# Document Library

Delta Connections - Calculation of Capacitor Unbalance

The industrial market has become aware of the money that can be saved with the use of power-factor correction capacitors and has given rise to more delta-connected capacitor banks. Customers showing concern for identifying failures within the banks find that the biggest problem is in finding an easy method of determining the current differences in unbalanced conditions so that relay and/or alarms can be used. This problem can be reduced considerably with mathematics. First, consider the balanced delta connection of Figure 1. Using a simple and standard connection, let the system be 7200 volts, delta, with 2400 KVAR. This means 800 KVAR per phase.

Figure 1

Converting KVAR into Microfarads, We Have

Using the Parameters Set Up

From Here, the Capacitive Reactance Can Be Determined

Where

V = phase to phase voltage

Xc = capacitive reactance

Figure 2. Hypothetical Circuit

Based on the balanced load, we know the phase voltages are 120° apart. We also know that current leads the voltage by 90° degrees. This is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Phasor Diagram of the Circuit

From Figures 2 and 3, We Have

The Leg Currents Will Then Become

Using Kirchoff's Law

or

Note: That 111.3 amps times = approximately  192.6 amps. This confirms the fact that in a balanced delta-connected load, the line voltage and phase voltage are equal, and the line current is   times larger than the phase current.

This arduous method is simplified by mathematics if the displacement of the currents is not considered and only the integer co-factor is considered. This is simply:

In our case, it would be:

Line current is

Leg current is

But the main concern is the unbalanced delta. What happens to the line and leg currents? The above calculation will not apply. Again, in order to appreciate the mathematics, we will go through the pains of the total calculations.

The phase currents need to be computed and then Kirchoff's current law applied at the junctions to obtain the three line currents. The line currents will not be equal nor will they have a 120° difference as in a balanced load.

Figure 4

Assume We Lose a Unit in Leg A-B

Let

V = 7200 V
AB = 600 KVAR
BC = 800 KVAR
CA = 800 KVAR

Again, using  or C (in mfd) =  and

We find

(See Figure 4)

Then

Figure 5

So We Have

But, as before, we can use  for the leg currents.

You will notice Ic remained at  in both cases. This is because Ica + Icb didn't change in either case.

Again, mathematics can be used to solve the line currents. Ignoring the displacement again, we can easily see Ia and Ib will be equal as far as the integer co-factor is concerned.

Using The Law of Cosines, We Can Obtain the Formula

In Our Case

Summary

The balanced delta capacitor circuit and calculations are basic but still prove to be time consuming. For the most part, angular displacement is not significant and there is no reason to go through the long arduous task of finding the displacement just to obtain the resultant, or current. The formula  provides the resultant we seek.

The Same Holds True on the Unbalanced Delta Condition and Can Be Easily Handled with the Formula