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Home / Technical Articles / How to determine compensation of reactive power of an electrical installation

Improving power factor

Improving the power factor of an electrical installation (compensation of reactive power) has many economic and technical advantages, but it’s not always easy to do so. There are numerous approaches to do such job, so let’s try to with this one.

How to determine compensation of reactive power of an electrical installation
How to determine compensation of reactive power of an electrical installation (photo credit:

Compensation of an installation is determined in four steps:

  1. Calculating reactive power
  2. Choosing the compensation mode:
    1. Global compensation for the entire installation
    2. Compensation by sector
    3. Individual load compensation
  3. Choosing the compensation type:
    1. Fixed
      (by switching on/off a capacitor bank supplying a fixed amount of kvar)
    2. Automatic
      (by switching on/off “steps” by breaking up installed bank capacity and enabling adaptation in the installation’s kvar needs)
  4. Allowing for harmonics
    This involves choosing the right equipment to avoid the harmful consequences that harmonics might have on the capacitors installed.

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Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.

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