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How Does Your Capacitor Work?

APFC Panels

A load & therefore its KVAR are in a dynamic state - generally. A matching KVAR output
of a capacitor bank must also be dynamic i.e. must adjust itself-instantly to its
requirement, if one is to obtain a uniform &'set' p.f. all along. This is best achieved by an
automatic control that switches in & out, segments of a designed capacitor bank. A
control panel serving this purpose is called on APFC panel or Automatic Power Factor
Controlling panel. It controls the load power factor by sensing various available

A) Sensing Parameters :-

1. Current - Sensing based APFC :- The current magnitude through a feeder or bus is
sensed and fed to a relay. As this magnitude crosses a set band-width, the relay
operates a power controlling a section of a capacitor bank. This is the simplest and
possibly the cheapest relay. It has a disadvantage of functioning with no reference to
the actual load power factor - but assuming it.

2. Power Factor Sensing based APFC :- This relay senses the start of the voltage
current wave forms on a given feeder & measures the time difference between them. It
then converts this into a p.f. & compares this with a set value. Upon finding a difference,
it operates the power contactor. This type of relay is most widely used. It has an
advantage of being able to show the laod p.f. on an indicating meter. It's disadvantage :-
It has no relation to the load magnitude & it's KVAR requirement. It can lead to severe

3. KVAR Sensing based APFC :- This relay senses the magnitudes of both the voltage
& current wave forms & also the time or phase difference between them. It then
calculates the load KVAR & compares these with a possible combination of sections
within a capacitor bank and operates their controlling contractors to add the required
capacitor KVAR to the electrical system. This is the most sensitive relay - capable of
obtaining maximum benefit out of a given capacitor bank.

It's disadvantages :- It is rather hard on the contractors and its related surge
suppression attachments.

B) Sizing of Capacitor Switching Blocks :-

1) Power Factors for the purposes of levying penalties are based on the monthly
consumption’s of KVA-Hrs, KW-Hrs & KVAR-Hrs as recorded on a tri-vector meter. If
the basic purpose of installing capacitors is to stay safely above the penalty limit, then
average power factor correction based on a 24 hour basis is sufficient and not an
elaborate "instant to instant" p.f. correction. This helps one in setting as wide a band-
width as possible before changing a step. It prevents switching - too often.
It must be noted that KVA-Hrs and KVAR-Hrs do not subtract if excessive capacitor
KVAR are dumped into the system by over corrections into a leading zone - say part of
the time. It records this also as a low p.f. & subject to penalty. Besides, leading p.f.'s are
unhealthy for capacitors & the system itself.

a) A simple straight forward method of sizing the capacitor blocks would be to divide
them equally into targeted number of steps. Besides simplicity it has an advantage of
standard sizes for replacement of work out contractors, blown fuses etc. Many a
designer favour this.

b) In ambitious method of sizing the blocks, they are designed in a binary sequence so
that a large number of combinations is available for a given set of contactors etc. If the
accessories are chosen properly, this can be an ideal method though slightly costlier
than method (a) above.

c) Each controls in an APFC Panel adds considerably to overall costs.

It is advisable to keep as much capacitor KVAR out of the APFC control as possible, for
example, the first step i.e. load portion which is constant on a 24 hour basis, Continuous
working industries offer this.

In the second step - divide the remainder in a number of steps. Keep this number of
step as small as possible, by studing the load pattern. The portion that is likely to be
operated often, should be at the fag end. Large size contactors should at the starting
end so that they operate as few times as possible.

C) Methods of Switching In & Switching Out :-

1) When the bank is controlled in equal steps, as in B(a) above, some designers prefer
a first - in, first - out or FIFO method so that all contactors and steps have uniform
period of operation & can together last longer.

2) If method B(c) above is followed, then the switching control should be on the basis of
'First-in, Last-out' or FILO.

3) Method B.(b) above, calls for random switching which requires careful selection of
power contactors or better still, opting out for thyristor switching - which has yet to prove
it's mettle in India.

