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Power Factor and Harmonics


Technical Document
Copyright 1987. All rights reserved by ROBICON CORPORATION, 500 Hunt Valley Drive, New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Reproduction or use without the express permission of ROBICON CORPORATION is prohibited. Part 1 Power Factor and Harmonics Power Factor and Harmonics are topics which generate as much confusion and misunderstanding as any two. Its common knowledge that high power factor is good and that harmonics are bad, but how good is good and how bad is bad and what are they really all about? The widespread use of high power semiconductor equipment has tended to bring both power factor and harmonic considerations under closer scrutiny by the electric utility companies. Poor power factors may result in increased demand charges, and harmonics may have to be controlled by the user of the equipment generating them. Harmonics in power systems are nothing new, but the widespread use of sophisticated data processing and instrumentation equipment has raised the level of interference problems. Power factor and harmonics can be considered separately, but they are very much interdependent when considering power factor improvement in the presence of harmonics or filtering of harmonics. This paper will begin by examining the basics of power factor. Consider the most elementary single phase circuit a sinusoidal voltage feeding a purely resistive load. Add an ammeter, voltmeter and wattmeter for quantitative measurements. When an oscilloscope is added for examining the waveforms, current and voltage are shown to be in phase. The power flowing in this circuit is the instantaneous product of the voltage and current. In a resistive circuit, the voltage/ current product is always positive. Positive voltage times positive current is positive and negative voltage times negative current is positive. The instantaneous power has an offset sinusoidal waveform at twice the line frequency. Our wattmeter reads the average value of this waveform which is just equal to the offset level, and the wattmeter reading agrees with the product of Erms and Irms as measured by the voltmeter and ammeter. Ohms Law holds. Volts times amperes equals watts. Everything worked as expected. Replace the resistor with an inductor and take the same measurements. Assume this inductor draws the same amount of current as the resistor. According to the voltmeter and ammeter, nothing has changed. The oscilloscope will show, however, that the current now lags 90 behind the voltage. The instantaneous product of voltage and current is no longer positive at all times. Now there are regions of positive voltage with negative current and equal periods of negative voltage with positive current. In both regions, the power is negative.

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The power wave form is a double frequency sine wave as before, but the offset is gone. There is no net flow of power to the inductor. Power flows into the inductor momentarily, but it is returned to the line in the next quarter cycle of supply voltage. The wattmeter reads zero and the power is no longer equal to the product of voltage and current. E/I no longer equals R. It seems that Ohms Law has been violated. Obviously, Ohms Law still holds. This experiment demonstrates the wattless power of AC circuits. The inductor draws current but it consumes no power. Even though there is both voltage and current in the circuit, there is no power. The wattmeter recognizes this and reads zero. How does the wattmeter work? Take a dynamometer type wattmeter with a fixed current coil and a moving potential coil with an attached pointer. The interacting magnetic fields and currents in the two coils produce a torque which deflects the pointer against a spring force. The torque produced will be equal at any moment to the instantaneous product of voltage and current. Positive power flow will produce an up scale deflection and negative power flow will produce a downscale deflection. The pointer indication will be proportional to the average torque since the mechanical inertia damps out the variations. So the wattmeter will read the average of the instantaneous products of voltage and current which is just what we want. Newer wattmeter types such as Hall effect devices and integrated circuit multipliers can perform the same functions. So far, two circuits have been considered: one with a resistor and one with an inductor. Most real circuits, of course, will be a combination of impedances rather than a single characteristic. If the resistor and inductor loads are combined into a composite circuit of R and L in parallel, we can see the effect of adding their currents. These are the waveforms of voltage and currents in our composite circuit. The resistor current, IR, is in phase with the voltage, the inductor current, IL, is lagging the voltage by 90, and the composite line current lags the voltage by 45 and is 1.414 times the resistor or inductor current. The power waveform is the sum of the resistor and inductor power waveforms we had previously. Note that the power flow is negative for part of each half-cycle of supply voltage. We can still see the inductor doing its thing. Vector or phasor diagrams can conveniently represent the circuit parameters we have been discussing. If voltage is chosen as a reference at zero degrees on the X axis, the resistor current can be represented as a vector inphase with the voltage and the inductor current as one which lags by 90. Lagging, by convention, means clockwise. The sum of the inductor current and the resistor current must equal the line current, but they cannot simply be added together algebraically since they run in different directions. The line current, being the vector sum of the two currents, has a magnitude of 1.414 times either and lags the voltage by 45. The Greek letter, theta, denotes this phase angle. Note that the circuit must now be supplied with a line current of 1.414 times as much as when it was just the resistor alone. The current draw is 41% higher but there is no more power output.

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Power is the line voltage times the resistor current. Furthermore, power is the product of line voltage and line current multiplied by the cosine of the phase angle, theta. This can also be expressed as the volt-amperes times the cosine of the phase angle. Here is the familiar power triangle which describes AC circuits. Power is volt-amperes times cosine of the phase angle theta, or power factor. Then, power (in watts) is volt-amperes times power factor. Theta can then be referred to as the power factor angle and since current is lagging voltage, it can be defined as a lagging power factor. The dashed line on the right is equal to line voltage times inductor current. It is also equal to volt-amperes times the sine of the phase angle, theta. By extension, then, the sine of theta is the reactive factor and the dashed line quantity is volt-amperes reactive, abbreviated as VARs. This is what is often called wattless power. It is not a real power since it represents simply the charging and discharging of the inductor on alternate quarter cycles of supply frequency. Here are the basic relationships between the more familiar terms of KVA, KW and KVAR. KVA is the square root of KW2 + KVAR2, KW is the square root of KVA2-KVAR2, KVAR is the square root of KVA2 - KW2, KW = KVA * cos (Q), KVAR = KVA * sin (Q) where Q is the power factor angle as before. The power factor is KW/KVA or cos (Q) and the reactive factor is KVAR/KVA or sin (Q). So far, only circuits containing inductance have been discussed. If the circuit contains resistance and capacitance, all the relationships discussed to this point are still true, with one exception: the current now leads the voltage in phase angle. The capacitor acts as an energy storage element and alternately receives power from the line and returns it a quarter cycle later. The result: the same wattless power as with an inductor except for one very important difference. The power factor diagram is now angled in the opposite direction, and the KVARs are in the opposite direction. If an inductive load consumes VARs, then a capacitive load must be one which generates VARs. With this distinction in mind, power factor correction can now be explained. POWER FACTOR CORRECTION Here is a deceptively simple circuit one which is really far from simple when the intricacies of the circuit are considered. Lets assume that the resistor, inductor and capacitor all draw equal currents. The line current, of course, is the sum of the three. The resistor current is in phase with the line voltage, the inductor current lags by 90 and the capacitor current leads by 90. Note that the inductor and capacitor currents are directly opposite to each other 180 out of phase. The line current shows that the inductor and capacitor currents cancel each other and the line sees only the resistor current. As far as the line is concerned, the inductor and capacitor do not exist. Because they have equal but opposite reactance values, they form a parallel resonant circuit of very high impedance and do not draw any current from the line.

