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Where to install power factor correction capacitors?

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General rules of electrical installation design
Connection to the MV utility distribution network
Connection to the LV utility distribution network
MV and LV architecture selection guide
LV Distribution
Protection against electric shocks
Sizing and protection of conductors
LV switchgear: functions and selection
Overvoltage protection
Energy Efficiency in electrical distribution
Power Factor Correction
Power harmonics management
Characteristics of particular sources and loads
PhotoVoltaic (PV) installation
Residential and other special locations
ElectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

Global compensation

(see Fig. L13)

Where a load is continuous and stable, global compensation can be applied

Principle
The capacitor bank is connected to the busbars of the main LV distribution board for the installation, and remains in service during the period of normal load.

Advantages
The global type of compensation:

  • Reduces the tariff penalties for excessive consumption of kvars
  • Reduces the apparent power kVA demand, on which standing charges are usually based
  • Relieves the supply transformer, which is then able to accept more load if necessary

Comments
Reactive current still flows in all conductors of cables leaving (i.e. downstream of) the main LV distribution board

  • For the above reason, the sizing of these cables, and power losses in them, are not improved by the global mode of compensation.

FigL13.jpg

Fig. L13: Global compensation



Compensation by sector

(see Fig. L14)

Compensation by sector is recommended when the installation is extensive, and where the load/time patterns differ from one part of
the installation to another

Principle

Capacitor banks are connected to busbars of each local distribution board, as shown in Figure L14.
A significant part of the installation benefits from this arrangement, notably the feeder cables from the main distribution board to each of the local distribution boards at which the compensation measures are applied.
Advantages
The compensation by sector:

  • Reduces the tariff penalties for excessive consumption of kvars
  • Reduces the apparent power kVA demand, on which standing charges are usually based
  • Relieves the supply transformer, which is then able to accept more load if necessary
  • The size of the cables supplying the local distribution boards may be reduced, or will have additional capacity for possible load increases
  • Losses in the same cables will be reduced

Comments

  • Reactive current still flows in all cables downstream of the local distribution boards
  • For the above reason, the sizing of these cables, and the power losses in them, are not improved by compensation by sector
  • Where large changes in loads occur, there is always a risk of overcompensation and consequent overvoltage problems

FigL14.jpg

Fig. L14: Compensation by sector



Individual compensation

Individual compensation should be considered when the power of motor is significant with respect to power of the installation

Principle
Capacitors are connected directly to the terminals of inductive circuit. Individual compensation should be considered when the power of the motor is significant with respect to the declared power requirement (kVA) of the installation.
The kvar rating of the capacitor bank is in the order of 25% of the kW rating of the motor. Complementary compensation at the origin of the installation (transformer) may also be beneficial.

Advantages

Individual compensation:

  • Reduces the tariff penalties for excessive consumption of kvars
  • Reduces the apparent power kVA demand
  • Reduces the size of all cables as well as the cable losses

Comments

  • Significant reactive currents no longer exist in the installation