D) Structural Design of an APFC Panel :-

1) Capacitor bank step (section)

2) Discharge resistance on individual capacitor unit - external.

3) Incoming switch fuse for the bank.

4) Capacitor bank bus bar.

5) Capacitor bank CT's.

6) Ammeter selector switch.

7) Ammeter for bank current.

8) Thermal overload relay or sectional fuses.

9) Automatic control relay & p.f. meter. Time delay relays.

10) Power contactor.

11) Push Button sets.

12) Indicating lamps.

13) Cabinet (capacitor bus bars)

14) Earthing bus bars.

15) Isolating transformer for contactor coils.

16) Heater.

17) Lamp, extra piano type switches & sockets.

18) Cooling fan.

19) Auto-manual change over switch.

E) Rating of Components :-

1) Should an APFC panel develop a 'short' from the main bus to body or between
phases, a heavy current will flow till the back-up protection - like an HRC fuse, isolates
this short.

The system voltage divided by the system impedance up to the point of a short, gives
the short circuit current. This impedance consists main by of the step down transformer
impedance - generally 4% to 6%. Increasing this value by 10% takes care of
impedances of intervening items like a switch, a bus bar, a C.T. etc. The short circuit
current divided by 165 Amps gives an acceptable conductor cross section, which can
safely hold for a s.c. duration of one second. Generally, these sections are not unduly
large and fall within a current density of 2.5 to 3 Amps/mm2 of the full capacitor bank
current rating.
Should the length of this panel be large - then the bus bars must be laterally & rigidly
supported to prevent flexuring under s.c. forces.

2) A capacitor shorted to it's body restricts the s.c. current severely. Depending on the
inside construction and the wall thickness of the capacitor tank, this unit can withstand
the bursting forces till it's protective system takes over. Thus the double earthing of a
panel can be safely standardised on G.I. strip of 50 x 6 mm2 size.

3) A capacitor at the instance of being switched on, is a dead short circuit. The inrush
current is limited in its peak value by system inductance’s upto that point, except that
the circuit now goes into a natural resonance. A power contactor, by nature of its
construction and contact material, can withstand a peak current of a given magnitude -
beyond which, the contactor points will weld on to themselves - leading to capacitor

If a capacitor is being switched on against other steps which are already on, then the
other steps will discharge into this new - comer. The intervening bus bars have very low
inductance’s & these peak currents are very high - reaching 160 times the rated
capacitor current or more. The capacitor should be able to handle this- without welding.

There are three methods to deal with this :-

a) Use a liberal & proven rating for a known contactor.

b) Use surge suppression choke coils on each capacitor, to introduce

extra inductance & thus limit the peak current. For panels with 4 steps or
more & also for panels using MPP capacitors, this is essential.

c) Use a special contactor with auxilliary contacts which introduce a

starting resistance at the begining, then short it.

4) A discharge resistor on a capacitor reduces the residual voltage on it - after being

switched off to a safe value of 50 volts within less than a minute and readies it for re-
switching should this be required. If this resistance were to burn out, the re-switching
will take place against a charged unit. This will burn it out. It is highly essential to
periodically check the condition of these externally mounted discharge resistance’s.

5) Other Items : Main switch fuse is substituted by air-breakers for large banks. Draw -
out type, electrically operated breakers increase cost of a panel tremoundously.

6) Time Delay Relays : Time Delay Relays with an adjustable one minute delay should
be incorporated - both in APFC or Manual mode to prevent re-switching of a

contactor within less than one minute of switching it off.

What can go wrong in an APFC Panel.

1) Wrong connections to the Automatic Relay :

The C.T. feeding this relay is the mains CT & not the CT within the panel itself. The
voltage connection to the relay should be from the same phase from which the current
is measured. These relays are single phase relays.

2) Too narrow a band-width, per step :

The band-width can be set manually. A narrow band width leads to hunting between

3) Contactor points welding together.

4) Discharge Resistor &/or choke coils burning out.