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The power factor triangle is affected in the same fashion. The lagging KVARs consumed by the inductor are exactly balanced by the leading KVARs consumed by the capacitor. The line does not see any load reactance only a resistance. Theta is zero. Cos (Q), the power factor, is unity and sin (Q), the reactive factor, is zero. With only the resistor and inductor, there would be an inductive load with current lagging voltage by 45, 0.707 lagging power factor and a KVA of 1.414 times the KW. Conversely, with only the resistor and capacitor, there would be a capacitive load with the current leading voltage by 45, 0.707 leading power factor and a KVA of 1.414 times the kW. If we had started with just the inductor and capacitor, there would have been no current at all in the line! From all this, it would seem that the power factor of a load or a plant can be brought to any desired level by the use of capacitors and such is the case. Whatever lagging KVARs the plant consumes can be offset by capacitors which consume an appropriate level of leading KVARs, or in other words, generate an appropriate level of lagging KVARs. The calculations to bring a plant from 1000 KW at 0.8 power factor lagging to 1000 KW at 0.95 power factor lagging are given below. A load of 1000 KW at 0.8 power factor will have a power factor angle of arccos (0.8) = 37. The KVA is 1000/0.8 = 1250 KVA and the reactive factor is sin (37) or 0.6. The KVAR demand is 1250 * 0.6 = 750 KVAR. To achieve a 0.95 power factor, the required angle is arccos (0.95) = 18. The KVA is 1000/0.95 = 1053 KVA and the reactive factor is sin (18) = 0.31. The allowable KVAR demand is then 1053 * 0.31 = 329 KVAR. Because the plant now consumes 750 KVAR, there must be an offset of 750 - 329 = 421 KVAR to reach the 329 KVAR level for 0.95 power factor. So it appears a capacitor bank of 421 KVAR rating would be desirable. In reality, a 450 or 500 KVAR bank would be used. The calculations and relationships are the same whether applied to a single phase or a three phase circuit. This is an important milestone in the analysis of power factor. In summary, the example began with 1000 KW at 0.8 power factor which means a reactive consumption of 750 KVAR. Added to that were 421 KVAR of capacitors which netted the reactive demand down to 329 KVAR for a 0.95 power factor with the 1000 KW load. Note that the line current has come down in the ratio 1053/1250 or a 16% reduction. This reduction in current may provide some useful relief on cables and switchgear, but that is not usually the big picture on power factor correction. An analysis of the electric power bill will reveal more. ENERGY AND DEMAND Most, but not all, electric utility tariffs are arranged for industrial customers to be billed for energy used and for the maximum power required, the power bill actually consisting of two parts, energy and demand. The energy part represents the kilowatt hours consumed in the billing period. It represents the cost of the coal, oil, gas, water, atoms or Diesel

ORIGINAL
1000KW 750 KVAR 0.8 PF 1250 KVA

ADDED
421 KVAR (LEADING)

RESULT
1000KW 329 KVAR 0.95 PF 1053 KVA

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ENERGY
fuel required to generate and distribute the energy consumed. This charge may be embellished with fuel adjustment clauses, taxes and the like, but basically it represents the cost of supplying the energy. It has nothing to do with power factor and is based solely on kilowatt hours. The second part of the bill, the demand charge, is somewhat more complicated. The demand charge represents the cost of providing the generation, transmission and distribution facilities necessary to furnish the peak power requirement of the customer. Peak power requirement is usually measured by a watt-hour meter with a demand register. This device integrates the power used over a certain time period, usually 15 or 30 minutes, to determine the average kilowatt requirement during that time period. The demand pointer is coupled to a peak retaining pointer which registers the maximum value of 15 or 30 minute demand since it was last reset usually at the time the meters are read. From this pointer, the meter reader determines the maximum 15 or 30 minute kilowatt demand for the billing period. But this is not the end of the demand matter. Most utilities also adjust this demand charge based, in some manner, on the load power factor. Although practices may vary, one method used is to pair the kilowatt-hour meter with a kilovar-hour meter. This latter device is simply a kilowatt-hour meter connected to a transformer set which rotates the line voltages by 90 so that the meter is driven by VARs rather than watts. Now there are two meters. With kilowatt-hours and kilovarhours in hand, a sort of average power factor for the month can be computed. The power factor angle, Q, is given as arctan (KVARH/KWH). If the utility wanted to charge for the current or KVA demand rather than Kw, it could, in principle, divide the kilowatt demand by this average power factor. The more usual method, however, is to use a formula which does not assign any penalty for power factors above some base level, usually 0.90 or 0.95, and approximates the inverse power factor for power factors below this value. One system is based on a multiplier factor given as F = 0.8 + 0.6 * (KVARH/KWH) where F is not less than 1.0 nor greater than 2.0. When this multiplier is plotted along with reciprocal power factor, the correlation is quite good over the usual range of power factors. Finally, if the demand multiplier is plotted as a function of the power factor, this curve results. Now the high cost of low power factor has become abundantly clear. A power factor of 0.8 increases demand charges by 25%, a 0.7 power factor by 41% and a 0.6 power factor by 60%. Energy and demand rates vary widely among the various electric utility companies, but we can give order of magnitude costs as perhaps 3-5 cents per kilowatt hour of energy use and 10-15 dollars per month per kilowatt of power factor adjusted demand. Some utilities base an entire year of demand charges on the maximum value for the past year, so it will pay one to analyze the power bill carefully and to enlist the assistance of the power company representative in order to get a full understanding. Note that the maximum kilowatt demand and the average power factor are not necessarily related. For example, it is possible for a major piece of equipment with high kilowatt

