................................................2-kV System........................................................
The first recommendation involved the physical location at which the capacitor controller should be mounted with regard to the control power transformer (CPT) from which it draws power. Reports from previous years have covered: • Utility Survey and Literature Search (2002): A utility survey and literature search to assess the issues related to the reliability of switched capacitor banks used in distribution systems (EPRI 1001691). This guide discusses commonly applied capacitor control schemes. These investments are justified based on certain derived benefits to the power delivery system. The second recommendation involved grounding considerations for the controller supply power (EPRI 1008573). from 2002 through the present.1 PROJECT OVERVIEW The EPRI Capacitor Reliability Study Utilities have a substantial investment in distribution line capacitors. • • This year’s report. This guide also discusses the issues of system integration. 2005. and the end-users. 1-1 . The reader is presented with a variety of capacitor control equipment from several prominent manufacturers in this area. the anticipated benefits will not be achieved. Fusing and Transmission Support (2003): An investigation of the causes of nuisance fuse operations on capacitor banks. When capacitors are not available due to some failure or operating error (or are otherwise off-line). utility practices for providing transmission-level VAR support with distribution capacitors. to improve capacitor reliability. Experience at utilities reveals that capacitors are unavailable for operation too frequently. control schemes. EPRI’s capacitor reliability study spans several years. This project series was established. Initial scoping helped researchers identify and prioritize several issues affecting the overall reliability of capacitors. the utilities. including locally applied control and centralized control schemes. Each year a report is prepared dealing with a different aspect of capacitor reliability. and assessments of additional utility needs (EPRI 1002154). capacitor protection. examines automating switched capacitors at the distribution level. and capacitor-related power quality issues. therefore. Grounding and Lightning Protection of Capacitor Controllers (2004): Investigate the two primary factors influencing the magnitude of surges reaching capacitor controllers and provided controller mounting and wiring configurations for minimizing surge magnitude. This guide attempts to provide utility engineers with the background needed to sufficiently understand automated capacitor controls and ways they could be applied to his or her distribution system.
transmission and distribution lines no longer have to transport those VARs. Reduced current frees up capacity. and they do this at a low cost. generators no longer have to produce VARs. and more reasonably priced than ever before. Reduced current also significantly lowers I2R line losses. thus capacity is freed up to produce more real power. more readily available. The main benefits that capacitors provide are: • Reduced Losses and Increased Capacity: By canceling the reactive power to motors and other loads with low-power factor. There are many types of controllers on the market. 1-2 . approximately 10 ft (3 m) above the ground. (In addition. capacitors decrease the line current. Automated line capacitors are being added and operated by many utilities. to manage distribution voltage profiles. thereby further improving their operating efficiency. These advancements in automation control and communication allow utilities to operate switched distribution capacitors in a manner that has never before been possible. Switched capacitors serve to regulate voltage on a circuit. This provides the added benefit of having the capacitors located closer to the loads they service. Automation and communication technologies are more advanced. Reduce Voltage Drop: Capacitors provide a voltage boost that cancels part of the drop caused by system loads. with many different configurations. Communication technology allows centralized control of distribution capacitors as if they were substation banks. This reduces maintenance costs on regulators and LTCs.) • • A typical switched capacitor bank installation is shown in Figure 1-1.Project Overview Background There is considerable industry activity in applying distribution feeder capacitors. Reduced Cost of Production or Cost of Purchased Power: Because line capacitors provide VARs. the capacitor controller is mounted lower on the pole. both line (and to a lesser to degree) substation regulators and load-tap-changers (LTCs). Distribution line capacitors provide tremendous benefits to distribution system performance by providing VARs at or near the VAR-consuming loads. and to reduce line losses. Utilities are using capacitors in a variety of ways—to supplement transmission VARs. as substitutes for substation capacitors. having an ancillary benefit of reducing the number of operations on voltage regulators. Although Figure 1-1 only shows the capacitor assembly near the pole top.
The controller measures line parameters. and distribution. the control logic resides at the capacitor location via an intelligent capacitor controller. and 3) provides switching logic in the event that communication with the central station is lost. such as voltage or VARs. and makes switching decisions based on these 1-3 . properly applied capacitors will reduce wear and tear on equipment at each level of the utility system. At the most basic level. And by reducing VAR flow. capacitors help reduce VAR flow at all levels of the utility system—generation. 2) provides switching override functions based on local conditions. In local control schemes. Capacitors provide both energy savings and capacity savings. Properly applied and controlled capacitors offer many benefits to the distribution system. In central control schemes.Project Overview Figure 1-1 Example of Switched Capacitor Bank Configuration The capacitor controller is really the backbone of the automated switched capacitor system. In local control schemes. the controller provides the interface to the capacitor switch. Both local control schemes and centralized control schemes utilize a local capacitor controller. transmission. telling it when to open and close. the controller provides the switching logic. Control Strategies Automated control of switched capacitor banks takes two primary forms—locally controlled automation and centrally controlled automation. the controller 1) houses and interprets the signals provided by the data radio. By serving distribution-level VAR needs on the feeder close to the load. which can increase revenue and defer system upgrades.
the challenge is to provide a method for the new system to interface with the existing system. In centralized control schemes. although the extent to which utilities make use of SCADA varies greatly. Most utilities have at least some type of SCADA system as part of their operational infrastructure. date. Some centralized control schemes make use of feeder data gathered at the substation rather than at the capacitor location. newly added capacitor control functionality may reside on a separate server in parallel with the existing SCADA master station. Depending on the system in place. so they are unencumbered by compatibility issues. Two-way communications offer data flow. The capacitor controller may measure line parameters and transmit that information back to the central station master (although not all central control schemes incorporate local measurements). this will be their first foray into SCADA. Some offer one-way communication while others offer two-way communication. There are also less-sophisticated control schemes based on time. which tells the local switch to either open or close. the local capacitor controller provides local overrides to prevent the capacitor from switching. Centrally controlled automation systems also use local capacitor controllers but in a somewhat different role. commands can be dispatched to the capacitor controllers in the field. More information on the various control schemes is available in Chapter 4.Project Overview parameters. SCADA and Communications Capacitor automation via centralized control utilizes supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) technology to provide both overall data collection and control of the switched capacitor banks. but there is no communication from the field back to the control center. When trying to integrate new capacitor automation functionality into existing SCADA systems.1 specifications. switching decisions are made by a master controller and then sent to the local capacitor controller. or temperature. With one-way communication. both from the command center to the field units and from the field units back to the command center. The local controller also provides switching control intelligence in the event that communication is lost between the central station and the local controller. Other installations may add capacitor control software directly into the master station. In centrally controlled systems. Control Strategies. There are several technologies currently in use for communicating with the capacitor controllers. if doing so would cause the line voltage to move out of ANSI C84. The technologies used for centralized capacitor control communications include: • • • • • 900-MHz Radio Pager systems Cellular phone systems Cellular telemetric systems VHF radio 1-4 . For some utilities.
temperature. time. including: • • • Control Schemes: VAR. local control with central station override Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems: Components commonly found in SCADA-based capacitor control systems. voltage. with additional information regarding protecting capacitor controllers from line surges and lighting strikes • • • 1-5 . central coordinated control.Project Overview Project Objectives The primary focus of this guide is to provide the distribution engineer with the necessary information to evaluate applying a switched capacitor automation scheme to his or her distribution system. current. date. and combination control programs Control Intelligence Location: Local control. This guide provides a detailed discussion of the all the key aspects of distribution capacitor automation. with examples cited from prominent manufacturers Voltage and Current Measurements: Information on line parameters typically measured and the potential for modern capacitor controllers to gather and report a wide array of line data to aid distribution engineers in investigations beyond VAR management Capacitor Sizing and Placement: Detailed information size and placement of capacitor banks on the distribution system Capacitor Installation Protection: Detailed information on proper application of fuses to protect capacitor banks.
It takes time to fill up the plates with charge. Capacitors oppose changes in voltage. as the capacitors can provide the reactive power locally. This frees up the lines to carry real power—power that actually performs work. capacitors decrease the line current. Most noticeably. more sophisticated controllers (such as two-way radio with monitoring) reduce the risk of improperly controlling capacitors. Capacitors work their magic by storing energy. Switched capacitors can regulate voltage on a circuit. and once charged. capacitors do not store their energy for very long—just for one half-cycle. On ac power systems. the capacitor is there to provide it. it takes time to discharge the voltage. Reduced current also significantly lowers the I2R line losses.2 CAPACITOR SIZING AND PLACEMENT Introduction Capacitors provide tremendous benefits to distribution system performance. capacitors can significantly improve the performance of distribution circuits. 2-1 . and the capacitor is there to absorb it. the motor releases its excess energy. Capacitors provide power just when reactive loads need it. Compared to simple controllers (like a time clock). The strong attraction of the charges across the very short distance that separates them creates a tank of energy. This benefits the system because that reactive power (and extra current) does not have to be transmitted from the generators all the way through many transformers and many miles of lines. opposing charges fill the plates on either side of the dielectric. But if not properly applied or controlled. Reduced current frees up capacity. thus the same circuit can serve more load. Each half-cycle. The net real power is zero. the reactive power from capacitor banks can create losses and can also create high voltages. • If applied properly and controlled. a capacitor charges up and then discharges its stored energy back into the system. capacitors are used to achieve the following benefits: • Reduce Avoidable Losses and Free-up Capacity: By canceling the reactive power to motors and other loads with low-power factor. Capacitors are simple devices—two metal plates sandwiched around an insulating dielectric. Good planning helps ensure that capacitors are sited properly. Then in the next half-cycle. When charged to a given voltage. Capacitors and reactive loads repeatedly exchange this reactive power. When a motor with low-power factor needs power from the system. The most danger of overvoltage is under light load. Improved Voltage Profile: Capacitors provide a voltage boost that cancels part of the drop caused by system loads.
1 mm).175 inches (4. sandwiched between aluminum-foil sheets. Capacitor dielectrics must withstand voltage on the order of 2000 V/mil (78 kV/mm). An underground cable for a 12.004 inches (0. Courtesy of General Electric Figure 2-1 Capacitor Components 2-2 . No other medium-voltage equipment has such high-voltage stress.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Capacitor units are made of series and parallel combinations of capacitor packs or elements put together as shown in Figure 2-1. less than 1-mil thick. Capacitor elements have sheets of polypropylene film.47-kV system has insulation that is at least 0.4 mm) thick. A capacitor on the same system has an insulation separation of only 0.
The biggest obstacles are cost and aesthetics. individual capacitor units are stacked in rows to provide large quantities of reactive power. Manufacturers also offer metal-enclosed 2-3 . Many capacitors are switched.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Utilities often install substation capacitors. a CPT. switches. A line capacitor installation has the capacitor units in addition to other components. Substation capacitors are typically offered as open-air racks. The main aesthetic-related complaint is that pad-mounted capacitors are large. All equipment is exposed. some manufacturers provide pad-mounted capacitors. Figure 2-2 Overhead Line Capacitor Installation While most capacitors are pole-mounted. These units are much larger than pad-mounted transformers. Pole-mounted capacitors normally provide 300-3600 kVAR at each installation. As more circuits are put underground. fuses. Pad-mounted capacitors contain capacitor cans.28-1998). which is the least expensive way to install distribution capacitors. pad-mounted enclosure integrity requirements (ANSI C57. and a controller (see Figure 2-2 for an example).12. based either on a local controller or from a centralized controller through a communication medium. switches. Most feeder capacitor banks are pole-mounted. so they must be sited more carefully to avoid complaints. possibly including arresters. the need for pad-mounted capacitors will grow. as well as capacitors at points on the distribution feeders. Customers complain about the intrusion and the appearance of such a large structure. Normally elevated to reduce the hazard. Stack racks require a large substation footprint and are routinely engineered for the given substation. and fusing in a dead-front package that follows standard.
improve voltage profiles. This is especially true on long feeders that have considerable line losses and voltage drop. where capacitors. Substation capacitors cost more than feeder capacitors. but station capacitors must be individually engineered. System operators can easily control substation capacitors wired into a SCADA system to dispatch VARs as needed. Capacitors are applied on single-phase lines as well. Table 2-1 highlights some of the differences between feeder and station capacitors. may not correspond to the best time to switch in the capacitor for the circuit on which it is located. Further. 2-4 . Feeder capacitors are closer to the loads—capacitors closer to loads more effectively release capacity. Most 3-phase banks are connected. the best times for switching in VARs. Application of 3-phase banks downstream of single-phase protectors is also uncommon because of ferroresonance concerns. banks are normally connected as a floating wye. and reduce line losses. switches. grounded wye on 4-wire. as needed by the system. although some utilities have found the reliability of switched feeder banks to be less than desired. Modern communication and control technologies applied to feeder capacitors have reduced this advantage. and the space they take up in a station is often valuable real estate. Operators can control feeder banks with communications just like station banks. but this is less common. multi-grounded circuits. and fuses (normally current-limiting) are all enclosed in a metal housing. Substation capacitors and feeder capacitors both have their uses. Utilities normally apply capacitors on 3-phase sections. This may seem surprising. Substation capacitors are better when more precise control is needed. With a leading power factor. Pole-mounted capacitors installations are more standardized. Table 2-1 Substation versus Feeder Capacitors Feeder Capacitors Advantages • • • • Reduces line losses Reduces voltage drop along the feeder Frees up feeder capacity Lower cost Substation Capacitors Advantages • • Better control Best placement if leading VARs are needed for system voltage support • • • Disadvantages No reduction in line losses No reduction in feeder voltage drop Higher cost • • Disadvantages More difficult to control reliably Size and placement important Substation capacitors may also be desirable if a leading power factor is needed for voltage support. On three-wire circuits. moving this capacitor out on the feeder increases losses. Some are connected in floating wye.Capacitor Sizing and Placement capacitors.
150. 200. 95. Properly applied capacitors provide a return on investment very quickly. 3-phase capacitor banks are normally referred to by the total kVAR on all three phases. 13 1/3. 15. In high-fault-current areas. Capacitors save significant amounts of money in reduced losses.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Most utilities also include arresters and fuses on capacitor installations. Table 2-2 Common Capacitor Unit Ratings Volts. 500. and 50 1 and 3 30 ** 480. reduced loadings and extra capacity can also delay building more distribution infrastructure. 9960. 300. 20. Switched capacitor units normally have oil or vacuum switches in addition to a controller. and 200 2770 50. 100. Arresters protect capacitor banks from lightning overvoltages. 500. 5. 150. 25.7960. 8320. 700. 600. 9540. rms (terminal-toterminal) 216 Number kVAR 5. 150. 125. or (more rarely) three units per phase. 10. 300. 25. 150. A capacitor’s rated kVAR is the kVAR at rated voltage. Depending on the type of control. 400. 100. 200. capacitors normally are not applied on poles with other equipment. 50. 100. 7 1/2. a current sensor. 200. Table 2-2 shows common capacitor unit ratings. 10. 35. 100. and 800 1 95. and 200 2-5 . 150. and 25 of phases 1 and 3 BIL. 600 5. Many common-size banks have only one capacitor unit per phase. 15. Capacitor Ratings Capacitor units rated from 50-500 kVAR are available. In some cases. 20. 200. and 200 6640. 400. two. 125. 150. 700. and 800 1 and 3 75. 20.5. and 400 1 and 3 75. Distribution feeder banks normally have one. 300. possibly. and 500 1 and 3 75.7200. 95. 150. and 100 1 and 3 30 ** 2400 50. 50. 125. Fuses isolate failed capacitor units from the system and clear the fault before the capacitor fails violently. 95. the installation may include a CPT for power and voltage sensing and. and 200 4160. 60. 600. 4800 50. 300. Because a capacitor bank has a number of components. 7 1/2. 150. 125. kV 30 ** 240 2.7620. 400. utilities may use current-limiting fuses.
New capacitors are tested with at least a 10-second overvoltage. 150. 18-2002 1 150 and 200 IEEE Std. including harmonics but excluding transients 135% of nominal rms current. 700. based on rated kVAR and rated voltage Capacitor dielectrics must withstand high-voltage stresses during normal operation—on the order of 2000 V/mil. 100. and 800 1 125. 22 800. 300. 24 940 800 Source: IEEE Std. 300. 600. 13 280. 600. 200. and 23 800. 400. 12 470. 600. 18-2002): • • • 135% of nameplate kVAR 110% of rated rms voltage and crest voltage not exceeding 1.3 times the rated rms or an ac voltage of twice the rated rms voltage (IEEE Std. 150. rms (terminal-toterminal) kVAR Number of phases BIL. 150. 300. IEEE Std. 100. 18-2002). 500. 18-1992 allows up to 300 power-frequency overvoltages within the time durations in Table 2-3 (without transients or harmonic content). 2-6 . 400. 21 600. Capacitors should not be applied when any of the following limits are exceeded (IEEE Std. 14 400 15 125 50. and 200 19 920 100. Capacitors are designed to withstand overvoltage for short periods of time.2 2 of rated rms voltage. 150. 200. 200. either a dc-test voltage of 4. kV 11 400. 400. and 800 1 125. 500. 13 800. 700. 700. and 200 20 800. 500. 150.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Table 2-2 (continued) Common Capacitor Unit Ratings Volts. 18 defines standards for capacitors and provides application guidelines.
25 1. 18-1992 Capacitors should withstand various peak voltage and current transients. 18-1992 2-7 .00 1.0 4.70 1. Table 2-4 Expected Transient Overcurrent and Overvoltage Capability Probable Permissible peak transient Permissible peak transient number of current (multiplying factor voltage (multiplying factor to be applied to rated rms transients to be applied to rated rms voltage) current) per year 4 40 400 4000 1500 1150 800 400 5.40 1.20 2.4 2. the allowable peak depends on the number of transients expected per year (see Table 2-4).Capacitor Sizing and Placement Table 2-3 Maximum Permissible Power-Frequency Voltages Duration Maximum permissible voltage (multiplying factor to be applied to rated voltage rms) 2.0 3.30 1.9 Source: IEEE Std.10 6 cycles 15 cycles 1s 15 s 1 min 30 min continuous Source: IEEE Std.
18-2002). The IEEE standard allows reactive power to range between 100-110% when applied at rated sinusoidal voltage and frequency (at 25°C case and internal temperature) (IEEE Std. Older units were allowed to range up to 115%. Capacitors must have an internal resistor that discharges a capacitor to 50 V or less within five minutes of when the capacitor is charged to the peak of its rated voltage ( 2Vrms ).07 to 0. VkV = capacitor voltage rating. Losses include resistive losses in the foil. farads.5 to +4. the discharge resistor must continually dissipate at least the following power in watts: Pwatts = − Q kvar ⎛ 35 .0%. 2-8 . kV QkVAR = unit reactive power rating. ohms C = capacitance. dielectric losses. This resistor is the major component of losses within a capacitor. The resistor must be low enough such that the RC time constant causes it to decay in 300 seconds as: 50 2V ≤e − 300 RC Eq.2 ⎝ V ⎠ Eq.36 ⎞ ln ⎜ ⎟ 113 . volts R = discharge resistance. most units are from +0. Capacitor losses are typically on the order of 0. 2-3 where. kVAR Capacitors are made within a given tolerance.15 watts/kVAR at nominal frequency.65Q kvar VkV 2 Eq. V = capacitor voltage rating. 2-1 where. In practice. So. 18-1992). and a given batch is normally very uniform. (ANSI/IEEE Std. Therefore. the capacitance also must be between 100-110% of the value calculated at rated kVAR and voltage. and losses in the internal discharge resistor. 2-2 where.Capacitor Sizing and Placement The capacitance of a unit in microfarads is: C uF = 2.
so they run very cool. Capacitors do not have load cycles like transformers—they are always at full load. Table 2-5 Maximum Ambient Air Temperatures for Capacitor Application Ambient air temperature— °C Mounting arrangement Isolated capacitor Single row of capacitors Multiple rows and tiers of capacitors Metal-enclosed or -housed equipment 4-h average* 46 46 40 40 *The mathematical average of the four consecutive highest hourly readings during the hottest day expected at that location.Capacitor Sizing and Placement QkVAR is the capacitor rating (single.047 W/kVAR. 2-9 . IEEE standard 18 specifies that capacitors shall be able to operate continuously in a –40°C ambient. These limits assume unrestricted ventilation and direct sunlight. capacitors are very sensitive to temperature and are rated for temperatures lower than other power system equipment. Capacitors have very low losses. Using capacitors to supply reactive power reduces the amount of current in the line. so a line of a given ampacity can carry more load.or 3-phase). capacitors are designed to operate at high dielectric stresses.2-kV capacitors. But. For 7. especially if the original power factor is low. the lower bound on losses is 0. such as cables or transformers. Some utilities use a shorting bar across the terminals of capacitors during shipping and in storage. Standards specify an upper limit for application of 40 or 46°C. 18-2002 Released Capacity In addition to reducing losses and improving voltage. Improving the power factor increases the amount of real power load the circuit can supply. Also. Figure 2-3 shows that capacitors release significant capacity. At the lower end. so they have less margin for degraded insulation. The standard recommends waiting for five minutes to allow the capacitor to discharge through the internal resistor. Figure 2-4 shows another way to view the extra capacity. depending on arrangement (see Table 2-5). capacitors release capacity. Source: IEEE Std. as a function of the size of capacitor added.
Capacitor Sizing and Placement Figure 2-3 Released Capacity with Improved Power Factor Figure 2-4 Extra Capacity as a Function of Capacitor Size 2-10 .
it is not exactly right. At higher voltages. The reactive current through the system impedance causes a voltage rise in percent of: Vrise = Qkvar X L 2 10 VkV . 2-5 where. Capacitors applied at voltages below their rating provide VARs in proportion to the per-unit voltage squared. capacitors draw more current and produce more reactive power as: I = IratedVpu. Unlike a regulator. Figure 2-5 shows how a capacitor changes the voltage profile along a circuit. because the capacitive current changes in proportion to voltage. 2-11 . 2-4 where Vpu is the voltage in per-unit of the capacitor’s voltage rating. The best location for voltage support depends on where the voltage support is needed. XL = positive-sequence system impedance from the source to the capacitor. Since the amount of voltage rise is dependent on the impedance upstream of the bank. ohms VkV. l-l = line-to-line system voltage. At a higher operating voltage. Capacitors provide almost a fixed voltage rise. a capacitor creates more voltage rise than the equation predicts. kVAR While this equation is very good for most applications. a capacitor changes the voltage profile upstream of the bank. and QkVAR = QratedVpu2 Eq.l -l Eq. putting the capacitor at the end of the circuit will provide the voltage boost along the entire circuit.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Voltage Support Capacitors are constant-impedance devices. kV QkVAR = 3-phase bank rating.
122 24.47 0.635 2-12 .036 0.019 0.127 0.995 0.016 0.019 0.764 0.038 0.147 0.017 0. capacitors increase the voltage by about 0.032 0.031 0.12% per mile per 100 kVAR per phase. For 15-kV class systems.037 0.Capacitor Sizing and Placement 104 With no load Voltage rise from the capacitor 102 100 Voltage proﬁle without the capacitor 100 With load Voltage proﬁle with the capacitor 98 96 Voltage proﬁle without the capacitor Figure 2-5 Voltage Profiles After Addition of a Capacitor Bank Table 2-6 shows the percentage voltage rise from capacitors for common conductors at different voltages.656 0. Inductance does not change much with conductor size.020 0.9 0.034 0. Table 2-6 Percent Voltage Rise for Various Conductors and Voltage Levels (Impedance is for allAluminum Conductors with GMD=4.134 0. the voltage change stays the same over a wide range of conductor sizes.8 1.153 0.8 feet) Percent voltage rise per mile with 100 kVAR per phase XL Conduct or size Ω/mile 4 2 1/0 4/0 350 500 Line-to-line system voltage.958 0. kV 4. This table excludes the station transformer impedance but still provides a useful approximation.694 0.903 0.031 34.736 0.142 0.826 12.017 0.792 0.5 0.854 0.
Reactive power provides magnetizing for motors and other inductive loads.015 On switched capacitor banks. Neagle and Samson (1956) developed a capacitor placement approach developed for uniformly distributed lines and showed that the optimal capacitor location is the point on the circuit where the reactive power flow equals half of the capacitor VAR rating. but some flows to supply reactive power.117 0. the voltage change constrains the size of banks at some locations. a 3-phase 1200-kVAR bank boosts the voltage 4% at about 8 miles from the substation. they developed the “2/3’s rule” for selecting and placing capacitors. utilities limit the voltage change to 3-4%. Normally. the substation source provides VARs for the first 1/3 of the circuit. the optimal size capacitor is 2/3 of the VAR requirements of the circuit. I2R. but it must be supplied. Reducing Line Losses One of the main benefits of applying capacitors is that they can reduce distribution line losses. On a 12. The optimal placement of this capacitor is 2/3 of the distance from the substation to the end of the line. Reactive power does not spin kWh meters and performs no useful work.029 0. From this. 1200-kVAR banks must only be used within the first eight miles of the station. To keep within a 4% limit. Engineers employ the widely used the “2/3’s” rule for sizing and placing capacitors to optimally reduce losses. 2-13 .608 0. Some of that current transmits real power. reducing reactive power flow on lines significantly reduces losses. Since line losses are a function of the current squared. Using capacitors to supply reactive power reduces the amount of current in the line. For a uniformly distributed load. Losses come from current flow against the resistance of conductors.Capacitor Sizing and Placement 750 0.47-kV circuit.791 0. For this optimal placement for a uniformly distributed load. and the capacitor provides VARs for the last 2/3 of the circuit (see Figure 2-6).
4/7. capacitors can be applied along the branches using the same method. equally spaced. five capacitor banks are needed.) The second bank would go near the middle. the reactive load profile of a circuit is used to place capacitors. and apply capacitors at points where the line’s kVAR flow equals half of the kVAR rating of the capacitor. Finally. The total VARs supplied by the capacitors is 2n/(2n+1) of the circuit’s VAR requirements. but different size banks at different portions of the feeder might help with voltage profiles. and located at per-unit distances of 2/7. The basic idea is. Select a Size: Choose a standard size capacitor. each should be spaced to 2/7 of the total VARs needed.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Figure 2-6 Optimal Capacitor Placement Using the “2/3’s” Rule A generalization of the 2/3’s rule for applying n capacitors to a circuit is to size each one to 1/(2n+1) of the circuit VAR requirement. reevaluate the VAR profile. With the Grainger/Lee method. Continue placing banks in this manner until no more locations meet the criteria. only one bank is needed. with some sized up to 2400 kVAR. The circuit has an express feeder near the start. yet simple. to locate banks at points on the circuit where the reactive power equals one half of the capacitor VAR rating. method for placing fixed capacitors on a circuit with any load profile. and half are sent upstream. it is more efficient to use standardized bank sizes. 2. move upstream. There is no reason to have to stick with the same size banks. a 450-kVAR bank could be applied where the VAR flow equals 225 kVAR. not just a uniformly distributed load. Move upstream until the next point where the VAR flow equals half of the capacitor rating. For large industrial loads. starting at a distance of 2/(2n+1) of the total line length from the substation and added to the rest of the units at intervals of 2/(2n+1) of the total line length. and 6/7 of the line length from the substation. So to apply three capacitors. again. (The circuit at the end of the line could be one large customer or could be branches off of the main line. If a line has major branches. This will also work for lines that already have capacitors (it doesn’t optimize the placement of all of the banks. Since the end of the circuit has a reactive load above the 600-kVAR threshold for sizing 1200-kVAR banks. If the bank size is 2/3 of the feeder requirement. A 300-kVAR bank could be placed where the VAR flow equals 150 kVAR. then a 600-kVAR bank could be applied where the VAR flow equals 300 kVAR. With this ½-kVAR rule. the best location is often going to be right at the load. They are applied. but it optimizes placement of new banks). The two 2-14 . One may start at the end. Locate the first bank at the point on the circuit where VAR flows on the line are equal to half of the capacitor VAR rating. The basic steps of this approach are: 1. The ½-kVAR method works for any section of line. 3. Common sizes range from 300-1200 kVAR. Locate the First Bank: Start from the end of the circuit. Figure 2-7 shows the optimal placement of 1200-kVAR banks on an example circuit. Locate Subsequent Banks: After a bank is placed. Normally. Another 1200-kVAR bank could go in just after the express feeder. Grainger and Lee (1981) provide an optimal. the capacitor supplies half of its VARs downstream. the first capacitor would be applied at the end of the circuit. but that would not gain anything. If the size is 1/6 of the feeder requirement.