5) Time Delay Relays being bipassed or not working.

6) Failure of electronic components under the combined on slought of higher ambient

temperature and voltage surges - particularly for outdoor pole- mounted type of panels.

7) Improper ventilation, Loose cable joints & similar causes commonly found.

8) Unattended leaks on capacitors.

How Will You Design Your Capacitor Bank ?


1) Carry out a 24 hour load survey. Note down hourly KWs, P.F. and voltages.

2) Divide this into three sections :

a) No load or light load - but fixed KWs & its P.F.

b) Average load and its P.F.

c) Peak load and its P.F.

3) Design the bank for its, peak load conditions. Hold your desired p.f. at 0.95. Work out the capacitor
bank KVAR by referring to the tables.

4) If the load is small (less than 50 KWs), then split the bank in two sections corresponding to
conditions (2a) and (2b).

5) If the load is of medium size and (say up to 200 KWs), then split the bank in three sections
corresponding to conditions (2a), (2b) and (2c).
6) If the laod is large sized and complex, then split the bank into a simple sections corresponding to
(2a) and combine sections (2b) and (2c) and rearrange them in a multi - step, automatically controlled


1) Capacitor under A- 2a must be specified at higher range of voltages. Thus an energised transformer,
with practically no load - except for 4-6 hours in a day, eg. (transformers under Garrison Engineers,
MES) will require a capacitor rated at 500 Volts.

2) Capacitors under A-2b and A-2c fall in two categories :-

a. Category where electrical service is poor and the best voltages seldom cross
400-405. Specify 415 voltage.
b. Category where loads fluctuate and voltages vary and also where you suspect
harmonics, specify 440 volts.




1. Capacitors under A-2a should be left on permanently, on a 24 hour basis. An

adequately rated switch-fuse is good-enough for this.
2. Capacitors under A-2b, may be switched on and off, once in twenty four hour
basis - covering the duration of the average load. These need not be switched off
during recess-intervals since generally the load conditions on supply mains are fairy
3. Capacitors under A-2c serve mainly to reduce the maximum demand in KVA
and may be switched on and off more than once during the day - probably twice, if the
peak load appears twice - during the day.
4. Capacitors under A-2c might not lead to satisfactory, reliable, manual
operation.Automatic capacitor control - combining both 2b and 2c is more
desirable.While the control panel will be on for twenty hour in a day, individual sections
might come on or go off many times in 24 hours as per load conditions.

D) Design of switches, fuses MCCBS, contractors and also types of

automatic controls and steps KVAR sizes are discussed in our serial
on Automatic Power Factor Control Panels.

How Does Your Capacitor Works ?

Self Healing MPP Capacitors (Low Tension Type)

Self - Healing Process :-

In the traditional capacitors, two or more layers of insulating, solid dielectric were wound between
individual layers of thin aluminium foil- to form a capacitor. Now, no layer can have an absolutely
uniform thickness at every spot, nor can have zero pinholes & conducting particles - over several Sq.
meters of a surface that goes into forming today’s power capacitors. If a single layer of a solid
dielectric were to be used, it will fail at several points. A second layer can cover the defects in the first
layer - since defects on both of them are likely to overlap at very few locations. This possibility further
increases by a quantum jump if three layers are used between conducting layers of aluminium foil.
However one can vacuum deposit a conducting metal of low evaporation temperature like zinc or
aluminium & do away with a separate thick aluminium foil altogether. When a short occurs across a
defects, the short circuit current can instantly evaporate this deposit & form aluminium or zinc oxide -
both of which are non-conducting. Thus the area around the defect is isolated & the capacitor can
rework. This process is called Self-Healing. The thickness of the aluminium deposit has to be
accurately controlled so that the film definitely evaporates & does not require too high a temperature.
If it fails to evaporate & isolate the defective spot, a permanent short circuit will form & the capacitor
will go out of service. This thickness is measured in resistance per unit area. It is 3-4 Ohms for
aluminium & Ohms for zinc.