KILOWATT HOURS TONS COAL ACRE FEET WATER BARRELS OIL GALLONS DIESEL CUBIC FEET GAS OUNCES URANIUM TO TURN GENERATORS

DEMAND
KW CAPACITY OF GENERATORS TRANSMISSION TRANSFORMERS SWITCHGEAR DISTRIBUTION TO FURNISH PEAK POWER

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demand at unity power factor to be used only once a month. This could set the demand level. However, this kilowatt demand level would be adjusted for power factor based on the average power factor for the month, and the average power factor could be based on totally unrelated equipment. Even though the equipment which created the high demand operated at unity power factor, there is still a demand power factor penalty to pay. Is this fair? What if the reverse is the case? If the seldom used piece of equipment which created this peak demand operated at a very poor power factor and the rest of the plant equipment operated at a good power factor, you would probably not pay any power factor penalty even though the KVA demand of the major load may have been much greater than the KW demand. Average power factor for the month is generally all the utility has to go on, so the power factor of a given piece of equipment is of little interest except as it affects the ratio of KVARH to KWH for the month. There is one final item to examine before ending this section on power factor, and that is feeder regulation. The installation of power factor correction capacitors will improve feeder regulation by reducing quadrature line currents, those components of current which are 90 out of phase with the line voltage, but over correction can cause problems. Many utilities are glad to get excess capacitors on line, especially if they are switched on only during working hours. Some, however, have problems with excessive voltage rise at light load and may have tariffs penalizing leading power factors as well as lagging power factors. And leading power factors do, of course, require just as much additional feeder capacity as lagging loads of the same power factor. So there may be penalties for over-correction. Except for this proviso, capacitors may often be added in large banks for overall plant compensation rather than going after every piece of equipment individually. This offers important economies when harmonic protected capacitor banks or filters are considered. INTRODUCTION TO HARMONICS There are a number of ways to approach the subject of harmonics, but it is best to begin by defining harmonics for these purposes as those frequencies which bear an integer relationship to the power line frequency of 60 Hz. Thus, 180 Hz and 600 Hz are harmonics by this definition, 93 Hz and 275 Hz are not. Also, exclude those frequencies which fall below 60 Hz. These distinctions are important because variable speed AC drives can generate non-integer harmonics and sub-harmonics of the power line frequency. Treatment of these effects is beyond the scope of this presentation, but they are not usually of great consequence in the first place. Begin by examining what happens when two harmonically related frequencies are added. Here we have a sine wave of a given frequency, the fundamental, and one which is three times that frequency, a third harmonic, with one-third the amplitude. This third harmonic is phased so that it starts out in-phase with the fundamental. When these two sine waves are added together, the result is a distorted waveshape with a squashed top. The harmonic adds to the beginning and end of the half cycle and subtracts

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in the middle. If the phase of the third harmonic wave relative to the fundamental is then reversed, there is a totally different result. Note that the fundamental and harmonic start out in opposite directions. The composite waveform changes from the relatively flat form to a peaked form. The difference between the squashed waveform and the peaked waveform is solely due to the phase of the third harmonic. Both contain the same frequencies in the same amplitudes and have the same RMS values. From what was just demonstrated, harmonics in a voltage or current imply non-sinusoidal, distorted waveforms. And, conversely, a distorted waveform means harmonics are present. The logical question now is, Where do harmonics originate? The peaked waveform is characteristic of the exciting current of transformers and reactors. Induction motors also tend to draw non-sinusoidal components of current due to exciting current and slot ripple. Arc furnaces are prodigious sources of harmonic currents. Thyristor drives of all types will generate harmonic line currents as will all rectifiers. In fact, nearly any load on an AC power system will generate harmonics to some degree, however small they may be. In 1822, the great French mathematician, Fourier, showed in a paper on heat conduction, that any periodic function, or any repetitive waveform, can be resolved into a fundamental component at the repetition frequency and a series of integral harmonics of that frequency, each with a particular amplitude and phase relationship relative to the fundamental. It is best to begin with the basics before exploring the formulas for Fourier series. Examine a 120 square wave, a current waveform typical of three-phase thyristor DC motor drives. Technically, this is a quasi-square wave, but for simplification here it will be referred to simply as a square wave. Just eyeballing this square wave, it seems that the fundamental frequency sine wave component would be symmetrical with respect to the square wave that is, the peak of the sine wave would occur at the mid point of the square wave. Remembering, also, the waveforms examined earlier, it would seem that the square wave contains out-of-phase harmonics which knock down the front and back of the fundamental sine wave. In the most general case of a repetitive function, f(x), the various frequency components are given by the equations shown here. These are known as the discrete forms of a Fourier series in which the harmonics are referenced to a fundamental wave of sin(x). Ao represents a DC component while An and Bn represent, respectively, the amplitudes of sine waves of harmonic order n which are in-phase with the fundamental and 90 out of phase. The complex waveform is then simply the sum of all these components. If the waveform is symmetrical about the vertical axis at p/2, and the negative half cycle is the inverse of the positive half cycle, the integrals reduce to a much more convenient form for calculation. There is no DC component, all even