As long as the size and location are somewhat close (within 10%).Capacitor Sizing and Placement capacitors total 2400 kVAR and the feeder load is 3000 kVAR. 2-15 . capacitor placement and sizing does not have to be exact. Quite good loss reduction occurs. the not-quiteoptimal capacitor placement provides almost as much loss reduction as the optimal placement. Figure 2-8 shows the loss reduction for one fixed capacitor on a circuit with a uniform load. Another 600-kVAR capacitor would really be needed to zero out the VAR flow before it gets to the express feeder. even if optimum sizing and placement cannot be achieved. Figure 2-7 Placement of 1200-kVAR Banks Using the ½-kVAR Method Fortunately. The 2/3’s rule specifies that the optimum distance is 2/3 of the distance from the substation and 2/3 of the circuit’s VAR requirement.
Energy Losses The average reactive loading profile should be used to optimally size and place capacitors for energy losses. Using the peak-load case. (RLF): RLF = Average kvar Demand Peak kvar Demand Eq. the size or number of the capacitor banks should be reduced until voltage limits are no longer exceeded. 2-6 The RLF is similar to the traditional-load factor. If an average system case is not available.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Figure 2-8 Sensitivity to Losses of Placing One Capacitor on a Circuit with a Uniform Load The voltage impacts of capacitors must be considered. Normally. On a low-flow case with the average reactive load. If additional loss reduction is desired. Figure 2-9 shows an example of power profiles. Under light load. it can be estimated by scaling the peak load case by the reactive load factor. the capacitors should be checked to ensure they have not raised the voltages above allowable standards. The real power (kW) fluctuates significantly more than the reactive power (kVAR). the ½-kVAR method or the 2/3’s rule optimizes energy losses. This leads to more separation between banks and less kVARs applied than if we optimize for peak losses. the RLF is higher than the total-load factor. 2-16 . switching banks should be considered as discussed below. the total-load factor can be used. If voltage limits are exceeded. If no information is available on the RLF. the ½-kVAR method optimizes losses during the peak load. except that it only considers the reactive portion of the load.
) Grounded versus Ungrounded Capacitor banks can be grounded or ungrounded. Harmonics: Because the bank is ungrounded. Inc. Harmonics: The grounded-wye bank can attract zero-sequence harmonics (balanced 3rd. This problem is often found in cases of telephone interference. the floating neutral shifts to the phase voltage of the failed unit. 15th. This allows the fuse to blow quickly but requires fuses to be rated for the full-fault current. the circuit does not draw full fault current—it is a highimpedance fault. the shift of the neutral relieves the voltage stress on the remaining series groups. …) cannot flow to ground through the capacitor. The advantages and disadvantages of a grounded capacitor bank include: • • Unit Failure and Fault Current: If a unit fails. Fault Current: When one unit fails. During a progressive failure. ungrounded banks include: • • • The response of the floating-wye configuration deserves more analysis. Advantages and disadvantages of the floating-wye. 9th. zero-sequence harmonics (balanced 3rd. In the example in Figure 2-10. when one series group shorts out. Unit Failure: If a unit fails. …). Then. the faulted phase draws full-fault current.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Figure 2-9 Example of Real and Reactive Power Profiles on a Residential Feeder on a Peak Summer Day with 95% Air Conditioning (Data from East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative. for a floating-wye bank with half of the 2-17 . 15th. the neutral shift stresses the remaining capacitors with 173% voltage. This is an advantage in some capacitor applications. 9th.
A potential transformer measuring voltage between the floating neutral and ground can detect a failure of one unit.75 per unit. On three-wire systems. so the current is also 1. a relay monitoring the neutral potential transformer (PT) should trip the capacitor’s oil or vacuum switch (obviously. banks with single-bushing capacitors are floated when it becomes necessary to convert a bank to a floating wye. The remaining elements normally see 50% of the line-to-neutral voltage. 2-18 . Figure 2-10 Comparison of Grounded-wye and Ungrounded-wye Banks During a Failure of One Unit Standard utility practice is to ground banks. Utilities often use two-bushing capacitors. Floating-wye configurations are best applied with neutral detection. When one pack fails. Utilities universally ground capacitor cases on pole-mounted capacitors (even though it is not strictly required by the National Electrical Safety Code.5 per unit. Having two bushings allows crews to convert capacitor banks to a floating neutral configuration if telephone interference is a problem. The excess heating at the failure point increases the risk of gas generation and case rupture. When one unit fails.Capacitor Sizing and Placement series sections shorted. this only works on switched banks). the line-to-neutral voltage becomes 0. IEEE C2-1997). In rare cases.5 time normal). but now they see 75% (1. the fuse (or other protection) should trip quickly. Capacitor banks on industrial systems are normally ungrounded. even though most also use a grounded neutral. utilities use both ungrounded wye and delta configurations. The reduction in voltage stress due to the neutral shift.
particularly centralized control with two-way communication capability. to the greatest extent possible. However. Migrating to advanced capacitor control schemes. no more than four switched capacitor banks are used on a single feeder (Marx 2003). can reduce the size and/or number of capacitor bank installations required to efficiently operate the distribution system. during a four-year rollout of capacitor automation.5 MVAR over that period. while still meeting the VAR needs of the distribution system. KCPL was still able to remove the 5 MVAR of capacitors while improving the system power factor from 98. This configuration allows the total capacitor kVAR to more closely equal the total load kVAR. the capacitor would be sized at 2/3 the heavy kVAR load and located 2/3 the length of the feeder from the substation. Switched Capacitor Bank Equipment Mounting Considerations Switched capacitor banks tend to be pretty busy installations. the greatest savings are achieved by using several smaller banks distributed along the feeder to reduce. consider a feeder with a heavy but uniform load. Kansas City Power & Light (KCPL) was able to remove 5 MVAR of capacitors from a section of their system. with just the controller located lower on the pole. Girotti.7% due to more efficient VAR use. For example.3% to 98. the reactive current flow in the conductor. due to the amount of equipment that needs to be mounted on the pole. as shown in Figure 2-11. then the total number of installed capacitors can be reduced or maintained without growth. Using a conventional fixed bank. experienced a reactive power demand growth of 32. Frequent economic switching enables the use of the new capacitor layouts that were not previously economical when the capacitors had to be manually switched by a technician in the field. The section. Typically. If more installed capacitors are in service. As Goeckeler points out. which comprised approximately 36% of KCPL’s metropolitan load. resulting in a greater percentage of installed capacitors being available for use (Goeckeler 1999. and 2) capacitor failures are discovered and repaired in a timely fashion. February 1990). These benefits stem from two key operational improvements realized through centralized control: 1) installed capacitors are used more efficiently. The majority of the equipment is located near the pole top. 2-19 .Capacitor Sizing and Placement Impact of Switching on Capacitor Sizing and Placement Utilizing automated switching schemes allows capacitor banks to be switched both frequently and economically. Tweed et al.
mounted with connections made to the terminal strip. 2-20 . some utilities are adopting standards calling for capacitor controllers to be located 10. and it is generally in the range of 5-15 ft. Parker at Alabama Power The height above the ground at which the controller is mounted varies by utility. and small increases in the mounting height can help dramatically lower the instances of damaged antennas.5-4. Chapter 5 contains more information on mounting the capacitor controller. Because of these issues. but that also makes it more susceptible to vandalism. snow plows. Utility installations tend to make use of the meter socket mounting option. Vandalism is a particular concern for controllers with external antennas for radio communication.or 6-jaw meter socket or rack/case. Most capacitor controllers can be specified for mounting in a 4.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Figure 2-11 Example Switched Capacitor Bank Installation Courtesy of Donald M. The controller is more easily accessible to utility personnel when it is located in the low end of this range. The example installation shown in Figure 2-11 has the controller mounted at the low end of this range. The antennas tend to be particularly tempting for vandals. (1. and other hazards.5 m) as shown in Figure 2-12. up the pole.or 15-ft.
Capacitor Sizing and Placement Figure 2-12 Generic Switched Capacitor Bank Equipment Configuration Near the pole top. CPT. 2-21 . as shown in Figure 2-13. such as fused cutouts and lightning arresters. Protective devices. things become a bit more crowded as the capacitors. often just above the capacitor rack. all this equipment will be supported by the capacitor rack. switches. as shown in Figure 2-14. Often. are also located near the pole top. and junction box are all mounted at roughly the same level.
Parker at Alabama Power Figure 2-14 Example Location of Fuses and Lightning Arresters in a Switched Capacitor Installation Courtesy of Donald M. Parker at Alabama Power 2-22 .Capacitor Sizing and Placement Figure 2-13 Typical Layout of Pole-Top Equipment in a Switched Capacitor Installation Courtesy of Donald M.
including the initial cost of the capacitor. The monetary savings through loss reduction is then optimized versus the capital and operating costs of installing the capacitor installation(s) to determine the optimal number. OCP programs follow the standard methodology of optimizing the size and location of capacitor banks such that capacitor cost and energy losses are minimized while still meeting system constraints for all load conditions. and analysis methods vary among the software packages. including: • • • • • Distribution Workstation from EPRI PSS/ADEPT from Power Technologies. size. optimal capacitor placement programs use the results of various load flows to study the effects of different combinations of capacitor size and placement. As such. they require input from load-flow simulations to operate. Typically. annual maintenance cost of the capacitor. OCP programs consider several economic factors. and 3) recommends whether or not a switched capacitor is needed. Capabilities. In general. and cost of real and reactive power losses. data requirements. The OCP program then 1) suggests the set of locations where capacitors should be placed. 2) recommends the size of the capacitor bank that should be placed at each site. The primary input for optimal capacitor placement software tends to be a network model for the circuit(s) under consideration. The final evaluation comes down to which capacitor configuration offers the best opportunity for cost savings. There is a wide variety of software available for conducting capacitor placement studies. In determining the locations with the highest economic return. CYMDIST from CYME International Technical 2000 from EDSA Micro Corporation ETAP from Operation Technology. Once the model is built for use in the load flow. and location of capacitor installations (ORNL/TM-2001/215 2002). Therefore. Inc.Capacitor Sizing and Placement Optimal Capacitor Placement Computer Programs Optimal capacitor placement (OCP) programs can aid the distribution engineer in finding the best sites in a network to place capacitors. Many OCP programs can also produce a switching schedule or recommend control set points for installations where switched capacitors are recommended. although the final criterion for comparing different capacitor sizes and placements tends to be economic in nature. Optimal capacitor placement programs are typically available as additional modules in load-flow programs. only a few other data elements are required to perform the optimized capacitor placement. the following additional data are required: 2-23 . Optimal capacitor placement programs typically rely on load-flow algorithms as part of their evaluative process. There are several software packages available that provide assistance in optimizing the size and location of capacitor bank installations on distribution circuits. Inc. Loss reduction is the main criteria when evaluating different combinations of capacitor size and placement.
Capacitor Sizing and Placement
• • • • • • • • •
Cost of Real Energy: The cost of real energy, usually stated in $/kWh. Note that the currency type is not important as long as consistency is maintained across the variables Cost of Reactive Energy: Similar to the cost of real energy, except is accounts for reactive energy Cost of Electrical Demand: The cost of electrical generation of capacity that would have to be purchased to replace the system’s losses Cost of Reactive Demand: Similar to the cost of electrical demand, except it accounts for reactive demand Discount Rate: Used to equate future savings and costs back to present value in the financial analysis Inflation Rate: The yearly increase in the cost of money Evaluation Period: The time period that the capacitors have to produce monetary savings that cancel their investment and maintenance costs Cost of Installation for Fixed and Switched Capacitors: The monetary investment needed to install a fixed or switched bank Maintenance Cost for Fixed and Switched Capacitors: The monetary investment needed to maintain operation of a fixed or switched bank
Although this list of data requirements appears to be extensive, many of the items listed can be easily obtained or reasonably estimated. Nearly all the data required should already be available for the network under consideration; therefore, performing an optimal capacitor placement study often only requires a modest time investment, if the load-flow model is already complete.
Best Use of Distribution VARs
The two primary roles of distribution capacitors are VAR support for the feeder or substation and voltage support for the feeder. Ideally, the utility will have a flexible, global-control system at its disposal. This would allow control of the distribution capacitors to be optimized for both VAR support and voltage support at the feeder level, while still having the override capability to switch to support for the substation or transmission system. This adaptability is usually available through centralized capacitor control systems, but it is not usually found on systems that rely solely on local controls. The economic benefit of utilizing switched capacitors has three main components: 1) energy cost savings, 2) demand reduction, and 3) increased revenue. Of these three components, demand reduction usually makes up a portion of the cost savings and tends to comprise the majority of the total cost benefits. Therefore, optimizing demand reduction should provide the quickest return on investment for the system and make the best use of the distribution VARs available. Once VARs are introduced on the line, they continue to load the circuit's conductors until they are neutralized. Optimum VAR use is best achieved when VARs are eliminated early by locating capacitors down line, at or near inductive loads (Marx 2003). However, line voltage regulation cannot be ignored. Further, real-world constraints often dictate that effective capacitor control means managing VAR reduction and voltage regulation on a near real-time basis. An ideal capacitor control system provides control that can switch between voltage control and VAR reduction to optimize performance of the line. A study report from Florida Power & Light, "Effective VAR Control" by Fred Walker and Michael Keightly, indicated that even diligently maintained time-clock schedules did not perform as well as real-time VAR control for efficiently operating distribution circuits (RCCS 2005). While local capacitor control is highly effective at managing VARs at specific locations, centralized capacitor control can effectively managing VARs across the whole distribution system.
Conservation Voltage Reduction
Reducing the feeder voltage can reduce energy consumption and/or reduce peak demand on the circuit. Many loads, such as light bulbs and other electrical devices, operate satisfactorily at reduced voltages. Therefore, by reducing feeder voltage, utilities can still adequately serve their customers while saving energy and increasing capacity (Milosevic and Begovic 2004). Voltage reduction also has the added benefit of increasing the system voltage stability margin (Begovic, 3-1
Novosel et al. 2000). Voltage reduction is most effective on resistive loads, because the power drawn by a resistive load decreases with the voltage squared. Circuits that are primarily residential or commercial in nature tend to have a greater percentage of resistive loads than industrial circuits. Lighting and resistive heating comprise a great deal of the resistive load found on most distribution feeders. The power on incandescent lights varies with the voltage to the power of about 1.6. For heating devices, which regulate to a temperature, the results are not as good. Reducing the voltage simply increases the unit’s duty cycle, causing it to run longer to reach the desired heat level. Analyses of conservation voltage reduction (CVR) trials at several utilities have shown potential energy savings between 0.5-1% for each 1% voltage reduction (Kirshner and Giorsetto 1984). Through regression analysis of the feeders, Kirshner and Giorsetto found that residential energy savings were 0.76% for each 1% reduction in voltage; commercial and industrial loads had reductions of 0.99% and 0.41%, respectively (but the correlations between load class and energy reduction were fairly small). Voltage reduction also tends to have the greatest demand reduction in the first 15 minutes. However, voltage reduction often shows a declining impact over the next several hours, as many loads begin running increased duty cycles (McCarthy and Josken). One study found that during a 5% voltage reduction over a 4-hour time period, the demand on one typical residential circuit initially dropped by 4% but diminished to a 3% drop by the end of the time period (Priess and Warnock 1978). CVR is often accomplished by altering the set points or control scheme of the LTC and/or voltage regulators governing the voltage on the feeder. However, feeder voltage can only be lowered so far without violating the ANSI C84.1-1989 voltage limit of 120V ± 5% (114-126V on a 120 V scale). Thus, it may not be possible to lower the substation voltage without violating ANSI 84.1-1989 at the far end of a feeder when the circuit exhibits a high voltage drop along its length. Therefore, using capacitors for voltage support is one solution to this problem, as it permits greater voltage reduction at the substation while still maintaining the necessary tolerances at the end of the feeder. Using capacitors to flatten the voltage profile along the feeder can aid voltage reduction schemes, even when maintaining minimum ANSI 84.1-1989 voltage is not a concern. In these cases, the flattened voltage profile allows for greater voltage reduction, leading to better demand reduction. Implementing a voltage reduction scheme requires the use of switched capacitor banks, since more capacitors are required during CVR dispatch than at other times during operation. Either local control or centralized SCADA control can be used for this purpose. Local control for CVR tends to make use of voltage-based control, with all of the controllers on the feeder coordinated so that they turn on in the proper sequence, once the substation voltage is lowered. Centralized capacitor control makes CVR easier to accomplish, as it tends to provide some level of global capacitor control and coordination. Additionally, as centralized capacitor control becomes more and more common, the industry is starting to see CVR moving from a contingency operation scheme to one that is used more readily to provide certain operations benefits.
pdf C. http://www.elsi. R.” EnergyLine Case Studies. December 2000. regardless of whether or not there is a capacitor in the substation). As such. allow for applications in which the banks can be switched on at a moment’s notice to provide reactive power support to the transmission system. and transmission system operators had 3-3 . Real-time monitoring capabilities.” DistribuTECH 2002. The generation station was off-line during both the summer peaks of 1999 and 2000. (The same amount of reactive current needs to flow out to the load. Distribution Capacitors for Transmission VAR Support Although most DCC strategies only consider benefits provided to the distribution system. it is often necessary to switch at least a portion of the bank in order to prevent an overvoltage condition during light-load situations.com/case2-1200. coupled with EnergyLine’s automatic capacitor controls and Telemetric MicroRTUs. Kansas City Power and Light (KCPL) began a capacitor automation program in 1994 which heavily utilizes EnergyLine’s WinMon’s Graphical User Interface (GUI).” Utility Automation. since the reactive load on the feeder is not influenced by the substation bank. R. This system was put to the test when KCPL experienced an outage at their metropolitan area generation station. Substation capacitor banks also do not affect the feeder power factor. March 1. the combination of capacitor controller and RTU allows for remote reporting and control of the capacitor installation. Goeckeler. 2002. “Wireless Remote Monitoring and Control.Automation Strategies Optimizing Power Factor at the Substation Capacitors can be installed on the low voltage bus in the substation rather than out on the distribution circuit. The following presents several brief examples of the systems that some utilities are using to enable transmission VAR support from distribution capacitors: KCPL Sources: “WinMon Interface and Capacitor Controls Help KCPL Stabilize System. Therefore. The continuing advancement of capacitor automation technology now provides an unprecedented level of capacitor control. but they do raise the voltage profile of the entire feeder. coupled with the ability to rapidly and automatically switch distribution capacitor banks. thus releasing substation and transmission-line capacity (Westinghouse Electric Corporation 1959). Goeckeler. the primary function of substation-based capacitor banks is to supply reactive power to the feeder. Since the entire feeder voltage is raised by the substation capacitor bank. C. Capacitors installed in the substation do not affect the voltage drop along the feeder. ”KCPL Enables DNP by Finding Missing Communication Link. which they relied heavily upon for voltage control. it is possible to provide VAR support to the transmission system via distribution level capacitors. The Telemetric RTUs provide a cellular network communications link that can be integrated with existing capacitor controllers.
“Capacitor Control Gives Voltage a Lift. August 1. Idaho Power partnered with Stellar Dynamics. Finally. Inc. and 3) improving real power generation. which 3-4 . The WinMon query tool lead the operators through the selection process and allowed them to poll the capacitors based on criteria such as whether or not the bank was switched in. Idaho Power began a program to address deficiencies in their local area reactive power consumption that resulted in low voltage on their distribution system. Furthermore. The obvious benefits were 1) improving system power factor and reducing line losses. Idaho. D. Additionally.com In 1996. Additionally.tdworld. the transmission system operators used the WinMon interface to issue a request to turn on all available distribution capacitors to support system VAR and voltage needs during the peak loading periods. Therefore.. 1999. For the 1996 pilot program. to develop a DCC algorithm that was built around the concept of measuring real and reactive values at the distribution substation transformer and then controlling the distribution capacitors. volt/VAR. they had a problem maintaining adequate system reactive margins during peak demand periods. based on those measurements. Idaho Power Source: M. Using EnergyLine’s WinMon query tool. the system operators were able to identify 160 capacitor banks that were open and switch them on-line. Idaho Power focused on integrating a new distribution capacitor control (DCC) system into their existing energy management system to maximize VAR support for both the distribution and transmission systems.7-kV substation in a high-growth area west of Boise. The 14 capacitor banks controlled with the DCC were comprised of a mix of new and existing installations. VAR. Trammel and K. In addition. To remedy the situation. the DCC was used on 14 capacitor banks on 3 feeders supported by a 12. 2) improving real current capacity.Automation Strategies been concerned about predicted low-transmission voltage levels during those times of peak system loading. inoperable capacitor banks were quickly identified. The net effect of the high-level capacitor control capability was that KCPL was able to proactively meet the operating requirements of their system while maintaining a high level of power quality for their customers. The station had serious VAR deficiencies that resulted in low line voltage on three feeders. the total compensation for the substation could be held at a tight tolerance over a wider range of loading.” Transmission & Distribution World. these changes could be made globally to all of the automated distribution capacitors at once over a radio communication network. http://www. Since distribution capacitors are not normally utilized for supplying reactive power to the transmission system. the DCC also provided VAR support to the transmission system by over compensating each transformer VAR setting. As a result of the DCC use. DCC also allowed for individual capacitor monitoring and alarm generation for improper capacitor operation or abnormal power system conditions at specific capacitors. McCarthy. and so on) to a forced on setting with automatic overvoltage protection. The WinMon interface also allowed the operators to switch capacitor control algorithms from more traditional control (volt. Idaho Power felt that many of their distribution capacitors were underutilized during periods when the transmission system needed VAR support. R.
causing the automatic LTCs to constantly buck the voltage. Cinergy avoids the cost associated with constructing and maintaining a private communication network. However. Cinergy Corp Source: B. As a result of the DCC implementation. and switch control through communications over existing cellular and public switched telephone networks (PSTN). 3-5 . Fisher Pierce gave the SmartLink a Distributed Network Protocol (DNP) 3. To facilitate the communications.0 interface and Applied Systems Engineering of San Jose. the system is relatively slow by SCADA standards.shtml Cinergy Corp uses SCADA-controlled distribution capacitors to provide transmission system VAR support. http://www. Nov/Dec 2001.platts. and it has become a standard feature in all new substations. The SmartLink unit provides alarm.Automation Strategies effectively increased the number of banks available at any one time and helped alleviate the need for routine capacitor inspections. this type of communication process utilizes the digital control channel of the cellular phone network. Idaho Power decided to move forward with the DCC program. particularly rural areas with high irrigation loads. Koch.” Electrical World T&D. This scheme allows the system operator to override the “normal” voltage-based switching algorithm and control line capacitors located near substations through the 1993-vintage EMS/SCADA system used by Cinergy. The DCC program has also greatly reduced the work-hours spent on manually operating capacitor banks. To implement the system. Additionally. status reporting. with the round-trip communications path requiring 3-4 minutes to complete. with Series 2700 Cellular Communications for use as the RTUs. Furthermore. This effect reduced transmission losses and improved voltage regulation. One unanticipated outcome of the DCC implementation was that many of the power transformers were subjected to an increased transmission voltage. The solution to this problem required the Idaho dispatchers to raise or lower voltage or adjust the bias control in the DCC to add or remove one or two capacitor banks at each substation at the appropriate time. supplied a remote communications/front-end processor to enable communications between the existing EMS/SCADA system and the new SmartLink units. Idaho Power is continuing to equip its substations with DCCs. Cinergy chose the Fisher Pierce SmartLink Utility Application Interface. the reactive power load curve at a station was shown to become the inverse of the real power load curve (instead of following it). Since there are several data conversions that need to be made along the communication path. The cost savings realized from reduced transmission and distribution losses are expected to cover the cost of conversion and DCC installation in less than two years. CA. Improved feeder voltage profiles have reduced or delayed rebuild requirements in many areas of the Idaho Power system. One drawback of this approach was the complexity of getting the different systems to communicate together as one. by using the existing cellular network. maintenance. the capacitors can be switched as a group or individually. Referred to as cellemetry. Due to the great success of the pilot program. They installed DCCs on 16 substations in 1997 and on 14 substations in 1998. “The new SCADA: Reaching Out to Parts (Formerly) Unknown.com/engineering/ew_back_issues.
Switched capacitors are switched based on voltage control. 3. No communication is needed to feeder mounted regulating equipment. Georgia Power takes quite a different approach to using capacitors for transmission support. "CAPS -. C. C. McCarthy. Part I. McCarthy reported how Georgia Power used this strategy to reduce peak loads by 500 kW on circuits averaging approximately 18 MW. A. and Josken.." IEEE Rural Electric Power Conference. By flattening the voltage profile. S. “The CAPS Program: Capacitor Application for Peak Shaving. They use capacitors to level out the voltage profile on feeders to allow a broader voltage reduction. The steps to applying this voltage reduction program are listed below (also see Figure 3-1): 1.. Georgia Power Sources: McCarthy.. May 2000. The VARs injected by capacitors help flatten the voltage profile and allow a lower set voltage on the station LTC transformer. Capacitors help make it easier to implement voltage reduction. customer voltages are more easily controlled just by communicating adjustments to the station LTC. "Applying Capacitors to Maximize Benefits of Conservation Voltage Reduction. Lower substation voltage to the new operating point. J. During peak times." Systems Engineering Technical Update: Cooper Power Systems. just-fixed capacitors can flatten the profile enough to reduce the station set voltage. 2000. and Roberts. 2003. McCarthy. Georgia Power uses both fixed and switched capacitors to level out the voltage profile. Their primary aim is to be able to implement voltage reduction during system-wide peaks to reduce the system demand.” The LINE. C. Both are placed to flatten the voltage drop on the circuit. On many circuits. They can also tell by watching the change in VAR readings on the operator console.Choosing the Feeders. 3-6 . Add capacitors to correct power factor and flatten voltage profile. Cinergy currently operates 150-200 SmartLink units attached to more than 130 MVAR of capacitors and plans to implement 50-60 more SmartLink controllers in the near future. Cooper Power Systems. further lower substation voltage to reduce demand. 2.Automation Strategies the operators do not have to wait for confirmation from the system to verify that the capacitors have switched.
and so does the technological infrastructure. Traditional distribution capacitor application (including the 2/3 rule of capacitor sizing and placing) has assumed that the transmission system would provide some of 3-7 . (Feeder voltage regulators are another way to attack the problem. In some cases. automation can provide the flexibility to either switch performance goals or to meet several performance goals at once. Switched capacitors only need local control.Automation Strategies Figure 3-1 Three Steps for Applying Capacitors for Peak Shaving Where fixed banks alone cannot provide a flat-enough voltage profile. If the distribution utility is separate from the transmission utility. Summary of Utility Practices The ways utilities use distribution capacitors for system-wide support varies considerably. Part of this trend is political. Some approaches are: • • • Control During Peaks: One of the main selling points of automation technology is to allow utilities to dispatch their distribution capacitors for VAR support during system peaks. Control at the Substation Level: Distribution feeder capacitors are controlled to improve the power factor at the substation. Peak-Demand Voltage Reduction: This novel method implemented by Georgia Power uses VAR capabilities differently. then the distribution company will likely have to pay for poor power factor at the interface point. voltage-controlled switched capacitors can help keep the voltage profile narrow enough to successfully implement a voltage reduction program. It does not require automated capacitors.) The Georgia Power approach to applying capacitors for system benefit is quite different from other approaches. the driving force behind automation is transmission needs. In many cases. Feeder capacitors are used to allow a more optimal voltage reduction program during peak loadings to reduce demand.
Devices to check include cable ampacities on substation exits. Switching commands could be manually overridden. The remote-feeder capacitors are distribution feeder capacitors installed as necessary for distribution support. Operators dispatch VARs as needed. reclosers. CTs. Capacitors may have local switching control to switch based on time of day. or other means. utilities use several strategies to switch capacitors: • Operators: This is the most common method. VARs. Switching Control For remotely automated capacitors. Some checks should be made. including: • Equipment Loadings: Check that the additional VARs do not push equipment over its ratings. It is okay to operate at a leading power factor. In that case. Control of the near-substation feeders should be based on VAR needs at the substation. circuit breakers. If additional VARs are needed for transmission support. a distribution utility may thus try to provide all VARs locally. distribution line capacitors can simply be placed on feeders just outside of the substation. and the station transformer. These do not need remote communication. Voltage: Check that the VARs through the substation transformer do not cause overvoltage and are compatible with the LTC or regulator line-drop compensator settings. Substation VARs: Measurements at the substation are used to send switching commands to feeder capacitors. either for distribution or transmission goals.Automation Strategies the VARs on the distribution circuit. Transmission versus Distribution Optimization Most of the time. • Problems like this should be uncommon. Reactive power support is normally best applied as close to the load as possible. The capacitors are not optimally switched. transmission and distribution goals do not conflict. If ampacities are exceeded. The key is finding free poles suitable for a capacitor bank installation. they should be added near the station. but they do need voltage and current sensing capability. Where VARs are needed on the transmission system is where VARs are needed on the distribution system. For many reasons. Order of switching of the line capacitors is normally preprogrammed. Different options are available for control of remote units: • Local: Control the remote feeder capacitors locally using VAR control. With power factor penalties. even though the power factor is already good. there are situations where a utility wants VARs at a given substation. then capacitors need to be moved to another bus in the substation or to a different substation. Control can be centrally located or in the substation. 3-8 . • • One application option is to apply and install capacitors in two categories—remote feeder and near substation. Time Clock: A central control switches capacitors based on a time clock schedule for each capacitor.