Advantages of Self Healing Capacitors :

Since all the defects in a single layer of Metallised Polypropylene (MPP) can be healed at the
manufacturing stage only, a single layer capacitor can be formed quite comfortably at higher dielectric
operating voltage stresses. This gives a capacitor that replaces a thick aluminium foil(5-6 micron) with
a thin deposit (0.2 to 0.3 micron) & allows single layer of thinner polypropylene in place of two or three
layers of thicker polypropylene, the size & the costs go down drastically. It has replaced the traditional
capacitors at a very fast rate.

The Dry Capacitors :

A Metallised film has an edge clearance at one end - usually 2.5 mm for 440 Volts capacitors.
Metallising reaches the edge at other end. Alternate layers are so formed that the Metallising on one
set comes at one end A & Metallising on following set comes at end B. Round coils are wound & the
ends are sprayed with zinc. A conducting lead is soldered on to these surfaces. There is a microscopic
layer of air between these layers. The coils are wound tight. They are further shrunk under heat
treatment. This reduces the air thickness between layers very significantly.

The Short Falls of S-H Capacitors :

a) Moisture getting in between layers oxidises the thin deposits in it thickness fully.The oxidising
boundary detaches a healthy section of a deposit. This results in rapid or continuous fall of capacitor
current. This happens mainly in badly & loosely wound capacitors. The coil ends are normally sealed
with an epoxy or the coils are immersed in an insulating liquid to prevent this.

b) The zinc-spray & the aluminium deposit form a bi- metallic physical joint- which corrodes aluminium
preferentially in the presence of moisture. This cuts off the entire healthy metallisation below from the
conducting edge, resulting in rapid fall of capacitor current. To prevent this, the metallisation thickness
just at the edge conducting edge is increased by what is called a heavy edge deposit. Another method
that helps is - to deposit zinc on the lower deposit of aluminium - in what is called an aluminium -alloy

c) Consider a large air gap between layers & an irregularity in the form of a sharp point. As the voltage
increases across the dielectric, at same point there will be electron streamers originating from this
sharp point & cutting through the air path. This is the beginning of a partial discharge. It will create hot
spots & eventually fail the coil. Air has a breakdown voltage of 4 KV/mm & can easily produce &
sustain partial discharges.

However if the air path is microscopic, air will breakdown and establish a short circuit path, rather than
sustain a partial discharge. This will increase the leakage current. Leakage current is Ohmic. It makes
the coil hot.

d) The most critical portion of the S - H Capacitor is the edge gap. The full coil voltage applies across
this gap. It is spread on a very thin base 0.2 / 0.3 micron thick as against 5-6 micron thick in traditional
capacitors. The voltage stress is very high- leading to instant or even sustained partial discharges,
should the voltages cross the air gap strength.
Normally a 2.5 mm gap across a 0.3 micron base can sutain A.C. voltages upto 440 volts + 10%. This
makes these capacitors unsuitable where there are steady high voltages or sudden & continuous
voltage fluctuations.

Please note that European networks with distribution at 380 volts are quite comfortable
with S-H Capacitors.

A way to over come these defects would be to fill up these gaps with a suitable oil under vacuum. The
oil with breakdown values of 60-80 V/micron increases the gap strength considerably. Japan is carrying
out field trails with S-H Capacitors, filled with SF-6 gas, under pressure, on networks rated at 3300 &
6600 volts AC.

e) In S-H Capacitor, current flows from one end of the coil to the other end axially along the cross-
section determined by the full length of the wound foil. By contrast, in a traditional capacitor, it flows
circularly along the length of the winding with a cross-section determined by the width of the wound
foil. This gives a very low self inductance to S-H coils as compared to traditional coils. These self
inductance’s are inadequate to inherently limit starting or paralleling currents between two capacitors
as compared to traditional capacitors. These unrestricted current flows, create instant high voltages,
puncture a dielectric & blow up capacitors. Capacitor bursting is more common with S-H Capacitors
than with traditional capacitors.

