December 12, 2017
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STATCOM Success Story – Metal Industry

Increasing productivity by keeping the voltage constant in an Electric Arc Furnace with a STATCOM solution

'The reduction of tap to tap time was beyond our best expectations. Reactive energy penalty is completely minimized. We are quite satisfied with the results and professionalism of the supplier. Strong recommendations.' – Technical manager of the foundry

A foundry in Europe was suffering from a power factor as poor as 0.505, and was penalized by the local grid company, which demanded bringing it closer to unity.  The main load was an electric arc furnace (EAF), which are very dynamic loads, hence making reactive power compensation challenging.

A hybrid solution consisting of a STATCOM and detuned thyristor switched capacitors (TSC) was chosen, to meet customer requirements and optimize the costs. Despite the higher investment cost, the customer was convinced of a fast payback due to increased production capacity and lower overall losses.

Measurements proved the improvement of power factor to 0.98, and the increase of active power to the EAF by 25.34%. The solution reduced customer's tap-to-tap time, increasing melting time by one charge per day.

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