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Shunt Reactors | Power Transformer

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The
need for large shunt reactors appeared when long
power transmission lines for system voltage
220
kV & higher were built. The characteristic
parameters of a line are the series inductance
(due
to the magnetic field around the conductors) & the
shunt capacitance (due to the electrostatic field
to earth). An equivalent diagram for a line is
show in the figure below
Both the inductance & the capacitance are
distributed along the length of the line. So
are the series
resistance and the admittance
to earth. When the line is loaded, there is a
voltage drop along the
line due to the series
inductance and the series resistance. When the
line is energized but not
loaded or only loaded
with a small current, there is a voltage rise
along the line (the Ferrantieffect)

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In this situation, the capacitance


to earth draws a current through the line, which
may be
capacitive. When a capacitive current
flows through the line inductance there will
be a voltage rise
along the line.
To stabilize the line voltage the line inductance
can be compensated by means of series capacitors
and the line capacitance to earth by shunt reactors.
Series capacitors are placed at different places

along the line while shunt reactors are often


installed in the stations at the ends of line.
In this
way, the voltage difference between the
ends of the line is reduced both in amplitude
and in phase
angle.
Shunt reactors may also be connected to the
power system at junctures where several lines
meet
or to tertiary windings of transformers.
Transmission cables have much higher capacitance
to earth than overhead lines. Long submarine
cables for system voltages of 100 KV and more
need shunt reactors. The same goes for large
urban networks to prevent excessive voltage rise
when a high load suddenly falls out due to a
failure.
Shunt reactors contain the same components as
power transformers, like windings, core, tank,
bushings and insulating oil and are suitable
for manufacturing in transformer factories. The
main
difference is the reactor core limbs, which
have non-magnetic gaps inserted between packets
of
core steel.
Figure shows a design of a single-phase shunt
reactor. The half to the right is a picture of
the
magnetic field. The winding encloses the
mid-limb with the non-magnetic gaps. A frame
of core
steel encloses the winding and provides
the return path for the magnetic field.
3-phase reactors can also be made. These may
have 3- or -5-limbed cores. In a 3-limbed core
there is strong magnetic coupling between the
three phases, while in a 5-limbed core the phases
are magnetically independent due to the enclosing
magnetic frame formed by the two yokes and
the
two unwound side-limbs.

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Shunt Reactors | Power Transformer


The neutral of shunt reactor may be directly earthed,
earthed through an Earthing-reactor or
unearthed.

When the reactor


neutral is directly earthed, the winding are
normally designed with graded
insulation in the
earthed end. The main terminal is at the middle
of the limb height, & the
winding
consists of two parallel-connected halves,
one below & one above the main terminal.
The insulation
distance to the yokes can then
be made relatively small. Sometimes a small extra
winding for local
electricity supply is inserted
between the main winding & yoke.

When energized the gaps are exposed to large pulsation


compressive forced with a frequency of
twice the
frequency of the system voltage. The peak value
of these forces may easily amount to
106 N/m2 (100
ton /m2). For this reason the design of the core
must be very solid, & the modulus
of elasticity
of the non-magnetic (& non-metallic) material
used in gaps must be high (small
compression) in
order to avoid large vibration amplitudes with
high sound level consequently. The
material in
the gaps must also be stable to avoid escalating
vibration amplitudes in the end.
Testing of reactors requires capacitive power
in the test field equal to the nominal power
of the
reactor while a transformer can be tested
with a reactive power equal to 10 20%
of the
transformer power rating by feeding the
transformer with nominal current in short circuit
condition.
The loss in the various parts of the reactor
(12R, iron loss & additional loss) cannot
be separated by
measurement. It is thus preferable,
in order to avoid corrections to reference temperature,
to
perform the loss measurement when the average
temperature of the winding is practically equal
to
the reference temperature.
When specifying
shunt reactors for enquiry, the following data
should be given:
Reactive
power, Q
Rated voltage, U
Maximum continuous operating voltage
Insulation level LI, SI
Frequency, Hz
AC test voltages
Permissible temperature rise for oil & winding
Sound level & linearity criteria, if
required
Type of cooling, fan, pump, radiators
Peripheral features, if required
Safety & monitoring equipment
Loss capitalization
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