Capacitor application issues

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Courtesy of Eaton Corporation

Abstract - Capacitors provide well-known benefits to electric power systems. These benefits include power factor correction, voltage support, release of system capacity, and reduced system losses. As with any piece of electrical equipment, there are a number of application issues that engineers need to be aware of. These issues range from the very basic to the very complex.

Most of these application issues can be, and have been, the subject of their own detailed technical papers. This paper does not get into rigorous detail but rather discusses these issues with the goal of making the reader aware of many of the traps one can fall into when applying capacitors.

The application issues are addressed based on the authors’ experiences working in various capacities (performing power system measurements and studies, performing engineering service failure investigations, advising capacitor sales personnel, consulting with end users, and building custom capacitor banks), thus seeing these problems from many different angles.

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