A choke coil in S-H capacitor takes care of this problem & is a must.

In conclusion one can say that S-H Capacitors are highly economical & could be used successfully if we
understand what their limitations are & under which circumstances - not to use them.

Madhav S-H Capacitors are not tightly wound. They are dried and impregnated under high vacuums
with capacitor oils. Further each unit has internal or external choke coil. Besides, we study strictly
where they are being applied.

Where it is advantages to go for MPP Type Capacitors ?

1) Distribution lines where voltage and load variations over a 24 hour period are moderate. Typical
example -Mofusil areas with a large spread of various loads served by substations with automatic on
load tap changes. One can down scale this to suit.

2) Automatically controlled capacitor banks with built - in over voltage, under voltage, over current &
p.f. correction controls & with current limiting chokes on each step.

3) Rural distribution lines - heavily overloaded and supplying power at perennially low voltages. To
some extent, overloaded zones of other distribution lines also.

4) And of - course where one's budget for capacitors is rather tight, but with attention to (1) & (3)

Where MPP Capacitors are not to be recommended :

1) On load with widely fluctuating currents such as strip mills, arc furnaces, workshops with heavy
presses and similar impulse type energy drawing machines, welding machines, etc.

2) Locations where higher incidence of harmonics are expected.

3) Hazardous areas [ oil installation, new power generators or generator bus ducts] where explosions
are not allowed. Generally MPP Capacitors are more explosion - prone than other types of capacitors.
4) Areas with high short circuit level for distribution networks. (This is likely to affect self healing).

5) Supply systems with wide daily voltage fluctuations - where the night time voltages shoot up
beyond the guaranteed limits.

Consistent Improvements through Field Experience & Continuous Innovations

for Customer Satisfaction !!

How Does Your Capacitor Works ?

APP and MD Capacitors (Low Tension Type)

APP and MD Capacitors:-

This group of capacitors has a distinct feature of having separate aluminium foil as an electrode. The
solid dielectric can be two or more layers of polypropylene as in APP Capacitors or a combination of
condenser tissue paper and polypropylene as in MD or Mixed Dielectric Capacitors.

Another distinguishing aspect is the introduction of a suitable oil as a liquid electric.

The Building Blocks :-

1) The polypropylene Film is specified as BOPP with hazy surface on one or both the sides. The
inherent strength is very high (480 - 600 Volts/micron DC.). The molecules are brittle though. The film
is stretched in both directions during manufacture, thus orienting the crystals along the line of stretch
i.e. biaxially. This improves impregnation by oil and increases it's strength.

The haziness, about 0.2-0.3 microns average, is actually roughening of a smooth surface by creating
multiple, cross-connecting, microscopic channels. This helps the impregnating oil to rise through wick
action and gravity and fill up all possible empty cavities.

Very thin films are costly and comparatively failure prone, since the haziness comes at the cost of
overall thickness.

2) Condenser Tissue Paper is actually a mass of thin pulp, rolled to desired thickness and dried. The
fibres or micelle, mesh into one another. This gives large cavities inside - from which trapped air and
moisture must be meticulously removed and substituted with oil.

The paper molecules are flexible compared to PP molecules. They can withstand sudden electrical
pulses much better and are ideal as dielectrics on networks which produce all types of surges
continuously. Thus Mixed Dielectric capacitors are suitable for a very rugged and exacting service.
However, losses in paper are high. The voltage stresses are low. The size and cost of MD capacitors
are high.

3) Aluminium foil plays the part of a conducting electrode. It does not play any part as a dielectric
material. Hence its thickness can be conveniently reduced - the common thickness available today
being 5 microns.

The foil edges are cut mechanically. If examined under a microscope they have irregular and sharp
points jutting out as shown. The voltage stresses on these sharp points rise very high and cause partial
discharges into the edge gap.

This is taken care of by - Folding the edge on itself by a few Mms or

- by laser cutting-which is ideal-but very costly.

