Brochure Shunt and series reactors for medium- and high

Brochure Shunt and series reactors for medium- and high
Shunt and series reactors
for medium- and high-voltage grids
Economical and stable grid operation
Reactors enhance
grid stability and
economic efficiency
A secure power supply system requires a
well-built supply grid. State-of-the-art technology, high quality, and reliability are fundamental prerequisites. Reactors offer grid
operators benefits at various levels for
achieving this goal:
• Technical: Better voltage control, lower
reactive power load through optimized
reactive power compensation, compliance
with contractual requirements (shunt
reactors), short-circuit current limitation,
and impedance adjustment of line sections (series reactors).
Shunt reactor from Siemens
• Economical: Most cost-efficient solution
for reactive power compensation and
short-circuit current limitation, lower reactive power demand, lower losses, higher
grid capacity, balanced load flows and line
• Entrepreneurial: Flexibility and independence from other connected grid
Before delivery, every unit is tested at
a high-voltage test bay
Working reliably for decades in highvoltage grids worldwide: reactors from
Every one of our products is an individual,
custom-tailored fabrication that always
meets all product requirements governing
voltage, rating, mode of operation, noise
and losses, connection technology, and
cooling type as well as transport and
Reactors can be used for a wide range of
Series reactors are deployed for short-circuit
current limitation and load flow changes.
Shunt reactors provide voltage control and
reactive power compensation, and can also
be designed as variable shunt reactors with
tap changers. They serve to:
• compensate for capacitive reactive power
of transmission lines – particularly on
grids operating at low- or no-load
• reduce network-frequency overvoltage
in case of load variation, shedding, or
network operating at no load
• improve the stability and economic efficiency of power transmission
Expertise combined with customer
For over 100 years we’ve partnered up
with notable energy providers and grid
operators. We have developed our own
design tools for reactors, implementing
decades of experience. Our network of
manufacturing plants spread around the
world enables us to combine the advantages of a large company while still maintaining close proximity to our customers. In
this way, we support our customers daily
and help them on their way to success. No
matter where you are, our experts are
always on hand to offer support.
Systematic quality
For us, quality is a thorough, consistent philosophy pervading
all our company locations, and one that is reflected in all our
processes. Each of our manufacturing plants has been individually certified to ISO 9001 and holds other, local certifications which are available for viewing. The products manufactured meet all required standards, from IEC to ANSI and IEEE.
advise them in advance on desired, necessary, and possible
additional design features. At all our company locations, project management and order execution are entrusted to service-focused employees on whom our customers can rely.
And Siemens’ after-sales service is, of course, also there for
you once our reactors have been delivered.
As leaders in quality on the transformer market, we define
quality as an interplay of know-how, top-quality materials,
and qualified personnel throughout our work procedures.
Every manufacturing step is accompanied by quality controls;
final inspection and acceptance testing are performed in our
high-voltage test bays in the manufacturing facility. We can
also conduct special tests upon request. We regularly invite
customers to attend such tests and inspections so they can
be sure of the quality of their product.
Measurable reliability
With quality assurance in mind, we go even one step further
in the service we provide for our customers: We already
The validity of our design rules are confirmed by the high
number of units in service (over 800 just in the last ten
years). We work to the highest possible precision and always
use high-quality materials. Our qualification system for contracting suppliers worldwide is based on the same standards
we hold ourselves to. The result is a failure rate that is nothing short of impressive – and we’ll gladly provide you with
our latest mean time between failures (MTBF) figures.
Grid troubleshooter
Possible application areas
Fixed or variable?
Reactors are real all-rounders. In conventional electricity transmission grids, they are
used for voltage control, reactive power
compensation, load flow changes, and for
short-circuit current limitation.
Fixed reactors are the most suitable economical solution for constant loads and grid
conditions. However, variable reactors are
the best solution for accommodating wide
load fluctuations on the line and changing
grid conditions in future (for example due
to grid expansion or changes in the power
generation structure), as well as for use as
flexible spare units. A fixed reactor would
overcompensate under rising load, which
would lead to unwanted further drop in
voltage and to additional inductive reactive
power transport through the line. Variable
reactors can be adapted to the given load
situation and thereby always offer the
precise compensation needed.