HARMONIC SOURCES
TRANSFORMERS MOTORS ARC FURNACES THYRISTOR DRIVES RECTIFIERS (NEARLY ALL LOADS)

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order harmonics (2, 4, 6, etc.) vanish, all Bn (cosine) terms vanish and the limits of integration need only be from 0 to p/ 2. An analysis of the original 120 square wave will show that the frequency spectrum contains an infinite number of harmonics of order 6n1, each of which has an amplitude relative to the fundamental of 1/n, where n is the order of the harmonic. Thus, there is, relative to the fundamental, 20% of the 5th harmonic, about 14% of the 7th harmonic, 9% of the 11th, 7% of the 13th and so on. Note that these magnitudes are relative to the fundamental and that they are peak values. The fundamental itself has a peak amplitude of 110% of the square wave amplitude. The RMS value of the fundamental or any harmonic is 0.707 times its peak value since all are sine waves. Note that the 120 square wave has no third harmonic. By contrast, a 180 square wave, and this is a true square wave, has 33% of third harmonic. The difference is due simply to the different conduction angles. Lets take a more general look at this business of RMS. Its an important concept, especially when we consider nonsinusoidal waveforms. The acronym RMS stands for root mean squared and says simply that to find the RMS value of a complex wave, integrate the square of the values over the waveform, divide by the base period to get the mean value and then extract the square root. Here is the 120 square wave again. If it has a peak amplitude of 1.00 unit, the square at each point is also 1.00 and the mean value is 120/180 or 2/3. The RMS, then, is just the square root of 2/3 or 0.816. It can easily be shown that any pulsed waveform with constant unit amplitude during the pulse has an RMS value equal to the square root of the duty cycle. When the RMS value during the pulse period has some value other than unity, the RMS of the pulsed waveform has a value of the square root of the duty cycle multiplied by the RMS value during the pulse. This is a handy relationship to remember for quick calculations. If the development of the harmonic structure is valid, the fundamental plus all the harmonics must yield the same RMS value as a direct analysis of the complex wave itself. For the 120 square wave of unit height, the RMS value has been determined to be 0.816 by direct methods. When two or more sine waves of different frequencies are added, the RMS value of the composite wave is the square root of the sum of the squares of the individual RMS values. Each frequency is another dimension in an orthogonal vector space, and this is stated without proof. Returning to the 120 square wave, if the squares of the harmonics are added and the square root is extracted, we should wind up with 0.816. This is the harmonic structure developed earlier with the peak values converted to RMS. For the harmonics through the 13th, the RMS value progressively increases, and its reasonable to expect the rest of the harmonics to bring the final value up to 0.816. It seems to work.

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There is another very useful way to consider these harmonics. The terms under the square root sign can be grouped and represented as shown in the second equation. Now there is an expression for the non-sinusoidal current in terms of the fundamental current and all the harmonic currents grouped. The total current can be considered as a sinusoidal fundamental current plus a distortion current which represents the effect of all harmonics. The utility of this representation can perhaps best be demonstrated by recognizing that if the composite RMS value of a non-sinusoidal wave is known, and if the RMS value of the fundamental is known, the RMS value of all harmonics grouped together can be easily calculated. This is simply the square root of the composite RMS squared minus the fundamental RMS squared. Similarly, the fundamental is the square root of the composite RMS squared minus the square of the distortion terms. DISPLACEMENT AND APPARENT POWER FACTOR So far, its been sort of glossed over that it may not always be the ideal to have the Fourier harmonic series phase referenced to the complex wave itself. In particular, its usually important to know the phase relationship between the fundamental component and some other wave. Here is a voltage wave and the 120 square wave current. The fundamental of the current, If, is in phase with, that is, centered on the current wave. Therefore, the phase relationship between the voltage and the fundamental component of current is apparent, and this will be defined to be the phase angle of the circuit, and theta will still be used to designate it. The vector relationships are the same as before. With a sinusoidal line voltage, the power is determined solely by the fundamental component of line current and its phase relationship to the voltage. Using RMS values throughout, the expression for power is simply E * If * cos(Q) where If is the fundamental frequency component of line current. Similarly, the VARs are given as E * If * sin(Q). Neither the watts nor the VARs are affected in any way by the harmonics in the current, as long as the voltage is sinusoidal. But now a problem arises. The KVA is E * I where I is the RMS current including harmonics, but the KVA implied by the watts and VARs is E * If. The two are obviously not equal. If E * I is the true KVA, then the power is E * I * cos(f) where f is a new power factor angle chosen to make the power come out right. But there already was a perfectly good power factor angle, Q, based on watts and VARs. Are two power factor angles and two power factors really necessary? The answer is yes! The power factor, cos(Q), determined from Q=arctan(KVAR/KW) in the kilowatts and kilovars triangle, is defined as the displacement power factor, so-called because it measures the displacement angle between the line voltage and the fundamental component of line current. The other power factor, cos(f), is called the apparent power factor because that is the factor which is used to obtain kilowatts from the measured line KVA. It is given by f=arccos(KW/KVA). The displacement power factor is always higher than the apparent power factor when harmonics are present.