Voltage control provides extra safety to prevent feeder capacitors from causing overvoltages.Automation Strategies • Remote: Control the remote feeder capacitors based on substation measurements. it is safest to switch in the units closest to the substation first. The controller trips the bank if it detects excessive voltage. While this strategy is safest from the point of view of causing overvoltages and/or losses during light load. it is not optimal for distribution loss reduction or voltage support. Grainger and Lee (1981) showed that the optimal placement for capacitors is at points on the circuit where the reactive power equals one half of the capacitor VAR rating. and the controller may also restrain from switching in if the extra voltage rise from the bank would push the voltage above a given limit. as shown in Figure 3-2. but they do need communications ability. Assuming that all capacitors must be controlled remotely. With this ½-kVAR rule. The optimal point for loss reduction for a capacitor moves out on the feeder as the VAR loading increases on the feeder. The remote feeder capacitors do not need voltage or current sensing. the capacitor supplies half of its VARs downstream and the other half are sent upstream. without knowledge of local VARs or voltage. 3-9 .
depending on the loading profile on each feeder. Using measurements on each feeder will help reduce distribution losses the most. For example. if a circuit has a large single customer with poor power factor. then switching patterns can deviate from switching closest first. again from a closest-to-farthest switching order. Then. Further refinements are possible. 3-10 . even if the switching goal is the overall VAR flow on the transmission side. capacitors on the feeders with the most VAR load can be switched on first.Automation Strategies Figure 3-2 Optimal Capacitor Location for Loss Reduction as the VAR Profile Changes If VAR measurements are available on a per-feeder basis. more fine-tuning is possible. If a circuit has a relatively predictable load pattern. from the substation to the large customer. a capacitor near that facility could be placed early in the scheduled switching order to improve losses and voltage drop all along the circuit.
Modern communication and control technologies applied to feeder capacitors have reduced this advantage. Their capacitor controllers switch based on local VAR control. the best times for switching in VARs needed by the system may not correspond to the best time to switch the capacitor in for the circuit on which it is located. More advanced algorithms could make better use of the available VARs. Independent control also increases the complexity of controllers and/or control algorithms. This is especially true on long feeders that have considerable line losses and voltage drop. Table 3-1 highlights some of the differences between feeder and station capacitors. Alabama Power is distinctive in switching units individually to control VARs on a per-phase basis (Clark 2001). Substation capacitors are better when more precise control is needed. 3-11 . Further. Most controllers are set up to control all three phases together. improve voltage profiles.or substation-level control. but one could extend that philosophy to a centralized. This could optimize losses and improve voltage profiles on the distribution circuit while still meeting transmission support goals. However. based on VARs measured at the substation. and reduce line losses. Virtually all utilities switch capacitors as a unit (all three phases together). System operators can easily control substation capacitors wired into a SCADA system to dispatch VARs as needed.Automation Strategies Another consideration is whether to switch capacitors on a per-phase basis or switch them as a unit. Since distribution systems often have significant load imbalance between phases. Most control algorithms for remote control of capacitors are simple—a time schedule or control. Feeder capacitors are closer to the loads. Station versus Feeder Evaluation Substation capacitors and feeder capacitors both have advantages. Operators can control feeder banks with communications just like station banks. switching phases independently helps reduce losses and improve voltage balance between phases and can also more precisely fine-tune substation VARs. and capacitors closer to the loads more effectively release capacity. The main disadvantage of independent phase control is increased cost if voltages and currents are all monitored locally on all three phases (there is little difference if switching is done remotely based on substation VAR measurements). some utilities have found the reliability of switched feeder banks to be less than desired.
Within the power system community. metering. Improved information infrastructure and data protocols will help ease integration and make the data more useful. Pole-mounted capacitors installations are more standardized. EPRI has developed the Common Information Model (CIM). If the power factor is leading. and so on) to more efficiently apply and control capacitors. With extra data. however. 2001. network bandwidth. Industry standard definitions for data description and exchange are still needed. Substation capacitors cost more than feeder capacitors. and the space they take up in a station is often valuable real estate. Widergren et al. but it is only a foundation. This may seem surprising. A widely used concept for interoperable data exchange is XML (Extensible Markup Language). XML is a simple text format that is easy for computers to understand and is very flexible. EPRI 1001801 3-12 . Automation and Other Infrastructure Requirements While automation provides great flexibility. comes extra demands—demands for storage. Likewise. XML is used in a variety of ways. communication between databases.Automation Strategies Table 3-1 Substation Versus Feeder Capacitors Feeder Capacitors Advantages • • • • Reduces line losses Reduces voltage drop along the feeder Frees up feeder capacity Lower cost Substation Capacitors Advantages • • Better control Best placement if leading VARs are needed for system voltage support • • • Disadvantages No reduction in line losses No reduction in feeder voltage drop Higher cost • • Disadvantages More difficult to control reliably Size and placement important Substation capacitors may also be desirable if a leading power factor is needed for voltage support. and efficient retrieval. Protocols and information formats for sharing data are especially important. reclosers. which the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) has adopted as the standard for exchanging models between transmission system operators (de Vos. it can take work to get the best use out of systems in place. XML lays the foundation for data interchange. A utility can use this data to improve power flow and load-profile models. data can be used from other sources (SCADA. Several possibilities for advances in the technology would make implementation easier as well as making it easier for utilities to get more benefit out of their systems. but station capacitors must be individually engineered. then moving this capacitor out on the feeder will increase losses. Distribution capacitors offer another data recording point on the system.
Optimal capacitor placement depends on the type of control implemented. are: • • • • • • • • Substation VARs VAR flow at each capacitor Voltage at each capacitor VARs and/or voltage at other locations from other data sources (such as meters or reclosers) Utility goals may be different. and optimal control depends on the placement. operator control during emergency situations is beneficial. More advanced optimization algorithms would help improve transmission and distribution performance. switches can be done more optimally. An optimization algorithm can also weight optimization goals as appropriate to meet a utility’s objective. With standardization. With better knowledge of distribution voltage and VAR flows.” A promising platform is the IEC 61850 architecture that is an open industry standard developed from EPRI’s Utility Communications Architecture (UCA). Still. or capacitors are automatically switched based on substation VARs. Any real-world implementation must also be robust enough to deal with missing information or incorrect readings. some possibilities are: Maintain unit power factor to the transmission system Minimize distribution losses Minimize voltage crop Some of these goals may be obtained simultaneously. especially for capacitors.Automation Strategies 2002). Operators manually switch capacitors. more definitions and standardization are needed. Some possible data inputs. capacitors are automatically switched based on a time clock. Wang and Schulz 2003). from most likely to least likely. More sophisticated communication architectures are needed to make advanced capacitor controllers more “plug and play. The problem formulation depends on the data inputs available and the goals. Also. and related equipment. controllers. Object models could also be developed for capacitor banks to make controllers more interchangeable with each other and more interoperable with the overall distribution system control system. Centralized controls for systems we have researched of are fairly simple and use only simple data inputs. capacitor placement and control are coupled. This has also been extended to cover distribution system models (Xiaofeng and Schulz 2000. the data from a VAR measurement recorded within one monitoring system can be sent to a capacitor switching system with minimal programming to tie the systems together. In addition. 3-13 .
VAR control is the most efficient control strategy for maximizing loss and demand reduction on feeders. the banks should then trip in the opposite order by which they switched in (i. the last to switch-in should be the first to trip-out).. Local Control Switched capacitor banks are controlled either locally or through a centralized system control. as well as time delays and bandwidths. are programmed into the controller to prevent excessive operations. Current control engages the capacitor during periods of heavy load which generally have the greatest VAR requirements. Voltage controls can be influenced by both upstream and downstream capacitors. (Short 2004b): • VAR Control: The capacitor is switched on and off at the optimum point in the load cycle. followed by the next upstream bank and so on. Voltage Control: The capacitor is switched on and off based upon the voltage.e. local controls sit on or near the same pole as the capacitor bank and govern the switching operations of only one local bank. the controls should be set such that the furthest downstream bank comes online first. usually require more input signals to be measured and processed when compared to the basic control strategies. Each strategy has different advantages. Furthermore. Voltage control is best suited for applications in which the capacitor mainly provides voltage profile control and regulation. Current Control: The capacitor is switched on and off based on the line current measured downstream of the capacitor. Although not as effective as VAR control schemes. As the name implies. current control provides a fairly good combination of loss reduction and voltage control.4 CONTROL STRATEGIES Control Strategies There are several different strategies that can be employed to control switched capacitor banks. There are several local control strategies available for switched capacitor banks as shown below (Marx 2003). Threshold minimum and maximum voltages. since they 4-1 • • . Reactive current can be determined from line current when the power factor of the line is known. The more sophisticated control strategies. However. based on VAR measurements on the line. Therefore. when applying multiple capacitor banks using VAR control on a single feeder. although some strategies are more sophisticated than others allowing for better optimization of the applied capacitors. however. On feeders with only one capacitor bank installation. VAR control is susceptible to interaction from downstream capacitor banks (downstream banks affect the reactive current flow upstream of their location).
Since temperature control is not based on line measurements. • • Many controllers offer some or all of these control strategies. To compensate for this shortcoming. time-clock controls are not susceptible to interaction with other banks. • Time-Clock Control: The controller switches the capacitor based upon the time of day. temperature controllers also provide a very basic level of capacitor control. based on the VAR requirements of each phase. capacitor controllers using voltage control schemes should be configured to operate before the local voltage regulators. they may turn capacitors on for low voltage or for high temperature.7º C). Since power factor is not necessarily an indication of load. it is also the most susceptible to energizing the capacitor at the wrong time. Typically.2º C) and turn the bank off again at 75-80º F (23. a utility may choose to switch each phase of a 3-phase bank independently. Time-clock controllers are also susceptible to mistakenly set or inaccurate clocks that may switch the capacitor at times other those planned. Some of the control strategies listed above require sensing of one or more line parameters. they are not susceptible to interaction with other banks. temperature controls are set to turn the bank on at 85-90º F (29. with holidays and weekends being particularly challenging. It should also be noted that voltage control schemes provide the greatest value on feeder sections further from the substation. This method of control is rarely used by utilities. because switching is based on expected rather than measured line conditions. Although it is not common. To minimize cost and complexity. in order to optimize loss reduction and reduce imbalance (Clark 2001). Like time-clock controls. cutter sensing. or both. Since time control is not based on line measurements. While this is the least expensive control option. Due to these reasons. power factor based controls may fail to switch in the capacitor during high loads if the power factor is also high.5 times the expected voltage rise when the bank is switched on (Marx 2003). Most time-clock controllers allow for programmable on and off time settings. power factor controls may also incorporate voltage and current overrides. Temperature Control: The capacitor is switched based upon the temperature. The capacitor should have a minimum effect of 2V (on 120V reference) and the cap on-to-off difference should be approximately 1. mostly owing to the fact that power factor is not a suitable parameter for controlling capacitor switching. Power Factor Control: The capacitor is switched based upon the power factor measured on the line. for example. both of which make the system more complicated. and current control require voltage sensing. Voltage regulators can also cause capacitor control “pumping” problems. In general. VAR control is typically used rather than power factor control. Many are usable in combination. 4-2 . Time-clock control represents the most basic approach for switching a capacitor on and off. based on measurements from a single phase.8–26. as well as settings for weekends and holidays.4–32. controllers often switch 3-phase banks. power factor. VAR. In this manner. voltage. the voltage regulators operate only when the capacitors cannot maintain the desired voltage profile. Loads can be different from anticipated at any time.Control Strategies affect the voltage along the whole line.
and they are usually served by a small. Meter-grade accuracy is not needed for controlling capacitors. which leads to very busy or congested installations. time clock. will be leading (This assumes that the CY is on the source side of the bank) For a 600-kVAR bank application. followed by the next upstream bank and so on. There are some additional considerations for VAR controller installations that are worth reviewing at this point. Only control strategies that rely on measuring current will be affected by reverse power flow. utilities try to reduce the amount of required equipment for switched capacitor installations whenever possible. the controls should be set such that the bank furthest downstream comes on-line first. This bandwidth is wide enough to prevent excessive capacitor switching operations or “cycling. To properly calculate VARs. One manufacturer provides the following rule of thumb for setting VAR control trip and close settings (Fisher Pierce 2000): • • Close set point: 2/3 • capacitor bank size (in kVAR). all phases of 3-phase capacitor banks are commonly switched based on measurements from just one phase (thus reducing by 2/3 the amount of hardware needed compared to separately measuring all three phases). the trip setting must be set below the normal light-load voltage or the bank will not switch off. This means that on a 120 V scale. this yields: • • Close set point: 2/3 • 600 kVAR = +400 kVAR (lagging) Trip set point: 400 – 1.Control Strategies Pole-mounted switched capacitor installations can involve a good deal of equipment.25 • bank size. Capacitor controllers require a local power source to operate. some utilities prefer to use voltage and/or current sensing insulators. Furthermore. The banks should then trip in the opposite order by which they switched on (the last to switch in should be the first to trip out). lagging Trip set point: Close set point – 1.” It is typically desirable to have a bandwidth of at least 1. Furthermore. Capacitor controller installations on circuits that can be operated in either direction must utilize controllers that are capable of accurately operating with power flow in either direction.5 times the expected voltage change due to the capacitor bank. local control power transfer which also provides the required voltage sensing.25 • 600 = -350 kVAR (leading) In this example. Therefore. the wiring for the current transformer and potential transformer must provide correct polarities to the controller. when applying multiple capacitor banks using VAR control on a single feeder. Additionally. temperature. VAR control is susceptible to interaction from downstream capacitor banks. As previously mentioned. the capacitor trips when the load kVAR drops below +250 kVAR (lagging) with a bandwidth of +400 to +250 kVAR. As previously mentioned. and voltage-control schemes are not affected by reverse 4-3 . since downstream banks affect the reactive current flow upstream of their location. Therefore. Therefore. the bandwidth should be a minimum of 3 to 4 V. the current sensor(s) should be located on the substation side of the bank so that the controller can detect the reactive power change when the capacitor switches.
Counter information can be very helpful in determining when to perform maintenance and in diagnosing control setting problems. Voltage override can accompany any type of control strategy (time clock. and other wireless technologies have become ubiquitous in modern life. large numbers of distribution banks can be switched on. Control setting problems most often result in excessive switching. Most capacitor controllers have built-in counters to record the number of switching operations performed. inhibits switching. There are several control schemes available for remotely controlled capacitor installations as follows: • Operator Dispatch – Most schemes allow operators to dispatch distribution capacitors. VAR control. The controller should shift modes only for a change in direction to the system source. This control scheme is usually used in conjunction with other controls. it still allows operators to override the schedule and dispatch VARs as needed. Some controllers can limit the number of switching operations within a given time period to reduce wear on the capacitor switches. calculates VAR control while accounting for the effect of the capacitor bank. turning up in new applications such as remote capacitor control. Some controllers can sense reverse power and shift control modes. If a feeder has three capacitor banks. Centralized Control Advances in wireless communication technologies have made remote capacitor control more easily achieved and more economical than ever before. Cellular phones. and power factor control methodologies are affected by reverse power flow. While this may seem like an expensive time control. Operators can dispatch distribution capacitors just like large station banks. while VAR. time delays. If VARs are needed for transmission support. Voltage control provides additional safety to prevent capacitors from causing overvoltages. Substation VAR Measurements – A common way to control feeder capacitors is to dispatch based on VAR/power factor measurements in the substation. This feature is one of the key reasons utilities automate capacitor banks. Time Scheduling – Capacitors can be remotely switched. pagers. they are switched on or off in some specified order. switch to voltage mode. coupled with increasing capability for two-way data transfer. Capacitor Location VAR Measurements – The continuing advancement of capacitor controller capabilities. based on the time of day and possibly the season or temperature. which will be reflected in the counter data. based on the power factor on the feeder measured in the substation. or closes and holds the bank in. Voltage override may also be used to prevent the controller from switching a bank on if it will push the line voltage above a certain point.Control Strategies power flow. If the circuit has distributed energy resource (generation or energy storage). current. namely. trip and lock out of the bank. Modifying the control settings. and so on. One model provides several options if it detects reverse power flow. or bandwidths to reduce the number of switching operations will correct excessive switching. current. then it is undesirable to shift modes based on reverse power flow. are now • • • 4-4 .) such that the controller trips the bank if it detects excessive voltage on the line.
most controllers used for centralized control will have fail-safe modes in which they will revert to a type of local control (voltage. two-way communication also provides global control options for addressing all capacitors at once. if doing so will push the voltage beyond limits set by the user. All of the control strategies mentioned above will typically utilize a local voltage override feature. The ease and flexibility with which capacitor banks can be switched off and on is one of the main benefits of centralized capacitor control. and monitoring. temperature. While local controls may offer many combinations of operating parameters for fine-tuned control. Operated in this manner. especially if the controller only has one-way communication capabilities. An alternative control methodology uses the SCADA master capacitor controller to govern switching for all capacitors based on data feedback from substations. they still cannot compare to the flexibility provided by centralized control. combination. Although it typically involves higher costs. Additionally. and this carries a significant equipment cost—much higher than just measuring at the substation. The central station controller examines the data from each capacitor location.) if communication with the central station is lost. time. but the feedback loop is completed by data transmission from the substation. With two-way communication. • Other Methods – More advanced (and complicated) algorithms can be used to dispatch capacitors. Global control provides flexibility to group feeders in several different manners: by substation. thus optimizing the operation of each feeder. it is possible for the capacitor controller to report the line’s operating conditions at the capacitor location back to the SCADA master controller.Control Strategies making it possible for capacitor controllers to measure line parameters at their location and report that data back to a central station controller. Of course. by district. the local control would still utilize voltage override at the local level to avoid high/low voltage situations during global dispatch. VAR. system wide. and so on. Capacitor control systems utilizing two-way communication operate in a similar manner to those with one-way communication but have more options for control. Local voltage override prevents the capacitor from switching. twoway communications also offer some advantages over one-way communication: • Feedback: A local controller can confirm that a capacitor has switched on or off successfully. The master controller processes the substation data and dictates capacitor switching on a per-bank basis. Centralized control with one-way communication sometimes relies on local control intelligence to make daily capacitor switching decisions while maintaining the ability to globally control capacitors via the central system. and makes decisions for switching each capacitor individually. and possibly the substation as well. based on a combination of local VAR measurements and voltage measurements. current. feedback. Utilities can use the feedback from two-way communications to dispatch crews 4-5 . the control system can make capacitor switching decisions based on actual line parameters at the capacitor location. Centralized control allows any bank to be switched by simply entering commands in the control room. In this manner there is still only one-way communication with the capacitor controller. A major detractor of this type of operation is that CTs need to be installed at each site in order to make VAR measurements. and so on. In this type of system. along with substation VAR measurements.
misoperating controllers. Load Flows: Voltage. helping crews to locate faults. Coordination of Switched Capacitors and Voltage Regulators Capacitor banks can present coordination issues with voltage regulators. mitigating the need for periodic field visits by technicians to manually check each bank. either fixed or switched. One utility even uses capacitor controllers to capture fault location information. but do not measurably change the shape of the voltage profile beyond the regulator. Kansas City Power & Light used their automated capacitor bank system to perform a detailed analysis of switched capacitor bank reliability (Goeckeler 1999). stuck switches. one would like the line-drop compensation to ignore the capacitor. • Voltage/VAR Information: Local information on-line VAR flows and line voltages allows the control to more optimally switch capacitor banks to reduce losses and keep voltages within limits. • Another benefit of centralized control is the enhanced ability to detect misoperations and bank failures. Zero-reactance compensation is a form of voltage-spread compensation with the X/R ratio equal to zero. Capacitors closer to the end of the line have a pronounced effect on the voltage profile of the line and thus will also effect the regulator control action. However. Capacitors upstream of a voltage regulator do not interfere with the regulators control action. This approach works with fixed or switched capacitor banks downstream of the regulator. 1 4-6 . See (Short 2004b) for more information.Control Strategies to fix capacitors banks with blown fuses. The voltage-spread compensation1 with a low compensator X/R or the zero-reactance compensator settings work well. and power flow information from pole-mounted capacitor banks can be used to update and verify load-flow models of a system. stray voltage. In this case. or other power quality problems. affect the voltage profile and reactive current flow on the feeder. Capacitors just downstream of a regulator affect the current that the regulator sees. Neutral monitoring can detect capacitor failures while they are happening. The information can also help when tracking down customer voltage. we do not want zero-reactance compensation because some X is needed to compensate for the capacitive current. Two-way communication provides the added benefit of positive confirmation that the switching operation was successful. Loading data helps utilities monitor load growth and plan for future upgrades. Alternatively. Capacitors. current. because they ignore or almost ignore the reactive current. capacitors downstream of voltage regulators will affect the reactive current flow and voltage profile as seen by the regulator. or other problems. then substation VAR flows can be monitored to verify capacitor switching. In this case. compensator settings are found by specifying the band over which the loadside voltage should operate. With voltage-spread compensation. The load center approach is more difficult to get to work with capacitors. if only oneway communication is available.
The capacitor controls usually incorporate a greater time delay then that regulator control uses. 2003).or low-voltage on the line. will be switched banks. If regulator operation does affect capacitor switching. the capacitor will not cycle back and forth against the regulator. Capacitor switching tends not to be affected by voltage regulator operation unless the capacitors utilize a voltage control scheme. but that does not add up to many extra tap changes. this simple example is sufficient for illustrating the need to re-evaluate the capacitor control logic for the post-DER line conditions. In reality. possibly resulting in high. voltage profile. to a feeder can cause faulty operations of switched capacitor banks. switched capacitors utilizing voltage control schemes can affect the tap-changing controls on upstream regulators. As an example. Coordination of Switched Capacitors and Distributed Generation The addition of distributed energy resources (DER). Normally. excessive losses. or other operational characteristics of the feeder. line current. consider the simple case shown in Figure 4-1 where there is a DER unit installed just downstream of a switched capacitor bank. since capacitor switching tends to be infrequent. If the DER alters the power flow. Voltage regulators do not usually affect capacitor switching for several reasons (Westinghouse Electric Corporation 1959): • • • The voltage control bandwidth of the capacitor controller tends to be wider than the voltage regulator bandwidth. Cycling of the switching capacitor and voltage regulator are very rare. most feeders will have more than one capacitor bank located along their length. it can usually be remedied by small adjustments to the bandwidth and time-delay settings of the capacitor controller. However. 4-7 . The only case might be if the regulator has a negative setting for the reactive linedrop compensation (Short 2004b). either generation or storage. et al. then the capacitor controls may no longer be set appropriately.Control Strategies Although rare. A regulator may respond to an upstream or downstream capacitor switching. and poor power factor (Brady. The voltage change due to capacitor switching is less at the regulator location than it is at the capacitor location. Dai. if not all of them. and several.
It may have been setup to provide optimal VAR support or voltage support.Control Strategies Substation Load Load Load Load DER Load Load Load Load Capacitor Controller Figure 4-1 Example Feeder with a Switched Capacitor Located Just Upstream of a Distributed Energy Resource Prior to installation of the DER unit. since the DER will lower power demand resulting in less current flow at the capacitor metering location. Controls With Voltage Override: These controls may not turn on at all. then the control may not operate properly and could lead to an overvoltage condition at and around its location. If the control does switch on. but for this example let’s assume that it was providing voltage support for the line. If the capacitor is switched by time-clock control. the DER now serves some of the demand on the feeder thus helping to prop up the voltage. provided that the DER operates at unity power factor. The shortened duty cycle of the capacitor bank will cause increased kVAR demand from the transmission system. due to the elevated voltage at the capacitor location stemming from the DER unit serving part of the feeder demand. leading to capacitor cycling problems. It is possible that the capacitor will now cause a high voltage condition at and around its location. Capacitor cycling is particularly grievous as • • • 4-8 . Other types of capacitor controls may be affected in the following manner: • Current Control: This control methodology will exhibit a delayed turn on and shortened on time. The shortened duty cycle of the capacitor bank will cause increased kVAR demand from the transmission system. the capacitor control scheme was configured to provide optimum benefit to the distribution line. VAR Control: This control methodology will continue to function as it did under pre-DER conditions. it may quickly switch off again due to the voltage override. Voltage Control: This control methodology will exhibit a delayed turn on and shortened on time since the DER will lower power demand resulting in higher voltage at the capacitor metering location. If the DER does not operate at unity power factor. However. Therefore it is necessary to review the new line conditions in order to redefine the operating schedule (or possible remove the capacitor bank altogether). then a distribution engineer has reviewed historical line data to determine the optimal time to switch the capacitor on and off in order to provide the proper voltage support to the line.
Of course. 4-9 . It is clear that the feeder parameters will change with the addition of the DER. The best-case scenario is one in which the capacitor is switched via SCADA-based controls. the system will react in different ways. this should be easily accomplished. as it really depends on the properties of the feeder. it does pose enough of a concern that a review of capacitor switching controls should be a part of any engineering work done when considering adding DER to a feeder. to which it will be connected. It is impossible to define what determines a “large” DER facility. However. a review of the impact of the DER on capacitor switching should be completed for any proposed DER plant that warrants study by the utility personnel.Control Strategies it can lead to failure of the capacitor unit and expose the line to numerous capacitor switching transients. so the capacitor switching scheme may need to be changed. whereas a manufacturing facility adding a 500-kW internal combustion plant may have a profound effect on the feeder. Very sophisticated programs may automatically adjust to the new operating conditions and not require any intervention from the operator. • SCADA-Based Centralized Controls: Depending on the sophistication of the capacitor switching control used. Adding DER to a feeder does not guarantee that the capacitor control will no longer function as intended. this should be looked at in relative terms. However. Less sophisticated controls may require an engineer to evaluate the new line conditions and set a new switching program. A home owner adding a 2-kW photovoltaic system to his house is not likely to impact the distribution feeder. since those are likely the easiest to alter and offer the most flexibility in configuration. To be safe. since all the required data should be available from the SCADA system.
as shown in Figure 5-1.or 6-jaw) will depend on how many parameters are being measured. Figure 5-1 Typical Capacitor Controller Mounting Configuration with a Meter Socket Courtesy of S&C Electric Company 5-1 . as shown in Figure 5-2.5 VOLTAGE AND CURRENT MEASUREMENTS Basic Measurements At a minimum. Controllers mounting to 4-jaw sockets typically do not measure current. These can even be configured to include input from a neutral current sensor. Controllers utilizing 6-jaw sockets add current sensor hot and neutral tabs. as it is needed to operate in the VAR or current-control modes.or 6-jaw meter socket. Even installations that switch solely on a time or calendar basis may measure line voltage in order to prevent creating an overvoltage condition on the line. However. Socket configuration varies by manufacturer. switched capacitor installations measure line voltage as an input to the controller’s switching algorithm. as well as for the open and trip command signals. many controllers also include line current as a measurement. The type of meter socket needed (4. so when ordering the controller. thus the 4-socket tabs are configured for ac line voltage and neutral. Most capacitor controllers are designed to plug into a 4. a variety of socket pin-outs can often be specified.
separate voltage transducers are sometimes used as well. but they are landed on a terminal strip on the controller rather than at a meter socket.Voltage and Current Measurements Capacitor controllers can also be specified with terminal strip inputs rather than meter socket connections. In this case. However. it should be noted that some models of capacitor controllers do not have additional inputs for voltage sensing beyond the combination power and voltage sensing input mentioned above. there is only one set of voltage inputs at the meter socket. using the output of the CPT serves this need while negating the need for additional. there is a wealth of models available from many major manufacturers. metering-dedicated voltage transformers. The transformer is usually mounted high on the pole near the capacitor cans and switches. If dedicated voltage transformers are required. As is evident in Figure 5-2. Capacitor controllers need to be powered at the pole. the CPT’s secondary voltage is accurate enough to serve as a voltage input to the switching algorithm. Since voltage measurements are typically required on only one phase for a 3-phase switched capacitor bank. the same connections are made to the capacitor controller. Figure 5-2 Example of Connections in a 6-Jaw Meter Socket Used for Capacitor Controller Installations 5-2 . they often make use of a small (typically 1 kVA) CPT. A typical wiring diagram for a capacitor controller installation is shown in Figure 5-3. and for this purpose. This is because for most capacitor controller installations. However.
and they are available in 15-.Voltage and Current Measurements Figure 5-3 Generic Example of Pole-Top Connections for Input Signals to a Capacitor Controller Note: Protection devices and other apparatuses have purposely been omitted from this drawing for clarity. Actual installations would also utilize hardware. cutouts. Several manufacturers make line-post current sensors that can be used in place of traditional line-post insulators on the crossarm to support the phase conductor. or 35-kV classes. 25-. 5-3 . Some line-post sensors (such as the CSV line-post sensor from S&C Electric shown in Figure 5-5) perform both voltage-sensing and current-sensing duties. Some examples of line-post current sensors are shown in Figure 5-4 and Figure 5-5. there are a numerous models of CTs available for use in capacitor-controller installations. and fuses. If current measurements are required. such as surge arresters.
or four-series sections. • 5-4 .96 kV normally have three. the neutral current flow will exceed the capacitor’s rating. Prior to complete failure. the unit will draw more current than normal. Neutral monitoring can detect several problems: • • Blown Fuse: When one capacitor fuse blows. High Harmonic Current: Excessive neutral current may also indicate high harmonic currents.Voltage and Current Measurements Figure 5-4 Series 1301 PowerFlex® Current Sensors From Joslyn Hi-Voltage Courtesy of Joslyn Hi-Voltage Figure 5-5 S&C Electric Company’s CSV Line Post Current and Voltage Sensor Courtesy of S&C Electric Company Neutral Monitoring Neutral monitoring (Figure 5-6) is another protection feature that some capacitor controllers offer. so failure of one element causes neutral currents of 25% (for four-series) or 34% (for three-series) of the phase current. Figure 5-7 shows how the neutral current changes when a certain portion of the capacitor shorts out. Capacitors rated from 7. it shorts out internal groups of series packs. the neutral current jumps to a value equal to the phase current.2 to 7. If more than half of the capacitor’s series sections fail. Failing Capacitor Unit: As a capacitor fails.
