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Minimizing Cost and Power loss by Optimal Placement of Capacitor using ETAP

Pravin Chopade' and Dr.Marwan Bikdash

Computational Science and Engineering Department ,Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering North Carolina A & T State University Greensboro, USA Email:

(LAuthor is doing Ph.D. at NCA T, USA and Assc. Professor at Bharati Vidyapeeth

Deemed University College of Engineering Pune.INDIA)


in a power distribution

system network


mostly inductive and

lead to poor power factor. In order to utilize

tbe generated

power optimaUy

it is necessary to maintain close-


power factor. Power

factor correction

is possible



the capacitive loads in the circuit, as to nullify the

effect of inductive loading.

Due to simplicity of analysis of radial


systems, most previous work (I) studied the effect of


and capacitive

loads on the optimal solution of the





for radial distribution

systems only. In this paper, we study optimal capacitor placement

on interconnected



in the presence



loads. The placement problem

is solved using Genetic


(GA) as implemented

in the ETAP Power station


Results (power losses, operating

voltages and annual


are analyzed.






components affect optimal capacitor placement

in all

system configurations.

If all loads were linear, interconnected

and loop system configurations

offer lower power losses and

better operating conditions than the radial system configuration.

Keywords- Optimal placement of capacitors, Reactive POII/Cr, ETAP Software.



The leading current provided by a capacitor can effectively


the lagging current demanded

by reactive


components. Power factor is defined as the ratio of real power

(kW) to total power (kV A). When the distribution system's

reactive load can be canceled by a capacitor placed at the reactive load center, the entire power delivery system will be


of KVAR, originally supplied from the power

supplier's generator. This makes the full capacity of the


available to serve real power loads [1]. If a capacitor

is connected to the distribution system either too far ahead of or too far beyond the system's inductive load center, the capacitor still provides reactive loading relief, but the system will not gain the full advantages of voltage and loss improvement which would be afforded by proper capacitor placement [2]. Electric power is supplied to final users by means of Medium Voltage (MY) or Low Voltage (LV) distribution systems, their structures and schemes can differ significantly according to loads location. Overhead lines with short interconnection capabilities are mostly employed in rural areas, whilst cables

with a great number of lateral connections for alternative


are widespread used in urban

areas [3]. Most power

distribution systems are designed to be radial, using only one path between each customer and the substation. If power flowing away from the substation to the consumer is interrupted, complete loss of power to the consumer will follow

[4]. The predominance of

radial distribution is due to two

overwhelming advantages: it is much less costly than the other

two alternatives (loop and interconnected systems) and it is much simpler in planning, design, and operation. An alternative

to purely radial

feeder design is a loop system, which has two

paths between the power sources (substations, service transformers) and each customer [5]. Equipment is sized and

each loop is designed so that service can

single fault.

In terms of complexity, a

be maintained under a loop feeder system is

only slightly more complicated than a radial system [6]. Power

usually flows out from both sides toward the middle, and in all cases can take only one of two routes. Voltage drop, sizing, and protection are only slightly more complicated than for radial systems. Interconnected distribution systems are the most

complicated and costly

but they are the most reliable method

of distributing electric power. An interconnected distribution system involves multiple paths between all points in the network and provide continuity of service (reliability) far beyond that of radial and loop designs. Interconnected distribution systems are more expensive than radial distribution systems, but not greatly so in dense urban applications, where the load density is very high and the distribution must be underground. Given that repairs and maintenance are difficult because of traffic and congestion, interconnected systems may cost little more than loop systems.


systems require little more conductor

capacity than a loop system. The loop configuration required "double capacity" everywhere to provide increased reliability. Interconnected systems are generally no worse and often need considerably less capacity and cost, if that are well designed. The solution procedures of the Capacitor Placement Problem (CPP) start with performing a load flow analysis to analyze the steady-state performance of the power system prior to capacitor placement and after capacitor placement and to study the effects of changes in capacitor sizes and locations [7].


© 2011 IEEE



Load and power flow direction are easy to establish in a

radial distribution system, and voltage profiles

can be

determined with a good degree of accuracy without resorting to exotic calculation methods; equipment capacity requirements can be ascertained exactly; capacitors can be sized, located, and

set using relatively simple procedures (simple compared to those required for similar applications to non-radial (loop and interconnected) system designs [8]. Due to the simplicity of analysis of radial distribution systems, all previous work studied the effect of nonlinear loads on optimal solution ofCPP on only radial distribution systems [9].

The study of the optimal placement and sizing of fixed capacitor banks placed on distorted interconnected distribution systems using Genetic Algorithms (GA) as used in ETAP Software [10] is presented in this paper. Results (power losses, operating conditions and .annual benefits) are compared with that obtained from radial and loop distribution systems. The radial, loop and interconnected distribution systems models are obtained by suitably simplification of a typical Power grid. The Commercial package ETAP 7.1 program is also used for . harmonic load flow analysis [10].