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The wattmeter knows the difference between these two power factors and does its job correctly; it simply ignores the harmonics in the current. Similarly, a VARmeter, connected as described earlier, will ignore the harmonics. The case for watt-hour meters and VARhour meters is a little less clear, but they can be trusted to give good approximations to the correct values. In most cases, the differences would not be worth arguing about. These relationships can be further developed by considering the characteristics of a three-phase thyristor DC motor drive. The most common type of thyristor drive has a 120 square wave line current as discussed earlier. The magnitude of this current is directly proportional to the armature current of the motor and is independent of speed. Speed, however, determines the phase displacement of the line current from the line voltage. At full DC output voltage, the current is in phase with the line-to-neutral voltage. At 0 DC voltage, the thyristors are phased fully back and line current lags line-to-neutral voltage by 90. In between, the current phase angle moves forward as the DC voltage is increased. If IR drop and demagnetization effects are ignored and constant field current is assumed, the motor speed is directly proportional to the DC armature voltage. The power developed by the motor is also directly proportional to speed for any given armature current. These relationships can be expanded to include kilowatts, kilovars, KVA and power factors. Assume a constant armature current at all speeds. Since watts are proportional to speed and watts are also proportional to the displacement power factor, cos(Q), displacement power factor is proportional to speed. On the other hand, VARs behave in the opposite fashion being highest at zero speed and zero at full speed. The reactive factor is given as the square root of one minus the square of the power factor. KVA is independent of speed since the simplified drive model is assumed, but they are still very useful for analyzing power factor correction requirements of DC motor drives under various operating conditions. LINE NOTCHING Digressing from the theoretical 120 square wave just discussed, consider the phenomenon of notching. The action of rectification in a thyristor or diode converter involves the sequential transfer of load current from one line phase to another. AC lines inevitably contain some inductance which prevents this current from being transferred instantaneously, so the square wave we looked at is actually a trapezoid. The time to complete current transfer is directly proportional to both the line inductance and the load current. It is also affected by the angle of phase delay in a converter, and is a maximum at full output. During the current transfer between phases, the line is short circuited and the line-to-line voltage on the commutating phase is zero at the converter. This voltage notch may last for a few tens of microseconds or may continue for a millisecond or more. It depends on the line characteristics, the converter output voltage and the line current, all the variables mentioned earlier.

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Whereas the commutation notches bring the voltage down to zero at the converter terminals, the disturbances become progressively less as one proceeds toward a stiff power source. The notch at any point is characterized by the product of notch depth in volts and notch width in microseconds. It may seem paradoxical, but this notch area in voltmicroseconds remains constant regardless of how much inductance might be added on the load side of the point in question. As load side inductance is added, the notch depth is reduced but the width is increased, and the only practical way to reduce the notch area is to provide some of the commutation energy from a capacitor bank. The subject is further considered later in this discussion. Note that the commutation notches generate their own set of harmonic voltages, of course, but it is much easier to treat them directly in the time domain rather than to use their Fourier expansion. The commutation process can be looked at as problematic because of the line voltage notching it produces. However, the harmonic spectrum of the current is actually softened, and high frequency harmonic current amplitudes are reduced. The high frequencies drop off as 1/n2 rather than as 1/n, where n is the harmonic number. The frequency at which the break point is reached depends on the commutation angle which, in turn, is a function of source inductance, phaseback angle and load current. The break point for the high frequency rolloff will increase as the load voltage is reduced by thyristor phase control. At any given load current, thyristor converters will generally have their worst high frequency harmonic noise output at low output voltages where commutation times are shortest. DISTORTION FACTOR A useful measure of the severity of harmonics in voltages or currents is the distortion factor. This is simply 100 times the RMS equivalent of all the harmonics divided by the RMS value of the fundamental. The term THD for Total Harmonic Distortion is often used, usually as a percentage. It is the same as the distortion factor. The waveforms and harmonic spectra of SCR controlled systems have been used as examples. PWM motor drives and chopper DC supplies generally have rectifier inputs with capacitor filters. This type of circuit is characterized by a high level of low frequency harmonics but relatively low high frequency harmonics. The particular spectrum depends on the source inductance. A low source reactance will greatly increase the fifth and seventh harmonic currents. Harmonics in power systems are addressed in IEEE 519 1992 Recommended Practices and Requirements for Harmonic Control in Electrical Power Systems. Limits on individual current harmonics and THD are shown in Table 10.3 at the end of this booklet. Limits on voltage distortion are 3% for any one harmonic and 5% THD. It should be noted that current distortion levels are based on the total plant demand current of both harmonic producing and sinusoidal loads.

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ISOLATION TRANSFORMERS Now for a few words about isolation transformers. Isolation transformers are often regarded as cure-alls for harmonic production and line notching. Unfortunately, they do little or nothing to cure either of these problems. Isolation transformers do slow the commutation rate and will decrease the frequency at which the higher harmonics fall off as 1/n2. They will also decrease the depth of line notches but will not reduce the volt-microseconds of notch area. If such transformers are equipped with well-designed Faraday electrostatic shields, they can also reduce common-mode high frequency harmonic transmission to the power line, but there are less expensive ways to accomplish all of these improvements by using line reactors and simple filters. Isolation transformers serve mainly to control ground fault currents in equipment supplied from solidly grounded power systems, and even here, they are not necessary for current source inverters with reactors in both lines of the DC link. To summarize quickly, its been shown that harmonics arise from non-sinusoidal currents or voltages, that they can be defined by Fourier series expansions and that they give rise to two types of power factor, displacement and apparent. Also considered was the line voltage notching caused by commutation and the definition of distortion factor. In the next and final part, harmonic interaction with the electric utility supply and harmonic control measures will be examined. POWER FACTOR AND HARMONICS INTERACTIONS Having covered the fundamentals of power factor and the production of harmonics, the next step is to see how harmonics interact with the electric utility and connected loads and how to control them. When a source of harmonic currents is connected to a feeder, two related but distinctly different effects arise. First, the currents flow into the electric utility system through the point of common connection. Their potential effects within the utility system will be examined later. Second, the utility supply has some source impedance and, in flowing through this source impedance, the harmonic currents will produce distortion in the feeder voltage. Commutation notching is one aspect of this phenomenon. Connected loads may be affected by these harmonics in the line voltage, particularly those which are sensitive to zero crossings in the voltage waveform or which have potential internal resonances. Computer disk drives, fluorescent lamp ballasts, telephone circuits, PA and paging systems, lamp dimmers and radios are just a few of the many connected devices which may experience interference from harmonics. These problems may range from minor glitches in operation to catastrophic failure. POWER FACTOR CAPACITOR RESONANCE If the feeder has power factor correction capacitors, the result of harmonic injection may be spectacular. The utility source impedance at the point of common connection is generally inductive, especially so if the feeder is supplied from a local transformer. This source inductance and the power factor correction capacitor form a parallel L/C circuit, and if this

