As utilities work to make their power grids more efficient, both fixed and switched capacitor banks are playing an ever-increasing role. Capacitor banks improve efficiency by providing the necessary power factor correction and voltage stabilization.

New capacitor controls further improve this technology. The early switched capacitor banks used simple time clocks and temperature controls to control capacitor banks to switch on and off at peak times. While this early method of capacitor switching worked well on some systems, it did not cover all the variable conditions that exist on the grid. As wholesale power costs rise and penalties are implemented for poor power factors at the distributor’s metering points, the need for better and more reliable capacitor switching become apparent. New models, such as the CBC8000 Capacitor Control offered by Eaton’s Cooper Power Systems, are helping utilities reach goals with simple, ready-to-use devices.

The CBC8000 Capacitor Control can be configured for single-phase or multi-phase operation, monitoring, and metering. When used with a neutral sensor, the health of each capacitor and fuse can be monitored and alarms can be set to notify the utility of the status of each bank. The CBC8000 comes with a host of different communications options to easily tie into current and future communication schemes for remote reporting and operation. Volt/Var optimization plans for peak saving and energy conservation are easily implemented with the CBC8000.

The control is fully front-panel programmable and is also programmed using the Eaton Cooper Power System Proview NXG Software. The software is available at no charge on the Cooper Power Central website. The same software is used to program the CL7 Regulator control and the Cooper Form4D Recloser control, further simplifying the programming of multiple devices used together for Volt/Var optimization. The CBC8000 comes with several mounting options, including direct pole mounting with a connector and cable that is wired to the oil, vacuum switches on the capacitor rack, and a six-jaw meter base mounting option. The six-jaw meter base option allows for immediate replacement of older controls that used the meter base mounting option.

As a bonus, the CBC8000 is lineman friendly with large push-button controls and an easy-to-read display. The control comes ready-made to use as a time, temperature, voltage, current, power factor or remotely operated device. The control can also operate on a combination of the above parameters to fine-tune the operation to fit any power grid.

The CBC8000 control is completely capable of meeting the current and future needs of capacitor switching to help utilities meet their goals of optimizing power grids for reliable and efficient operation.

For more information or a demonstration of the CBC8000 Capacitor Control, contact your local Gresco representative.

Andrew Rush, P.E.
Technical Product Specialist