Computational results obtained

showed that harmonic

component distortion affects the optimal capacitor placement in all system configurations. When all loads were assumed to be linear, interconnected and loop system configurations offer the lowest power losses and best operating conditions rather than the radial system configuration. Radial system configuration offers the best annual benefits due to capacitor placement. In distorted networks, the interconnected system configuratior offers lower power losses, best operating conditions, and best annual benefits due to capacitor placement.


As a rural power distribution system load grows, the system


factor usually declines. Load growth and a decrease in


factor lead to [ 3, 5]

  • I. Voltage regulation problems;

  • 2. Increased system losses;

  • 3. Power factor penalties in wholesale power contracts; and

  • 4. Reduced system capacity.

In addition to improving the system Power


capacitors also provide some voltage drop correction. A capacitor's leading current cause a voltage rise on the system. But care must be exercised as not to cause too much voltage rise or provide too much leading current. Distribution

capacitors can also reduce system line losses,

as long as the

system power factor is not forced into a leading mode. Properly placed and sized capacitors can usually reduce system line losses sufficiently to justify the cost of their installation [I, II].

BuLk power facilities have to use some of their capacity to carry the inductive kVAR current to the distribution system. The resultant reactive current flow produces losses on the bulk facilities as wel!, introducing unnecessary costs. Generators provide the reactive needs of distribution plant inductive loads


reducing the generator's designations.

capacity to produce reef' power.



The current in branch (i,k) connecting buses i and k is given



L, = Pit - JQik


lik = Current through branch (i, k). ?ik = Total real power flow in the branch (i, k). Qik = Total reactive power flow in the branch ( i, k).

Vi =

The Total

Voltage at node i. Power Loss in the transmission lines is :



TPL = L.,;I I'k 1R'k




n = Current through branch (i f1 Rik = Resistance of branch Ci f1

A branch curr nt has two component":

e,rtive (l a )


reactive ( l ' ).The total loss associated with the active and reactive components of a branch current can be written as






TPL r = LI I~ 12Rik


The loss TPL" associated with the active component of

branch current cannot network because all

be minimized for a single - source radial active power must be supplied by the

source at the root bus. However, supplying part of the reactive power demands locally, the loss TPL r associated with the reactive components of branch currents can be minimized.


capacitor draws a reactive current I, and for a radial

network it changes only

the reactive component of current of

branch set c. The current of other branches is unaffected by the capacitor. Thus the new reactive current of the (i,k)'h branch is given by









1, if branch (i R) E a





Here I,~ is the reactive current of branch in the original system

obtained from the load flow solution.

The loss TPL rcom

associated with the reactive component of branch current in the

compensated system (when the capacitor is connected) can be

written as


TPL~om= L U;;' + Dik1c)2 Rik



The loss saving TLSis the difference between equation (2)

and (3) and is given by


Maximum benefits are obtained by locating the capacitors

as near the inductive reactance kVAR loads as possible and by

matching the magnitude of the inductive reactance kVAR


Practical considerations

of economics


availability of a limited number of standard kVAR sizes

necessitate that capacitors be clustered near load centers.

Computer modeling or rigorous evaluation of considerable load

metering data are absolutely necessary to make the proper

capacitor placement decision and keep line losses as low as

possible. The loss reduction benefits possible with capacitor

use can be significant enough to economically justify feeder

metering or a large share of SCADA system costs.

A textbook solution [I] assume

a uniform distribution of

TLs = TPLr- TPLrcom


and suggests that as the distance from the

substation increases, the number of consumers per main




= LU;;')2 Rik - L U,~+ DikIi~)2 Rik



mile of feeder increases.

To obtain maximum benefits in voltage improvement and

reduction of loss on such a line, a permanently connected


=L (2DikI,: + DikI/}R ik



_:::: ':Cfixed)_capllcilor bank should be located at a.distance from the


which is 1/2 to 2/3 of the total length of theIine."

This location method is used strictly as a "Rule

of Thumb"

The capacitor current Ie that provides maximum loss saving

can be obtained from dS/d1e= 0

because few rural circuits contain such uniformly distributed



L (DiJ:~ +DikI~)Rik



Thus the capacitor current form

loss saving is given by

-L I;;' Rik

I = ikea


L.J H,k


ik ea

The corresponding capacitor size is


Q c =V I


Q c =

Capacitor size in KV AR

Vm = Voltage magnitude of bus' m' in volts

Ie = Capacitor current in amps

The corresponding susceptance is

Thus, the following method is better suited for locating

capacitors: Use a computer model of electric system and allow

the computer program to place the capacitors on the system in

blocks of the largest size that can be used to limit the voltage

changes to 3 volts per switched bank.

Computer models calculate proper capacitor placement by

trying the smallest size capacitor a system uses in each line

section of every feeder and calculating the total circuit losses.

In this way, the computer selects the line secuon with the

lowest net losses an