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circuit resonates on a frequency at which harmonic currents are being sourced, there can be trouble. This review of the characteristics of resonant circuits can explain why. In a series resonant circuit, the inductive and capacitive reactances are equal and the impedance is just the resistance, R. Circuit Q is defined as XL/R or XC/R. Note that the circuit impedance can never be less than the resistor value. In the parallel resonant circuit, XL is approximately equal to XC and Q is defined in the same fashion as with the series circuit as XL/R or XC/R. The impedance of the parallel resonant circuit is then Q*XL or Q*XC, and the current circulating within the resonant circuit is Q times the current in the external circuit. If the Q is high, the impedance is much higher than either the inductive or capacitive reactance and the current multiplication is correspondingly high. Now to reexamine the feeder problems. This is the equivalent circuit of the feeder, the utility source being represented by an inductor with a loss resistance. For harmonic currents, the capacitor appears in parallel with this impedance. To a first approximation, the harmonic currents produced by the harmonic source are just that harmonic currents, and they will flow regardless of the circuit characteristics. When they encounter this parallel L/C circuit, however, any harmonic current at the resonant frequency encounters a very high circuit impedance, and even a small current flowing into a high impedance has the capability of producing high harmonic voltage. This voltage can be all out of proportion to the voltage which would be present without the capacitor. In fact, the resonance can produce a severe overvoltage on the feeder with obvious potential for damage to connected equipment. As if this were not enough, there are still more potential problems. Because the harmonic is a current source flowing into a parallel resonant circuit, the currents in the utility line and in the capacitor will be approximately Q times the actual harmonic current sourced by the load and the circuit Q may be ten or more under some conditions. Thus, the harmonic current at resonance is amplified many times by this effect and may blow capacitor fuses or cause serious interference effects within the electric utility system. The larger the capacitor bank is relative to the utility short circuit MVA, the more likely trouble becomes. In fact, the potential problems at power levels of several thousand KVA are so severe as to suggest a system study before any capacitors are added to a plant which has large harmonic producing loads. And even small motor drives may get into trouble if capacitors are added on a feeder. The commutation rate of current change, di/dt, may increase to a point where low cost motor drives with no line inductions may fail. The harmonic order (multiple of supply frequency) of the resonance can be found as the square root of the source short circuit kVA divided by the capacitor bank kVAR. There is no safe rule to avoid trouble, but resonances above 1000 Hz will probably not cause problems except, possibly, to telephone circuits. This means the capacitor KVAR should not exceed roughly 0.3% of the system short circuit KVA at the point of connection unless control measures are taken

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to deal with the harmonics. RESONANCE SOLUTIONS One way of dealing with these potential resonances is to force them to a frequency below that at which any harmonic energy is normally produced. The addition of a series inductor with the capacitor means the resonance can be kept below any desired frequency independent of the utility source impedance. For example, if an inductor with a reactance of one-tenth the capacitor reactance at the supply frequency is added, the resonance can never lie above 3.16 times the supply frequency since the utility source reactance, nearly always inductive, will simply add to the inductor reactance and lower the resonant frequency from that produced by the capacitor and inductor alone. Since normal three-phase thyristor controllers do not source appreciable harmonic energy below the fifth harmonic, this approach will generally yield satisfactory results. With large single-phase controllers, however, an inductive reactance as large as 20% of the capacitor reactance may be required to prevent third harmonic problems. The use of an inductor to protect the capacitor from harmonic currents and resonances generally allows power factor correction capacitors to be applied successfully in the presence of harmonics. But there is yet another problem to recognize before rushing out to buy reactors. The presence of the reactor means the voltage on the capacitor at the fundamental frequency will rise. The inductor reactance subtracts from the capacitor reactance, lowers the circuit reactance and increases the fundamental current in the capacitor. The increased current raises the capacitor voltage, usually to unacceptable levels. For example, an inductor of one-tenth the capacitor reactance will raise the fundamental frequency voltage on the capacitor by 11%. Since ANSI capacitor ratings allow only a 10% overvoltage, this is a problem even in the absence of line voltage variations. The capacitors, therefore, must be rated for a voltage higher than the nominal line voltage of the feeder. If the operating voltage is then less than the rated capacitor voltage, because capacitor voltage ratings come in steps, the bank rating will usually be reduced from the nameplate value. The actual KVAR will be equal to the nameplate KVAR multiplied by the square of the ratio of actual operating voltage with the inductor to the nameplate voltage rating of the capacitors. TELEPHONE INFLUENCE FACTOR (TIF) So far, we have just considered the local effects of harmonic currents. After examining the local effects of harmonic currents, it makes sense to study those which flow into the utility lines. There is the possibility that harmonic currents will be trapped in remote power factor correction capacitors. There is even the possibility that resonances will arise on a feeder or within a customer plant on the system. When transmission lines or long distribution circuits are involved with harmonic current, coupling to adjacent telephone circuits may also be a problem. Whereas the higher harmonics are not usually a problem with power circuits, the voltage induced into a telephone line is proportional to the frequency of the current, so even a small amount of high frequency

