Minimizing Penalty in Industrial Power Consumption by Engaging APFC Unit Project
This project is adapted to reduce penalty for industrial units by implementing automatic power factor correction unit. The ratio of actual power being used in an alternating electrical circuit to the power which is apparently drawn from the line causes the angle delay ranging from zero (for a purely resistive load, pf= 1) to a theoretical maximum of 90° (for a purely inductive load, pf=0) as the cosine of this angle is the power factor, pf.
In an electric power system, a load with a low power factor draws more current than a load with a high power factor for the same amount of useful power transferred. The higher currents increase the energy lost in the distribution system, and require larger wires and other equipment. Because of the costs of larger equipment and wasted energy, electrical utilities will usually charge a higher penalty to industrial or commercial customers where there is a low power factor.
In this project inductor plays a major roll for developing the lag condition. Power to the circuit is fed from a step down transformer where a rectifier is used for converting AC-DC and regulated. The time lag between the zero voltage pulse and zero current pulse duly generated by suitable operational amplifier circuits in comparator mode are fed to two interrupt pins of the 8051 microcontroller. The time lag between the current and voltage are displayed on LCD which is interfaced with microcontroller. Depending upon the delay the program which has been dumped in the microcontroller brings appropriate number of relays through relay driver IC from its output to bring shunt capacitors into the load circuit to get the power factor, till it reaches nearest to unity.
Further the project can be enhanced by using thyristor control switches instead of relay control to avoid contact pitting often encountered by switching of capacitors due to high rush current.
Automatic Power Factor Correction
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8051 series Microcontroller
Relay driver IC
Languages: Embedded C or Assembly
Assembled and Tested Prototype for reference
Pre Programmed Microcontroller
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Bill of Material
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