In most industrial and commercial facilities the major share of the electric equipment is an inductive load: asynchronous motors, induction ovens, transformers and lamp with ballasts. Problems of power quality in industrial plants are growing due to the increased number of motors controlled by rectifiers, and a general increase in harmonics and interharmonics. Such loads are the cause of low power factor of industrial enterprises. A low power factor indicates inefficient use of power and increases the overall electricity costs. These problems are solved by the proper selection of capacitor units for reactive power compensation.
If the enterprise’s power factor is low, it consumes more power than it is necessary for the job. Low power factor should be corrected, as it significantly increases the costs of the enterprise. Typically, the most economical means to improve the power factor is to install the RPC (Capacitor units).
Reactive Power Compensation – a term which refers to the technology that has been used since the early 20th century to restore the power factor to a value as close to one as possible. This is usually achieved by connecting capacitors to a network which compensates the reactive power consumption by inductive loads and thus reduces the load on the source. At the same time there should be no impact on the operation of the equipment.
For the capacitor unit in the enterprise it is essential to select the best type, denomination and the number of capacitators.
There are 4 ways to install capacitors:
• Option 1: The capacitor on the load
• Option 2: Non-adjustable capacitor bank
• Option 3: Automatic capacitor bank
• Option 4: The combination of options
Equipment and solutions
The group of companies ASAPE ENERGIA OÜ, founded in 2011, is a leader in the production of capacitator units and equipment for reactive power compensation in networks of low and medium voltage in Estonia. Our manufacturer makes capacitator units of RPC series, CUP58, CUP63, ACU, FRPC and others.
ASAPE ENERGIA OÜ has a production area of more than 2000 square meters. m, covering all stages of the production cycle: incoming inspection of components, manufacture of capacitor modules, the production of block-containers (sandwich) insulation, winding antiresonant throttles, the assembly of the finished product – the capacitor bank.
For high-quality products and ensuring its trouble-free operation in the most demanding conditions, the entire process is carefully controlled.
Services of calculating, selection and maintenance of the existing capacitator installations
For many companies, energy costs account for a significant part of the cost, and a portion of these costs is associated with reactive power. All utility companies charge an extra fee if the customer consumes reactive power in excess of the set limit.
Thus, at the present time it is very important the use reactive power compensation systems. The system should be designed correctly and match the desired power. Properly selected capacitor installation allows significant savings: equipment for reactive power compensation often pays off within a year.
But we should not forget about the RPC systems installed a few years ago. It is very important to control their technical condition, as if you do not keep them in working condition, they may “lose power”, which could lead to penalties. With proper maintenance you can avoid unnecessary expenditures and increased losses in the cables and transformers, which leads to premature depreciation.
Кроме того, важно правильно обслуживать оборудование и использовать только оригинальные запасные части, поскольку изношенные или некачественные конденсаторы способны взрываться, что может привести к повреждению оборудования, остановке производства из-за срабатывания защит и даже к пожару.
In addition, it is important to maintain the equipment and use only original spare parts, as worn or substandard capacitors can explode, which may cause damage to the equipment, production stop due to safety drops, and even a fire.
•an audit of existing capacitor units
•analysis of the processes in the control system of the enterprise and the development of measures to optimize its mode
•start-up and commissioning of the new condensing units
•power quality analysis in electrical installations of low medium voltage
•preventative maintenance of power factor compensation systems
•reconstruction of old facilities
The quality of the capacitator units
The system of quality management of ASAPE ENERGIA OÜ is certified according to ISO 9001 since 2011. We take an active part in the work of standards committees, developing provisions for reactive power compensation for the industry. This ensures that we are always aware of the latest changes in regulatory requirements – or rather know about them in advance.
Equipment produced by ASAPE ENERGIA OÜ is tested both in our own, and in the largest independent internationally recognized testing laboratories, which guarantees compliance with the most stringent quality standards.
Benefits of power factor compensation
Power generation and transmission companies force local suppliers that distribute electricity to apply penalties to consumers who have high consumption with the average consumption of less than cos φ 0.9. Maintaining sufficient power factor allows customers to avoid the penalties, which are not always reflected in the electricity bill, and are often paid by the end user, who is not even aware of it.
Industrial sites are highly exposed to harmonic currents generated by inverters and other semiconductor transducers, computers, discharge lamps, adjustable electric drives, etc. Harmonics greatly affect the operation of the capacitors used in condensing units, and they gradually lose their properties. This leads to a gradual reduction of cos φ, which may fall below the target value of 0.9. As a result, it can lead to significant fines after some time.
Condenser installations produced by ASAPE ENERGIA OÜ have a lot of control steps that will accurately adjust cos φ – up to 19 combinations are possible!
A large number of steps also reduces the load on the mechanical and electrical parts, for example, by eliminating the “swing” – a phenomenon characteristic of the capacitor units with a small number of stages. The capacitor bank with a large number of control steps allows to set the desired cos φ at low loads, as well as with strong fluctuations in the reactive power demand.
New electronic controllers NOVAR and LOVATO ELECTRIC DCRL (DCRG) allow to guarantee compliance with the specified cos φ even in the worst conditions possible in the enterprise. Moreover, thanks to advanced diagnostic capabilities it is possible to check power factor and many other indicators (data, alerts) weekly, including the remote check, which makes the maintenance and control of the state of the capacitor bank much easier.
Capacitor units with antiresonant throttles FRPC
Power factor correction systems FRPC got new features and designs.
New electrical characteristics:
•series FRPC and EURO FRPC with antiresonant throttles
•lowest step of regulation 5 kVAr
•new options: circuit breaker or load breaker instead of the usual load switch.
New design features:
• metal casings made of galvanized steel, consisting of racks and removable panels
• complete with shelves: increase of rigidity of construction and availability of spare parts
• additional space, which simplifies the connection of cables.
Capacitor installations with high-speed (static) thyristors TRPC, TFRPC
Capacitor installations with static contactors are often the only option suitable for networks with an extensive load fluctuation (milliseconds).
The main advantages of systems with static contactors:
• instant reaction to the change in the necessary compensating power
• absence of electromagnetic drive: complete absence of moving parts and mechanical parts allows to increase the allowed number of trips and reduce maintenance costs
• the absence of transient processes in circuits with commutated capacitors makes it possible to minimize such phenomena as flicker, interference, and voltage drop.