In today’s new energy landscape that features growing numbers of distributed power
generation and higher fluctuation in power
feed-in, the scopes of application particularly for variable reactors have expanded
significantly, for example:
Typical application area for reactors:
the power transmission grid
• grid-connection of large wind and solar
power farms
• compensation of voltage fluctuations due
to distributed power generation or the
wide load fluctuations of private
• connection of future large energy storage
systems which, during charging and use,
cause higher loads and, during storage
time, lead to no-load conditions on lines
• accommodation of topological changes
such as grid extensions or changeover
from overhead power lines to cables
Hydro energy storage can lead to
increased load as well as no-load
conditions on power lines
Furthermore, owing to the steadily growing
range of voltage/power combinations, variable reactors offer the option of flexible
spare units for multiple power classes simultaneously, minimizing the number of
replacement units that have to be kept for a
spares plan.
Reactors can compensate for voltage fluctuations when renewable energy sources feed the grid
Difference between fixed and variable reactors:
fixed reactor may overcompensate
Precise compensation by a variable reactor
Fixed reactor
Variable reactor
Precision in every work step
Our oil-filled reactors are manufactured in two design types:
• without an iron core, with a magnetic-flux return circuit
(series reactors up to 800 kV / 1,500 MVAr)
• with the iron core divided by air gaps (shunt reactors up to
800 kV / 300 MVAr)
Achieving low vibration, noise, and losses that remain constant over the entire operating period requires precision. We
accomplish this not only by drawing on our decades of experience, but also by using exact and tested design analysis
programs and the highest possible precision in every stage
of the manufacturing process.
For windings, insulation, tank, monitoring devices, connection equipment, and the tap changer, Siemens uses proven
technology known in transformer design and manufacturing.
The centerpiece of a reactor, however, is the core, which is
very different to the cores used in power transformers.
Series reactors are generally designed and manufactured as
single-phase units without an iron core (air core), and with
only a magnetic-flux return circuit.
In our shunt reactors, Siemens uses an iron core divided by
air gaps, achieving a compact design with low noise, vibration, and losses. Another benefit of the iron core with air
gaps is a dampening effect (knee-point voltage) that limits
voltage under extreme overcurrent conditions. The core is
made from radially laminated iron packages, while ceramic
spacers ensure precise compliance with the specific air gap
requirements. The core is clamped together by tie rods made
of steel and/or limbs, and held in place together with the iron
yoke and return circuit in a clamping frame. Siemens has two
concepts to offer and adapts the design as needed: With
inner clamping, the tie rods are inserted through holes in the
core, which in particular at high voltages results in a compact
design and, due to the optimized force transmission, in minimum noise. With outer clamping, the tie rods are located outside the core and winding which, at low voltages or in singlephase reactors, reduces the unit weight (in particular of core
and winding). Siemens’ unique spring technology between
the tie rod and crossbeam ensures constant core pressing.
In this way, Siemens’ design constantly maintains low vibration and noise levels over the entire service life of these units.
Three-leg core of a reactor with air gaps
The design process for reactors also differs quite radically
from that of transformers. Most notably the mechanical
design, owing to its special core, can be much more complex
and therefore demand particular attention to control certain
physically determined characteristics. This is why it is so
important to be able to rely on the manufacturer and its
expertise, especially for these products. Siemens uses software and simulation tools developed in house to ensure in
subsequent testing that the guaranteed performance values
are indeed met.
Measurement is better than calculation
Close-up view of core with air gaps
Wooden bracing on the return circuit leg of a reactor core
Not every test bay designed for transformers can also perform the tests required for reactors. In the test bays at our
Siemens locations that manufacture reactors, tests can be
conducted under real operating conditions right up to the
highest voltage levels and power ratings. This means, for
example, that the manufacturing plants that produce the
three-phase reactors can also test them under three-phase
conditions. Guarantee values do not need to be extrapolated:
with Siemens, you can rely on the real measured data.
Five production locations –
one design concept
Siemens Transformers’ organization has a large manufacturing network at its disposal. Reactors are manufactured at five
production facilities located on three continents. Every reactor is a customized product, tailored to meet the customer’s
needs. Our manufacturing network, working to uniform,
standardized internal guidelines governing the design and
manufacturing of reactors, ensures that all our customers
worldwide have access to the same extensive know-how and
quality, irrespective of location. At the same time, our manufacturing plants adhere to all local standards and conditions
of the countries to where our products are delivered.