4) Oil replaces air and moisture in the voids within the dielectric portion. It gives strength and
increases the life of a capacitors and as such is a very critical component of the entire system. It itself
must be filtered to very fine degree and degassed. It is reinforced with anti-oxidants and scavengers.
The scavengers lock out acids and broken chain lengths of oil molecules arising out of partial

5) Discharge Resistors : Normally externally fitted on L.T. Capacitors, they discharge the residual
voltage from the peak level to 50 volts or less, within one minute. Burnt out resistors will not perform
and present a risk to human life as well as to capacitors.

These resistors form a sizeable - portion of the total heat loss defined for a capacitor - although this
portion of the loss does not reflect the dielectric quality.

6) Internal fuses helps to isolate a faulty element and keep the capacitor going. In L.T. capacitors, the
elements in a phase are all in parallel. Thus isolation of an element may cause phase unbalance - but
no harmful increase in voltage on remaining elements. Quite often, in a well constructed unit, these
fuses become redundant.

Advantages of APP/MD L.T. Capacitors :-

1) Unlike MPP Capacitors (in some cases), there is no deterioration of output current with passage of

2) Losses in APP Capacitors gather around 1.0 to 1.5 Watts/KVAR.

in MD Capacitors gather around 1.5 to 2.0 Watts/KVAR.

in MPP Capacitors gather around 2.0 to 2.5 Watts/KVAR.

3) They are more rugged and can withstand severe voltage surges. They can also withstand upto
certain amount of harmonic loading.

Disadvantages of APP Capacitors :-

1) They are more bulky and heavier than MPP Capacitors.

2) Their costs are in multiples of two and more, than the costs of equivalent MPP Capacitors.

3) They are prone to developing oil leakage’s - particularly under higher temperatures. This reduces
their actual life.

4) Replacement of a faulty unit in a bank is clumsy.

"Madhav" Capacitors are manufactured with full quality control at

each stage. The basic blocks are individually tested with full
understanding of the weakness of each constituent. The
subassemblies and final products are tested for compliance with in-
house, as well as BIS Standards. Their field performance over a
period of 45 years is outstanding. (Earlier these were all paper
Where it is advantages to go for APP Capacitors :-

1) They are preferable on networks where the voltage fluctuations are wide and night time voltages
rise considerably.

2) They are preferable in installations where current and voltage surges are present due mostly to the
nature of machinery used.

3) They are preferable where moderate harmonics are suspected.

4) They are preferable near generators, bus ducts, hazardous areas etc.

5) They are ideal - when they are not expected to be obsolete in a short time, where longer trouble -
free, least maintenance operation, is expected and where of-course, the budgeting is liberal and open-

Consistent Improvements through Field Experience & Continuous Innovations

for Customer Satisfaction !!

Madhav Capacitors Pvt Ltd

How Does Your Capacitor Works ?


To some extent, a similarity can be drawn between flow of water and flow of electric current. Water
requires a difference in height to cause a flow. Electricity, like – wise, requires a difference in potential
between to points for the current to flow. We call this difference in potential as voltage of one point
with respect to earth or just a voltage between to points. Electric current flows in three difference

1. Ohmic Current.

These are thousand of loosely attached electrons in conducting metals like copper,
aluminium, silver, etc. even a small voltage between to points – say of wire- will drive
these electrons from a higher level to lower level and cause a current flow. We can
measure this current in Amperes (Amps.). In its flow, some metals will have too many
obstacles – which take a higher voltage to drive and which dissipates heat in the metal
– like that in an electric bulb. This heat is termed as Ohmic Heat.

2. Dielectric Current.

These are a class of materials called "Insulators" which have very few loose electrons. They present a
near perfect wall, blocking flow of loose electrons, if a voltage is applied across these. Some of these
insulators have free dipoles at the end of their obstacle wall.

