Reactive Power Compensation

Topics: Alternating current, Electrical engineering, Electric power transmission Pages: 3 (881 words) Published: February 24, 2013


Except in a very few special situations, electrical energy is generated, transmitted, distributed, and utilized as alternating current (AC). However, alternating current has several distinct disadvantages. One of these is the necessity of reactive power that needs to be supplied along with active power. Reactive power can be leading or lagging. While it is the active power that contributes to the energy consumed, or transmitted, reactive power does not contribute to the energy. Reactive power is an inherent part of the ‘‘total power.’’ Reactive power is either generated or consumed in almost every component of the system, generation, transmission, and distribution and eventually by the loads. The impedance of a branch of a circuit in an AC system consists of two components, resistance and reactance.Reactance can be either inductive or capacitive, which contribute to reactive power in the circuit. Most of the loads are inductive, and must be supplied with lagging reactive power.


Reactive power flow is needed in an alternating-current transmission system to support the transfer of real power over the network. In alternating current circuits, energy is stored temporarily in inductive and capacitive elements, which can result in the periodic reversal of the direction of energy flow. The portion of power flow remaining, after being averaged over a complete AC waveform, is the real power; that is, energy that can be used to do work (for example overcome friction in a motor, or heat an element). On the other hand, the portion of power flow that is temporarily stored in the form of magnetic or electric fields, due to inductive and capacitive network elements, and then returned to source, is known as reactive power.AC connected devices that store energy in the form of a magnetic field include inductive devices called reactors,...
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