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4MainMeansForTheGenerationOfReactivePower

4 Main Means For The Generation Of Reactive Power

Itsallaboutreactivepower
Thefourmainmeansforthegenerationofreactivepowerare:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Synchronousalternators
Synchronouscompensators(SC)
Staticvarcompensators(SVC)and
Banksofstaticcapacitors

1.Synchronousalternators
Synchronousalternatorsarethemainmachinesusedforthegenerationofelectricalenergy.

Theyareintendedtosupplyelectricalpowertothefinalloadsthroughtransmission
anddistributionsystems.

Besides,withoutgoingintotechnicaldetails,byactingontheexcitationofalternators,itis
possibletovarythevalueofthegeneratedvoltageandconsequentlytoregulatethe
injectionsofreactivepowerintothenetwork,sothatthevoltageprofilesofthesystemcanbe
improvedandthelossesduetojouleeffectalongthelinescanbereduced.
Large 4Pole Generators designed by ALSTOM Power for maximum
reliability, availability and maintainability. The design also takes into
account optimum erection, commissioning, testing and plant layout

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2.Synchronouscompensators
Theyare synchronousmotorsrunningnoloadinsynchronismwiththenetworkandhavingthe
onlyfunctiontoabsorbthereactivepowerinexcess(underexcitedoperation)ortosupply
themissingone(overexcitedoperation).

Figure 1 Underexcited synchronous compensator

Figure 2 Overexcited synchronous compensator

Where:
E=e.m.f.inducedinthestatorphases
V=PhasevoltageimposedbythenetworktothealternatorterminalsI:statorcurrent
Xs=Statorreactance

Thesedevicesareusedmainlyindefinitenodesofthepowertransmissionandsub
transmissionnetworkfortheregulationofvoltagesandofreactivepowerflows.The
useofsynchronouscompensatorsinpowerdistributionnetworksisnotfavourable
fromaneconomicpointofviewbecauseoftheirhighinstallationandmaintenance
costs.

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3.Staticvarcompensators
Theconsiderabledevelopmentofpowerelectronicsisencouragingthereplacementof
synchronouscompensatorswithstaticsystemsforthecontrolofthereactivepowersuchas
forexampleTSC(thyristorswitchedcapacitors)andTCR(thyristorcontrolledreactors).

Figure 3 TSC (thyristor switched capacitors) and TCR (thyristor controlled


reactors)

Theseareanelectronicversionofthereactivepowercompensationsystemsbasedon
electromechanicalcomponentsinwhich,however,theswitchingofthevariouscapacitorsisnot
carriedoutthroughtheopeningandclosingofsuitablecontactors,butthroughthecontrolcarried
outbycouplesofantiparalleltyristors.

TSCallowastepbystepcontrolofthereactivepowerdeliveredbygroupsof
capacitors,whereaswithTCRacontinuouscontrolofthereactivepowerdrawnbythe
inductorsispossible.BycouplingaTSCwithaTCRitispossibletoobtaina
continuousmodulatedregulationofthedelivered/drawnreactivepower.

Fromthepointofviewofapplications,thesedevicesareusedaboveallinhighandveryhigh
voltagenetworks.
Chenier Static VAR Compensator Substation 735 kV by ABB / Hydro
Quebec

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4.Banksofstaticcapacitors

Acapacitorisapassivedipoleconsistingoftwoconductingsurfacescalledplates,isolatedfrom
oneanotherbyadielectricmaterial.

Figure 4 Bank of static capacitor

Thesystemthusobtainedisimpregnatedtopreventthepenetrationofhumidityorofgaspockets
whichcouldcauseelectricaldischarges.
Thelastgenerationcapacitorsaredrytypeandundergoaspecifictreatmentwhichimprovetheir
electricalcharacteristics.Usingdrytypecapacitorsthereisnoriskofpollutionbecauseofthe
incidentalleakoftheimpregnatingsubstance.
Accordingtothegeometryofthemetalplates,itispossibletohave:
Planecapacitors
Cylindricalcapacitors
Sphericalcapacitors.

Figure 5 Capacitor types (plane, cylindrical and spherical)

The4mainparameterswhichcharacterizeacapacitorare:
1. TheratedcapacitanceCthevalueobtainedfromtheratedvaluesofpower,voltageand
frequencyofthe

capacitor
2. TheratedpowerQnthereactivepowerforwhichthecapacitorhasbeendesigned
3. TheratedvoltageUnther.m.s.valueofthealternatingvoltageforwhichthecapacitor
hasbeendesigned
4. Theratedfrequencyfnthefrequencyforwhichthecapacitorhasbeendesigned.
Whenanalternatingvoltageisappliedacrosstheplates,thecapacitorissubjectedtochargeand
dischargecycles,duringwhichitstoresreactiveenergy(capacitorcharge)andinjectssuch
energyintothecircuittowhichitisconnected(capacitordischarge).
Suchenergyisgivenbythefollowingrelation:

where:
Cisthecapacitance
Uisthevoltageappliedtotheterminalsofthecapacitor.

Becauseoftheircapabilityofstoringanddeliveringenergy,capacitorsareusedas
basicelementfortherealizationofpowerfactorcorrectionbanks(forallvoltage
levels)andofstaticdevicesfortheregulationofreactivepower.

Inparticular,thepowerfactorcorrectioncapacitorsusedforlowvoltageapplicationsare
constitutedbysinglephasecomponentsofmetalizedpolypropylenefilmandcanbeof
theselfhealingtype.
Inthesecapacitors,thedielectricpartdamagedbyadischargeiscapableofselfrestoringinfact,
whensuchsituationsoccur,thepartofthepolypropylenefilmaffectedbythedischarge
evaporatesduetothethermaleffectcausedbythedischargeitself,thusrestoringthedamaged
part.
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Reference//PowerfactorcorrectionandharmonicfilteringinelectricalplantsABB