Nuremberg, Germany
This ensures that you as a customer enjoy the following
• prompt preparation of proposals and quotations
• optimized, thorough, and consistent project management
• highly reliable on-time delivery
• flexibility, security, and reliability thanks to backup
manufacturing plants
• uniform documentation
• punctual delivery
Linz, Austria
Weiz, Austria
Mumbai, India
Jundiaí, Brazil
In 2014, Siemens delivered the largest series reactor in the world for use at the 400-kV level at 408 MVAr rated power
and 2,770 MVAr throughput power.
Increased reliability
thanks to series reactors
Series reactors are used to control current and increase
impedance. As their name suggests, these reactors are
arranged in series with the existing line and serve, for
example, as:
• short-circuit current limitation reactors
• load flow change reactors
• arc-furnace reactors
• (motor) start-up reactors to limit starting current
The main application area is current limitation. The series
reactor constitutes an impedance in the grid and thereby
increases the resistance of the arrangement.
• With short-circuit current limitation reactors, the possible
short-circuit current is limited in the event of a fault. The
reactance of these reactors is designed to achieve effective
short-circuit current limitation while the voltage drop across
the reactor is still acceptable during normal operation.
Because short-circuit current limitation reactors cause voltage to drop and also impact the transient behavior within
the grid, the site of installation and the reactor dimensions
must be chosen carefully. Our colleagues at Siemens Transmission Solutions will gladly assist you in this regard and
can perform the necessary network studies.
• Arc-furnace series reactors provide an additional reactance
to stabilize the arc and increase efficiency.
• In motor start-up reactors, the starting current is limited
where appropriate in combination with a speed controller.
• Grounding reactors are a special application where they
serve to increase the impedance at the neutral point of
transformers. In case of a fault, the reactor limits the fault
current at the neutral point, ideally precisely compensating
the capacitive grounding current and supporting restoration
of the line.
• Another application area is for one-time impedance adjustment of a subsystem in order to change the load flows. For
such one-time adjustment, a series reactor is usually the
most economical solution. If load flow control needs to be
permanently flexible, it is recommended that a phase shift
oscillator is used.
Siemens Transformers manufactures series reactors up to
800 kV and 1,500 MVAr, usually as oil-filled units with an air
core. Depending on customer needs and wishes, however,
they can also be designed with an iron core (particularly
neutral-point grounding reactors).
Reactors at site of installation
Reactors ensure efficiency in particular on long high-voltage lines
Increasing efficiency
by reactive power compensation
and voltage control
Contrary to series reactors, shunt reactors are arranged
between line voltage and ground. Their place of installation is
usually located at the start or end of a long overhead power
line or cable connection, or in central substations. While overhead power lines are of comparably low capacitance and
therefore only require compensation at high voltages and/or
along very long power lines, cables have a significantly
higher conductor-to-ground capacitance (by a factor of 20).
Therefore, compensation should be provided already for
lower voltages and shorter cable lengths.
Shunt reactors fulfill three main functions:
• They protect high-voltage equipment by reducing local
• They reduce unnecessary reactive power transport through
compensation of capacitive reactive power (for example
from high-voltage cables and overhead transmission lines,
connected power producers, or industries), thereby reducing line losses and increasing the possible active power
transport through the line.
• They compensate for the Ferranti effect.
• Under no-load/low-load conditions voltage increases steeply
along line capacitance above voltage levels given by the
grid code. Reactors adjust the voltage to the rated value.
The advantages of fixed shunt reactors from Siemens are
Fixed reactors are simple devices that can be easily switched
into operation when needed. The compact design combined
with low maintenance needs make reactors a perfect solution
to increase efficiency. Our unique spring technology, paired
with high-quality materials and precise design and manufacturing by our highly trained, expert personnel, guarantees
a consistently high-performance product that has been delivering added value to our customers for decades.
Variable reactors with tap changer
The tap changer enables full flexibility and higher efficiency
High economic efficiency
thanks to full flexibility
Variable reactors combine the proven design of shunt reactors with the reliability of the tap changers that have been
successfully used in transformer fabrication for decades.
