Image credits: CIRCUTOR
News Article

CIRCUTOR AFQ Filters Reduce OPEX, Ensure Grid Code Compliance

By MBN Staff | Fri, 01/22/2021 - 09:35

In every country, companies that require a great deal of electricity dedicate substantial technical and financial resources to comply with local standards, laws and codes. This includes solutions for correcting power factor or reducing harmonic currents, but many of these solutions often only do just enough to meet minimum requirements. In fact, every commercial or industrial facility should prioritize prevention of issues related to power factor and harmonic currents.

Although difficult economic times make it challenging to allocate the necessary financial resources to solve problems related to reactive power compensation, the negative consequences for an electrical infrastructure, as well as large fines for allowing the power factor to drop below the set limit, result in much higher costs than those associated with solving the problem, even in the short term. CIRCUTOR helps industrial players, offices and commercial facilities to reduce operating costs and comply with urgent regulatory demands.

The negative consequences on electrical installations derived from a low power factor include:

  • An impact on the power capacity of the installation itself.
  • Joule effect losses in cables and transformers.
  • Possible wrong protection trips without a clear cause, affecting the continuity electrical service and production lines of the user.
  • An overload problem in generators or transformers.
  • Low voltage problems.


Regarding harmonic currents, the effects on the network are:

  • Heating of cables.
  • Low accurate of protection settings, due to the increase in RMS waveform and an increase in its peak value.
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  • Disturbances in electric motors: loss of performance, loss of torque, shaft vibrations and mechanical wear in bearings.
  • Disturbances in transformers because the Joule effect causes overheating in the coils and iron core.
  • Disturbances in control systems caused by incorrect measurements, errors in control processing and interference in communications and control.

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Correcting the power factor and reducing harmonic currents in the user’s installation has benefits beyond preventing fines for not complying with the government’s grid code. If not dealt with accordingly, facilities can be affected to the point of heavy economic losses. Of course, the technical effects on the transmission and distribution system of the company supplying electricity are equally crucial. Once reactive compensation has been carried out at a client’s facility, the current in the distribution system will be corrected as well.

CIRCUTOR has designed filters using AFQm multilevel technology for electrical enclosures and installations. It is the most complete solution to solve problems related to three-phase power installations used by industrial and commercial players, correcting not only problems caused by harmonics but also by reactive power consumption.

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CIRCUTOR’s AFQm solution reduces harmonic currents up to the 50th harmonic at 3000Hz. With this solution, users can choose which harmonic frequencies will be filtered to gain higher efficiency, at a response below 20ms.

AFQm also solves issues related to reactive power compensation, both in consumption and generation of electricity, inductive and capacitive currents, respectively. The multilevel AFQm filter balances phases by reducing the neutral current flow, avoiding overheating, insulation losses and untimely tripping of circuit breakers. It also corrects imbalances in currents, improving electricity consumption between phases of the installation. Furthermore, the four-wire model reduces neutral current.

Even though the main objective of applying the multilevel AFQm filter is to protect electrical installations, it must also generate a positive cost-benefit balance, not only with the purchase of the equipment but in all costs associated with its installation and operation. Therefore, installation and a swift start-up are priorities for CIRCUTOR.

Easy installation Formats:

  • Equipment for wall mounting.
  • Equipment on cabinet (rack mounting).
  • For 4-wire (up to 400V) or 3-wire (up to 480V) networks.
  • 50 or 60Hz.

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It is essential that electrical equipment connected to user installations have connectivity, communication functions and an easily understood Human machine interface (HMI). The AFQ solution takes all of these characteristics into account, which in turn will help clients optimize operational costs, a major challenge in the difficult times the world is facing.


Let’s Talk Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, CIRCUTOR offers its Power Studio SCADA, which monitors all electrical parameters and has the option to create custom screens for the active filter.

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Because data and data storage are crucial, CIRCUTOR offers its Datalogger integrated into its solution. Datalogger has the capacity to store records up to seven years associated with all the electrical parameters the filter records every minute. This can then be easily downloaded as a report in a spreadsheet format. Visualization is a key parameter for analysis and decision-making. The Power Studio Scada features:

A touch screen for monitoring the filter’s performance status:

  • Power and harmonic distortion before and after the filter.

Instant parameters:

  • Voltage, current, active power, inductive and reactive power, capacitive and reactive power, apparent power, THDU percentage, THDI percentage and power factor.
  • Individual harmonics of voltage and current, both before and after the filter.
  • A phasor diagram representing the angular difference of the two sinusoidal waveforms of voltage and current.

Clients can monitor and manage the filter configuration remotely, without needing to install additional software. The ability to consult the webserver in this manner greatly enhances forecasting and decision-making processes, which guarantees fluent operation, easy problem solving and production optimization of the client’s offices or industrial plant. This is where the concept of “smart supervision” comes into play.

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Ease of Setup

The product is designed to be both safe and intuitive. For example, it solves connection errors by inverting current transformers directly from the touch screen. Safe Mode prevents the filter from connecting automatically by setting a minimum starting current. This avoids injection when it is not required.

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Facilities such as office buildings, industrial plants or retail shops need to be programmed based on a specialized diagnosis and action plan in order to obtain the greatest benefits. Implementing such a plan results in many benefits. For example, clients will be able to comply with complicated regional legislation. The main advantage is that they can rest assured that their equipment will function properly and their electric power supply will remain stable. This, in turn, translates to a wealth of economic benefits.

Rafael Valdez

Commercial Director Mexico and Central America of CIRCUTOR

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The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Photo by:   CIRCUTOR
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