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Submitted by ;
Sandeep kerketta
Roll no.-0301101087
Electrical engineering

(1) Introduction
(2) Configurations
(3) Design
(4) Operation
(5) Protection
(6) Conclusions


Shunt capacitor banks (SCB) are mainly installed to provide

capacitive reactive compensation/power factor correction.


They are installed near the load terminals, in factory substations,

in the receiving substations to provide leading volt-amperereactive.
By using shunt capacitors line drop is reduced and the voltage
regulation is improved.
They are switched in when kVA demand on the distribution
system rises and voltage of bus drops.


1. Improvement of the voltage at the load.
2. voltage regulation.
3. reduction of losses
4. Maximize system capacity



The main disadvantage of SCB is that its reactive power output is

proportional to the square of the voltage and consequently when
the voltage is low and the system need them most, they are the
least efficient.

Fig1. Single line diagram of SCB

Fig 2. High voltage shunt capacitor


The Capacitor Unit

The capacitor unit, Fig. 3, is the building block of a

shunt capacitor bank.
The capacitor unit is made up of individual capacitor
elements, arranged in parallel/ series connected
groups, within a steel enclosure. The internal
discharge device is a resistor that reduces the unit
residual voltage to 50V or less in 5 min.

Fig3. capacitor bank

Capacitor unit capabilities



Relay protection of shunt capacitor banks requires some

knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of the capacitor unit
and associated electrical equipment including: individual capacitor
unit, bank switching devices, fuses, voltage and current sensing
Capacitors are intended to be operated at or below their rated
voltage and frequency as they are very sensitive to these values;
the reactive power generated by a capacitor is proportional to
both of them.

Bank Configurations
1. The use of fuses for protecting the capacitor units and it location is
an important subject in the design of SCBs.
2. They also affect the failure mode of the capacitor unit and
influence the design of the bank protection.

Depending on the application any of the following configurations

are suitable for shunt capacitor banks:
(1) externally fused
(2) internally fused
(3) fuseless shunt capacitor bank
(4)unfused shunt capacitor bank

Externally Fused
1. An individual fuse, externally mounted between the capacitor unit and the
capacitor bank fuse bus, typically protects each capacitor unit.
2. The capacitor unit can be designed for a relatively high voltage because
the external fuse is capable of interrupting a high-voltage fault.
3. A failure of a capacitor element welds the foils together and short circuits
the other capacitor elements connected in parallel in the same group.
4. The remaining capacitor elements in the unit remain in service with a
higher voltage across them than before the failure and an increased in
capacitor unit current.
5. If a second element fails the process repeats itself resulting in an even
higher voltage for the remaining elements.
6. Successive failures within the same unit will make the fuse to operate,
disconnecting capacitor unit and indicating the failed one.

Fig4. Externally fused shunt capacitor bank

Internally Fused
1. Each capacitor element is fused inside the capacitor unit.
2. . Upon a capacitor element failure, the fuse removes the affected element
only. The other elements, connected in parallel in the same group, remain
in service but with a slightly higher voltage across them.
3.. Banks employing internally fused capacitor units are configured with
fewer capacitor units in parallel and more series groups of units
than are used in banks employing externally fused capacitor units

Fig 5. Internally fused SCB

Fuseless Shunt Capacitor Banks

The capacitor units for fuseless capacitor banks are identical to those for
externally fused described above. To form a bank, capacitor units are
connected in series strings between phase
and neutral, shown in Fig. 6.
The protection is based on the capacitor elements failing thus shortcircuiting the group. When the capacitor element fails it welds and the
capacitor unit remains in service. The voltage across the failed
capacitor element is then shared among all the remaining capacitor
element groups in the series.
The discharge energy is small because no capacitor units
are connected directly in parallel. Another advantage of
fuseless banks is that the unbalance protection does not
have to be delayed to coordinate with the fuses

Fig 6. Fuseless SCB

Unfused Shunt Capacitor Banks

Contrary to the fuseless configuration, where the units are
connected in series, the unfused shunt capacitor bank uses a
series/parallel connection of the capacitor units. The unfused
approach would normally be used on banks below 34.5 kV,
where series strings of capacitor units are not practical, or on
higher voltage banks with modest parallel energy. This
design does not require as many capacitor units in parallel as
an externally fused bank.


The protection of shunt capacitor banks requires understanding the

basics of capacitor bank design and capacitor unit connections. The
capacitors banks are arrangements of series/paralleled connected
units. Capacitor units connected in paralleled make up a group and
series connected groups form a single-phase capacitor bank.