Variable reactors display their full advantages especially for
varying voltages and load fluctuations: With a large control
range of 20 to 100%, variable reactors offer grid flexibility,
enabling operators to achieve the highest grid efficiency.
Use of variable reactors is particularly recommended if fluctuations occur at the customer end (such as load differences
between day and night) or at the power producer side. This is
the case for an increasing number of grids, due to the
increased use of renewable power sources. Depending on the
actual demand, the reactive power can be adjusted to the
actual grid. Interesting side effects of flexibility:
Siemens places its trust in the reliable VACUTAP VRG series of
tap changers from Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR), which
have a long proven history in transformers. These tap changers can execute up to 300,000 switching events maintenance-free. Variable shunt reactors from Siemens are thus
not only designed for regular adjustment to changes in grid
conditions (for example due to fluctuating load conditions),
but are also low-maintenance units with minimal service
• switching in the variable shunt reactor with a low reactive
power rating results in a smaller switching impulse
• if the variable shunt reactor operates at low power rating,
the operator profits from lower losses and less noise
Economic efficiency
and sample calculations
While procurement of fixed reactors in particular is driven by
technical needs, these units also always increase efficiency.
Compared to power operations without reactors, there is less
need for reactive power sourcing from a third party, which
might not be free of charge. Reactive power transport can
also be minimized, which reduces power losses and increases
the active power capacity of the lines.
Procuring a variable shunt reactor can in many cases lower
costs for operators even further. Various benefits lead to
quick amortization of the higher procurement price:
• reactive power purchase is reduced even further
• reduced losses from transmission lines and connected
• lower average losses of variable shunt reactor compared to
fixed reactor
• possibility to respond flexibly to changing grid conditions
Sample calculation: fixed or variable reactor?
Particularly in cases where operators incur expenses for
reactive power, procurement of a (variable) reactor is almost
always economically worthwhile. The sample presents a case
of combined feed-in from wind and solar power sources into
the 380-kV grid via a 380/110-kV grid transformer and a
110-kV cable connection. The active power feed-in at the
380-kV grid transformer is shown in green. The reactive
power demand is marked in dark red. A fixed reactor is
designed for the maximum reactive power demand. With
increasing power feed-in, the fixed reactor is overcompensating and additional capacitive reactive power has to be purchased from the grid (light red line). What is more, the capacitive reactive power transport over the 400-kV grid causes
additional losses. A variable reactor on the other hand
enables continuous adjustment of reactive power in such a
way that no additional reactive power costs are incurred
(orange line).
Reactive power behavior over the course of one day
[MW] /MVAr
380-kV line
380/110 kV
400 MVA
50 km
110-kV cable
50 km
270.0 MW
115.0 MW
380-kV grid operator
Reference day [h]
Active power
Reactive power
without compensation
with variable reactor
with fixed reactor
110-kV grid operator
Sample calculation for fixed reactor:
Calculating the cost-effectiveness of the case study described,
the cost column includes the purchase price of the reactor
as well as the unit’s power losses and operating costs. The
savings gained by reducing the reactive power required
reducing losses in the connected grid transformer and highvoltage line are so high that procurement of the fixed reactor
pays off within five months.
If reactive power has to be purchased, investment in a
shunt reactor is definitely worthwhile.
Components of
economic value calculation
Investment for a 110-kV/70-MVAr fixed
€–1,100,000 (one-time)
• Investment includes foundation and connection equipment
Additional losses of reactor
• Reactor is continuously in operation with 135-kW losses
• Power generation costs: €0.06 per kWh (average in Germany)
Operating costs
€–200 (per month)
Reduction of reactive power purchasing
€+225,800 (per month)
• Reduction of 941 MVArh per day at point of coupling (POC) –
determined by grid simulation of a standard day and extrapolating
the result to one month (4d/month corresponds to a load factor of
renewable energy sources of approx. 13%)
• Reactive power price: €0.06 per kVArh
Reduced losses in upstream TSO grid
transformer and the 380-kV line
€+760 (per month)
• Reduction of losses in the grid transformer and the 380-kV line of
–0.42 MWh per day, determined by simulation of a standard day and
extrapolating the result to one month
• Power generation costs: €0.06 per kWh (average in Germany)
Total savings per month
€+221,000 (per month)
• Discount factor for calculating the discounted cash flow (DCF): 9% p.a.