Voltage and Current Measurements Figure 5-6 Neutral Monitoring of a Capacitor Figure 5-7 Neutral Current Drawn by Failing. Grounded-Wye Bank. Depending on the Portion of Bank Failed (Note: The neutral current is in per-unit of the nominal capacitor current) 5-5 .
Neutral current monitors for fixed banks are also available. Some capacitor controllers have several programmable levels of neutral current alarm. 5-6 . Neutral monitoring can help reduce operations and maintenance needs by eliminating regular capacitor patrols and field checks.Voltage and Current Measurements Neutral monitoring is common in substation banks. Then if the current exceeds a given amount beyond the initial alarm level. the controller may be set to page the operator. and many controllers for switched pole-mounted banks have neutral-monitoring capability. once the current gets to a certain level. Quicker replacement of blown fuses also reduces the time that excessive unbalance is present (as well as reduces extra losses and the possibility of stray voltage). This can not only lead to more reliable VAR regulation. For example. with either a local warning light or a wireless link to a centralized location. the controller may trip the bank off-line. but can also reduce the number of capacitor banks needed.
Two-way communications offer data flow. one-way communications are possible with VHF radio communication. VHF Radio: Inexpensive.fcc. They allow only very small messages to be sent to perform basic capacitor automation needs. including towers. but there is no communication from the field back to the control center. Table 6-1 outlines the frequency bands typically used for certain applications. (For more information on the rules governing these and other communication technologies. commands can be dispatched to the capacitor controllers in the field. and coverage is typically very good. Many vendors offer modems that are compatible with several cellular networks. both from the command center to the field units and from the field units back to the command center. Implementing 900-MHz radio control on a private network requires infrastructure. Some offer one-way communication while others offer two-way communication. please visit the FCC website at http://www. Coverage is typically very good—the same as regular cellular coverage. These systems are mostly one-way. that means that while one-way coverage is rather wide-spread. Another option is a simulcast FM signal that uses extra bandwidth available in the commercial FM band. Pager Systems: Pager systems offer inexpensive options. two-way systems tend to be limited to clusters around major cities. 6-1 . With one-way communication. especially for systems with infrequent switching. but there are some two-way pager systems available. Cellular Telemetric Systems: These use the unused data component of cellular signals that are licensed on existing cellular networks. and VHF radio bands are available for telemetry uses such as this. The technologies used for centralized capacitor control communications include: • 900-MHz Radio: These systems are very common and are widely applied for centralized capacitor control. Most commercial paging systems can be utilized. There are several spread-spectrum radios available that cover 902-928 MHz applications. however.6 COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES Communications Technologies There are several technologies currently in use for communicating with the capacitor controllers.gov ). Cellular Phone Systems: These systems use commercial cellular networks to provide two-way communications. • • • • The communication technologies described above utilize different frequencies as dictated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Real-world networks also have a variety of obstacles in the transmission pathway which further reduce the signal strength. including. Just about everything an RF signal encounters during transmission from the antenna to the receiver changes it in one of two ways: (1) it makes the signal smaller. a radio wave striking a building at 90º (perpendicular) will be reflected back at 90º. glass. Therefore. or (2) it changes the signal direction to a varying extent. Most obstructions in the signals path can be viewed as passive devices with a small amount of insertion loss. air. a wave striking a building at 45º will be reflected back at 45º as shown in Figure 6-1. Reflections can be total or partial. This however only dictates what the minimum propagation loss will be. a signal that is 20 mW one mile from the transmitter will be 5 mW two miles from the transmitter. the radio signal as well. Air/Ground Microwave Transmission Satellite Systems Frequency Range 30-300 MHz 300 MHz – 3 GHz 3-30 GHz 30-300 GHz Radio wave signal strength diminishes rapidly as the signal moves away from the transmitting antennae. Water often results in total absorption while concrete exhibits partial absorption and metal provides total reflection. Reflections occur at the angle of incidence of the wave. wood. In perfectly flat terrain without obstructions the signal will fade according to the inverse-squared law. rain. that is the signal strength decreases by the square of the distance. 6-2 . For example. or reflect. and foliage all make the signal smaller.Communication Technologies Table 6-1 Frequency Bands for Typical Applications (Young 1999) Communication Technology Paging Systems Cellular. brick. Most materials that a signal encounters. Many objects also change the direction. In a partial reflection some of the signal is absorbed and some is reflected. Correspondingly. In practice. concrete. signal loss tends to be closer to inverse of the 5th or 6th power of the distance (Young 1999). In this manner the signal strength decreases by a factor of 4 for each doubling of the distance from the transmitter. often referred to as absorption (Weisman 1999).
Obviously. it becomes more attractive for a utility to rely on an outside party to maintain a communication infrastructure. affect how the signal will transmit across the pathway. future building construction. and they often use antennae placed on tall buildings rather than on towers. When designing rural systems “from scratch. Data services use existing cellular or paging 6-3 . therefore. and satellite transmission services.” it is often necessary to plot the transmission pathway on a map and use specialized software tools to determine the required antenna locations and heights. there tends to be a high degree of variability from one utility to the next in terms of the communications media they are using for centralized capacitor control. obstacles. as much as possible. or large. Additionally. a line-of-site or path study must be part of the design process for any radio or microwave communication network being considered. One trend that is becoming apparent is that utility communications are increasingly being provided by third-party sources that specialize in data communication systems. Urban pathways tend to be shorter in length than rural transmission pathways. Because of this. utilities are no longer the sole users of many of the technologies now being employed for data transmission.Communication Technologies Figure 6-1 Reflection of Radio Signals Radio frequency and microwave signals are susceptible to reflection and absorption along their transmission path. It is also important to evaluate potential future obstructions in the line-of-site survey path. which are generally longer than urban pathways. the ability to see from one end of the pathway to the other with a pair of binoculars or telescope is a good indication that the pathway is viable. Rural pathways. and reflection criteria. and evolving flight plans of nearby airports. when migrating to a centralized capacitor control system. often exceed 9 miles (14. microwave. It can be difficult to verify the line-of-site pathway for a rural system. These. These companies span the spectrum from paging service providers to companies that use a mix of cellular.5 km) in length and make use of tower mounted antennas. marshland. sandy areas. Utilities run the gambit of existing communication infrastructure from those that have their own dedicated 900-MHz. rivers. then. particularly if the towers are yet to be built. leasing space on towers or otherwise utilizing existing towers provides a pretty good indication that the line-of-site is viable. flat roofs along the transmission pathway. that utilities will try to work with the equipment in place. as well as other common items. as determined by geography. Potential future obstructions include growing tree foliage. It makes sense. In an urban setting. The study should take into account any reflection or absorption that may occur from lakes. spread-spectrum radio networks to those that do not have any communication network in place. As the price of these services continues to decrease. drainage fields.
4-GHz or 5-GHz range.Communication Technologies infrastructures. or hail. There are many different service providers for the communication technologies mentioned above. thus 900-MHz radio systems are less restricted by line-of-sight issues than 2. Tower foundations should also be examined during the inspection. The FCC Part 15 regulation exempts devices from licensing requirements if they 1) create no interference and 2) 6-4 . This listing is for information only and neither EPRI nor EPRI Solutions. and they indicate that best way to ensure long. However. Towers need regular inspections to identify corrosion or weakened members and to look for metal fatigue and fractures. Several providers are outlined in this section to provide the reader with additional background on what these services entail. Spread Spectrum 900-MHz Radio Systems A 900-MHz signal inherently penetrates objects better than signals in the 2.4-GHz or 5-GHz systems. Communication towers and antennas need periodic inspection and maintenance. Inc. wind stress. FCC Part 15 devices. Towers and antennas may also need to be inspected after severe storms to look for damage from ice accumulation. fixed. Table 6-2 Pro’s and Con’s of Radio Network Ownership Public / Third Party Pro Someone else builds and operates the network Monthly / reoccurring cost for service Con Someone else sets the network rules – lack of control Operation and maintenance costs to maintain system integrity Security Absolute control over network usage Network construction requires a major investment Utility Ownership Utility ownership of the communication network brings with it certain operation and maintenance tasks that are needed to ensure the system is efficient and reliable. Table 6-2 shows some of the positive and negative aspects of owning communication infrastructure. Sticking to a proactive inspection and maintenance schedule will help reduce storm-related outages by ensuring the equipment is in the best possible condition prior to the storm. wireless system than for 2. reliable tower life is to implement a strong inspection and maintenance program (Bedell 2001). thus spreading the cost of building and maintaining those networks over a larger base (thereby reducing the cost to the utility to utilize the network). endorses any particular communication provider. assessing the condition of the footing bolts and foundation members (such as concrete footers). the bandwidth delivered is less for an unlicensed-band 900-MHz. The 900-MHz band is used for millions of low-powered. Cellular carriers operate some of the oldest towers in the communication industry. Guyed towers require even more frequent inspection to examine and repair stretching of the guy wires.4-GHz and 5GHz systems.
and more than one transmitter can be utilized. or other considerations. the unlicensed product is considered to be within its safe harbor (Sanders 2002). Spread-spectrum radio networks can provide data transmission of 4.com). UtiliNet® Wireless Communication from Cellnet (www.com). or a utility can opt to operate its own paging system.com). However. As previously discussed. Each end-device radio generates a packet of data that is transmitted into the network mesh. If these rules are followed.com) The UtiliNet® system uses spread-spectrum radios in the license-free 902-928 MHz area of the radio spectrum. there are pros and cons on each side of system ownership. baby monitors. good site geography. The Part 15 rules provide a “safe harbor” protection for unlicensed devices but mandate a primary role for licensed services. A utility can choose to operate its own 900-MHz radio system or work with commercial providers to achieve connectivity with this technology. The UtiliNet® system utilizes a mesh structure in which every data radio in the field becomes a node in the mesh that can communicate with any neighboring node. UtiliNet® mesh networks can accommodate peer-to-peer and unsolicited reporting schemes.800 baud for up to 2 miles in transmission pathways with good line-of-sight characteristics. this results in increased communication reliability. power limitations and a height restriction on a wireless system’s antenna. The packet is addressed to the destination and traverses the network by hopping from radio to radio in the direction of the destination-addressed radio. home security systems and more. Applications that require immediate and frequent data transmission provide the most justification for using a private network. In addition to simple polling schemes.microwavedata. DataRadio (www. Pager Systems Paging systems use FM transmitters. Spread-spectrum radio services are provided by several commercial companies including Microwave Data Systems (www. and Cellnet (www.dataradio.cellnet. This means that every controllable device with a data radio is a node in the control mesh and can communicate with any neighboring device. cordless phones. The route chosen for traversing the network is dynamic. Since there is not a single point of failure. These devices include utility meters.Communication Technologies tolerate any interference (Harris 2001). depending on the geographical coverage requirements of the system.cellnet. principally. The safe harbor requires. Private radio systems make the most sense when construction costs can be held down due to existing infrastructure. automatically routing the package over the shortest path. There are several companies that offer paging services for SCADA and telemetry systems. and it employs automating network rerouting in the event that a particular data path is not clear. there is the potential for substantial message delays of up 6-5 . Paging services often utilize mature networks and can be rather cost-effective in capacitor-control operations.
com) SkyTel provides wireless data and messaging services. which is fixed at 6400 bps and requires more bandwidth than the ReFLEX-25™ due to its higher transmission rate. paging protocols that are widely used in current paging systems.mobitex. The data is transmitted back to the NOC by means of an MCI frame relay operated as a digital telephone wire-line data circuit. Another potential drawback of paging systems is that while one-way paging coverage is fairly widespread. ReFLEX-25™ and ReFLEX-50™. an acknowledgement is sent back to the message originator. These protocols were designed to give carriers more capacity on their networks and faster transmission times. which differ in speed and usage. The FLEX™ protocol provides one-way communication which can be set at rates of 1600. SkyTel ReFLEX Two-Way Data Telemetry Service (www. Only SkyTel uses ReFLEX-50™. Paging providers include Mobitex (www. wireless telemetry services. or 6400 bps.skytel. The SkyTel network. 3200. operates as follows: 1. 2.com). Commands/data are received by the SkyTel Network Operating Center (NOC). InFLEXion™.skytel. major metropolitan areas. wireless email. ReFLEX™ saves transmission time by first broadcasting to locate the intended target unit and then. When the target unit has received the message. two-way service is still growing and is often limited to metropolitan areas. 4800. The data return path starts with a signal broadcast from the data radio in the capacitor controller that is received by a base receiver. the command signals are sent to the land-based. 900-MHz transmitter system. illustrated in Figure 6-2.org) and SkyTel (www. The commands are then transmitted to the redundant satellite system (land-based frame relay networks are used as backup for communications). 4. The SkyTel ReFLEX two-way data telemetry network is a licensed 900-Mhz frequency band that is available in all U. From the satellite system.S. Motorola worked with SkyTel to develop the ReFLEX™ protocol to provide two-way paging communications. ReFLEX™ uses the FLEX™ protocol but provides a reverse channel that operates at 9600 bps to provide message acknowledgement. and traditional text and numeric paging to customers throughout the United States. SkyTel offers two-way FLEX paging services for utility automation operations. sending the actual message through the most efficient path to the target. 3. interactive two-way messaging. ReFLEX™. ReFLEX™ is actually comprised of two versions. The land-based transmitters send the command signals to the data radio in the capacitor controllers by way of the 900-MHz network. Inc. once the target responds. FLEX™ Paging Protocol FLEX™ (one-way) and ReFLEX™ (two-way) are Motorola.Communication Technologies to several minutes due to the store-and-forward nature of paging technology. The FLEX family of protocols includes FLEX™. 6-6 .
When the capacitor controller. The tower is connected to a mobile-telephone switching office. an area is divided into a number of adjacent cells. Cellular data channel systems work by mimicking a roaming cellular telephone to access the cellular control channel. The switching center assigns a channel pair to each of the mobile units and the units use these channels to communicate. confirm subscriber status. including connections to the regular land-based telephone service. initiates a “call. each containing a base-station tower. which serves partly as a conventional telephone switching office. Cellular Data Channel Systems In a wireless cellular telephone system. Since the data 6-7 . The called mobile unit responds by transmitting an acknowledgement to its local base station so that the switching office knows that both parties are ready to communicate as well as knows which cell each party is in.Communication Technologies Figure 6-2 SkyTel Telemetry Services Advanced Messaging Network Courtesy of SkyTel Cellular Systems The basic analog cellular service in the United States is the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS). Significant excess control channel capacity exists in the range of 90% at normal voice traffic times to 50% at peak times. and track roaming phones as they move across the country.” it begins by registering with the local cellular network. are used to initiate calls. through its cellular radio. control channels. The switching office is also connected to all the other base stations in the system. which do not carry voice communications. In a cellular field communications system. The registration information from the capacitor controller contains the data being reported back to the master station. and it circulates a “paging signal” from one base station to another until it finds the mobile unit whose number has been dialed.
who has partnered with Fisher Pierce to provide integrated capacitor control via cellular data channel communications (www. making it possible to easily cover remote facilities. Aeris.fisherpierce. depending on the provider. Cellular data channel communications also benefit from utilizing the existing cellular communication network. The downside to this is that the utility is now relying on infrastructure that is beyond its control. 6-8 .com). Rather than purchasing airtime from the major carriers throughout North America. For example. Once the data packet arrives at Aeris.com and www. The technology does not require a substantial infrastructure investment from the utility.net. The costs for data channel services tend to be lower than the alternatives without sacrifices to high reliability and widespread coverage. since it leverages the unused portion of the existing cellular radio network. However.) Other providers include Cellemetry® Data Service. typically quoted at 98% of the populated area of North America. sending the message does not incur any long-distance fees.aeris. (For more information. Cellular data channel communication can be very low-cost. population (Harris 2001). Additionally. using the cellular communications network also means that coverage tends to be very good. the information is decoded and routing information is deleted. these data transmissions can penetrate multiple building walls without difficulty and can typically communicate with a cellular transceiver at a distance far beyond that of cellular voice capability.Communication Technologies packet is completely passed during the registration process. One drawback to using cellular control channel communication is that data packets are limited to either 8 digits or 25 digits.cellemetry. particularly for applications whose data size requirements are small. Telemetric purchases its communications from Aeris and Aeris negotiates excess capacity from the two major carriers in each cellular region. Cellular data channel communication is available anywhere AMPS is available. which looks like another cellular carrier to the local switch. there is very little infrastructure that needs to be built and maintained by the utility. please see www. and it is sent within seconds. Data is then passed from Aeris to the Telemetric NOC via a secure transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) connection and from Telemetric on to the utility’s SCADA system. the small size of the data packets provides a robustness that extends the range of the service considerably beyond conventional cellular networks. operation. Data channel technology can have several advantages over conventional cellular services.telemetric.net and www. The local switch recognizes that the MicroRTU’s radio is not one of its own cell phones and looks up its home market. Aeris has teamed up with Telemetric Corporation to provide cellular data channel communication for centralized capacitor control systems. Build-out.S. Another benefit of this service is that individual devices do not require individual cellular accounts. Since the system relies on the existing network. and maintenance of the cellular telephone system are essentially paid for by the users of voice services. Cellular control channel communication offers very broad coverage reaching nearly 98% of the U.
they are the preferred choice when signal strength does not pose a problem. the data packet will be kicked off the channel to accommodate the voice transmission. Different carriers offer different rates plans and fees can vary widely between carriers and rate plans. The dead time exists both on vacant channels and on channels currently in use for voice communications where conversation is silent. Although CDPD systems have met a fair amount of success in the marketplace. and as such. CDPD provides near real-time transmission of large quantities of data. omni-directional antennas send radio waves of equal strength in all directions (as shown in Figure 6-3). it probably won’t stand on its own from an economic standpoint. improper installation. CDPD technology is an ancillary value stream in analog cellular systems. However. Omni-directional antennas are also widely applied because they do not suffer from orientation issues in the field. and 2) directional antennas. since voice transmission gets priority over data transmission. As their name implies. The most likely successors to CDPD are web access technologies and protocols. so the data packet is inserted (“hopped”) to the new channel in a continuous flow without buffering. In a planned hop. vandals. CDPD systems use both planned and forced hops. such as a pause between sentences or even syllables.Communication Technologies Cellular Digital Packet Data There is a significant amount of dead time on vacant channels and between voice transmissions on wireless cellular systems. Cellular digital packet data (CDPD) uses channel-hopping technology to capitalize on the dead time to transmit short packets of data. making them susceptible to being moved out of alignment by debris. even though the system can support large data transmissions. AT&T (www. A forced hop occurs when the data packet is must hop channels because of a bandwidth shortage on the channel in use.verizon. capacity can be limited during times of high voice volume. However.com) and Verizon (www. such as wireless application technology running over digital wireless systems. Since the signal is transmitted out in all directions with equal strength. and so on. Rather than charging for airtime. omnidirectional antennas are less expensive than are their directional counterparts. CDPD is likely to be replaced rather quickly by other technology. 6-9 . CDPD provides limited coverage and is typically only available to major metropolitan areas. the system determines that there is more idle bandwidth on another channel. CDPD charges by the volume of data transmitted.att. Unfortunately. therefore. Cellular Antennas There are two main types of antennas used for cellular radio transmission: 1) omni-directional antennas.com) both provide CDPD service. so if there are no channels available for an incoming voice call. Some estimates have indicated that cellular systems only use 60% of their capacity at any one time and CDPD appears as an attractive way for cellular companies to increase the efficiency of their networks and generate more income (Young 1999). the signal reaching a receiver from an omnidirectional antenna is only a small percentage of the original signal strength. The technology also tends to be more costly than cellular data channel service. Directional antennas must be oriented to broadcast toward their intended target. Voice traffic is considered higher priority than data.
the antenna must be oriented in the direction of its intended target. because they are directional. Although there are many types of directional antennas. Yagi antennas are used for broadcast or reception of weak signals or to cover longer distances.Communication Technologies Figure 6-3 Example of an Omni-Directional Antenna and Resulting Coverage Pattern Directional antennas use additional elements to focus their signal transmission or reception in one direction—typically over a range of 35-100 degrees (whereas omni-directional antennas operate over 360 degrees). the one most often used for cellular communication in capacitor automation systems is the yagi. Figure 6-4 Example of a Yagi Directional Antenna and Resulting Coverage Pattern 6-10 . However.
These companies typically provide services in: • • • • • • Requirement modeling Communication system design Transmission pathway assessment Turnkey planning License application Spectrum management and auctions Some companies also offer software packages that can aid the utility engineer in communication system scoping. 6-11 .atdi. and cartographic data management. There services may be particularly helpful for those considering building and operating a private communication network.com) offers both consulting services and software packages. and administration. design. ATDI (www.Communication Technologies Commercial Support for Communication Planning and Analysis There are several commercial companies that specialize in wireless communication planning and support. Their software is designed for networks operating in the 10-kHz to 450 GHz range and provides radio network design. spectrum administration.
In local control schemes. Figure 7-1 Examples of Capacitor Controllers from Several Manufacturers Since there is a high level of variability from one utility’s capacitor control needs to the next. there is also a correspondingly high level or variety in the features that are available among the currently produced capacitor controllers. The controllers are typically packaged in weatherproof enclosures and are intended to be mounted on the same pole as the capacitor bank and switch. 2) provides switching override functions based on local conditions. current. In central control schemes. the controller provides the switching logic.7 CAPACITOR CONTROLLERS AND SCADA SYSTEMS Capacitor Controllers The capacitor controller is really the backbone of the automated switched capacitor system. including: • • • • Communication: None (local control only). and temperature 7-1 . and combination control Monitoring: Some controllers with two-way communication ability also report data on a variety of parameters—voltage. temperature. time. At the most basic level. the controller provides the interface to the capacitor switch telling it when to open and close. and 3) provides switching logic in the event that communication with the central station is lost. VAR. of the possible features that a utility may require. the controller 1) houses and interprets the signals provided by the data radio. fiber optic. Control Type: Volt. There are many models of capacitor controllers available from numerous manufacturers. one-way. Both local control schemes and centralized control schemes utilize a local capacitor controller. two-way Communication Channel: Radio. paging. if not all. copper line. power factor. cellular. watts. Most manufacturers try to cover most. current. and so on. Some examples of capacitor controllers from several manufacturers are shown in Figure 7-1.
Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems
Data Storage: Some controllers can store operational data locally for retrieval by utility field personnel via laptop computer. Reverse Power Detection: As part of their monitoring capability, some controllers can detect reverse power conditions on feeder. Additionally, some controllers have the functionality to calculate proper set points and compensate for atypical line measurements during reverse power flow conditions. Neutral Current Monitoring: Monitoring the capacitor bank’s neutral current can help diagnose problems such as blown fuses, failing capacitor units, and high harmonic currents. Further information on neutral current monitoring is available in Chapter 5, “Voltage and Current Measurements.”
Most controllers have functionality for all “local” control types (volt, current, VAR, time, temperature, and so on); and they can often run a combination program incorporating two or more of these parameters in a hierarchical manner. Most manufacturers also cover both local control and centralized control with one- or two-way communication capabilities, often by providing different models, each with distinct communication capabilities. A sampling of the currently available capacitor controls is shown below. This list does not represent all controller manufacturers, and it is not meant to be all-inclusive for the offerings from any individual manufacturer. Rather this list is intended to provide an overview of the products currently offered in the market place at the time of writing and to give the reader a brief summary of the capabilities of some of the product features being offered. Neither EPRI nor EPRI Solutions, Inc. endorses a particular controller manufacturer. Controllers that have either one-way or two-way communications require a radio to communicate over the chosen medium (900 MHz, modem, paging, and so on.). Several manufacturers offer the radio as a factory-installed option that can be specified during ordering. It is also common for the manufacturer to leave a space inside the controller enclosure for mounting the radio, thus enabling field installations at a later date or custom radio applications to be made by a third party. Communication technologies are discussed in more detail later in this chapter.
Beckwith Electric (www.beckwithelectric.com) Model: M2501-B
Communication: None standard. Optional communication modules are available as shown below: M-2937 CAMP™ Remote Communication Module (provides two-way SCADA communications via SkyTel®’s Data Telemetry Network) M-2980 CAMP™ Utilinet® Remote Communication Module (provides two-way SCADA communication via UtiliNet® Series II WanGate Radio) Control: The control makes its switching decisions based on algorithms, using time and voltage measurements. Also, upper and lower voltage limits may be set and fixed voltage set-point levels may be implemented. The control will not call for a switch operation, which would cause the 7-2
Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems
voltage to violate these voltage levels. If the site voltage drifts outside these settings, the control will act through the adaptable nonlinear timers to switch the bank if necessary. The control adapts to system source impedances by responding to small voltage changes near a substation and larger voltage changes near the end of the line.
Figure 7-2 Beckwith Electric’s M-2501B Autodaptive® Capacitor Control (left), M-2937 CAMP™ Remote Communication Module (middle) and M-2980 CAMP™ Utilinet® Remote Communication Module (right)
Courtesy of Beckwith Electric
Cannon Technologies (www.cannontech.com) Model: CBC-5000 Series shown in Figure 7-3.
Communication: 900 MHz FLEX® paging Control: The Cannon Technologies approach uses local controllers guided by centralized capacitor switching software running on the SCADA master station. The program utilizes Power Factor feedback to provide optimum power factor for all feeders, during all load conditions. If SCADA communication is not desired, then the CBC series of controllers providing local control is based on configurable overvoltage/under-voltage override thresholds. Note: Cannon Technologies also offers the Universal CBC-7000 Series shown in Figure 7-3. The CBC-7000 utilizes a modular design to accommodate a wider variety of communication formats, including two-way communication systems.
Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems
Figure 7-3 Cannon Technologies’ CBC-5000 (left) and CBC-7000 (right) Remote Power Factor Control
Courtesy of Cannon Technologies
S&C Electric Company (formerly EnergyLine Systems) (www.sandc.com) Model: Intellicap® Automatic Capacitor Control shown in Figure 7-4.
Communication: None (local control only) Control: VAR and current control strategies, voltage, time, temperature, and time-biased voltage. Also makes use of voltage/temperature override.
