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Reactors for Static Var Compensation (SVC)

In order to improve power system transmission and distribution performance and stability Static Var Compensation (SVC-) Systems are installed by electric utilities. These fast-operating compensation systems provide the reactive power needed to control dynamic voltage swings under various system conditions. They further provide a means to control the power flow. Therefore the power industry also uses the term FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems), which covers all technologies that enhance stablity, capacity and flexibility of AC power systems.

Thyristor controlled reactors (a), called TCRs are major components of an SVC system. The reactive power consumption of these reactors can be continuously controlled by thyristor valves. They are commonly used in combination with switched shunt capacitors to provide variable reactive power as required. To limit the inrush current of the capacitors, series connected damping reactors (b) are inserted ahead of the capacitor bank. The power semi-conductors used in an SVC scheme generate harmonics, which need to be eliminated by harmonic filters. Therefore in an SVC system harmonic filter reactors (c) are employed as well.

Not only electric utilities are putting a lot of effort into improving their power system performance and stability. Demands for increased production and more stringent regulations regarding admissible network disturbances make reactive power compensation a profitable solution in industry as well.

A typical example for an industrial load that would cause inconvenience to consumers, is an electric arc furnace (EAF) in a steel works. The extreme load fluctuations during the scrap melting process require dynamic reactive power compensation in order to provide  stable and steady voltage support for the electric arc furnace and to minimize network disturbances. SVC systems for electric arc furnaces therefore represent the key application for SVC reactors, in particular for thyristor controlled reactors.

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