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Whyitsimportanttoknowwhichtypeofpower

factorcorrectiontouse

Whyitsimportanttoknowwhichtypeofpowerfactorcorrectiontouse(onphoto:300KVARautomaticpowerfactorcorrection
(APFC)panelcreditto:eamfco.com)

Practicalandeconomicalfeasibility
Itsimportanttounderstandwherethecapacitorsaretobeinstalledforabetter
exploitationofsuchadvantages.Therearenogeneralrulesapplicabletoeverytypeof
installationand,intheory,capacitorscanbeinstalledatanypoint,butitisnecessaryto
evaluatetherelevantpracticalandeconomicalfeasibility.

Accordingtothelocationmodalitiesofthecapacitors,themainmethodsof
powerfactorcorrectionare:
1. Distributedpowerfactorcorrection
2. Grouppowerfactorcorrection
3. Centralizedpowerfactorcorrection

4. Combinedpowerfactorcorrection
5. Automaticpowerfactorcorrection
Now,letssayawordabouteachofabovelistedmethods

1.Distributedpowerfactorcorrection
Distributedpowerfactorcorrectionisachievedbyconnectingacapacitorbankproperly
sizeddirectlytotheterminalsoftheloadwhichdemandsreactivepower.

Theinstallationissimpleandinexpensive.Capacitorandloadcanusethe
sameprotectivedevicesagainstovercurrentsandareconnectedand
disconnectedsimultaneously.

Thistypeofpowerfactorcorrectionisadvisableinthecaseoflargeelectricalequipment
withconstantloadandpowerandlongconnectiontimesanditisgenerallyusedfor
motorsandfluorescentlamps.

Figure1Commonconnectiondiagramsforthepowerfactorcorrectionofmotors

Figure1aboveshowsthecommonconnectiondiagramsforthepowerfactorcorrection
ofmotors.Letsexplaineachofthecasesfromconnectiondiagrams.
Incaseofdirectconnection(diagrams1and2),thefollowingriskmayberun:after
thedisconnectionfromthesupply,themotorwillcontinuetorotate(residualkinetic
energy)andselfexcitewiththereactiveenergydrawnfromthecapacitorbank,andmay
turnintoanasynchronousgenerator.Inthiscase,thevoltageontheloadsideofthe
switchingandcontroldeviceismaintained,withtheriskofdangerousovervoltages(upto
twicetheratedvoltagevalue).
Whenusingdiagram3,thecompensationbankisconnectedonlyafterthemotorhas
beenstartedanddisconnectedinadvancewithrespecttotheswitchingoffofthemotor
supply.Withthistypeofpowerfactorcorrectionthenetworkonthesupplysideofthe

loadworkswithahighpowerfactorontheotherhand,thissolutionresultseconomically
onerous.
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2.Grouppowerfactorcorrection
Itconsistsinimprovinglocallythepowerfactorofgroupsofloadshavingsimilar
functioningcharacteristicsbyinstallingadedicatedcapacitorbank.
Thisisthemethodreachingacompromisebetweentheinexpensivesolutionandthe
propermanagementoftheinstallationsincethebenefitsderivingfrompowerfactor
correctionshallbefeltonlybythelineupstreamthepointwherethecapacitorbankis
located.

Figure2Connectiondiagramofgrouppowerfactor
correction

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3.Centralizedpowerfactorcorrection
Theprofileofloadsconnectedduringthedayhasaprimaryimportanceforthechoiceof
themostconvenienttypeofpowerfactorcorrection.

Figure3Centralizedpowerfactorcorrection

Forinstallationswithmanyloads,wherenotalltheloadsfunction
simultaneouslyand/orsomeloadsareconnectedforjustafewhoursaday,it
isevidentthatthesolutionofdistributedpowerfactorcorrection
becomestoooneroussincemanyoftheinstalledcapacitorsstayidlefora
longtime.

Thereforetheuseofonecompensationsystemonlylocatedattheoriginofthe
installationallowsaremarkablereductionofthetotalpoweroftheinstalledcapacitors.
Incentralizedpowerfactorcorrectionautomaticassembliesarenormallyused(seebelow
automaticpowerfactorcorrection)withbanksdividedintosteps,installeddirectlyin
themaindistributionboards.Theuseofapermanentlyconnectedbankispossible
onlyiftheabsorptionofreactiveenergyisquiteconstantalldaylong.
Thecentralizedsolutionallowsanoptimizationofthecostsofthecapacitorbank,
butpresentsthedisadvantagethatthedistributionlinesontheloadsideofthe
powerfactorcorrectiondeviceshallbesizedkeepingintoaccountthefull
reactivepowerabsorbedbytheloads.
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4.Combinedpowerfactorcorrection
Thissolutionderivesfromacompromisebetweenthetwosolutionsofdistributed
andcentralizedpowerfactorcorrectionanditexploitstheadvantagestheyoffer.

Insuchway,thedistributedcompensationisusedforhighpower
electricalequipmentandthecentralizedmodalityfortheremainingpart.

Combinedpowerfactorcorrectionisprevailinglyusedininstallationswherelarge
equipmentonlyarefrequentlyusedinsuchcircumstancestheirpowerfactoriscorrected
individually,whereasthepowerfactorofsmallequipmentiscorrectedbythecentralized
modality.
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5.Automaticpowerfactorcorrection
Inmostinstallationsthereisnotaconstantabsorptionofreactivepowerforexampledue
toworkingcyclesforwhichmachineswithdifferentelectricalcharacteristicsareused.

ABBspowerfactormonitoring,typeDynacomp

Insuchinstallationstherearesystemsforautomaticpowerfactorcorrection
which,thankstoamonitoringvarmetricdeviceandapowerfactor
regulator,allowtheautomaticswitchingofdifferentcapacitorbanks,thus
followingthevariationsoftheabsorbedreactivepowerandkeepingconstant
thepowerfactoroftheinstallationconstant.

Anautomaticcompensationsystemisformedby:
Somesensorsdetectingcurrentandvoltagesignals
Anintelligentunitwhichcomparesthemeasuredpowerfactorwiththedesiredone
andoperatestheconnectionanddisconnectionofthecapacitorbankswiththe
necessaryreactivepower(powerfactorregulator)
Anelectricpowerboardcomprisingswitchingandprotectiondevices
Somecapacitorbanks.

Automaticpowerfactorcorrectionpanel(photocredit:eamfco.com)

Tosupplyapowerasnearaspossibletothedemandedone,theconnectionofthe
capacitorsisimplementedstepbystepwithacontrolaccuracywhichwillbethegreater
themorestepsareforeseenandthesmallerthedifferenceisbetweenthem.
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Reference//PowerfactorcorrectionandharmonicfilteringinelectricalplantsABB