Figure 7-4 S&C Electric’s Intellicap® Automatic Capacitor Control
Courtesy of S & C Electric
Model: Intellicap PLUS® Automatic Capacitor Control shown in Figure 7-5. Communication: Compatible with a wide range of communication types, including: • • • • 7-4 Schlumberger's UtiliNet® Schlumberger's CellNet® Locus Radio MDS Adaptive Broadband
The neutral current/voltage capability is standard in all software.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems • • • • • Modems (Bell 202. and reversed Trip/Close wiring. There is space reserved inside the controller enclosure to accommodate many communication modules. temperature. time-biased voltage. VAR and current control strategies. Further. time. temperature. or Hayes™-compatible) Cellular telephones Fiber optic transceivers Telemetric™ DNP Remote Telemetry Module™ Motorola® Darcom™ The communication module (radio. which makes retrofitting as easy as adding a sensor. The controller also includes complete load data and event recording. and combination programs. time. 7-5 . The AutoCap™ Series 4400 utilizes Adaptive VAr™ control by measuring the size of the bank. CDPD. voltage. time-biased temperature. voltage. modem. there is a neutral current/voltage option of detection of blown fuses and stuck switches. Control: SCADA central station control. Figure 7-5 S&C Electric’s Intellicap PLUS® Automatic Capacitor Control Courtesy of S & C Electric Fisher Pierce (now part of Joslyn Hi-Voltage_ (www.com) Model: AutoCap™ Series 4400 shown in Figure 7-6 Communication: None (local control only) Control: VAR. Also makes use of voltage/temperature override. and so on) can be factory mounted or installed by utility personnel in the field. current. The controller also has Adaptive Voltage Guard™ technology. which identifies voltage change from bank switching and inhibits “Close Operation” if Voltage Guard plus present line voltage exceeds high-voltage limit. such as sensing voltage and current from different phases. and it automatically corrects for installation errors. and establishing VAR set points for maximum energy loss reduction.joslynhv. reversed current signal wiring.
such as neutral current alarm indicators. and Adaptive VAr™ control. Figure 7-7 A Fisher Pierce AutoCap™ Series 4500 Capacitor Control Courtesy of Fisher Pierce / Joslyn Hi-Voltage Note: These controllers represent two of the many models of capacitor controllers offered by Fisher Pierce / Joslyn Hi-Voltage. the Series 4500 can also be configured to operate under SCADA control or as a local control with SCADA override. as well as special-purpose devices. two-way communications Control: The AutoCap™ Series 4500 provides much the same control as the Series 440 shown in Figure 7-6 but adds two-way SCADA communication capabilities. modem. Among other products. voltage. temperature. time. Communication: Cellular. combination programs. they also offer other one-way and twoway controllers. current. 7-6 . In addition to VAR.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems Figure 7-6 A Fisher Pierce AutoCap™ Series 4400 Capacitor Control Courtesy of Fisher Pierce / Joslyn Hi-Voltage Model: AutoCap™ Series 4500 shown in Figure 7-7. or radio-based.
Both of these controllers can also detect reverse power conditions on the line.qeiinc. current. corrected voltage. except it adds a two-line LCD Display and an additional set of switches that can be used to set or edit most configuration parameters in the field.maysteel. or a combination program of these parameters. date. such as time control with voltage override.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems Maysteel Electric LLC (www. (www. without the use of a laptop computer. temperature.com) Model: ProCap™ 140T/150T shown in Figure 7-8. or combination program—all with voltage/temperature override.com) Model: MicroCap or MiniCap Capacitor Switching Controllers Communication: None (local control only) Control: Voltage. VAR. Note: The MiniCap controller is the same as the MicroCap. Communication: None (local control only) Control: Time. Figure 7-8 ProCap™ 150T Capacitor Controller by Maysteel LLC Courtesy of Maysteel LLC Note: Maysteel LLC offers several other models of capacitor controllers featuring different control schemes. 7-7 . extending the life of the switches and the capacitors. time. time control with voltage/temperature override. All of Maysteel’s capacitor controllers feature Adaptive Trip technology in which the control anticipates voltage changes (which are caused by the opening and closing of the capacitor bank) by measuring the line voltage before and after each switching operation. QEI Inc. The stored information is used to prevent or defer unnecessary capacitor bank switching operations. power factor. voltage. day of the week. and VAR control with voltage override. temperature.
corrected voltage. current. Courtesy of QEI Inc. The eCAP-9040 also allows for remote control through SCADA using the DNP3 protocol. including radio. A very simplistic diagram of a SCADA system is shown in Figure 7-11 to illustrate the concept of centralized control of dispersed field units. consist of a master station(s) communicating with one or more RTUs to provide data acquisition and control functionality between a central location and dispersed field units. SCADA Overview Basic SCADA systems.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems Figure 7-9 MicroCap (left) and MiniCap (right) Capacitor Switching Controllers from QEI. Inc. cellular. including voltage. current. The communication channel between the master controller and remote units can be one of many technologies. cellular. There are 7-8 . date. or fiber optic. Figure 7-10 Capacitor Switching Controller eCAP-9040. but there is space reserved within the closure for mounting a radio. VAR flow. This controller also offers reverse power detection and can monitor and report on numerous line parameters. day of the week. and power factor. or a combination program of these parameters. modem. temperature. or hardwired networks. Courtesy of QEI Inc. Control: Voltage. VAR. The communication radio is not included. power factor. QEI Inc. Model: eCAP-9040 shown in Figure 7-10 Communication: Two-way communication by way of radio. time. also referred to as telecontrol systems.
Alternatively. process control. such as distribution capacitor control as illustrated in Figure 7-12. multi-function SCADA systems. data acquisition). in larger.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems numerous protocols available that define how communications between the master station and remote units should be structured over the communication channel. however. Figure 7-11 Components of a Basic SCADA System Capacitor Controller Capacitor Controller Master Station Capacitor Control Server Capacitor Controller Figure 7-12 Example of Basic SCADA Based Centralized Capacitor Control Using a Master Station and a Dedicated Capacitor Control Server 7-9 . the DNP3 protocol tends to dominate new capacitor control systems. the master station may provide overall coordination and data archival while dedicated servers run individual function programs. The master station runs application software which provides the human-machine interface and also provides the functionality to perform the specific tasks for which the SCADA system is used (that is. capacitor control.
Since each protocol was proprietary.rccscontrols. Traditionally. Kansas City Power & Light’s (KCPL) engineers needed a system that could be utilized from numerous computers within the company. is used to view and organize the data. IEC 61850-5.and voltage-control algorithms. The master station can be configured such that it utilizes several parallel servers. Users anywhere on the network have access to live distribution automation data via PC-based workstations with Cycle LiveData Client Software. WAN. and it determines switching requirements using closed-loop. technology advancements in the personal computer and its subsequent proliferation into the utility industry has altered the nature of the SCADA master station. all interfacing with each other and running dedicated control programs. such as capacitor control. KCPL chose a client/server approach to connect the data from their CellNet communication provider to KCPL's corporate network. The system can also be configured such that the master station software. To make the capacitor control system accessible to individuals throughout the company. is accessible from many workstations within the utility’s LAN. which resulted in the industry being flooded with hundreds of proprietary protocols.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems Master Stations In the past. Today’s master stations tend to be one or more personal computers or dedicated servers running master-station software specific to the system it is overseeing. while running on a single server. and automated meter reading. It monitors circuit and transformer VARs and immediately reports switches or capacitors that fail to operate. WinMon. and MODBUS. VAR. One example of a master station capacitor control product that operates as a parallel unit to the primary SCADA master station is the RCC-2000W capacitor control central station from Radio Controlled Central Stations (www. The RCC-2000W obtains near-real-time substation load and voltage data directly from a utility's existing SCADA facilities. The device dispatches switching commands down-line using a variety of private or commercial wireless means. each equipment manufacturer had its own proprietary communications protocol. The RCC-2000W augments a utility's primary SCADA/EMS facilities by off-loading down-line VAR management to a Windows NT processor. especially devices from different manufacturers. This situation meant that utilities were often 7-10 . To achieve this level of functionality. it was very difficult to obtain interoperability between devices. or intranet.com). However. such as UCA. while maintaining or even enhancing its functionality. substation bus voltage control. Protocols Protocols provide the rules for remotely located computers and master station computers to communicate data and control commands to each other. data coming form the CellNet monitoring network is converted to manufacturing message specifications (MMS) which can then be transmitted throughout KCPL's corporate TCP/IP network. there are other protocols in use. a GUI developed as a collaboration between EnergyLine and Kansas City Power & Light. While DNP3 is the most widely used protocol for capacitor automation. a SCADA master station was part of a turn-key SCADA installation delivered by one of many manufacturers and vendors working in the utility automation arena.
Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems
forced to decide on equipment based on the protocols it supported rather than on its features and performance. Then in the late 1980s and early 1990s, efforts to migrate toward widespread interoperability began to take hold. These efforts included the development of the MMS and IEC 870. Further outgrowth of these early endeavors include UCA, DNP3, and IEC 60870. DNP3 and IEC 60870-5 were designed for transmitting data-acquisition and control commands from one computer to another. They are intended for transmitting relatively small packets of data in a reliable manner, with the messages involved arriving in a determined sequence. These are not designed as general purpose protocol for hypertext, multimedia, or huge files, such as FTP, but rather are intended for SCADA applications (Clarke, Reynders et al. 2004; Short 2004b) The following discussion is intended only to provide some background on the different protocols available for use in capacitor automation systems. A good working handbook for any of these protocols would be extensive and beyond the scope of this work. However, references provided at the end of this section will guide the reader to further information about these protocols. Before selecting a system, it also may prove beneficial to seek the guidance of a SCADA or protocol professional.
Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3)
DNP3 is a protocol for transmission of data from point A to point B using serial and IP communications. DNP3 is intended to provide standards, based interoperability between substation computers, RTUs, Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) and master stations. The protocol of DNP3 has also become widely utilized by electric utilities, water and wastewater industries, transportation systems, and oil and gas industries. From its inception, DNP3 has become (and remains) the most widely used protocol for capacitor controllers (DNP Users Group 2005); and it is supported by a plethora of vendors and users in various utility and other industries. Currently, DNP3 holds the lion share of SCADA applications in North and South America, South Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The IEC 60870-5 protocol tends, of course, to dominate the European market. DNP3 originated in the American electric industry with Harris Distributed Automation Products. The protocol was based on the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC’s), IEC 870-5 draft standard for SCADA protocol (now known as IEC 60870-5). DNP3 is an open and public protocol with complete documentation available to the public. Since it is a public domain protocol, ownership of DNP3 falls to the DNP3 Users Group. The group consists of utilities and vendors who utilize the protocol and are responsible for its evolution. The Users Group’s Technical Committee evaluates suggested modifications and amends the protocol accordingly. Complete documentation for DNP3 is available from the DNP Users Group for a nominal fee (see Internet link at http://www.dnp.org/). Since it is based on the IEC 60870 requirements, DNP3 is suitable for application in the entire SCADA environment. DNP3 supports numerous communications, including master-slave, peerto-peer, and network communication architectures. DNP3 also supports multiple master configurations. The protocol allows extensions, while still providing interoperability between
Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems
multi-vendor devices. Data objects can be added to the protocol without affecting the way that devices interoperate (Short 2004b). Some of the other benefits of DNP3 are that it is: • • • • An open standard, Supported by a large, active users group, Supported by a large and increasing number of equipment manufacturers, and Optimized for use in SCADA systems.
Figure 7-13 The ISO Seven-Layer, Open Systems, Interconnection Model
DNP3 is based on the International Standards Organization’s (ISO’s) seven-layer, open systems, interconnection model, shown in Figure 7-13. Rather than incorporate all seven layers defined in the model, DNP3 trims this down to a three-layer construction with limited support for the transport and network layers. It is important to note that the seven-layer interconnection model is just that—a model and not a protocol specification. It provides definitions and a framework for defining communication protocols but does not explicitly detail a protocol itself. While the seven-layer model is robust, it is too cumbersome for SCADA systems; since it provides some high-level functionality that is not necessary for SCADA operations. To better meet the needs of SCADA users, the IEC addressed this issue with the creation of the enhanced performance architecture (EPA) model. The EPA three-layer model uses the application, data, and link layers shown in Figure 7-13. The DNP3 protocol is based on the EPA three-layer model but adds limited network and transport layers, as shown in Figure 7-14.
Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems
DNP3 Implementation Using Enhanced Performance Architecture Model
Application Layer Limited Transport Layer Limited Network Layer Data Link Layer Physical Layer
3 2 1
Figure 7-14 DNP3 Implementation Using the Enhanced Performance Architecture (EPA) Model
The following provides a very brief overview of the roles of the various layers used in DNP3. For a more detailed discussion, the reader is referred to (Clarke, Reynders et al. 2004; Short 2004b): • Physical Layer: Represents the physical communication infrastructure over which the protocol signals are transmitted. This layer is defined in the models by its physical characteristics for information transfer, such as electrical specifications, timing, and pinouts. The actual specifications of the physical layer are usually provided by a separate standard such as RS-232. Data Link Layer: The data link layer provides the framework for the transmission of data on the physical network. The data link layer typically provides flow-control and error-checking functionality. Limited Network and Transport Layers: These layers are used to facilitate transmission of larger blocks of data. Network functions manage routing and flow-control of data. Transport functions provide transparent, end-to-end delivery of messages, including disassembly, reassembly, and error correction. Application Layer: The application level is the highest level in the protocol and is provided as the functionality for requesting and sending data.
Although originally intended for low bandwidth bit-serial communications, additional functionality has been developed into DNP3 to provide communication over networks using the TCP/IP protocol suite.
IEC 60870 is comprised of a set of standards written (between 1988 and 2000) by the IEC to govern the transmission of SCADA telemetry control and information. Like DNP3, IEC 60870 is also an open standard which strives for interoperability between equipment from many vendors. The standard was originally referenced as IEC 870 with the prefix “60” added at a later date. IEC 7-13
mostly due to competition with DNP3. The four companion parts focus the functionality provided by Part 5 by adding specific information data objects for individual applications. although it can be used in SCADA systems for other industries as well. FT2.” IEC 60870 – Telecontrol Equipment and Systems • • • • • Part 1: General Consideration Part 2: Operating Conditions Part 3: Interfaces Part 4: Performance Requirement Part 5: Transmission Protocols – Section 1 – Transmission Frame Formats – Section 2 – Link Transmission Procedures – Section 3 – General Structure of Application Data – Section 4 – Definition of Coding and Application Information Elements – Section 5 – Basic Application Functions • Part 5 Companion Standards – Part 5-101: Basic Telecontrol Tasks – Part 5-102: Transmission of Integrated Totals in Electric Power Systems – Part 5-103: Informative Interface of Protection Equipment – Part 5-104: Network Access for IEC 60870-5-101 Using Standard Transport Protocols • Part 6: Telecontrol Protocols Compatible with ISO Standards and ITU-T Recommendation The sections of Part 5. FT1.” provide the following functionality: • Section 1 .1. each of which offer detailed information for applying the standard to particular applications.Link Transmission Procedures: This section represents the four-frame formats of Section 1 and describes the transmission procedures. and FT3—each of which provides a different level of security against data errors.” also makes use of four companion parts. with detail given for Part 5.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems 60870 is widely used in Europe. IEC 60870 utilizes a hierarchical structure of six main parts. IEC 60870 was written with electric utility industry applications in mind. “Transmission Protocols. Part 5. Section 2 . “Transmission Protocols. • 7-14 .2.Transmission Frame Formats: This section describes the services provided to the higher layers by the physical and data link layers. Each part is comprised of multiple sections that have been published separately in a progressive manner. The overall structure of IEC 60870 is shown below. There is a choice of four data link frame types—FT1. but has found only limited success outside of Europe. “Transmission Protocols.
UCA is intended to allow utilities to purchase off-the-shelf hardware that is UCA compliant and that will automatically integrate into their SCADA systems. “Network Access for IEC 60870-5-101 Using Standard Transport Protocol. The highest level functions are those application functions above layer seven of the ISO Seven-Layer Model shown in Figure 7-13. gas. IEC 60870. UCA is referred to as architecture rather than protocol. It also defines a common set of information elements that may be used for transmission of information in Telecontrol applications. However.Definition of Coding and Application Information Elements: This section provides the rules for the definition of information elements. low-bandwidth serial communications.Basic Application Functions: This section describes the highest level protocol functions. UCA is a standards-based approach to utility communications aimed at providing wide-scale integration of utility automation equipment from a variety of vendors. Utility Communications Architecture UCA began as the first in a series of projects under EPRI’s Integrated Utility Communication (IUC) program as an effort to provide interoperability between computer systems supplied to the utility industry. The functionality for communication of the TCP/IP protocol suite is found in companion standard Part 5-104.General Structure of Application Data: This section provides two models of the structure of data at the application level. the data relevant to that device will be automatically transferred to the SCADA and IT systems that identify themselves as requiring it. including electric. but it is more likely that the two will compliment each other as SCADA technology continues to advance.” As is the case with DNP3. in this case. due to DNP3’s widespread usage and functionality. this functionality was not originally part of the standard but was added later. It also supports balanced or unbalanced communications (in balanced systems. It is meant for use in any type of utility. any station can act as a sending or receiving station at the same time). because it incorporates a family of protocols in order to meet the wide-ranging needs of the various utilities it serves.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems • • Section 3 . This companion provides the application-level data objects. Section 4 . Once the UCA-compliant device is connected. as well as background information necessary to sufficiently define the SCADA transmission protocol. Section 5 . Part 5-101 does not stand on its own. most discussion regarding SCADA applications of this standard actually speak to the companion standard IEC 60870-5101. 7-15 . UCA is not likely to replace DNP3 anytime soon. supports point-to-point and multi-drop communication links carrying bit-serial. through Part 5-101. and water/wastewater. through a companion standard to Part 5. as it contains many references to the sections (5-1 through 5-4) of Part 5. • Although it is often referenced as IEC 60870 or IEC 60870-5.
message syntax. Large substation RTUs are often floor standing units with their own enclosures. ADLC should allow for future interoperability between digital radios from different manufacturers.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems Although initiated by EPRI. Reynders et al. the IEEE published UCA Version 2. digital inputs.0 as standard IEEE-SA TR 1550-1999. the development of UCA is now managed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Clarke. now Schneider Electric. RTUs are often used to poll other electrical equipment (such as meters. serial phone and radio links. EIA-485. for use with their programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Since MODBUS does not incorporate an interface definition. EIA-422. and message dialog procedures for monitoring and control communication. Manufacturing message specification (MMS) is used by UCA to provide the message structure. they make questionable (at best) the future of MODBUS in utility applications. There has also been discussion within the industry of providing functionality to allow UCA to use DNP3 rather than MMS. typically comply with ANSI IEEE C37. In 1999. 7-16 . It differs from many other protocols in that MODBUS does not provide an interface definition. Another advantage of the MODBUS protocol is that it has found wide acceptance in industrial settings. The RTU may contain analog-to-digital converters. specialized computers used for data acquisition and control in SCADA systems.90a. if it is added at all (Clarke. and 20-mA-current loop. digital-to-analog converters. and they may accommodate thousands of input signals. 2004). it is likely to take several years to develop this functionality. UCA consists of three main building blocks: • • • A uniform communication infrastructure A uniform data model A uniform application interface UCA allows access with all current LAN and WAN technology and also specifies asynchronous data link control (ADLC) technology for multi-drop. and PLCs RTUs are ruggedly constructed. 2004). and digital outputs. and also operate over a wide temperature range. MODBUS is a relatively slow transmission protocol but that slowness carries the benefit of making it compatible with all of these communication interfaces. While the idea of using UCA with protocols other than MMS is a basic part of the UCA philosophy. relays. Since DNP3 and IEC 60870-5 (to a lesser extent in North America) have become near ubiquitous for distribution automation applications. IEDs. The RTU tends to be specially built for field use. Version 2 addresses issues identified during field testing of the original version and adds functionality for the internet suite of protocols (IEEE-SA TR 15501999. the MODBUS user is free to choose between EIA-232. however. meaning that they are hardened against electrical transients. and reclosers) in order to collect system information and send it back to the master computer. Reynders et al. MODBUS The MODBUS protocol was originally developed by Gould Modicon. RTUs.
multi-function relays and other equipment. PLCs were initially less expensive than RTUs. all rolled into one small and cost-efficient package. and a connection to the Internet often serves as a main route for hackers to infiltrate the SCADA system. local-control intelligence Versatile electrical protection functions Data acquisition and reporting capabilities Ability to communicate directly with SCADA systems Among other uses. SCADA systems can be compromised using similar hacking methods to those employed on corporate networking systems. coupled with “plug and play” devices.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems The term intelligent electronic device does not have a clear definition in the electric power industry. SCADA Security Security is an issue for all SCADA systems. both at the data-communications level (in part due to the widespread use of open source protocols) and at the master-system level. The readily available nature of this information. which further exposes them to new vulnerabilities. voltage and VAR regulators. Additionally. Over time. so the term IED is rather ambiguous). the distinctions between PLC and RTU have become blurred. reclosers. information regarding today’s open standards. IEDs can interface directly into the SCADA system and do not need to communicate through an external RTU. Generally. provides many potential avenues for attacking today’s SCADA systems. In most of today’s centralized capacitor control systems. This obscurity made it difficult for would-be attackers to gain insight into their function. it has evolved to encompass any device that incorporates one or more of the following characteristics: • • • • Some degree of advanced. including most operating manuals and background documentation. and data radio. IEDs can take the form of meters. Modern switched-capacitor controllers are sometimes referred to as intelligent electronic devices (although so are modern. As PLC technologies have advanced. and tap-position indicators. there are several steps that should be taken to help bolster security and minimize the chances for the system being hacked (Pollet 2002): 7-17 . sensors. However. the switched-capacitor controller provides the functions of the RTU (or PLC). PLC costs increased as well. including the Internet. but as PLC functionality (and complexity) increased.” meaning that there were numerous systems. they tended to rely on “security by obscurity. modern SCADA systems are increasingly interconnected to other information networks. relays. each of which had restricted access to information about them. PLCs have been used to implement relay and control systems for many years. When the industry was dominated by proprietary systems. Given the mission-critical nature of most SCADA systems (capacitor automation systems included). are readily available through the internet.
• • • • Operating Systems: Maintain proper security on the operating systems running the SCADA applications. Ezell of the United States Army conducted research into the vulnerability of SCADA systems utilized in the water industry. and absolutely no names. When in doubt. Use smartswitches instead of hubs and use proper sub-masking techniques. It is also important to swiftly remove the USER IDs of staff who leave the company. While physical protection of SCADA infrastructure is beyond the scope of this report. Most importantly. and specialists in the protection of physical assets should be consulted to ensure the highest possible level of security is achieved for critical infrastructure. Although we are dealing with SCADA system security. at least one capital and one number. Physical attacks on hardware can range from simple vandalism (broken antennas and gunshot damage are rather common problems for utility equipment) to the outright assault by terrorist elements. Up to this point we have only considered so called cyber-threats where the system’s operating methods are attacked. Use stringent password requirements: no dictionary words. However. regularly changed. Automatic log-out due to inactivity can be handy in these cases. Ezell 2005). Every system has its own unique operation parameters. a professional specializing in SCADA security should be consulted. Ezell determined that the most significant risk to the surveyed systems came from directly attacking the SCADA master system. regardless of the reasons for their departure. Ensure that personnel log out rather than leaving workstations unattended or constantly logged-in. 7-18 . it is important to note that it is a real concern for practical SCADA implementations. This list is by no means comprehensive. The idea here is to put at least two quality firewalls between the SCADA systems and the Internet. and not all of the suggestions mentioned above are necessary in every situation. appropriate length (8 characters is recommended). SCADA Applications: Adequately address security within the SCADA applications. Furthermore.Capacitor Controllers and SCADA Systems • Install Firewalls: Use a firewall between the Internet and your corporate networking systems AND install good firewall protection to wall off your SCADA system from the Internet and corporate networking system. Company-Wide Policies and Procedures: This applies to how personnel access the company’s computer systems. a very real (and arguably more likely) threat is that of a physical attack on hardware and operations centers. these procedures must be strictly enforced on a continual basis! Major Barry C. many aspects of providing that security are more suited for personnel with IT or computer science experience. Internal SCADA Design: Segment SCADA systems onto their own IP segment. Require each operator to have a unique password rather than allowing several people to share a password. Additionally. Do not affix passwords directly to computer monitors. Ezell found that the most likely source of the threat was a previous employee—someone with inside information (Ezell 1998. By surveying a great number of water facilities. a quick scan of the above precautions shows the need to assemble an interdisciplinary team of operations personnel and information technology (IT) personnel.
is accessible from many workstations within the utility’s LAN. Engineer Engineer Capacitor Controller Operator Capacitor Control Server Communication System Capacitor Controller Operator Line Crew Capacitor Controller Technician Figure 8-1 Example of Multiple Interfaces to Single Capacitor Control System 8-1 . or Intranet. master controllers used in modern SCADA systems are usually comprised of dedicated master controller software running on one or more personal computers or servers. substation bus voltage control. such as capacitor control. The system can also be configured such that the master station software.8 SOFTWARE AND DATA APPLICATIONS Capacitor Control Software for SCADA Systems As previously mentioned in Chapter 7. WAN. as illustrated in Figure 8-1. The master station can be configured such that it utilizes several parallel servers. while running on a single server. all interfacing with each other and all running dedicated control programs. and automated meter reading.
The most basic information really consists of just a few parameters: • • Capacitor Switch State: Is the capacitor switch open or closed? Switching Criteria Data: For example. therefore. Most control systems go far beyond this basic information. every half-hour for example. With one-way communication. are transmitted to the master controller as inputs to the switching algorithm. and to review historical data. By examining this chain of command. VARs if operating under VAR control or voltage if operating under voltage control.btecentral. This helps limit unintentional parameter changes and also helps to deter malicious attacks on the system. utilities try to work with their existing infrastructure as much as possible when designing a new centralized capacitor control system. a line-crew role at login may be limited to read-only access of one-line diagrams and circuit maps. SCADA master controller software (or dedicated master station computers) and dedicated capacitor control programs are available from a variety of manufacturers. Others may look for dedicated master control hardware and software if this is their first foray into distribution automation. the capacitor controller may send positive verification back to the master controller to verify switching. Some utilities may opt for a dedicated capacitor control server that operates as a part of an overall SCADA system. If it needs to be switched. In this manner. The master controller analyzes these inputs on a regular basis. As would be expected. an engineer role at login may be granted full access to able to force controllers to switch. there tends to be a great variety of technologies and system components in use from one utility’s central capacitor control system to the next. If two-way communication is enabled. Inc.com) Utilities currently have a tremendous range of technologies and equipment to choose from when building a capacitor control automation system. including: • • • NTMC® 2005 from the BTE Corporation (www. In a centralized control scheme with routine switching decisions made by the master controller. current. many modern capacitor controllers. different line parameters. the potential for a great deal of information to be made available for display: 8-2 . to reconfigure set points. or VAR flow. such as voltage.rccscontrols.Software and Data Applications Some master station software packages allow role-based log-in to the system to determine the level of control given to the current user.com) Yukon™ Advanced Energy Services Platform and Capacitor Control Server from Cannon Technologies (www.com) RCC-2000W Capacitor Control Central Station from RCCS. In fact. the master controller sends an open or close command to the controller. role-defined login schemes allow the flexibility to tailor available functionality to the user’s specific needs. the master controller will then examine the VAR flow on the feeder to verify that the capacitor operated as intended. In contrast. it becomes evident which information needs to be displayed to the operator. There is.cannontech. can report back on a variety of circuit parameters to provide the distribution engineer great insight into what is happening on the line. (www. and decides if the capacitor should be switched from its current state. This may mean attempting to interface with an existing SCADA system or installing a new SCADA system if none existed before. when equipped with two-way communication. For example. Because of this.
