Compensation Guide: Effective, Solution-Oriented and New Generation Approach Ideas

Compensation is a vital balance mechanism in all areas with people including factories, hospitals, shopping malls, schools and hotels. The compensation of all types of physical devices and machines in today’s advanced technological world became a necessity rather than a need.

I am Emrullah AKGÜN, working at Tense Electronic as an International Technical Support Engineer. In this article, I prepared a guide about what is compensation, what to do for effective compensation, modern compensation (SVC), the challenges in modern compensation and our solutions against these challenges as Tense Electronic.

What Is Compensation?

Let’s start with a general compensation definition:

“It is a “counter-procedure” plan created on an expected side effect to obtained more efficient and beneficial results.”

Today, loads that are needed in different areas (life, manufacturing, consumption etc.) consume both active power and reactive power due to their characteristics. The high utility bill paid by the end-use is due to the unnecessary load caused by the electric installation.

As a natural consequence, the energy efficiency decreases and the wires might even experience overheating and burning due to an excessive current flowing on the installation which might significantly damage the electric installation. To find a solution against these challenges, effective, solution-oriented and new generation compensation methods and tools can overcome these problems.

Challenges and Solutions in Compensation

For Unbalanced Loads

The electricity system in every business might not be balanced. As the loads in the business are turned off at the end of the office hours, very low KVAR loads continue to exist. In this case, effective compensation is challenging with a normal reactive relay. Tense new generation reactive power control relays with SVC property manufactured with a different and experimental engineering approach will open the doors for effective compensation!

For Fast Load Variations

Using normal reactive relays for compensation in systems with fast load variations will be an insufficient and ineffective approach. Here, you need to slightly change your perspective and use a Tense reactive relay with thyristor that can intervene in approximately 20 MS to create an amazing and wide playground for effective compensation.

For Renewable Energy Systems

Energy systems based on renewable resources such as solar energy, wind energy, biofuel and hydro energy show us that we are witnessing a period of global trend and transformation. Solar Energy Systems (Photovoltaic) are among the most preferred renewable energy systems.

While some businesses only use the generated energy from the solar energy systems in their own business, others use this energy and sell the excess energy to the grid to generate income from this system. Therefore, a compensation system is required since reactive energy is consumed as the energy is generated in this system.

Thus, an effective and efficient compensation system will naturally contribute to increasing the generated income. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to use a normal reactive relay in solar energy systems to handle this problem. Using a modern reactive power control relay that can make compensation with an effective and new generation approach for solar energy system will increase the efficiency, effectiveness and income to make the benefit of the system more visible.

Keys to an Effective Compensation

At the end of this article, we will list the key properties* of a reactive relay for effective compensation.

  • SVC Property: Reactive relays with SVC property must be used to intervene to very low capacitive loads on the system and to bring the reactive power on the system to zero for a more sensitive compensation in unbalanced systems.
  • Photovoltaic Systems: New generation reactive relays designed for effective and efficient compensation should be used for businesses that generate energy with solar energy systems.
  • Step Number: 6-step or 8-step reactive relays are insufficient for the compensation of unbalanced systems. Therefore, you need to use 12, 18 or 24 step PFC for such unbalanced systems.
  • THD-I | THD-V Harmonic: The increased load with drivers in today’s systems cause increased harmonics on the system and these harmonics might damage compensation equipment. You need to use reactive relays that measure harmonic to prevent these problems. These reactive relays stop the compensation system when the harmonic value exceeds a set value and prevent any equipment damage.
  • Grid Analyzer Property: The visibility of the other parameters on the system is highly important for the users. Tense Reactive relays can be easily used as a grid analyzer. These relays are designed to measure the current, voltage, frequency, active power, reactive power, apparent power, active and reactive energies, harmonics (up to 61st harmonic), temperature, cosine and PF on the system.
  • Error Notification Messages: The users might experience connection or system errors when installing reactive relays. The reactive relays that show the error messages on the screen take an important role at this point. Thus, the main cause of the error can be seen clearly and a fast intervention is possible.
  • Outputs: The temperature-induced changes due to ambient temperature or panel operation temperature will damage the compensation equipment. To prevent such damages, it is vital to have alarm output property in reactive relays against harmonic fluctuations.
  • Power Flow Graphic: The increased number of unbalanced load systems require reactive relays to set the most suitable steps in the compensation systems. Thus, more effective compensation is possible.
  • Co-Ageing: This property is used to increase the contactor and capacitor life in the compensation systems. Reactive relays that use capacitors alternately are needed when there are two capacitors with the same value.
  • Generator Property: When the mains are cut off, generators will start for uninterrupted energy. More efficient energy is possible by compensation from generators. As an optional property, reactive relays ensure uninterrupted continuity of the systems against power cuts. Using reactive relays with this property will be a smart investment in terms of efficiency.
  • Thyristor Property: The normal reactive relays in businesses with fast load variations cannot cope with the speed of the load variation. Reactive relays with thyristor structure that can commission faster steps can rapidly keep up with such load variations.

* You can find all of these properties in Tense Reactive Power Relays. You can visit our compensation page for more information.