When a capacitor bank unit fails, other capacitors in the same parallel
group contain some amount of charge. This charge will drain off as a high
frequency transient current that flows through the failed capacitor unit and
its fuse. The fuse holder and the failed capacitor unit should withstand this
discharge transient.

The optimum connection for a SCB depends on the best utilization of the
available voltage ratings of capacitor units,fusing, and protective
relaying.Virtually all substation banks are connected wye.
various types of SCB designs are:
(1) Grounded wye-connection banks
(2) Underground wye-connection banks
(3) Delta connected banks

Grounded Wye-Connected Banks

Grounded wye capacitor banks are composed of series and
parallel-connected capacitor units per phase and provide a
low impedance path to ground. Fig. 7 shows typical bank

Fig. 7 - Grounded Wye Shunt Capacitor Banks

Advantages of the grounded capacitor banks include:

1. Its low-impedance path to ground provides inherent self-protection for
lightning surge currents and give some protection from surge voltages.
2. Offer a low impedance path for high frequency currents and so they
can be used as filters in systems with high harmonic content.
3. Reduced transient recovery voltages for circuit breakers and other
switching equipment

Some drawbacks for grounded wye SCB are:

1. Increased interference on telecom circuits due to harmonic circulation
2. Circulation of inrush currents and harmonics may cause
misoperation of protective relays and fuses

Ungrounded Wye-Connected Banks

1. Ungrounded wye banks do not permit zero sequence
currents, third harmonic currents, or large capacitor
discharge currents during system ground faults to flow.
2. Overvoltage appearing at the CT secondaries are not as
high as in the case of grounded banks. However, the neutral
should be insulated for full line voltage because it is
momentarily at phase potential when the bank is switched or
when one capacitor unit fails in a bank configured with a
single group of units.

Fig. 8 - Ungrounded Wye Shunt Capacitor Banks

Delta-connected Banks

Delta-connected banks are generally used only at distributions voltages

and are configured with a single series group of capacitors rated at lineto-line voltage.
2.With only one series group of units no overvoltage occurs across the
remaining capacitor units from the isolation of a faulted capacitor unit.


The protection of SCBs involves:
a) protection of the bank against faults occurring within the bank including
those inside the capacitor unit
b) protection of the bank against system disturbances and faults.
Relay based protection schemes that provide alarm to indicate an
unbalance within the bank and initiate a shutdown of the bank in case of faults
that may lead to catastrophic failures ..

Capacitor Unbalance Protection

1. The protective elements found in a SCB for internal faults are: individual
fuses, unbalance protection to provide alarm/ trip and overcurrent
elements for bank fault protection.
2. Removal of a failed capacitor element or unit by its fuse results in an
increase in voltage across the remaining elements/ units causing an
unbalance within the bank.
3. Unbalance protection normally senses changes associated with the
failure of a capacitor element or unit and removes the bank from service
when the resulting overvoltage becomes excessive on the remaining
healthy capacitor units.
4.Unbalance protection normally provides primary protection for arcing faults
within a capacitor bank and other abnormalities that may damage
capacitor units

5. The unbalance protection should have minimum intentional delay

in order to minimize the amount of damage to the bank in the event
of external arcing.

6. The need for sensitive resulted in the development of unbalance

protection where certain voltages or currents parameters of the capacitor
bank are monitored and compared to the bank balance conditions.
7. Capacitor unbalance protection is provided in many different ways,
depending on the capacitor bank arrangement and grounding.

Protection of the SCB Against

System Disturbances and Faults
System Overvoltage Protection
The capacitor bank may be subjected to overvoltages resulting from
abnormal system operating conditions. If the system voltage exceeds
the capacitor capability the bank should be removed from service. The
removal of the capacitor bank lowers the voltage in the vicinity of the
bank reducing the overvoltage on other system equipment. Time
delayed or inverse time delayed phase overvoltage relays are used.

Relays for Bank Closing Control

Once disconnected from the system a shunt capacitor bank cannot be reinserted immediately due to the electrical charge trapped within the capacitor
units, otherwise catastrophic damage to the circuit breaker or switch can occur.
To accelerate the discharge of the bank, each individual capacitor unit has a
resistor to discharge the trapped charges within 5min.

The protection of shunt capacitor banks uses simple, well known relaying
principles such as overvoltage, overcurrents.
Unbalance is the most important protection in a shunt capacitor
bank, as it provides fast and effective protection to assure a long and
reliable life for the bank. To accomplish its goal, unbalance protection
requires high degree of sensitivity that might be difficult to achieve.