One means of ensuring that harmonic currents of nonlinear components will not unduly interact with the remaining part of the power system is to place filters near or close to nonlinear loads. The main function of a filter is either to bypass harmonic currents, block them from entering the power system, or compensate them by locally supplying harmonic currents.

Due to the lower impedance of the filter in comparison to the impedance of the system, harmonic currents will circulate between the load and the filter and do not affect the entire system; this is called series resonance. If other frequencies are to be controlled (e.g., that of arc furnaces), additional tuned filters are required.

Harmonic filters are broadly classified into passive, active, and hybrid structures. These filters can only compensate for harmonic currents and/or harmonic voltages at the installed bus and do not consider the power quality of other buses. New generations of active filters are active-power line conditioners that
are capable of minimizing the power quality of the entire system.

Passive filters are made of passive components (inductance, capacitance, and resistance) tuned to the harmonic frequencies that are to be attenuated. The values of inductors and capacitors are selected to provide low impedance paths at the selected frequencies. Passive filters are generally designed to remove one or two harmonics (e.g., the 5th and 7th).

They are relatively inexpensive compared with other means for eliminating harmonic distortion, but also suffer from some inherent limitations, including:

1. Interactions with the power system;

2. Forming parallel resonance circuits with system impedance (at fundamental and/or harmonic frequencies). This may result in a situation that is worse than the condition being corrected. It may also result in system or equipment failure;

3. Changing characteristics (e.g., their notch frequency) due to filter parameter variations;

4. Unsatisfactory performance under variations of nonlinear load parameters;

5. Compensating a limited number of harmonics;

6. Not considering the power quality of the entire system; and

7. Creating parallel resonance. This resonance frequency must not necessarily coincide with any significant system harmonic.

Passive filters are commonly tuned slightly lower than the attenuated harmonic to provide a margin of safety in case there are some changes in system parameters (due to temperature variations and/or failures). For this reason filters are added to the system starting with the lowest undesired harmonic.

For example, installing a seventh-harmonic filter usually requires that a fifth-harmonic filter also be installed. Designing passive filters is a relatively simple but tedious matter. For the proper tuning of passive filters, the following steps should be followed:
8. Model the power system (including nonlinear loads) to indicate the location of harmonic sources and the orders of the injected harmonics. A harmonic power (load) flow algorithm should be used; however, for most applications with a single dominating harmonic source, a simplified equivalent model and hand calculations are adequate;

9. Place the hypothetical harmonic filter(s) in the model and reexamine the system. Filter(s) should be properly tuned to dominant harmonic frequencies; and

10. If unacceptable results (e.g., parallel resonance within system) are obtained, change filter location(s) and modify parameter values until results are satisfactory.

In addition to power quality improvement, harmonic filters can be configured to provide power factor correction. For such cases, the filter is designed to carry resonance harmonic currents, as well as fundamental current.

Active filters rely on active power conditioning to compensate for undesirable harmonic currents. They actually replace the portion of the sine wave that is missing in the nonlinear load current by detecting the distorted current and using power electronic switching devices to inject harmonic currents with complimentary magnitudes, frequencies, and phase shifts into the power system.

Their main advantage over passive filters is their fine response to changing loads and harmonic variations. Active filters can be used in very difficult circumstances where passive filters cannot operate successfully because of parallel resonance within the system.

They can also take care of more than one harmonic at a time and improve or mitigate other power quality problems such as flicker. They are particularly useful for large, distorting nonlinear loads fed from relatively weak points of the power system where the system impedance is relatively large. Active filters are relatively expensive and not feasible for small facilities.

1 comment:

  1. I like your blog, you shared valuable information about in Harmonic distortions are one of the most common and irritating problems in industrial environment. We need to identify the source of harmonics and suppress them for a quality supply of power. Please visit Harmonic Analysis