For example. which brought the plant off-line. causing the transmission operators to issue a request for VAR support to the distribution operators. and so on Control Location: Tells if the capacitor is being controller locally or remotely (centralized control) Control Type: Describes what control method is currently being used and/or if switching is currently running autonomously or is it being forced by the operator? Time. Using the WinMon® interface. and device operating reports. 8-3 . and the KCPL operators (Goeckeler 1997). KCPL was able to quickly query and switch in all available distribution capacitors. either individually or in various groupings.5-kV and a much flatter voltage profile (Goeckeler 1999). S&C Electric Company (www. KCPL operators can examine near real-time line parameters. On August 19. communication network. while others are intended for networked operation in centralized capacitor control systems. Modern relay manufacturers take a similar approach. The result was an increase in the transmission voltage of approximately 1. Using the WinMon® interface. thus providing VAR support for the transmission system.Software and Data Applications • • • • • • Line Parameters: Reports several line parameters. The ability to address groups of capacitors has also proven useful for KCPL. An example screen shot from the WinMon® software is shown in Figure 8-2. KCPL experienced an equipment failure at its Hawthorn generating station. WinMon® is a GUI that provides on-line access to real-time and historical system data. KCPL uses WinMon® to provide the interface between their SCADA system. and so on) Neutral Sensor: Identifies the neutral current? Device and Data Management Software A host of manufacturers provide software for device or data management.sandc. Date.com) produces a device management software package called WinMon® that is capable of use in centralized capacitor control systems. Some of this software is intended to be run on a laptop computer to interface with devices in the field. historical information. The next day. including voltage. temperature. current. Many of the device management products are proprietary to a specific device or family of devices. and Reason of Last Operation: Provides information on the time and the reason for the last time the capacitor switched Cycle Counter: Counts the number of times the capacitor has cycled (today. 1998. the local 161-kV transmission system experienced sagging voltage. power factor. VARs. most capacitor controller manufacturers provide proprietary software for configuring their devices. this year. and controller set points for every automated controller on the system. this month. KCPL staff can access all of the hundreds of automated capacitors on the system. device configuration.
While it makes sense for distribution engineers to be able to manipulate a controller’s set points. User customizable data layout and location control can also make software easier to learn and more efficient to operate on a daily basis. This also helps to make training easier and gets operators comfortable with software more quickly. Modern SCADA systems tend to utilize good onscreen information layout with hierarchical structures that can be navigated intuitively. Not all users have the same responsibilities or tasks. distribution dispatchers do not need to have ready access to those features. make decisions based on the data. it is beneficial for new software to present information in a manner that resembles what users are accustomed to seeing. but especially with systems that produce vast amounts of data. The data must be presented in a manner that enables the operator to process the information. distribution operators who are already accustomed to DOS-based control software will adapt more easily to new software if it has a similar appearance and layout.Software and Data Applications Figure 8-2 Example Screen from WinMon® Graphical User Interface Courtesy of S&C Electric Company Human-Machine Interface Issues The human-machine interface is a major challenge with any informational system. and not become unnecessarily fatigued in the process. For instance. Since people adapt more easily to the familiar. This helps to reduce operator fatigue as well as ease the learning curve for system operators. unless it is part of 8-4 .
And any on-screen information that isn’t useful is simply taking up space that could be used more efficiently.Software and Data Applications their daily tasks. 8-5 .
CAPACITOR AND CONTROLLER SURGE PROTECTION
Primary Arrester Lead Length and Coordination with Fuses
Arrester versus fuse placement is an ongoing industry debate. An arrester on the load side of the fuse, right at the equipment, protects the equipment best; but since the equipment is downstream of the fuse, a lightning surge current will pass through the fuse. Lightning may blow a small fuse unnecessarily, and many utilities have histories of nuisance fuse operations. Applying the arrester upstream of the fuse keeps the surge current out of the fuse but usually results in long lead lengths. Overall, the tank-mounted approach is best, along with using larger fuses or surge-resistant fuses to limit unnecessary fuse operations. Arresters upstream of fuses and exposed on the primary mainline have several disadvantages: • • • An arrester failure forces an operation by a mainline protective device, interrupting many more customers than if a fuse had operated. If the arrester isolator fails to operate (which can happen), the failure may be extremely hard for the crews to find. A fuse helps localize the failure. If the arrester fails and the isolator operates, crews may re-close the circuit successfully if they do not find the failed arrester. This leaves the equipment unprotected. Worse yet, the failed arrester body may start to track across the bracket. Eventually the arrester bracket will flash over, causing a hard-to-find permanent fault. With arresters upstream of a fuse, arrester lead lengths will be longer; and the equipment is not protected as well against lightning surges. This can lead to more lightning-caused equipment failures. If an arrester fails internally, the failure will be less violent if it is cleared by a fuse. The arrester will absorb much more energy if a mainline protective device has to clear the fault, because clearing the fault takes considerably longer.
It is not just failures of the arrester itself that can cause problems. Arresters also provide a prime location for squirrels and other animals to cause faults. Arresters can also track externally.
Lead Length Considerations
The lead length component is very important; the lead voltage can contribute as much as the arrester protective level for long lengths. The arrester lead inductance is approximately 0.4 µH/foot (1.3 µH/m). Commonly, a rate of current change is assumed to be 20 kA/µs. Together, 9-1
Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection
this is 8 kV per foot of lead length (26 kV/m). This is not an unreasonable rate of rise to use in the calculation, as 20 kA/µs is about the median value for subsequent strokes during the rise from 30% to 90% of the surge magnitude. Lead lengths less than three feet (one meter) are often necessary to achieve a 50% margin for protecting overhead equipment on 13.8-kV distribution circuits. The easiest approach is to tank-mount arresters. Pole or crossarm mounting makes it harder to keep reasonable lead lengths. It is important to remember that lead length includes the ground lead as well as the phase wire lead (see Figure 9-1). The easiest way to trace the lead-length path is to follow the path that lightning current would take as it flows from the phase wire to ground.
Figure 9-1 Arrester Lead Length
Some obvious but important directions for arrester application are: • • Don’t Coil Leads: While this may look tidy, the inductance is very high. Tie Ground Lead to the Tank: The NESC (IEEE C2-1997) requires arrester ground leads to be tied to an appropriate ground. To achieve any protection, the ground lead must be tied to the tank of the equipment being protected. Without attaching the ground lead to the tank, the transformer or other equipment is left completely unprotected. Optimize Arrester Performance: Frame-mount the arresters on the capacitor support structure to reduce the arrester lead length, and connect the arresters on the load side of the fuse.
Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection
Ground Lead Length (G.L.)
Line Lead Length (L.L.)
Unjacketed Concentric or Semiconducting Jacketed Direct Buried Cable Used as a Pole Ground
From IEEE Std. 1299/C62.22.1-1996. Copyright 1997 IEEE. All rights reserved.
Figure 9-2 Example of Considerable Lead Length on a Riser Pole
Figure 9-2 shows an example of excessive lead length while Figure 9-3 shows how to obtain almost zero lead length. To obtain minimum lead length on the phase side, jump the lead to the arrester first, then jump it to the equipment. For the ground-side arrester lead (the most neglected portion), jump the lead from the arrester directly to the tank or other equipment bonding point. For riser-pole applications, jump both leads to the concentric neutral and to the pole ground. In Figure 9-3, if jumper 1 were left off, the ground lead length would be very high. If jumper 2 were instead connected to the cable sheath at the termination, then the current would flow through jumper 1. This would increase the lead length by the length of jumper 1. While this may still be acceptable, it is not as good as the configuration in Figure 9-3.
For a strike right at the arrester location. a riser pole. Figure 9-4 shows a simulation using EPRI’s Lightning Protection Design Workstation (LPDW) where an equipment pole (could be a capacitor.1-1996. Moving arresters to adjacent poles will leave the equipment totally unprotected.22. 1299/C62. Copyright 1997 IEEE. All rights reserved. the voltage across the equipment insulation reaches several hundred kilovolts. The protection is moved to adjacent poles. the arrester helps hold down the voltage at the strike point.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection 1 2 From IEEE Std. arresters must be located at the same pole as the equipment. 9-4 . This voltage is well above the basic insulation level of 95 kV. but at the equipment pole. or a transformer bank) is left unprotected. Figure 9-3 Example of Almost Zero Lead Length on a Riser Pole To ensure that equipment is protected properly. a re-closer.
depending on the available short-circuit current and other parameters).Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection Figure 9-4 Simulation of Protection Provided by Arresters at Adjacent Poles Only Arrester Installation Clearance Considerations Distribution arresters have isolators that remove failed arresters from the circuit. This provides an external indication of failure. Crews should take care with the end lead that attaches to the bottom of the arrester. The isolator has an explosive cartridge that blows the end off of a failed arrester. The isolator itself is not designed to clear the fault. thus. in a few cases. It should be mounted in a manner that prevents the isolator from being able to swing the lead into an 9-5 . the isolator may clear the fault on its own. an upstream protective device normally must clear the fault (although.
this failure mode is less common and is not as high a priority as a swinging isolator lead issue when considering potential arrester mounting configurations. and work prior to this year addressed some of those issues. Initial scoping identified and prioritized several issues affecting the overall reliability of capacitors. The proper lead size should also be used (making sure it is not too stiff. those benefits will not be achieved. An attempt should be made to minimize the risk of the phase breaking free and causing the same types of power quality (PQ) problems that were discussed for the isolator lead.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection energized conductor if the isolator were to operate. Consideration should also be given to unexpected failure modes. medium-voltage distribution capacitor bank. which might prevent the lead from dropping). Experience at utilities revealed that capacitors were unavailable for operation too frequently. such as the phase end of the arrester breaking free of the mounting bracket. therefore. Figure 9-5 Blown Arrester with a Dangling Ground Lead Capacitor Controller Surge Protection Utilities have a substantial investment in distribution line capacitors. and end-users. 9-6 . utilities. These investments are justified based on certain derived benefits to the power delivery system. However. When capacitors are off line or are not available for operation (due to some failure or operating error). Figure 9-5 shows an example of an arrester lead that has dropped dangerously close to the energized bushing of a transformer. this project series was established to improve capacitor reliability. The purpose of this work is to analyze and evaluate the potential impact of a lightning surge on the controller for a switched. An animal contact could easily cause a line-to-ground fault in this situation.
an attempt was made to choose a fairly typical arrangement for this analysis. and are typically located about ten ft above the ground on the utility pole. separate voltage transducers are used. Often the CPT secondary voltage is sufficiently accurate to serve as a voltage input. they could be mounted here also. Most capacitor controllers are designed to plug into a standard meter socket. with the objective of evaluating the surge voltage reaching the controller through its voltage input terminals. If current input is required. mounted with the insulators at the top of the pole. The output of the controller consists of two 120 Vac signals. The controller data inputs consist of a voltage signal and possibly a current signal as well.2 x 50 µs impulse wave with a peak 9-7 . which operate the open and close contactors of the capacitor switches that are located on the capacitor rack. it will be obtained from one or more current transducers in series with the phase conductors. the capacitor controller is mounted lower on the pole—approximately 10 ft (3 m) above the ground.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection A typical switched capacitor bank installation is shown in Figure 9-6. If separate voltage transducers are used. It was assumed for this initial work that this would be the worst case of surge transmission. with many different configurations. Figure 9-6 Example of Switched Capacitor Bank Configuration Modeling of Lightning Surges Originating on the Primary Conductors A simplified circuit model was constructed using power systems computer aided design (PSCAD). Although Figure 9-6 only shows the capacitor assembly near the pole top. While there are many types of controllers on the market. In some cases. The lightning surge was modeled as a 1.
This magnitude represents the 95th percentile of the cumulative probability distribution for first-stroke peak current. It is unlikely that such a surge could be sustained without arcing. It is unlikely that such a surge could be sustained without arcing. Greenwood. All cases examined utilized primary surge arresters.2 For comparison. 50% of all natural first strokes exceed 31 kA. voltages were limited on both the CPT secondary and controller input. 6. The parallel path allows the surge current to travel down the secondary neutral conductor and (to a lesser extent) to the hot conductor. it would likely result in equipment failure. If the controller is rated to withstand a 5 kV surge. 2 A. Neutral of 120-V Input to Controller Grounded With Surge Arrester Near or On Input to Controller (Arrester 2 and Loop): This is similar to the previous case 5. Since such a voltage is not sustainable in this system. 9-8 . A resulting drop in voltage in the range of 150 kV appears across the controller input. 5. PSCAD simulation results are shown in Figure 9-7 and Figure 9-8 for the following scenarios: 1. except that the voltage peak appears across the CPT secondary instead of the controller. Surge Arrester Near or on the Secondary Terminals of CPT (Arrester 1): In this case. it is estimated that the nature of the surges reaching the signal ports will be similar to those reaching the power input terminals.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection of 50 kA. additional protection may be necessary. Surge Arrester Near or on the Input to Capacitor Controller (Arrester 2): In this case the controller input voltage was limited to approximately 1 kV. Neutral of 120-V Input to Controller Grounded Near the Controller. No Secondary Surge Arrester (No Arrester): Here. The surge arrester should coordinate with the surge withstand rating and internal MOV protection of the controller. With Surge Arrester Near or On the Secondary Output of CPT (Arrester 1 and Loop): This is similar to the ground loop in the preceding case 4 without an arrester. most of the surge coupling for the CPT is capacitive. 2. 4. within the ratings of typical controllers. John Wiley. The surge arrester should coordinate with the surge withstand rating and internal MOV protection of the controller. As stated earlier. and it is believed that this also holds true for the transducers. Electrical Transients in Power Systems. 1991. It is recommended. Lightning-caused overvoltages on both the CPT secondary and the controller input were investigated. the surge voltages at both the CPT secondary and controller input are in the range of 40 kV. Neutral of 120-V Input to Controller Grounded Near the Controller Without Secondary Surge Arrester (Loop): This condition results in what is called a ground loop. 3. therefore. New York. that the secondary circuit be grounded at only one point. Therefore. The resulting peak of nearly 150 kV is similar as well. This protection should coordinate with the internal motor-operated valves (MOVs) of the controller. and they were less than 5 kV—within the ratings of typical controllers.
Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection Figure 9-7 CPT Secondary Voltage for Scenarios with and Without Secondary Arrester and Ground Loop 9-9 .
Surges due to lightning striking the primary and secondary conductors were investigated.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection Figure 9-8 Voltage at the Controller Terminals for Scenarios with and Without Secondary Arrester and Ground Loop Preliminary Recommendations The surge exposure of capacitor controllers was examined under a variety of surge origins and circuit configurations. as well as surges due to single line-to-ground faults occurring past the capacitor controller. including locating the capacitor controller and the CPT on the same pole and mounting them on separate poles. 9-10 . Additionally. one or more pole spans apart. multiple construction configurations were considered.
then the control cable and pole-down ground cable should be run as far apart as possible. Note: the case ground connection should still be maintained! Not grounding the controller case may present a safety issue. 9-11 . shielded control cables should be used whenever possible. Apply auxiliary secondary surge protection. However. If the controller and CPT are on the same pole and there are no other loads on the secondary: • • • Ground the secondary neutral through a surge arrester at the controller input terminal. it is extremely difficult to provide one set of recommendations that apply to all controller installations. secondary-surge protection for all installations. from current flow through the ground loop created by the controller neutral. However. Primary Surge Protectors: Install primary arrestors on the same pole as the capacitor assembly in order to limit the primary voltage rise. Also the grounding options that follow should be considered for breaking the ground loop.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection Due to the many different capacitor controllers currently available and in use. Investigate leaving the controller power input ungrounded (although this may result in a flashover). Therefore. Lead Length: It is imperative that the length of all surge arrester leads be kept as short as possible. Another option is to ground the neutral at the controller through a high-discharge surge arrester (possibly a 600-V arrester). Grounding and Shielding: Shielded control cables can greatly reduce the induced surge magnitude on the control wires. The following recommendations are based on the transient modeling performed for this project: Mounting Location: Whenever possible. the body of work contained in this report makes it possible to offer preliminary guidelines that can help the utility engineer increase reliability in installing capacitor controllers. If the controller and CPT are not on the same pole: • • • Even optimal surge protection may not prevent a controller failure. Secondary Surge Protectors: Give serious consideration to adding auxiliary. a structure flashover is often unavoidable for direct lightning strikes. If a shielded cable is not used. However. grounding the neutral through a surge arrester in the capacitor junction box may also offer satisfactory results. do not ground the secondary neutral in the capacitor junction box at the pole top. If possible. locate the capacitor controller and CPT on the same pole. It will be very difficult to avoid ground loops. Do not ground the secondary neutral at the transformer output terminals. Note: the case ground connection should still be maintained! Not grounding the controller case may present a safety issue.
The shield of the cable should serve as the controller neutral conductor. such as pole grounding resistance. with regard to surge exposure and protection. A shielded control cable will eliminate inductive coupling from current flow through the controller neutral. may not be completely within the utility’s control. the utility will have control of the two considerations with the greatest impact. Some considerations.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection • • Add auxiliary. the two units should be located on the same pole for optimum surge performance. Therefore. Maintaining the greatest possible separation of the down ground and control cable 1) minimizes the chances of flashover from the down ground to the control cable and 2) should allow for the least surge induction in the control cable from surge current flowing in the ground lead. Key Considerations There are several key issues to consider when evaluating a capacitor controller installation. The capacitor control cable that runs between the controller and pole-top junction box should be located as far as possible from the pole-down ground lead. In most cases. Controller Mounting Location The placement of the capacitor controller (in relation to the CPT from which it is supplied) plays a prominent role in the magnitude of transients reaching the controller. The reader is strongly encouraged to consult with the capacitor controller manufacturer prior to adding additional surge protection. secondary-surge protection when the controller and CPT are not on the same pole. Add auxiliary. If possible. do the following: • • Limit lead length by locating surge arresters at the input terminals to the controller (this is often accomplished by making the arrester connections at the jaws in the socket base). namely. and it will also block capacitively-coupled voltages. Use care to select arrestors that will coordinate with the impulse withstand and internal MOVs in the controller unit. the controller mounting location and the grounding configuration. Ground Loops and Shielding Grounding at both the secondary-side of the CPT and the power input terminal to the capacitor controller creates a ground loop (Figure 9-10) which causes the controller to be exposed to higher magnitude transients than when the ground loop is not in place. Using a shielded controller cable is one method for protecting the controller from the ground loop effects. therefore. this means that the down ground lead and control cable should be located on opposite sides of the pole. However. When additional secondary arrestors are installed. Locating the capacitor controller and the CPT on the same pole provides the best surge performance. a separate insulated neutral should not be run 9-12 . secondary-surge protection for installations in high lightning areas or areas with a history of controller failures.
Many capacitor controller manufacturers provide separate secondary-neutral and case-ground lugs on the controller to allow for not grounding the controller power input at the controller.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection inside the shielded cable. Figure 9-9 Example Configuration Using Shielded Control Cable Whether or not shielded cable is used. That is not 9-13 . Both ends of the shield should be bonded to ground. The shield should also be of sufficient construction to conduct the lightning surge current and possible powerfollow-through current without being damaged (consult the cable manufacturer to verify the shield’s current-carrying capability). consideration should also be given to avoiding ground loops. the circuit should be grounded in only one place. In order to break a ground loop. Figure 9-9 shows an example configuration using a shielded control cable.
the ground connection should be provided at the controller power input without grounding the neutral at the CPT secondary or pole-top junction box. However. this configuration is not always feasible. Furthermore. the capacitor controller power input. When possible. when the controller and transformer are not on the same pole. the case ground connection should always be maintained. thus there may be other customers sharing the secondary wires with the capacitor controller. as not grounding the case could present a life-threatening safety issue. thus. especially when the controller is not on the same pole as the transformer. there will be ground connections at each customer’s service entrance. The main criteria for avoiding a ground loop is to only make one connection to ground in the circuit. If this is the case. Not all capacitor controllers are powered from a dedicated transformer. or somewhere else. a common neutral will be grounded in at least two places. Figure 9-10 Ground Loop Created by Grounding the CPT Output and the Capacitor Controller Neutral Terminal 9-14 . be it at the CPT secondary. The use of a common conductor for both the system neutral and the secondary neutral also makes it difficult to avoid including a ground loop in the system wiring.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection to say that the capacitor controller case should be left ungrounded! When recommended by the manufacturer. each pole will require a down ground.
Short lead lengths are required because the leads contain inductance. arresters should be mounted directly on or next to the equipment ports they are protecting. The internal connections of all capacitor controllers should be checked prior to installing the controller in the field. All surge arrester leads are as short as possible. This means that the controller needs to have protection covering line-to-neutral and line-to-line surge modes. as shown in Figure 9-11. it may be desirable to add auxiliary surge suppression to protect the capacitor controller. they can cause L(di/dt) voltage drops across the leads when they conduct lightning surge current. The voltage drop across the arrester lead adds to the peak voltage appearing across the equipment that the arrester is protecting. There are also other surge suppression products available the make use of several technologies incorporated into two or more “stages” of surge suppression.6 kV per foot of lead length. One example of this type of secondary surge suppressor is the Axiomatic 120Vac surge protector shown in Figure 9-12.E.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection Arrester Lead Length Arrester lead length includes both the primary-lead length and the ground-lead length. The following should be verified when inspecting the controller’s internal connections: • • Protection is provided for all surge modes. The surge suppression products shown here are only for illustrative purposes. such as the Cooper Power Systems Storm Trapper® or Storm Trapper® H. (high energy) secondary surge suppressor. Auxiliary Surge Suppression Depending on other installation considerations (mounting location. therefore. ground loops. For standard lightning surge current test waves. excluding the arrester length. this can add to the voltage appearing across the protected equipment 1. Minimizing arrester lead lengths is of the utmost importance. For actual lightning currents.). • • Lead lengths must be kept as short as possible. and so on. As with the built-in surge protection. which posses even greater rise times. For this reason. When possible. Most likely. most secondary-side surge 9-15 . The lead voltage adds to the arrester discharge voltage only during the rise of the discharge current. the secondary-side surge suppression will be provided by an MOV-technology-based unit. it is absolutely essential to use the shortest lead lengths possible in arrester applications. It should be noted that EPRI and EPRI Solutions do not endorse a particular surge suppression product. Currently in early 2005. Arresters should be mounted as close as possible to the objects they are protecting. the L(di/dt) voltage drop on the leads can be even greater. all auxiliary surge protection added to the controller must use the shortest lead lengths possible. The total lead length is measured from the point at which the arrester line connection is made to the point where interconnection is made between the arrester ground lead and the protected equipment ground lead.
Another possibility is to mount the surge protection on the lower portion of the meter socket. Of course. The optimal mounting location 9-16 . This location also keeps lead lengths to a minimum while offering somewhat easier installation. due to the number of wires that would need to fit into a small space. The size of the surge arrester enclosure relative to the meter socket depends on the particular surge arresters used in the application. Furthermore. However. two or more protection units may be required. It is essential to keep lead lengths as short as possible.E. although that depends on exactly which capacitor controller and surge protector(s) is utilized. The auxiliary surge protection in Figure 9-13 is not drawn to scale in order to provide a detailed view of how the protection would be configured.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection suppressors of this variety cost less than $100. the surge protection would probably look more like what is shown in Figure 9-14. locating the additional surge protection near the top of the meter socket may offer the shortest lead lengths but will probably also make for a troublesome installation. Figure 9-11 Cooper Power Systems Storm Trapper H. these are just two of the many possible configurations. Note that Figure 9-13 is not drawn to scale. the surge protection is best added directly across the capacitor controller ports rather than at points further away. depending on the number of controller ports being protected. Secondary Surge Arrester Courtesy of Cooper Power Systems Figure 9-12 Axiomatic 120Vac Surge Protector Courtesy of Advanced Surge Suppressor All surge modes for all controller ports should be covered for optimal surge protection. This means that the incoming lines need to be protected for line-to-line and line-to-neutral surge modes. One possible surge-protection scheme is shown in Figure 9-13. In reality. Depending on the equipment.
Figure 9-13 Example Configuration for Surge Protection Covering Incoming Lines for All Surge Modes 9-17 .Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection for additional surge protection will depend on the equipment being used in each individual installation.
there are many factors that may lead to less-than-optimal surge protection in certain circumstances. Furthermore. arresters are often connected between the phase conductor and ground and as well as between the neutral conductor and ground.. At this point is should be mentioned that even the best possible capacitor controller surge protection can not eliminate 100% of capacitor controller failures caused by lightning strikes. Some lightning-caused surges are simply too damaging to be protected against. as suggested in this report. it may 9-18 . it may not be possible to coordinate the built-in surge protection with auxiliary surge protection. using a neutral-to-ground arrester can create a ground loop if another neutral-to-ground arrester is used at the controller input terminals. If the built-in surge protection is tightly applied (i.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection Control Cable to Pole Top Auxiliary Surge Protection Socket 120 V Neutral Current Lead Current Lead Trip Close Ground Not Drawn to Scale Ground Wire to Pole Ground Figure 9-14 Approximate Size Relationship of Meter Socket and Typical Auxiliary Low-Side Surge Protection (Note: Actual sizes will vary depending on what equipment is used) It is not uncommon for utilities to also use arresters protection at the pole top junction box. it begins to conduct near the rated line voltage). When used at the junction box.e. Depending on the protective margins and the configuration of the built-in surge protection. Surge current will follow through the least resistant path to ground. Therefore. the neutral and ground conductors would be better be left isolated at the pole-top junction box and connected through a surge arrester at the controller input. However.
There are a variety of unique capacitor controllers currently available. it is important to review the key issues outlined above. The main point to consider is whether or not the capacitor controller (and the CPT supplying it) can be mounted on the same pole. When consulting the manufacturer. surge currents will flow though the built-in protection.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection not be possible to add additional protection that conducts at a lower voltage. If the capacitor controller and CPT are on different poles. Therefore. low pole-ground resistance can help reduce the magnitude of the transients reaching the controller. a shielded cable can be used from the junction box at the top of the pole to the controller. This is particularly true for transients caused by faults beyond the controller. 9-19 • . This includes using non-standard control power configurations and adding auxiliary surge protection. and the recommendations given in this report may not be suited for every available controller. When planning for new capacitor controller installations (or reviewing existing installations). To prevent coupling to the controller conductors. even if additional surge protection is added. In general. as low pole-ground resistance can help provide an alternative return path to the system neutral. However. specific inquiries should include: • • How would additional surge protection be properly coordinated. Is it suitable to not ground the power neutral at the input to the controller (if considering one of the ungrounded connection options)? Installation Guidelines Due to both the many different capacitor controllers currently available (and in use) and the wide array of possible installation configurations. Pole Ground Resistance Although it does not play as prominent a role as the mounting location or grounding configuration. it is extremely difficult to provide one set of recommendations that were applicable to all controller installations. preventing a ground loop may not be possible. grounding only the neutral conductor at one location is another option to consider. the capacitor controller manufacturer should be consulted before adding additional surge protection. the body of work contained in this report makes it possible to offer preliminary guidelines that will help the utility engineer increase reliability with capacitor controller installation. Where possible. • Ground loops occur when the neutral for the control power is grounded in multiple locations. Alternatively. ground loops in the controller power wiring should be avoided. Consult the Manufacturer It is recommended that the capacitor controller manufacturer be consulted before enacting the recommendations given in this report.
however. so auxiliary arresters with equal or lower voltage ratings can be selected. Manufacturers will be able to provide information on the voltage rating of built-in surge arresters. as it is challenging to avoid ground loops with this configuration.Capacitor and Controller Surge Protection • If using unshielded controller conductors. surge protection should be considered for all capacitor installations. 9-20 . all controller ports should be protected from all surge modes. Auxiliary secondary-side. have the shortest possible lead lengths. that even optimal surge protection cannot prevent 100% of surge-related controller failures. the pole ground down lead and capacitor controller cable should be located on opposite sides of the pole to maintain as large a separation as possible. The auxiliary surge protection should have a lower voltage rating than the built-in surge protection (the lowest rated arrester is the one that will absorb the energy). Most capacitor controllers come equipped with some built-in surge suppression with which auxiliary surge protection should be coordinated. Utility engineers are reminded. built-in and auxiliary. An installation with the CPT on one pole and the controller on a different pole will be particularly troublesome. but such protection is particularly important for installations with the following characteristics: • • • • Installations with the CPT and capacitor controller on different poles Installations in high lightning areas Installations with poor grounding Installations that have chronic controller failures For maximum protection. It is extremely important to verify that all arresters.
A significant number of utilities have experienced problems with nuisance fuse operations on capacitor banks. including harmonics. Figure 10-1 Capacitor Bank with a Blown Fuse (EPRI 1001691 2002) 10-1 . A fuse may be blown. These blown fuses may stay on the system for quite some time before they are noticed (see Figure 10-1). The fuse must clear the fault quickly to prevent any of the equipment from failing violently. Even if the capacitor controller is able to identify blown fuses. Capacitor ruptures have historically been problematic. They can also increase stray voltages and increase losses.10 CAPACITOR FUSING Fusing Guidelines The main purpose of the fuse on a capacitor bank is to clear a fault if the capacitor unit or any of the accessories fail. so fusing is normally tight. Capacitors with blown fuses increase voltage imbalance. but the capacitors themselves may remain functional. the replacement requirements add to the workload of maintenance crews. Fuses must be sized to withstand normal currents.