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harmonic current can affect voice or data communication circuits. For at least the telephone voice circuits, we can quantify the exposure. The potential interference to telephone circuits is governed by the Telephone Influence Factor, abbreviated TIF. This factor weighs the significance of various harmonic frequencies according to their coupling coefficients and their potential for interference with voice communications. The relative sensitivity of telephone circuits to interference is defined by the C Message Weighting characteristic which combines subjective analysis of interference with the frequency response of the telephone set and human ear. It is a weighting function which defines the interference potential of a given frequency relative to the interference potential of a 1000 Hz signal. When combined with an empirical constant and a coupling coefficient proportional to frequency, a dimensionless weighting curve known as the TIF weighting function, Wf, results. This function defines an interference level for any given single frequency. Numerically, Wf = 5 * Pf * f where Pf is the C Message Weighting for Frequency f. The potential of a single harmonic for telephone interference is given by If * Wf where If is the RMS current at frequency f and Wf is the TIF weighting factor for that frequency. The effect of a series of harmonics can then be developed by summing the squares of each If * Wf value, extracting the square root and dividing by the RMS current. This forms the TIF value T, for that waveform and harmonic series. The interference level is given by I * T, where I is the RMS current. Even though harmonic currents generally decrease with increasing frequency, the coupling factor makes harmonics up to about 5000 Hz potentially troublesome. A sample calculation is shown for a 120 square wave. With no commutation sloping, this waveform yields a TIF value, T, of 800. A better idea of the significance of the various harmonics can be obtained by plotting the individual If * Wf values and the cumulative square root of the sum of the squares. This is shown for the 120 square wave with square edges and with the trapezoidal shape typical of thyristor controllers. Although the difference appears dramatic, it represents only a 3 dB change in total T level barely enough to hear in a telephone circuit. The harmonics from the 11th at 660 Hz to the 25th as 1500 Hz account for the vast majority of the T value and, hence, the potential for interference. This, of course, assumes no resonance effects in either the power or communications circuits to aggravate the situation. IEEE 519 The question naturally arises of what limits may be appropriate for harmonic currents, line notching, distortion products and I * T levels in various classes of apparatus. The matter has been extensively studied and is summarized in IEEE Standard 519. The recommended practices involve a number of considerations of feeder voltage and capacity, sensitivity of connected equipment, in-plant versus system interference potential and other related matters. It is not feasible to summarize the recommendations in a discussion of this sort. Let it suffice to say that the allowable limits on harmonics are already difficult to meet in some cases, and that they

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will probably be lower in the future. The current issue of IEEE 519 should be consulted for details. MULTIPURPOSE SYSTEMS HARMONIC DISTORTION SOLUTIONS What can be done to control line notching and voltage distortion from harmonic currents? One possibility is to specify the type of controller or drive to minimize harmonic production. The 6-pulse thyristor DC motor drive and its harmonic spectrum have already been discussed. If two such drives are connected in series or parallel with a 30 phase shift between them, a 12-pulse circuit results, and the harmonic production is greatly reduced. Whereas the 6-pulse circuit generated harmonics at 6f 1, the 12-pulse generated harmonics mostly at 12f 1. Fifth and seventh harmonics are greatly reduced, as are the 17th and 19th. Pulse multiplication and PWM circuitry have been used to create the Robicon Perfect Harmony line of medium voltage VFDs. These units meet all applicable requirements of IEEE 519-1992 with no filtering required. At lower voltages, pulse multiplication and minimal filtering are used to meet current distortion requirements. While discussing load current waveforms, it should be mentioned that some small motor drives with rectifier inputs to capacitor filters are advertised as being free from line harmonics. They are free from commutation notches, but they are most definitely not free from harmonics. In fact, they may well have a higher level of low frequency harmonics than the 120 square wave has. LOWER IMPEDANCE BUS Another approach is to get a stiffer feeder. In fact, if the feeder short circuit ratio, the ratio of short circuit current to rated drive or controller current, is greater than 100, the installation will probably have an acceptable level of harmonics in the first place. If there is a choice to be made in laying out the distribution system, one should isolate harmonic producing equipment as much as possible. Two different arrangements, taken from IEEE 519, illustrate this point. The preferred arrangement can be expected to make a worthwhile reduction in higher order harmonic voltage distortion at the sensitive loads and to reduce coupling to plant telephone and data communication circuits. Another possibility is to filter the input of critical loads. For example, it is much less expensive to filter the input power to a computer than to harmonic suppress a 1000 HP motor drive. If the harmonic problems lie within the utility system, however, these approaches will not help, and the only recourse then is a diversionary tactic. SHUNT NETWORKS Because the harmonics are current sources, something to divert these currents from the electric utility at the point of common connection is necessary. If a shunt network, which has an impedance at a harmonic frequency that is much lower than the utility source impedance at that frequency, can be created, we can divert most of the harmonic current into our

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network. Now, how is that done? What forms can these networks take? In principle, a capacitor bank could be installed on the feeder and make it resonate with the source inductance off any harmonic frequency. Its reactance at harmonic frequencies could be made as low as necessary by choosing an appropriate size. However, if the resonance falls between two harmonics, the system will probably amplify those harmonic currents because of their proximity to the resonant frequency. If tuning below the lowest harmonic is attempted, the capacitor bank usually becomes very large and expensive, and would probably create an unacceptable rise in the feeder voltage. Despite these disadvantages, it is sometimes necessary to use a brute force approach like this. A shunt capacitor is usually implemented with a series resistor to control the high frequency resonances and a shunting inductor around the resistor to reduce the losses at supply frequency. The circuit forms a high pass filter which may allow low frequency harmonics to pass with little attenuation, but which provides increasing attenuation up to some fixed level at high frequencies. By itself, the shunt capacitor is used primarily for telephone interference control and reduction of line notching, but it often forms part of an overall filter system. For any single frequency, a low impedance path can be created by using a series resonant circuit in shunt with the feeder. The constants can be chosen for any desired degree of attenuation at resonance. The trap must be capable of being tuned accurately and it must stay acceptably close to resonance with temperature variations or small frequency excursions. Further, the trap will sink harmonic currents which may be present on the utility lines, so a survey of line distortion may be required prior to filter design. FILTER NETWORKS As far as any one harmonic frequency is concerned, this is the end of the matter. Unfortunately, a profusion of harmonic frequencies typically needs to be dealt with, and a multiplicity of traps ultimately are involved. Intuition says that the traps will not ignore each other, so consider all possible system resonances and interactions. It is worthwhile to examine first the effect of adding just a single series resonant filter to a system. The filter will have a very low impedance at its resonant frequency, but the capacitor, filter inductor and source inductance also form a parallel resonant circuit. Since the source inductance adds to the filter inductance, the parallel resonance is at a lower frequency than the series resonance. The curve shows the system absolute impedance characteristics over a range of frequencies. This filter has a series trap resonance at the 7th harmonic but it also has a potentially fatal parallel resonance with the power system at the 5th harmonic. Of course, this example was chosen specifically to create this situation, but it can arise in the real world as well. If filters tuned to higher frequencies continue to be added, each added filter will yield a low shunt impedance at its self-resonant frequency, but will always add a parallel

