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Application issues of active power filters

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1 Author(s)
Fang Zheng Peng ; Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., TN, USA

In this article, common nonlinear loads have been characterized into two types of harmonic sources, current-source type of harmonic source and voltage-source type of harmonic source. Compensation characteristics of both parallel active filters and series active filters have been discussed analytically and experimentally for these two types of harmonic sources. The corresponding required operation conditions, features, application issues, and adaptive harmonic sources of both filters have been presented. The fact that the traditional active filter, the parallel active filter, is not a panacea to harmonic compensation, and that one cannot use it blindly, has been clearly addressed. The parallel active filter will increase harmonic current and may cause overcurrent of the load when the load is a harmonic voltage source. Instead, it has been verified that the series active filter is better suited for compensation of a harmonic voltage source such as a diode rectifier with smoothing DC capacitor. The conclusions of this article also imply that when a parallel active filter is installed in a power system network such as at a point of common coupling, the network impedance and main harmonic sources downstream from the installation point should be investigated in order to get good performance and to minimize influence to the loads downstream. In some cases, a combined system of parallel active filter and series active filter may be necessary by utilizing the harmonic isolation function of the series active filters. No doubt active filters are superior to passive filters if used in their niche applications

Published in:

Industry Applications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 5 )