Harmonics: Capacitors can act as a sink for harmonics.9 I 1 1 . a 1. This effectively allows a tighter fusing ratio. K and T tin links can be overloaded to 150%. Additionally. Three factors can contribute to higher-than-expected current: • Overvoltage: Capacitive current increases linearly with voltage. • • Most fusing practices are based on fusing as tightly as possible to prevent case rupture.35 times the nominal capacitor current (IEEE Std.5 Eq. This can increase the peak and the rms of the current through the capacitor. Imin = minimum fuse rating in amperes I1 = capacitor bank current in amperes 10-2 . So. so for these links with a 1. the smallest size fuse that can be used is: I min = 1. 10-1 where.Capacitor Fusing IEEE guidelines suggest selecting a fuse capable of handling 1. grounded.35 factor is most common. and the reactive VARs increase as the square of the voltage.35 safety factor. Capacitor Tolerance: Capacitors are allowed to have a tolerance to 15% above their rating (which would increase the current by 15%). When estimating maximum currents. C37. an upper voltage limit of 110% is normally assumed.25 to 1. the overload capability of fuse links is included in fuse sizing.35 I1 = 0 . 3-phase banks absorb zerosequence harmonics from the system.48-1997).
1.92 0.90 0.9 24. 10-3 .00 Note: this is not the manufacturer’s most up-to-date fusing recommendation.90 0. Table 10-1 Fusing Recommendations for ANSI Tin Links From One Manufacturer [Cooper Power Systems.95 1.96 1.02 0.96 0. a fusing factor of 1. the industry went to tighter fusing factors.08 0. It is provided mainly as an example of a commonly applied fusing criteria for capacitors With this tight-fusing strategy.90 0.99 0.96 1.06 1.06 1.00 1.5 Recommended Fuse Link 150 300 450 600 900 1200 1800 2400 20T 40K 65K 80K 20T 40K 50K 65K 100K 8T 15T 20T 25T 40K 50K 80K 100K 6T 12T 20T 25T 40K 50K 80K 100K 6T 12T 20T 25T 40K 50K 80K 100K 8T 10T 15T 20T 30T 40K 65K 8T 10T 15T 20T 25T 40K 50K 5T 8T 10T 15T 20T 30K 40K Fusing ratio for the recommended link (link rating/nominal current) 150 300 450 600 900 1200 1800 2400 0.35 being the most common. If silver links are used instead of tin links.2 4.00 1.04 0.96 1.96 0.00 1.5 13.07 1.15 0.02 0.08 0. kV 4.06 1.8 12.90 1.2 13.90 0.96 0. the silver fuses can blow even from expected levels of current.88 1.06 0.95 1.8 22. Due to concerns about case ruptures and PCB’s.06 1.91 1.91 0.65 was more common.95 0.11 1.90 0.96 1.96 0.00 1.9 34.92 1. fuses must be used consistently.88 0.15 1.96 0.Capacitor Fusing Table 10-1 shows one manufacturer’s recommendations based on this tight-fusing approach.00 1.00 1.96 0.96 0. 1990] 3-Phase Bank kVAR System Line-to-Line Voltage.11 0.00 1.00 1.02 0.88 0. Prior to the 1970’s.99 0. because silver links have no overload capability.
however.65 factor. the current builds up slowly as elements successively fail. Measuring the capacitance on all three phases helps identify units that may have partial failures. The remaining packs appear as a lower impedance (higher capacitance). progressive failure—The dielectric fails in one of the elements within the capacitor (see Figure 10-2). Slower fuses should also have fewer nuisance fuse operations. Reasons for Relaxing Fusing The industry move to all-film capacitors has dramatically reduced the tendency of capacitors to fail violently. and thus require high voltage to break down the insulation at the failure. fuses normally blow before capacitors fail. In this scenario. a series capacitor pack (one of several) shorts out. With more stress. A handheld digital capacitance meter is the most common approach. usually from 125 to 165% of rated rms current. Fusing is normally not based on this limit. or other signs that the unit may have suffered damage.Capacitor Fusing Because of the good performance of all-film capacitors (see the next section) and problems with nuisance fuse operations. As with any equipment about to be energized. High current—A low-impedance failure develops across the capacitor terminals or from a phase terminal to ground. possibly returning to the 1. In severe harmonic environments (usually in commercial or industrial applications). burn marks. Occasionally. In a partial failure. Good multimeters also can measure a capacitance high enough to determine the capacitance on medium-voltage units. crews should visually check the condition of the capacitor unit and make sure there are no bulges. and is typically much tighter than this. If a capacitor bank has a blown fuse. fuses in excess of 180% are used. Capacitors can fail in two modes: • Low current. Partial failures show up as a change in capacitance. the remaining elements in the series string have increased voltage and higher current (because the total capacitive impedance is lower). capacitors fail before the fuse operates. Failures can cascade until the whole string shorts out. • 10-4 . A broken connector could cause such a fault. and it is an accurate measure. depending on the fusing strategy. crews should test the capacitors before re-fusing. Capacitors are rated to withstand 180% of rated rms current. With one element shorted. another element may short out. a looser fusing factor should be considered. including fundamental and harmonic currents. Sometimes. There is a chance that capacitance-testers may miss some internal failures.
the heat from the arc melts the film. In progressive failures. and the aluminum sheets weld together. To detect progressive failures quickly. A 2002 EPRI survey found that case ruptures on modern film-foil capacitors are uncommon (EPRI 1001691 2002). sheets of polypropylene film dielectric separate layers of aluminum foil. the film draws back. Before 1975. where Newcomb reported that film/paper capacitors ruptured in 25% of failures (Newcomb 1980). current-limiting fuses provide extra safety. Distribution in Commerce. Sudden jumps to high current are rare. The environmental issues and safety concerns led utilities to tighten up capacitor fusing. capacitors predominantly used polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) as the insulating liquid. When a breakdown in a pack occurs. When all of the packs in series fail. In film-foil capacitors. currentlimiting fuses provide protection for those less frequent faults with longer internal arcs. and Use Prohibitions). When the dielectric breaks down. a single element can fail and not create any gas (the current is still relatively low). Either a backup currentlimiting fuse in series with an expulsion link or a full-range current-limiting fuse is an appropriate protection scheme in high fault-current areas. Environmental regulations on PCB’s greatly increased the costs of cleanup if these units ruptured (US Environmental Protection Agency 40 CFR Part 761 Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Manufacturing. They also provide protection against failures in the capacitor switches and other capacitor-bank 10-5 . Processing. This gives us confidence that we can loosen fusing practices without having rupture problems. the progressive failure mode is much less likely to rupture the case. In modern film-foil capacitors. high current flows through the capacitor—this can generate enough heat and gas to rupture the capacitor if it is not cleared quickly.Capacitor Fusing Series section Individual element Failed element Figure 10-2 Capacitor Unit with a Failed Element Most failures are progressive. This contrasts sharply with paper capacitors. Paper and paper-film capacitors have an insulating layer of paper between sheets of foil. the sustained arcing can create enough gas to rupture the enclosure. In areas of high fault current. fusing must be very sensitive. even though the current is only somewhat higher than normal load current. the arc burns the paper and generates gas. With a solid weld. While it may seem that expulsion fuses provide adequate protection even to 8 kA (depending on which rupture curve we use).
Utilities commonly use a 40 or 50-K fuse for this bank. Figure 10-3 shows capacitor rupture curves compared against fuse clearing curves. Upstream coordination—If there is an upstream line device (normally a recloser). they do provide some application guidelines to address the issue. while still maintaining levels below case rupture curves. which has a nominal current of 41. Industry standards do not provide a recommended maximum. Ungrounded capacitors—On ungrounded capacitors. Maximum Fuse Sizes The industry-recognized 1. 10-6 . Consider a 12. Some of the main checks on going too large are: • • • Capacitor rupture curves—Fuses should protect against rupture within capacitors. 900-kvar bank of three 300-kvar units. so that a fault downstream of the capacitor fuse does not trip the upstream device. The graph shows that there is considerable margin between fuse curves and rupture curves.7 A. Preventing case ruptures is a primary goal of fusing—the fuse should clear before capacitor cases fail. it may be desirable to coordinate clearing.47-kV. Larger fuses for this bank are possible.35 factor is a recommended minimum fuse size.Capacitor Fusing accessories. Utilities that apply current-limiting fuses on capacitors normally do so for areas with fault currents above 3 to 5 kA. even a complete unit failure will not only draw three times normal current through that unit’s fuse.
With a unit fully failed. To ensure that an ANSI K or T fuse operates for a current of 3 per unit.2 times their ampere rating. we really want the fuse (or other protection) to trip quickly.01 10+2 10+3 10+4 Current.Capacitor Fusing 100.73 times normal voltage. and the unfailed units see 1. A clearing time of 1 second is required to protect the capacitors on adjacent failures according to IEEE Std. With half of the series groups failed.0 40 65 50 80 10. seconds Cooper 1. which results in clearing times of 15 sec to 2 min. the shift of the neutral relieves the voltage stress on the remaining series groups. when one series group shorts out. the unit draws 1. 300 kvar and above 0. the floating neutral point shifts voltage—the failed unit does not draw full fault current.1 Fuse total clear curves T links K links 0. the fuse rating would have to be about 6 times lower than the desired clearing current of 3 per unit). the failed unit draws 3 per unit.2 comes from the fact that fuse total clearing curves start at a current of about 2. Figure 10-4 compares the response of grounded and ungrounded capacitor banks. The factor of 2. 10-7 . amperes Figure 10-3 Fuse Curves with Capacitor Rupture Curves Ungrounded capacitors require tighter fusing than grounded capacitors because when one unit fails.2 = 1.5 per unit.0 GE. the fuse must be sized less than 3/2. 1036 reports that good performance has been achieved by selecting the fastest fusing (meeting the 1. This is normally impossible to achieve (to achieve a 1-sec clearing time. When one pack fails.35 criteria).0 Capacitor rupture curves Time.36 times the capacitor rated current. 1036. During a progressive failure. The IEEE Std.
Their much higher tank rupture rate during failures requires tight fusing. this only works on switched banks. Obviously. 10-8 .Capacitor Fusing Also consider the fusing differences if a normally grounded bank is converted to an ungrounded bank because of harmonics or stray voltage problems.73 pu V = 1.5 pu V = 1 pu I = 2 pu V = 1 pu I = 1 pu V = 1.15 pu I = 1. a relay monitoring the neutral potential transformer (PT) should trip the capacitor’s oil or vacuum switch. When one unit fails. some adjustment of the capacitor fusing and/or protective device setting can usually accomplish reasonable coordination. After that.73 pu Figure 10-4 Comparison of Grounded-wye and Ungrounded-wye Banks During a Failure of One Unit As an alternative to tight fuse protection on floating-wye configurations. Nuisance Fuse Operation Some utilities have problems with nuisance fuse operations on distribution transformers.15 pu V = 0 pu I = 3 pu Full failure V = 0 pu I =bolted fault current V = 1 pu I = 1 pu V = 1 pu I = 1 pu V = 1. One option is to live with the miscoordination. Grounded wye Partial failure: Half of a unit’s series groups short out. Regarding coordination.75 pu I = 1. V = 1 pu I = 1 pu Ungrounded wye V = 0. but certain differences are apparent. Some of the causes of capacitor fuse operations could be the same as transformer fuse operations.15 pu I = 1. we can use neutral detection. A potential transformer measuring voltage between the floating neutral and ground can detect a failure of one unit.73 pu I = 1.73 pu I = 1. such as: • Capacitor fuses see almost continuous full load (when the capacitor is switched in). Do not loosen fusing on older banks with paper or paper-film capacitors.15 pu V = 1. larger capacitor fuses may cause miscoordination issues.
When using the standard guidelines that a fuse at least as big as 20K or 15T should prevent nuisance operations. which can blow fuses. and they found that 3% had broken strain wires (CEA 288 D 747 1998). But the effects of nearby faults on distribution fuse operations have not been considered. Outrush is sometimes considered for station banks in calculating the probability of a fuse operation from a failure of an adjacent parallel unit. Transformers have secondary faults and core saturation that can contribute to nuisance fuse operations while capacitors have neither. • • Some possible causes of nuisance fuse operations on distribution capacitors include: • Lightning: Capacitors serve as a low impedance to high-frequency lightning surges. Another 15% had braids that were brittle and had broken strands. Larger fuses used in capacitors should not have as much of a problem. Smaller. and when the fault occurs. • • • • • Outrush and Inrush Outrush is highlighted as a possible failure mode that has been neglected by the power industry. By the time anyone notices the blown fuse. contamination on the bushing.to 65-A fuses. whether due to an animal. faster fuses are most prone to lightning. Closer faults discharge more energy into the fuse. the capacitor discharges its energy into the resistance between the capacitor and the fault. but a capacitor’s inrush is quicker. The I2t that the fuse suffers during outrush to a line-to-ground fault is: 10-9 . Animal or Other Bushing Faults: A fault across a bushing can blow a fuse. so they naturally attract lightning current. the squirrel or branch has disappeared. but this is well below the melt point of the fuse. The energy input into the fuse during outrush depends on the line resistance between the capacitor and the fault (see Figure 10-5). Both capacitors and transformers have inrush. Animal guards and covered jumpers should be used to reduce bushing fault incidents. Ontario Hydro collected fuse links from the field on transformers. or tree contact. Outrush to Nearby Faults: If a capacitor dumps its stored charge into a nearby fault. Capacitor banks also have inrush every time they are switched in. typically with less than a 15-A fuse. Severe Harmonics: Harmonics increase the current through the fuse. The most common transformer size is 25 and 50 kVA. Installation Errors: Fuses are more likely to blow if crews put in the wrong size or wrong type of fuse or if they do not properly tighten the braid on the fuse. Typical capacitor sizes are 300 to 1200 kVAR with 15. Mechanical Damage and Deterioration: Corrosion and vibration can weaken fuse links. The capacitor has stored energy. it appears that lightning itself should not cause a significant number of fuse operations (as most capacitor bank fuses are larger than this).Capacitor Fusing • Capacitor fuses tend to be bigger than transformer fuses. the fuse can blow.
µF Vpk = peak voltage on the capacitor at the instant of the fault. 10-2 where. ohms QkVAR = single-phase reactive power. kVAR Vpu = voltage at the instant of the fault in per-unit of the capacitor’s rated voltage Figure 10-5 Outrush from a Capacitor to a Nearby Fault 10-10 .Capacitor Fusing 1 2 I t= 2 CV pk R 2 = 2. C = capacitance of one unit.65QkVAR 2 V pu R Eq. kV R = resistance between the capacitor and the fault.
200-kVAR Bank at 12.000 70. 1.000 5.500 5. X/R=8) Inrush at 105% voltage Outrush to a fault 500-feet away Outrush to a fault 250-feet away Outrush to a fault 250-feet away with an arc restrike* 65K fuse.000 *Assumes that the arc transient leaves a voltage of 2 per unit on the capacitor before the arc restrikes 10-11 . median 1st stroke Lightning.Capacitor Fusing Table 10-2 I2t Comparisons on a 3-phase.47 kV (Iload=55.940 6. minimum-melt I2t I2t. minimum-melt I2t 65T fuse. amperes2-seconds 57.6 A) Source Lightning.550 35.000 280.000 271.000 90. median subsequent stroke Inrush at nominal voltage (ISC=5 kA.
500 2. X/R=8) Inrush at 105% voltage Outrush to a fault 500-feet away Outrush to a fault 250-feet away Outrush to a fault 250-feet away with an arc restrike* 30K fuse. median 1st stroke Lightning. especially ANSI K links.6 A. Utilities commonly use 65-A fuses for this bank.Capacitor Fusing Table 10-3 I2t Comparisons on a 3-phase.47 kV. median subsequent stroke Inrush at nominal voltage (ISC=5 kA. The lightning data is misleading because much of the first stroke will go elsewhere. The table shows the minimum melt I2t of common fuses.200 65. For the 1200-kVAR bank. minimum-melt I2t I2t. 600-kVAR Bank at 12. Of the other possible causes of fuse operation.500 35. Usually. the nominal load current is 55. 10-12 . none are particularly high except for a lightning first stroke.970 3. Outrush to nearby faults produces energy high enough to blow common fuses. amperes2-seconds 57.270 17.000 152. the line flashes over. and much of the lightning current diverts to the fault.000 21.500 *Assumes that the arc transient leaves a voltage of 2 per unit on the capacitor before the arc restrikes Table 10-2 and Table 10-3 show several sources of fuse operations and the I2t that they generate for different bank sizes at 12. which are fast fuses.8 A) Source Lightning.000 5.47 kV (Iload=27. minimum-melt I2t 30T fuse.
1 A) with a 25 K fuse. the resistance is the resistance around the loop. For high-frequency currents. • Consider a 1200-kVAR bank with 500-kcmil conductors. At 24. out and back. At 34.5-kV system.94 kV (Iload=27. But. the fuse may melt for faults up to 650 feet away. Larger Conductors: Larger conductors have lower resistance. Both will help reduce the I2t.6 A) with a 65K fuse.Capacitor Fusing Figure 10-6 Outrush as a Function of the Resistance to the Fault for Various Size Capacitor Banks (The sizes given are 3-phase kVAR. Note that the distance scales in Figure 10-6 do not include two important resistances: the capacitor’s internal resistance and the fuse’s resistance. the fuse may exceed its minimum-melt I2t for faults up to 150 feet away.5 kV (Iload=20. At 12. the minimum-melt I2t values of the fuses in Figure 10-6 are the 60-Hz values. higher-voltage capacitor banks use smaller fuses with less I2t capability. the distances are to the fault) Figure 10-6 can be used to find outrush I2t for other cases. Two factors make outrush worse: • Higher System Voltages: The outrush I2t stays the same with increases in voltage for the same size capacitor bank.8 A) with a 30K fuse. the location is off the chart (it’s about 950 feet). The line impedance also stays the same for different voltages. Also. A 25-kV capacitor installation.47-kV (Iload=55. like an 10-13 . is more likely to have nuisance fuse operations than a 12. therefore.
and most are situations that leave greater than normal voltage on the capacitor before it discharges into the fault. and the system stays faulted once the arc bridges the gap. As an estimate to how much outrush contributes to nuisance fuse operations. • • • These estimates are conservative in that they don’t consider skin effects. Multiple-Phase Faults: Line-to-line and 3-phase faults are more severe for two reasons—the voltage is higher and the resistance is lower. The stored energy on the fault depends on the timing of the fault. On the negative side. Unfortunately. the fuse element is influenced by skin effects too. depending on the severity. arc restrikes (much like restrikes of switches) can impress more voltage on the capacitor and subject the fuse to more energy. The transients oscillate in the single-digit kilohertz range. Voltage Swells: If a line-to-ground fault on one phase causes a voltage swell on another and the fault jumps to the “swelled” phase. the voltage is the line-to-line voltage. At these frequencies. These scenarios include: • • Regulation Overvoltages: Voltages above nominal will increase the outrush energy by the voltage squared. but sputters. the minimum-melt I2t of expulsion fuses is 30 to 70% of the 60-Hz I2t (Burrage 1981). and the capacitor’s charge will dump right back through the fuse. relative to the point on the voltage wave. On a line-to-line fault.47 kV with 40-K fuses. for example.Capacitor Fusing outrush discharge. as higher frequency transients will cause the fuse to melt more quickly.) Lightning: A nearby lightning strike to the line can charge up the capacitor (and start the fuse heating). higher-than-normal outrush will flow through the fuse. Skin effects increase the conductor’s resistance.085 per year. Several system scenarios could make individual instances worse. Most arcs are solid. which can have considerable impact at high frequencies. We’ll estimate that the fuse may blow or be severely damaged for faults within 250 feet (76 m). 10-14 . consider a 900kVAR bank as 12. Arc Restrikes: If a nearby arc is not solid. possibly much more. and the resistance is the resistance of the phase wires (rather than the resistance of a phase wire and the neutral in series). faults within 250 feet (75 m) of a capacitor occur at the rate of 0. conductor resistance increases by a factor of two to three.5% fuse operations per capacitor bank per year—a substantial number. (No evidence suggests that this occurs regularly. most faults occur at or near the peak of the sinusoid. This translates into 8. In most cases. Using a typical fault rate on distribution lines of 90 faults/100 miles per year (56 faults/100 km/year). the lightning will cause a nearby flashover.
and QkVAR=Q1/2. 41 where. 10-5 The only difference is that the capacitance is the series combination of the two capacitances: C=C1C2/(C1+C2). k = X/R ratio at the bank location (Brown 1979) Eq. 10-15 .65 1 + k 2 I SC I 1 / 1000 where. to avoid inrush problems. Inrush into grounded banks has a peak current of: I pk = 1 . the I2t is almost the same as that for outrush: I t = 2 1 2 CV R 2 pk = 2 . Large capacitor banks on higher voltage distribution systems may require modestly larger separations. 1036-1992) The energy into a fuse from inrush is normally very small—it subjects the capacitor fuse to an I2t (in A2-s) of: I 2 t = 2. often requiring insertion of reactors between banks. I SC I 1 Eq. In most situations. A few hundred feet of separation is enough to prevent inrush/outrush problems. maintaining a separation of 500 feet between capacitor banks prevents fuse operations from this inrush/outrush. this back-to-back switching is a major design consideration. the design constraints are not as large. therefore.Capacitor Fusing Capacitors also have inrush every time they are energized. A (IEEE Std. Fuses at both banks see this transient. and QkVAR=Q1Q2/(Q1+Q2). For distribution feeder capacitors. The outrush from the already-energized bank dumps into the capacitor coming on-line. Figure 10-6 applies if we double the kVAR values on the curves. For back-to-back switching. Capacitor banks should be separated by 500 feet (150 m) on 15-kV class circuits. C=C1/2. A ISC = available 3-phase fault current. In substation applications. A I1 = capacitor bank current. 65 Q kVAR 2 V pu R Eq. 10-4 Inrush is much worse if a capacitor is switching into a system with a nearby capacitor. For the same size banks. 10-3 Ipk = peak value of inrush current.
The most common way is for crews to open cutouts. If the water-degraded cutout cannot clear the fault. Loose fuse connections may also increase the chance of nuisance fuse operations. Since the fuse tube is not rated to support this voltage. so it cannot drop clear. Progress Florida’s tests and investigations found two main problems: • Water entry—Fuses left open in cutouts can fill with water. Water can damage the fuse tube liner and the cardboard tube surrounding the fuse element. the barrel of the cutout will heat excessively because the threads of the barrel make a high-resistance connection. water can easily enter. These two elements both help when clearing low-current faults. Heat can also burn away the cardboard tube surrounding the fuse element. 9/11/2003). harmonics. Extra heating is more likely in a capacitor cutout because a capacitor is always running at nearly full load. If the fuse clears. a partial unit failure causes a low-current fault. Water entering the fuseholder can damage the fuse tube lining. the whole assembly can fail. but the cutout sticks. or a transient. Figure 10-7 shows damage to fuse tubes caused during tests of cutouts operated with loose fuse connections. The best way to do this is to remove each fuseholder from its cutout and hang the fuseholders by their pull rings.Capacitor Fusing Fuse Installation Issues C. If the cutout cannot drop clear. the fuse liner and the cardboard tube melt to release non-ionized gas that helps quench the arc. Williams reported that Progress Florida has had 20 feeder lockouts in one year due to capacitor fuses failing to clear. (Charlie) Williams of Progress Florida (formerly the Florida Power Corporation) reported significant problems with capacitor fuses at the 2003 Southeastern Electric Exchange working group on power quality and reliability (Dallas. • Many utilities switch capacitors seasonally. Heat from loose fuse connections can also facilitate cutout failure. the fuse tube will be supporting line-to-neutral voltage. Loose fuse connections—If crews do not tighten the fuse link enough. The extra heat could force the system into thermal runaway and operate the fuse. tracking will start and eventually lead to flashover. a fuse can have trouble clearing low-current faults. causing a fault on the system. W. Expulsion fuses have the most difficult time clearing high fault currents and low fault currents. Heat can weld the cutout’s contacts. With a damaged lining. The cardboard tube provides the fusing assembly with extra ability to clear low-current faults. If left open in the cutout. TX. For low fault currents. On capacitors. 10-16 . especially if the fuse is subject to another stress—overvoltage. the fuse assembly may melt down.
Figure 10-8 Infrared Thermovision Scan of Cutouts Tested with 83 Amps of Current Courtesy of C. (Charlie) Williams at Progress Florida 10-17 . (Charlie) Williams at Progress Florida Figure 10-8 shows an infrared scan taken during tests.Capacitor Fusing Figure 10-7 Damaged Fuse Tubes from Loose Connections Courtesy of C. The cutout with the loose fuse connection was running at 350°F. Progress Florida tested the cutouts with 83 A of current (600 kvar at 7. W. W. The test setup had been operating for two weeks when the infrared scan was taken.2 kV).
these guidelines are only for distribution line capacitors with one capacitor unit per phase. make sure that the fuse total clearing curve coordinates with capacitor rupture curves. Do not use less than a 15T or 20K fuse. further analysis is required. Finally. pick the next largest fuse current rating meeting the following criteria: K links • 1.47-kV system. In addition. For candidate fuses larger than a 65T or 80K. mainly to ensure that the capacitor units are protected from rupture. Proposed Fusing Guidelines We recommend using both a larger fuse and a slower fuse than is normally used. With these guidelines. A waterresistant synthetic fuse liner is another option for reducing the possibility of water damage to fuse liners.65 × capacitor rated current T links • 1.Capacitor Fusing The two ways to reduce problems with cutouts are: • • Tighten fuses—Make sure crews tighten the fuse cap with a wrench. 10-18 . crews should inspect the fuse liner whenever they replace the fuse element.35 × capacitor rated current Do not use the overload capability of the fuse in any case. Larger fuses are more resistant to transients and to steady-state heating. Do not use the looser fusing guidelines under the following conditions: • • Ungrounded banks Paper or film/paper capacitors In addition. The button and cap need to be tight to make a good contact. Do not leave fuses open in cutouts—Have crews hang fuseholders by the pull ring. Table 10-4 shows an example application of these guidelines on a 12. utilities can use infrared thermography to identify the extent of heating from loose connections in cutouts on capacitor banks (Short 2004a). For group fusing with one fuse protecting more than one capacitor unit.
The extra heat could contribute to nuisance fuse operations and could prevent the fuse from being able to clear low-current faults from partial capacitor failures.9 20.8 41. consider the following additional recommendations: • Fuse installation — Make sure crews tighten the button with a wrench.7 55. Open fuses — Don’t leave fuses hanging open in the cutout.2-kV System Rated Three-phase capacitor current.Capacitor Fusing Table 10-4 Example Fuse Application Guidelines for a 12. • • 10-19 . kvar A fuse K Traditional New fuse guidelines T 150 300 450 600 900 1200 6. water will enter and degrade the fuse tube lining and the cardboard sheath around the cutout. Very important. If fuses are hanging open in the cutout.47/7. Have crews remove them and hang them up.9 13. Loose fittings cause excessive heat because the threads make a poor connection.8 27. Animal guards — Use animal guards on capacitors and other equipment on a capacitor pole to reduce the chance of bushing faults. open end down.6 8T 15T 20T 25T 40K 50K 20K 25K 40K 50K 80K 80K or 100K* 15T 20T 30T 40T 65T 80T* *check capacitor rupture curves Also.
KCPL reported that blown fuses were their biggest problem (Goeckeler 1999). another one-third rated them typical of line equipment. along with feedback from follow-up contacts. The failure rates shown in Table 11-1 are high—much higher than most distribution equipment.5 28. failure rates should be better than those shown in Table 11-1. Roughly one-third of the survey responses rated feeder capacitors very good.11 CAPACITOR BANK POWER QUALITY AND RELIABILITY ISSUES Several problems contribute to the overall reliability (or unreliability) of capacitor banks. highlighted several issues. and the final third rated them problematic. but their capacitor bank maintenance needs were not limited to fuses. Kansas City Power & Light (KCPL) used their automated capacitor bank system to perform a detailed analysis of switched capacitor bank reliability. and they have a lot of components that can fail. Switched capacitor banks are complicated.1 8.1 4. This can unbalance 11-1 . These include: • Misoperation of Capacitor Fuses: Many utilities have unnecessary fuse operations operations when the capacitor bank was not in danger of being damaged. However. The survey results.5 2.8 Problem Primary fuse blown to capacitor (nuisance fuse operation) Failed oil switches Hardware accidentally set to "Local" or "Manual" Defective capacitor unit Miscellaneous CPT TOTAL * Based on two years of data (Goeckeler 1999) An EPRI survey on capacitor reliability found that utilities had widely differing experiences with capacitors (EPRI 1001691 2002).2 3. as shown in Table 11-1.4 1. Table 11-1 Maintenance Needs Identified by KCPS’s Capacitor Automation System* Annual percent failures 9.