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resonance at a lower frequency. This is the impedance curve for a five element filter with a high pass element. It has been configured for a 12-pulse converter, which has only residual fifth and seventh harmonic output, so these elements can be relatively high impedance. It is only necessary to control these harmonics so they do not create overvoltages, and because of inductor costs, the lower frequency traps are made as small as possible. The 11th and 13th harmonics have large filter elements so as to obtain a low shunt impedance, and the high pass filter provides attenuation of the remaining harmonics. The overall network reduces voltage distortion to levels recommended in IEEE 519. Lets see how these shunt filters function. A computer was used to show what happens as harmonics are filtered from a distorted wave. The example chosen here is a 120 square wave current with 10 commutation time, a typical line current waveform for a DC motor drive and for many AC drives. This is the square wave before any filtering. The distortion factor is 26% not too pretty a waveform. Now take out the fifth harmonic.

This may not look much better, but the distortion factor is down from 26% to 18%, so things are improving. Now remove the seventh as well.

Things are actually looking better now. The sine wave is starting to emerge. The distortion factor is down to 11%. Next take out the 11th.

This still isnt a great waveform, but the distortion factor is now only 8%. Add in the final element and remove the 13th harmonic.

This is the final current waveform. The distortion factor is 6%, so a reasonable current is being put into the utility. Of course, the significance of this current waveform to the voltage distortion would depend on the source impedance and the current level. The design and analysis of these multiple section filters is usually done with a relatively complex computer program. The assumption of a purely inductive utility source is seldom correct, since the source impedance is affected by transformer

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and transmission line characteristics, neither of which have a linear reactance with frequency. In fact, it may be necessary to model some transmission lines as long lines with hyperbolic functions, since electrical line lengths may exceed a wavelength at frequencies of interest for I * T analysis. Transformer characteristics are determined by leakage reactances and stray losses in the iron, copper and frame. Their impedance may increase with frequency up to some limit and then remain more or less constant for further increases in frequency. Some guidelines for system source impedances are contained in IEEE 519. FILTER GUIDELINES Despite the difficulties of filter design, some general ground rules can be set down. First, start with the lowest harmonic frequency present and design a shunt filter to provide sufficient attenuation at that frequency. Then, work up in frequency, taking one harmonic at a time, and design the individual filters. The L/C ratio of each can be determined from cost considerations and the total capacitive KVARs allowable or desirable on the system from power factor considerations. After low frequency harmonics have been handled, it may be necessary to install a high pass filter as described earlier to handle line notching and I * T limits. When the entire filter has been defined, the system impedance characteristic must be determined to see if the parallel resonances will cause problems with ringing. If so, the filter sections must be damped, the usual technique being to install resistors in parallel with the inductors so as to limit the power frequency losses. Experimental evidence indicated that parallel resonances near the fourth harmonic of power frequency may cause instability in some high performance drive systems. If the total capacitance on the system is not critical, it may be feasible to tune the parallel resonance off this frequency band. Tuning parameters should be chosen with an eye to the possibility of future changes in the utility source impedance. The resonance may also be controlled to some extent by adding damping resistors to the traps. Otherwise, it may be necessary to add a series resonant fourth harmonic trap. These considerations become especially important in filters for arc furnaces since the arc generates a wide band of both even and odd order harmonics. HARMONIC PREDICTION So far, the assumption has been made that a harmonic problem exists. If you have one, you are likely to have heard about it one way or another. But if a plant expansion is planned or new equipment is to be installed, how does one estimate the new harmonic output of a number of sources? The net harmonic effect of a number of rectifiers and/or motor drives depends on the circuitry used in each. Rectifier units and the diodes which supply PWM type drives have harmonics which tend to be in phase, so they add directly. SCR controlled equipments, however, tend to have harmonics in random phase relationships unless several items operate synchronously. In general, the net harmonic effect of SCR equipments will be given by square root sum of squares of the

FILTER GUIDELINES
START WITH LOWEST HARMONIC ADD SECTIONS AS REQUIRED ADD HIGH PASS IF NEEDED COORDINATE WITH SYSTEM VARS CHECK RESONANCES AND DAMPING

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individual currents. Since rectifiers, rectifiers with capacitor filters and SCR equipments have different harmonic spectra, the only way to combine them is to develop the spectrum for each type. Then, for each harmonic frequency, add the harmonic currents of the same type either algebraically (rectifiers and rectifiers with filters) or as square root sum of squares (SCR units). SUMMARY This report reviewed how to reduce harmonic currents so that the limits of feeder voltage distortion recommended in IEEE 519 are not exceeded. But this by no means assures that equipment connected to that feeder will perform properly. It is an unfortunate truth that a great deal of electronic equipment and even some solid state power equipment is designed by engineers who are misinformed or unaware of power line distortion. Make IEEE 519 a company standard as regards procurement specifications for anything that will attach to an AC line. Get a copy of 519 and use it. Tell company vendors that their equipment must operate properly with the distortion inherent in a feeder which is in conformance with IEEE 519 recommendations as regards harmonic distortion and line notching. Only the highlights of harmonic control were discussed in this booklet. There is a wealth of information available on these subjects, including IEEE 519-1992 Recommended Practices and Requirements for Harmonic Control in Electric Power Systems, and the UK Engineering Recommendation G.5/3, Limits for Harmonics in the United Kingdom Electricity Supply System. Both contain a wealth of background information, including bibliographies and practical suggestions as well as recommendations for limits on harmonic levels.