Sample calculation for variable reactor:
The purchase price for procuring a variable reactor compared
to that of a fixed reactor is slightly higher. In operation, however, the variable reactor offers only benefits: The unit’s
lower average losses as well as the lower demand for reactive
power purchase and reduced losses in the adjacent transformer and HV grid quickly compensate for the higher price.
In the sample presented above, the operator would have
recovered the additional spendings for a variable instead
of a fixed reactor within three months.
In operation, the variable reactor offers only benefits.
When line loading fluctuates, a variable reactor is the
most economical solution.
Components of
economic value calculation
Additional investment for a
110-kV/28–70-MVAr variable reactor
(one-time, additional to
cost for fixed reactor)
• Additional investment for a 110-kV/28–70-MVAr variable reactor compared to a 110-kV/70-MVAr fixed reactor
Variable reactors reduce average losses
compared to fixed reactors
€+1,260 (per month)
• Reduction of 0.7 MVArh per day at the POC compared to the fixed reactor – determined by grid simulation of a standard day and extrapolating
the result to one month (30 days per month)
• Power generation costs: €0.06 per kWh (average in Germany)
Reduction of reactive power purchasing
(compared to fixed reactors)
€+92,400 (per month)
• Reduction of 385 MVArh per day at POC in comparison to the fixed reactor – determined by grid simulation of a standard day and extrapolating
the result to one month (4d/month corresponds to a load factor of
renewable energy sources of approx. 13%)
• Reactive power price: €0.06 per kVArh
Further reduced losses in upstream TSO
grid transformer and the 380-kV line
€+950 (per month)
• Reduction of losses in the grid transformer and the 380-kV line by
–0.53 MWh per day, determined by simulation of a standard day and
extrapolating the result to one month
• Power generation costs: €0.06 per kWh (average in Germany)
Total savings per month
€+94,600 (per month)
• Discount factor for calculating the DCF: 9% p.a.
1. Variable reactors for Cyprus
Two variable, three-phase reactor units, each 132 kV/27–75 MVAr (in 18 taps),
intended to adjust reactive power to the varying load cycles of the Cypriot grid. The
noise level is extremely low, at 60 dB. With these units, the customer is preparing to
accommodate further expansion into renewable energy sources, which involves an
increase in volatility.
2. Low-loss shunt reactors for U.S.
Delivery of 40 one-phase units (765/√3 kV, 100 MVAr) over a period of ten years,
targeting voltage adjustment by compensating line capacities. The units are designed
with 146 kW to provide particularly low-loss performance.
3. Series reactors for Singapore
Siemens supplied the first series reactors for the city-state’s grid. Three units, each with
500 MVA for the 230-kV level, have been delivered for short-circuit current limitation.
4. Full flexibility for the German grid (currently ongoing)
Up to five units, each with 400 kV/50–250 MVAr, are aiming to meet the high demand
for compensation that arises due to power generation from renewable energy sources.
Even more, the solution provides sufficient, sustainable flexibility for allowing further
renewable expansion. The high regulation range is improving the customers black start
capabilities in the event of a blackout, e.g. after a wind farm failure.
5. Low vibration for India
Siemens Transformers has supplied eight reactor units to a customer on the Indian
subcontinent, each delivering 50 MVAr/420 kV, and operating at extremely low
vibration of on average 5 μm.
6. Reactors for a reliable grid in Argentina
To increase the stability and reliability of Argentina’s electricity transmission grid,
Siemens Transformers supplied 44 reactors (28 8.33-MVAr units, 12 16.66-MVAr units,
and four 26.66-MVAr units), which unite Argentina’s major power consumption centers
into one single loop grid.
Published by
Siemens AG 2016
Energy Management
Freyeslebenstrasse 1
91058 Erlangen, Germany
For more information, please contact
our Customer Support Center.
Phone: +49 180 524 70 00
Fax: +49 180 524 24 71
(Charges depending on provider)
E-mail: [email protected]
Article-No. EMTR-B10016-00-7600
Printed in Germany
Dispo 19200
fb 6965 WS 02161.0
Printed on elementary chlorine-free
bleached paper.
Subject to change without prior notice.
The information in this document contains
general descriptions of the technical options
available, which may not apply in all cases.
The required technical options should therefore
be specified in the contract.
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