Voltage distortion results because these currents cause nonlinear voltage drops across the system impedance. • • Controllers: Controllers were rated problematic by a significant number of utilities. Harmonic distortion levels can be characterized by the complete harmonic spectrum with magnitudes and phase angles of individual harmonic components. generators. Harmonic distortion exists due to nonlinear characteristics of the power system and its connected loads. Nonlinear devices produce nonsinusoidal current waveforms when energized with a sinusoidal voltage. and arc furnaces. Examples of these devices are adjustable-speed drives. crews must be trained on the proper use and setup of capacitors as well as taught (with greater emphasis) the importance of having capacitors available. It is also common to use a single quantity—the total harmonic distortion—as a measure of the magnitude of harmonic distortion. • Harmonics Harmonics are sinusoidal voltages or currents having frequencies that are integer multiples of the frequency at which the supply system is designed to operate (termed the fundamental frequency. Fusing practices should be reviewed to reduce this problem. Although power system components (such as transformers and generators) contribute to some distortion. the bulk of the distortion in most power systems comes from nonlinear. switch-mode power supplies (including computers and other office equipment). harmonic distortion has become a growing concern for many customers and for overall power systems as well. Surge protection practices as well as power and grounding of controllers should be reviewed. These devices can usually be modeled as current sources that inject harmonic currents into the power system. end-use devices. which is usually 50 Hz or 60 Hz). At some utilities. Some controllers are hard to program. battery chargers. Because of the increasing application of power electronics in end-use equipment. the total current harmonic distortion is: 11-2 .Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues circuit voltages and reduce the number of capacitors available for VAR support. Lightning and Faults: Controllers can fail from lightning and they are especially vulnerable in high-lightning areas. crews manually switch off nearby capacitors and often forget to turn them back on after finishing their work. To reduce these problems. fluorescent lighting. For example. Controllers are quite exposed to lightning and to power-supply overvoltages during faults. Most harmonic distortion originates with nonlinear devices on the power system. transformers. Some utilities had problems with switches and with the controllers themselves. and field crews often don’t have the skills (or proper attitudes) to set up capacitors and their controls. Human Element: Many controllers are set up incorrectly.
but this can often be misleading. Figure 11-1 Waveform and Harmonic Spectrum of Typical 6-Pulse ac Motor Drives To account for the relative harmonic current levels in a consistent fashion. However. 519-1992 defines another term. because the magnitude of harmonic current is low. Harmonic currents result from the normal operation of nonlinear devices on the power system.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues I THD = ∑I h=2 ∞ 2 h I1 Eq. except that the distortion is expressed as a percent of some rated load current rather than as a percent of the fundamental current magnitude. as described above. Total demand distortion is the same as the total harmonic distortion. IEEE Std. even though its relative distortion is high. the power supply input current THD could exceed 100%. 11-3 . many adjustable-speed drives will exhibit high total-harmonic-distortion values for the input current when they are operating at very light loads. total demand distortion . Current distortion levels can be characterized by a total harmonic distortion. Recommended practice for acceptable harmonic current and voltage distortion levels on distribution and transmission circuits are provided in IEEE Std. For instance. A typical voltage waveform does not exceed 5% THD. This is not a significant concern. and I1 is the RMS value of the fundamental current. 519. 11-1 where Ih is the RMS current of the hth harmonic current. Figure 11-1 illustrates the waveform and harmonic spectrum for a typical adjustable-speed drive input current.
capacitors are often a contributing factor. The main issues are as follows : • The voltage-sensing circuit in an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that determines the transfer from utility line to battery during an undervoltage condition may be susceptible to a distorted voltage waveform. damaging power-factorcorrection capacitors within the customer premises. can cause potential problems for customer loads. Most problems with severe harmonics are found in industrial facilities where capacitors resonate against the system impedance. This often shows up first at the capacitor bank. where harmonics cause fuse operations or even capacitor failure. Increased voltage distortion may cause excessive harmonic current. clock-synchronizing signal. as shown in Figure 11-2.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues The increased voltage distortion resulting from a relatively weak source. 11-2 where 11-4 . or other communication signal within the customer’s premises may be susceptible to increased voltage distortion. One capacitor on a distribution circuit will resonate against the inductance back to the system source (including the line impedances and transformer impedances). Increased voltage distortion will reduce the life of induction motors and other customer loads. • • • • When harmonics cause problems. causing the UPS to go to battery power. Figure 11-2 Harmonic Resonance The resonance point between the capacitor and the system (which is the same frequency at which the system will ring during a switching surge) is shown as: n= XC = XS MVAsc MVAR Eq. Its batteries may be depleted after only a short time during the operation of the DG. While utility resonances are rare. such as a generator. Increased voltage distortion may damage equipment that uses a front-end filter with capacitors. they do sometimes cause problems. Capacitors can cause resonances that amplify harmonics. such as lighting ballasts. A building power-line carrier signal.
Harmonic filter banks consist of one or more Series L-C tuned filters. but some are used on utility distribution circuits. 7. Multiple capacitors on a circuit create multiple resonant points that can require more sophisticated analysis. and 13. While not a mainstream or regular application. Usually. Filters are normally tuned to just below the offending harmonic. Harmonics injected further upstream are less amplified. Before chasing after the harmonics. Many harmonic problems originate because of resonances with capacitors. equipment operations. If harmonics is the problem source. their size changed. 11-5 . and MVAR = 3-phase MVAR rating of the capacitor. These are available in pole-mounted or pad-mounted configurations. XL MVASC = 3-phase short-circuit MVA at the point where the capacitor is applied. or they may be switched off. therefore. = system impedance at nominal frequency. Larger capacitors lower the resonance point to where it increases the likelihood of causing problems. thus problems can be greatly reduced by disrupting the resonance. Before resorting to filters. capacitors may be moved. the utility-side options are harmonic filters or distribution system changes. and so on. however. 11. Solutions to Harmonics Identifying harmonics is easy to do with an oscilloscope-type meter that measures voltage and current. If a nonlinear load is injecting a harmonic frequency equal to the system’s resonance point. The adjustments are typically easy but may require some trial and error. the utility engineer must make sure that the problem is really caused by the harmonics and not by capacitor fuse operations. Tracing the source of the harmonics is more difficult. The worst conditions are when the harmonic source is right at the capacitor or downstream of the capacitor. especially if a circuit has capacitors. = line-to-ground impedance of one phase of the capacitor bank at nominal frequency. Most of the applications are for industrial use. To disrupt the resonance. as shown in Figure 11-3. tuned filter banks that can be used to filter objectionable harmonics on distribution circuits are available through several manufacturers. the circuit can have overvoltages.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues n XC = order of the harmonic. Common danger frequencies are n=5. it does not require significant changes to move a resonant point enough to reduce the harmonic amplification. other utility-side options could be explored.
care must be taken that the capacitor voltage rating is adequate. especially since over the years. Some key issues are: • Tuning: Tuning a filter slightly below the desired harmonic. A nontuned capacitor adjacent to a filter will resonate with the filter at some frequency. Proper application of harmonic filters with nearby capacitors requires a careful engineering study to ensure that there are no improper interactions between filters and capacitors. rms voltage. In most cases. This is followed by a fast voltage recovery 11-6 . A series-tuned filter is constructed on each phase by placing a choke in series with a shunt capacitor and then tuning the choke so that the inductive and capacitive reactance are equal but opposite at the desired harmonic. adjacent capacitors could have been installed on the same circuit without realizing that there are tuned filters on the circuit. harmonics may be worse than without the filter. If that frequency corresponds to a key frequency (like the 7th harmonic). The fact that kVARs decrease by the square of voltage must also be taken into consideration. • • • Switching Surges Because capacitor voltage cannot change instantaneously. Interaction: Filters improperly applied to existing capacitor banks can cause problems. Voltage Rating: Because a filter capacitor usually experiences 1.3 p.u. helps to reduce capacitor voltage without significantly degrading filter performance. Sizing: Care must be taken to dedicate enough kVAR to the filter. a filter bank is custom-engineered for a given problem. plus significant harmonics. This is a key constraint for distribution applications. for example at the 4.2 to 1. the filter kVAR should be approximately the amount needed for power-factor correction. therefore. energizing a capacitor bank results in an immediate drop in system voltage toward zero.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues Figure 11-3 Tuned Harmonic Filter Filters accomplish two objectives—to correct the power-factor and to shunt one or more harmonic currents to ground.7th instead of the 5th harmonic. must be properly designed. Harmonic filters. Filters with smaller kVAR will have sharp tuning curves and will be easily overloaded by stray harmonics that are present in the network. Normally. Separately designed filters also can interact with each other.
f = 1 2π Ls C = 60 × MVAsc MVAR Eq.1 to1. Switching surges can be magnified inside customer facilities.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues (overshoot) and finally an oscillating transient voltage superimposed on the 60-Hz fundamental waveform. Figure 11-4 Example Capacitor Switching Transient Transient frequencies due to utility capacitor switching usually fall in the range 300-1000 Hz.6 pu. The capacitor’s energizing transient can be magnified when the series combination of a step-down transformer and a lower-voltage capacitor bank cause the energizing transient frequency to be magnified at the lower-voltage capacitor. The conditions for magnification are: • • • C1 >> C2. switching surges range in magnitude from 1. since peak magnitudes are below the level at which utility surge protection (such as 11-7 . 11-3 Typically. Natural frequency of high-voltage and low-voltage circuit is close No significant resistive load in the low-voltage circuit Transient overvoltages resulting from capacitor switching are usually not a significant concern to the utility. These transients can cause malfunctions in some types of sensitive equipment. The magnitude of the transient is based largely on the point on the sine wave at which it is energized and the characteristics of the circuit on which the capacitor is located. Switching surges can also be magnified on certain distribution feeders.
drives normally have sensitive dc bus overvoltage relays. Because the electronics on the dc bus are sensitive to overvoltages.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues arresters) begins to operate. One power quality complaint related to distribution capacitor switching is the shutdown of any adjustable-speed drive (ASD) or other process equipment. capacitor switching surges can cause drives to trip out. The front end of an adjustable-speed drive will rectify the incoming ac to dc voltage. Figure 11-5 Scenario for Magnified Transients Figure 11-6 Example of a Transient Magnified to Individual Customers 11-8 . these transients will pass through step-down transformers to customer loads. The rectifier peak-tracks the incoming ac so that a switching surge will charge up the dc bus. Because of the relatively low frequency. Therefore.
The ASD is sensitive to transient overvoltages on its internal dc bus. O'Leary R. Standard choke sizes are 1. and.. Utility-side solutions to prevent the transient include zero-closing switches or preinsertion resistors or reactors (these close the impedance element between the capacitor and the circuit and then short out the impedance. P. creating the potential to trip nearby ASD on a regular basis. the typical ASD topology. the zero-crossing switch controllers are the only real option for reducing transients. especially the ASD. thus exposure to overvoltages often results in the automatic shutdown of the drive. However. which results in a softer close). the effect on the dc bus voltage. or very close to zero. acts as a peak detector.5. customer equipment. 3. A parametric simulation study of transmission-switched capacitors found that a 3% inductor greatly reduced the number of drive trips. A. The problem is further complicated by the fact that many automated capacitor banks switch frequently. Even though this section focuses on ASD tripping. These controllers time the closing of each switch contact to engage the capacitor at the instant where the system voltage is zero.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues The best local solution is the addition of a series inductor (line reactor) connected to the input terminals on the adjustable-speed drive. can impose voltage transients on the line during switching. In this manner. 11-9 . Adjustable Speed Drive (ADS) Tripping Capacitor banks. An uncharged capacitor closing in at zero volts causes no transient. both at the distribution level and transmission level. all devices that use a dc link bus are susceptible to transients. and 5% impedance on the kVA rating of the ASD. et al. The improvement with the use of a relatively inexpensive and easily applied reactor is obvious. For distribution feeder banks. Figure 11-7 shows a typical ac transient caused by capacitor switching. but a number of transients still can trip some drives (depending on the size of capacitor being switched and many other variables) (Bellei T. finally.). The dc bus voltage is shown for an ASD with and without a reactor (or choke) on the input. ASD manufacturers also express concern regarding the cumulative effect of electrical component overstresses that may not manifest themselves until an outright failure occurs.
Drives and other sensitive equipment can trip for a variety of reasons. The drive could also trip for load-side reasons or because of control problems. On the power systems side. Power quality monitors installed at the drive are the best 11-10 .Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues Figure 11-7 Effect of Capacitor-Switching Transient on the Direct Current Bus of an Adjustable Speed Drive Solutions to Switching Transients Tracking down malfunctions of adjustable speed drives or other electronic equipment can be tricky. voltage sags or swells could trip a drive.
• For line capacitors. in effect. The capacitor is thus pre-charged.m. This device has a limited capacity and is incorporated into the mechanism that drives the main contacts. utility-side option is to use clock controls and switch the capacitor on during off-process times. a 2002 EPRI survey found that only 20% of utilities used synchronous switches. The actual transient produced upon the synchronous closing of a capacitor bank at a typical installation is shown in Figure 11-8. If drive trips occur regularly and those times tend to coincide with typical closing times of capacitors. Two utility-side means of limiting the transient have been successfully employed: • Synchronous Closing: Synchronous closing refers to closing the contacts at a point on the sine wave of extremely little voltage. 8 a. The operation in the synchronous closing mode requires that voltage from the source be available. Pre-Insertion Impedance: The transient may also be reduced by closing the system through an impedance and limiting the current until the main contacts are closed. synchronous closing is the only option. but as long as circuit voltages are still okay. Once a problem is identified as a transient. and they maintain precise position control by the use of voice-coil actuators. and of those. This may increase distribution line losses. This is termed a pre-insertion resistor or pre-insertion inductor. A second inexpensive. service to other customers will not be degraded. finding the offending capacitor is usually straightforward. such as before 5 a. This option can only be applied when each phase can be switched individually. the on switch is most likely to cause a transient. One could also investigate whether the problems are caused by resonances that magnify transients. If so.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues way to verify the power-quality issues. disconnecting one of the capacitors or changing its size will reduce the severity of the transient. 11-11 . For line capacitors. for example. preferably zero. that recurring event is likely a sign of capacitor switching problems. (For most capacitor switches.) A third option is to disable switching on a capacitor unit. The newest synchronous switching schemes employ active feedback to compensate for physical changes. Station capacitor banks have options for either solution. shorted out by main contacts during normal operation. possibly enough to stop malfunction of the drives. most were either on a trial basis or were for targeted areas (EPRI 1001691 2002).m. It is. The best local solution is the addition of a series inductor (line reactor) connected to the input terminals of the ASD.
but the gradual phasing out of open-wire telephone circuits has reduced the number of interference problems. the problem harmonics are either characteristic six-pulse harmonics caused by large converters or 9th and higher multiples of three (i.800 Hz are the most critical. therefore. zero-sequence harmonics are more problematic than positive. The telephone influence factor (TIF) curve shown in Figure 11-9 gives the relative interference weighting that applies to inductively-coupled harmonic currents flowing in power lines. they are the frequencies most likely to cause interference. 11-12 . higher harmonics fall into the low-audio range. they can cause significant interference. that is. zero sequence) caused by transformer saturation. they do not decay as rapidly with distance. This is because a-b-c zerosequence fields are additive.e. The frequencies from 1.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues Figure 11-8 Transient Caused by Synchronous Switching of a Capacitor Telephone Interference Telephone interference has been a harmonics-related concern for many decades. All things being equal. however.and negative-sequence harmonics. Typically. they can be difficult to trace and to fix. When interference problems do occur.. When harmonic currents on power lines inductively couple into nearby phone lines. While the frequency response of the telephone circuit and human ear is largely immune to 60-Hz interference.000 to 3.
Even a small change in voltage can cause noticeable lamp flicker.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues Figure 11-9 Telephone Influence Factor (TIF) Curve Telephone interference problems are usually solved by the telephone company in cooperation with the electric utility involved. as indicated in the classic flicker curves shown in Figure 11-10. Two-bushing capacitor units are necessary for floating the wye point (unless the utility floats the capacitor tanks and deals with the safety issues that accompany that practice). On some circuits. often eliminating the resonance problem. The greatest sensitivity occurs around 900 changes per minute (or 15 changes per second). These curves depict the threshold of human annoyance. Unground the Bank: A floating-wye connection has no connection to ground. one can also move the capacitor away from the telephone circuits having problems. However. which is equivalent to a frequency of 7 to 8 Hz. the reactor can change the zero-sequence resonant frequency of a distribution feeder. Most people will notice 1% and smaller voltage changes that occur in the range of 1 to 33 changes per second (60 to 2000 changes per minute). a tuned reactor in the ground path of a wye-connected capacitor bank is invisible to positive and negative sequences. • • • Voltage Flicker Light flicker is due to rapidly changing loads and generation that cause fluctuation in the secondary voltage. increasing or decreasing the size of a bank can shift the resonance point enough to ease interference problems. Move Bank: Moving a capacitor can change a resonance point enough to stop interference problems. Both incandescent lamps and fluorescent lamps are susceptible to voltage fluctuations. The easiest solution is to disconnect the bank contributing to the problem. Add a Neutral Filter: While not a common solution. The degree of irritation depends on both the frequency and the magnitude of the fluctuations. Solutions are often trial-and-error. This is also a good first step to quantifying the role of the capacitor bank in the interference. so the connection blocks zero-sequence harmonics. The normal solutions are: • Change Size: For problems involving a resonance. The 11-13 .
There is a similar expression for light intensity variations as well. The standards for measuring and limiting lamp flicker are based on the 60-W incandescent lamp. Both incandescent and fluorescent lamps can flicker during voltage fluctuations. 120-V. the change is usually expressed as ∆V/V. with the interpretations primarily governed by point of view. Flicker becomes a problem when some deviation in voltage supplying lighting circuits combines with the presence of a person viewing a change in light intensity resulting from the voltage deviation. especially if the range of repetitive deviation is 5 to 15 Hz. To observers in homes and offices. Only in rare cases does flicker actually cause system operating problems. flicker has historically been deemed a problem of perception. For voltage variations. however. Due to the clear coupling of voltage fluctuations and lamp output changes. The voltage deviations involved are often much less than the thresholds of susceptibility. filament-type lamps. even for the most sensitive electronic equipment. the term flicker often means different things to different people. Because the human factor significantly complicates the issue. In each case. which may or may not be strictly periodic.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues amount of flicker also depends on the type of lamp. Voltage fluctuations can also cause televisions and computer monitors to waver. voltage deviations on the order of 1 to 2% could produce extremely annoying changes in light output. Flicker is a difficult problem to quantify and to solve. Figure 11-10 GE Flicker Curve Annoying lamp flicker can occur when rapid changes in load current cause the power system voltage to fluctuate. incandescent lamp is about 28 ms and the time constant for a 230-V lamp of the 11-14 . is usually expressed as a change relative to the steady-state level. The time constant for a 60-W. In contrast to the behavior of incandescent. fluorescent gaseous discharge lamps have very little thermal inertia—and they respond even faster. the deviation.
Because the IEC does have an effective measurement standard. Flicker prediction and measurement can be challenging. the IEEE working group on flicker recently voted to adopt the IEC standards. on the other hand. fluorescent lamps are usually not amplifying the voltage changes in their corresponding change in light output. However. This is why incandescent lamps are historically the most sensitive and are used to set standards for allowable voltage fluctuations. Also. which was first developed by General Electric in the 1920s. has a time constant of less than 5 ms. A typical fluorescent lamp. The number of this standard is IEC 61000-4-15.Capacitor Bank Power Quality and Reliability Issues same wattage is about 19 ms. 11-15 . The IEEE flicker curve. there is no IEEE standard on how to measure the flicker level in a complex varying voltage. provides a good calibration of the threshold of where voltage fluctuations at a specific frequency will cause visible lamp flicker.
involves reducing line and transformer losses by using intelligent capacitor control to effectively reduce the amount of reactive current flowing in the line. The benefits provided by released capacity are twofold. a utility can save considerable man hours. which generally yields a very fast payback. • • Capital costs for capacitor control systems can vary greatly. if any. releasing line capacity allows more billable energy to be transferred to the customers. existing utility infrastructure can be utilized for the system. Capacity Savings: Also referred to as demand reduction. also referred to as loss reduction. However. Second. releasing line capacity enables the deferral of equipment upgrades. depending on the level of sophistication being employed and what. A utility with no communication system is place. thus dramatically reducing time required in traveling to location and adjusting capacitor-control banks onsite. Operation and Maintenance Savings: Required labor hours can be greatly decreased when upgrading to intelligent. In fact.12 ECONOMICS Utilizing automated. Capacity savings (also referred to as demand reduction) involves improving the line power factor through proper application of capacitors. Improving the power factor releases transmission and generation capacity as well as distribution capacity. First. Since energy is wasted in heating conductors. providing savings in capital costs. a utility can undertake few capital projects that will provide a faster return. some capacitor banks can be taken out of service and used for future installations. For example. it cannot be delivered to the customer nor can its use be billed (thus it generates no revenue). intelligent capacitor bank switching controls provides several channels of return on investment (ROI). The ability to quickly identify and fix failed capacitors also means that fewer capacitors will need to be installed in the system. SCADA control greatly reduces labor costs by enabling the centralization of switching control and monitoring of all capacitor banks. increasing the revenue that the line can generate. By eliminating the need for technicians to travel to capacitor installations to inspect bank functioning every year. Automated capacitor control generates three main areas of cost saving. may opt for a commercially provided 12-1 . Line and transformer losses also contribute to fatigue on line conductors and apparatuses through heating. These include: • Energy Savings: Energy savings. This further means that over time. the level of existing hardware also plays a role in determining the design of the capacitor control system. however. a utility with an extensive 900-MHz radio system in place will likely utilize that system for their capacitor control communications. Additional cost savings come from the ability to remotely monitor capacitor bank status to determine when capacitors fail. This reduces the total line current thus reduces kVA demand. because a very high percentage will be operational all the time. centralized capacitor control via SCADA.
Energy Savings One manner of calculating the energy loss savings from capacitor automation is to first estimate the yearly kWh that each new automated capacitor would save. Even utilities that have a communication network in place may opt for commercially provided communications. it is difficult to provide economic examples that cover the range of variability. Therefore. 12-1 Where Rline = single-phase line resistance in ohms IIND = single-phase load inductive current in amps ICAP = single-phase capacitor current in amps W = 3-phase line real power loss reduction in watts Capacity Savings Capacity savings result from reduction in line current when the capacitor serves the reactive portion of the load current.ICAP2 ] Eq. since it requires no infrastructure maintenance from the utility. kWsave = kW saved when the capacitor is switched on hours/year = the number of hours per year the capacitor operates each year $/kWh = value of avoided energy The yearly loss reduction used in the above equation can by calculated as follows: W = (3*Rline)*[2*IIND*ICAP. 12-2 12-2 . rather than building its own communication network. The saved kWh multiplied by the cost per kWh determines the yearly savings as shown below (Marx 2003): • • • • $saved/year = (kWsave)*(hours/year)*($/kWh) Where. such as a cellular-control channel. Furthermore. The line current with the capacitor bank switched onto the line can be determined from the following equation: ILine = •(Iresistive2 +( ICAP. the first step in determining the capacity savings is to determine the reduction in line current due to the capacitor. real-world capacitor control systems. Since capital costs depend on the type of system being installed and the utility’s existing infrastructure.ICAP2)) Eq.Economics communication system. there are few technical documents within the industry that outline the costs associated with individual.
therefore.Economics Where Iresistive = single-phase load resistive current in amps IIND = single-phase load inductive current in amps ICAP = single-phase capacitor current in amps ILine = single-phase line current in amps The reduction in line demand can be found by comparing the pre-capacitor demand to the postcapacitor demand. then the demand increase would be: 12-3 . it is more difficult to reduce the kVA demand when the power factor is high. kV = the line-to-line voltage Demand = the line demand in kVA A 30% reduction in peak line demand is not uncommon from properly applied switched capacitor banks. per year. Line demand is calculated as follows: Demand = 3*ILine*(kV/•3) Eq.5% per 1% voltage increase. Equation 12-3 does not account for the slight increase in demand from increased line voltage. thereby reducing optimum demand savings. 12-4 For example.5% and the long-term load increases at 0. Marx suggests a typical demand reduction value to be $80/year/kVA. 12-3 Where ILine = single-phase line current in amps: For pre-capacitor demand use pre. When a capacitor switches onto the line. This increase in line demand must also be factored into the final evaluation of cost savings from demand reduction.6 times for each 1% increase of the voltage. The yearly demand savings from the capacitor installation would be. Therefore. then. the demand increase resulting from the capacitor-induced rise in voltage would be calculated as follows: Demand Increase (%) = (% Voltage Increase)*(% Long-Term Load Change) Eq. per kVA.capacitor line current. Demand reduction is affected by the magnitude of the resistive current. based on a 5-year write-off cycle for capital equipment. the peak demand for a diversified load will increase by 1. the demand savings multiplied by the dollar value. it causes the line voltage to increase. increase the line kVA demand. It should also be noted that capacitors that cause a line to go leading. and the long-term average demand will increase 1/3 to 1% for each 1% voltage increase. In a typical model. which creates a corresponding increase in line demand. either intentionally or unintentionally. For post-capacitor demand use post-capacitor line current. so it must be calculated separately and subtracted from the overall reduction. if the voltage increases by 1.
Using these assumptions.Economics Demand Increase = (1.600 km) or more per year to adjust and maintain timed capacitor banks. The potential for man-hour reduction via capacitor automation is huge. Operation and Maintenance Savings In addition to demand and energy savings. Therefore. 3) they would defer the purchase and installation of 110 MVAR of capacitors in the first five years of the project. 12-5 The demand increase due to higher line voltage must be accounted for when calculating the total demand reduction. Estimated Cost Breakdown Kansas City Power & Light (KCPL) has implemented an extensive capacitor automation project than began in the early 1990s. technicians were driving 24. Centralized control also provides positive feedback of capacitor operation which allows failing capacitors to be identified from the control center rather than via field inspection. 1) they would retrofit 600 capacitor banks with programmable controls.75% Eq.5)*(0. A major component of these savings is achieved through elimination of routine capacitor patrols. KCPL developed an economic value added model to help evaluate the costs and benefits associated with upgrading capacitor-control technologies.5) = 0. As part of their capacitor automation project. KCPL made several assumptions. This workload was reduced by approximately 3 man-months in the first year that capacitor automation was implemented (Goodrich 2004). the total demand savings are found by subtracting the demand increase from the yearly demand savings Equation 12-3. and 4) they could eliminate capacitor patrols on automated banks (Goeckeler 1999). including. 2) they would improve average power factor on distribution circuits. As part of their model development. Automated capacitors do not require manual switching by a field technician on a periodic basis. the KCPL engineers estimated the costs and benefits of applying capacitor automation. 12-4 . One utility reported that before enacting a capacitor automation system. as shown in Table 12-1 and Table 12-2. automated capacitor control systems also provide payback through reduced operation and maintenance costs.000 (38.
5% 9. Special communication requirements or other non-standard features can push this cost considerably higher.Economics Table 12-1 Estimated Benefits from Instituting Automated Capacitor Control on the Kansas City Power & Light Distribution Systems Estimated Benefits of Capacitor Automation Benefit Avoided Capacity Cost – Generation Marginal Energy Savings Avoided Capacity Cost – Substation and Distribution Capacitor Banks Avoided Costs Avoided Capacity Cost – Transmission Reduced Operations and Maintenance Controls Salvage Value Percent of Total Benefit 28. Capacitor controller prices generally range from $400 to $800 per controller.5% 8. As Table 12-2 indicates. the greatest portion of the costs associated with implementing capacitor automation tends to be the purchase and installation of the necessary equipment. particularly for very sophisticated control systems. the greatest percentage of savings would come from avoided generation capacity. that figure doesn’t include radio or SCADA infrastructure that may be needed to communicate effectively.6% Source: (Goeckeler 1999) According to KCPL’s estimates in Table 12-1.0% 26.9% 24.3% 11. 12-5 .3% Source: (Goeckeler 1999) Table 12-2 Estimated Cost of Instituting Automated Capacitor Control on the Kansas City Power & Light Distribution Systems Estimated Cost of Capacitor Automation Cost Equipment and Installation Equipment Lease Charges Engineering Software Purchase & Development Percent of Total Cost 58. however.1% 7. This savings was followed very closely by the marginal energy savings associated with moving to the automated capacitor control system.5% 13.3% 8. Switched capacitor banks cost approximately $8/kVAR installed.0% 4.
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