These dipoles get charged positively and negatively during each half cycle of and A. C. supply. A whole
array of such dipoles between two conducting plates under an A. C. voltage carry, positive and
negative charges from one plate to another during each half cycles. This transformer of charge – also a
current – measured in amps, forms dielectric or capacitive current. It is entirely different from the
Ohmic Current.

3. Inductive Current.
Just as dipoles transfer reactive power under an applied field, magnetic fields produced by a current
flowing through a wire, grow and collapse twice in each A.C. cycle and transfer energy. They transfer
energy from a high level to lower level. Not only they transfer electrical energy in to mechanical
energy as in an electric motor. These currents can be termed as Inductive Currents. Without Inductive
Currents, we would not have used electricity to the extent that we use it today. They have a side
effect, they lower the power factor and cause wastage of power during transmission and distribution.

The very purpose of employing capacitors to produce dielectric currents is to improve the power factor
and reduce losses, while the inductive currents are doing their useful work.

4. Power Factor Correction.

By the nature of generation, in a A.C. circuit, the capacitor gets charged as the current flows. When the
flow stops, the current is zero and the capacitor is charged to full voltage. in other terms, the current
leads the voltage.

On other hand, a choke coil which has built up full magnetic field, starts sending out the current as the
field collapses gradually. Here the voltage leads the current or the current lags behind the voltage.

Both the currents produce static or magnetic fields - but do not do useful work like heating a bulb.
However when they flow through the wire or a transmission line, they cause power loss. As such, their
magnitudes should be minimum possible. Since both flow of positive times with respect to voltage,
they nullify one another. Then we produce leading current by using capacitors to cancel out the
lagging currents. This is termed as Power Factor Correction - which finds large capacitor application.

5. Some Technical Terms.

An ideal dielectric material will be one with an absolute resistance to passage of free electrons and a
large number of dipoles at its molecular end. There is n such material. Solid, liquid and gas type of
dielectric materials have been used for making capacitors. Some free electrons are to be found in
small quantities in these materials. But the biggest source of free electrons and ions comes from
impurities, moisture, free air etc. a dielectric material can block effective passage to free electrons
upto its strength limit. Beyond this, some electrons penetrate the resistance wall and wander through.
The ohmic passage cerates heat and under the continuos attack at higher and higher voltage levels
and heat, more and more ohmic current flows - till a continuous path is established from one
conductive plate to the other - through the dielectric. In other words, there is a puncture and a short
circuit. Following technical terms are associated with this phenomenon.

1. The measure of free dipoles or the capacity to carry charged is termed

as the dielectric constant. Paper has a dielectric constant of 4 to 5 and carries
more dipoles than polypropylene with a dielectric constant of 2.2.
2. The measure of free electrons available for an ohmic flow of current is
called tangent of loss angle or tan delta. Free electrons can come from a bad
dielectric material itself or from the contaminants accumulated during
manufacturing process or due to imperfect removal or air and moisture during
the process or re-entry of these in service, due to hermetic seal braking down.
The broken down wall of a dielectric with broken molecules also supplies large
number of free electrons.
3. The voltage level upto which a given thickness of insulating material
holds back effectively passage of free electrons is called the dielectric strength
of the material. This 480 - 600 volts D.C. per micron of polypropylene film as
against 180 - 200 volts/micron for paper with oil in it. It becomes lower as we
go from solid to liquid and to gas dielectric. For the presently used PXE oil it is
70 - 80 volts/micron. For epoxy potting used, it is 10 - 12 volts/micron and for
SF-6 gas at atmospheric pressure, it is 8 -10 volts/micron.
4. The voltage level at which the wall is breached and electrons start
flowing in, is called the partial discharge beginning or inception level. If this
level is reduced gradually, there is a point below which no more dangerous
electrons wander through. It is called as the partial discharge extinction (or put
- out) level.

A capacitor or dielectric system may be likened to a medieval fort under siege. Assume that under
steady service conditions, the outside enemy is maintaining a blockade and a steady pressure. A well
chalked out fort will hold out for ages. The enemy now changes his tactics and sends wave after wave
of soldiers to ram down the gates - just as voltage surges and harmonic will do to a capacitor. It might
break open the door and a few bands of enemy will rush in - creating hot spots. Come the night, and
surge levels drop down. A good general within, will brick - up the breach overnight and throw the
inside enemy soldiers in the moat to the mercy of the scavengers there.

He is ready for the next onslaught. Repeated onslaught will eventually destroy all the defence
potential and the fort will vanish in to history. The on - slaught could be tackled on the outside in
difference ways. Just like the fort, capacitor can have an inner layer of second and even third layer of
defence. For the given cost to build up the fort, and defend it, one has to select the best of all buildings
blocks, use them wisely, train and discipline the soldiers during formation and above all, look for the
contaminating, inside enemy. It takes a capable general to organise this.

Some Of The Main Reasons For Failure Of Capacitors?

1. Short falls in Design and Manufacturing :

2. Inadequate - Dielectric Thickness.
1. - Margins at ends.
2. - Insulation to body.
3. Ionic impurities in liquid portion, moisture and air incompletely
4. Defects in welding, in soldering of bushing to material. Other
5. Short falls in transit :
6. Short falls in service conditions :
7. Heavy inrush current during - starting or paralleling.
8. Resonance conditions during starting or during operations.
9. Server voltage fluctuations, high surges, arcing back across faulty
switches and fuses on capacitors, resulting in high surge voltages, arcing and
bus bar shorts in vicinity of the capacitor.
10. High harmonic magnitudes in supply.
11. Inadequate ventilation, oil leakage, loose connection, burn out,
discharge resistors.
12. Over - correction leading to `leading' power factors arising mostly due
to non - switching of capacitors when not required

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how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is

Question 1320KW, Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Question Submitted By :: Bhojaraja.k
I also faced this Question!! Answer Posted

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer Please refere Capacitor manufacturers 5 Ytd
catlogue where there
# 1 is table to improve PF Vs. Load.
Is This Answer Correct ? 30 Yes 25 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer by using delsigma relations or fiuys charts 0 Cibi
apf panel rating
could be determined

Is This Answer Correct ? 14 Yes 23 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer KVAr = KW(multiplication factor ) 3 Ak
# 3 cos@1-intial P.f
cos@2-final P.f

Is This Answer Correct ? 34 Yes 7 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer we required runnig load and maximum demand 0 Anjaneyulu
then only we will get perfect KVAR

Is This Answer Correct ? 24 Yes 4 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer Answer 3 is correct one. 0 Prakash Suhane
Is This Answer Correct ? 15 Yes 5 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer Kvar=KVA(1-P.F) 0 Vijay

Is This Answer Correct ? 12 Yes 15 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer Input Initial Power Factor : .76 0 Ajeet Singh
# 7 Input Desired Power Factor: .98
Input Load KW (KW) : 1320 KW





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Is This Answer Correct ? 5 Yes 8 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer APFC panel rating = 400 KVAR 0 Vijay Kumar
Is This Answer Correct ? 4 Yes 7 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer KVAR Rating = 860kvar or 714kvar 0 Md.aftab Alam
Is This Answer Correct ? 3 Yes 4 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f

Is This Answer Correct ? 4 Yes 1 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,
Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer please give the details how much is your 0 Santosh
inductive load (
# 11
motor ) or give the connected load list &
connected capacitor.( kvr)

Is This Answer Correct ? 6 Yes 0 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer kw=1320 0 Tajinder Singh
# 12 present PF = 0.76
kva =1320/0.76
for unity pf u require capacitors Panel
=1129 kVAr
for 0.98 pf u require capacitors panel
=858 kVAr

Is This Answer Correct ? 1 Yes 3 No

Re: how to caluculate APFC panel rating, my running Load is 1320KW,

Present P.F 0.76 to 0.8 we need 0.98 p.f
Answer 290 kvar panel of 14 stage
# 13 conected relay {fifo}

Is This Answer Correct ? 1 Yes 0 No