At generating stations, the power is generated at the best locations and the load centers are generally away from these. Generation units and loads are connected by transmission systems. Thus, the energy is divided into two main parts, utility (including sources and transmission network) and consumers (who utilize the electrical energy). However, the power demands of different consumers vary in accordance with their activities and the result of this variation in demand is that load on a power station is never constant; rather it varies from time to time. Most of the loads (e.g. induction motors, arc lamps, etc.) are inductive in nature and hence have low lagging power factor that is highly undesirable as it causes an increase in current, resulting in additional losses of active power in all the elements of power system from power station generator down to the utilization devices. In order to ensure most favourable conditions for a supply system from engineering and economical point of view, it is important to have power factor as close to unity as possible. To cover this category, a specific trainer has been developed by De Lorenzo’s Engineers, where several types of users can be simulated using static (RLC) and dynamic loads (induction motor as three-phase load) to study power factor compensation (either manual or automatic), load profiling, energy management and the optimization of electric power use. It is supplied with SCADA (Supervision and Control software Data Acquisition) software that communicate with all the active devices to provide real-time measurements, system status and control. It is dedicated to high schools and first years of university.
In some countries, the electric energy consumption levels have reached levels that exceed the available supply. There is an increasing need to optimize and reduce this level of use and find alternative, more efficient and renewable power sources.
Electric companies use electric meters installed at the consumers facilities to measure the power delivered to them for billing purposes. Modern solid state electricity meters are able to measure both active and reactive power, demand and maximum use of power, or allow different rates to be applied in different periods of the day.
Most electrical installations act as inductive loads on the mains network. These loads include equipment with coils or windings, such as motors and transformers that produce a time delay between the voltage and current variables. Energy consumers, in particular larger ones such as industrial plants, are obliged, either by contract or for economic reasons, to compensate the reactive power consumed by their equipment.
The integration of distributed renewable energy systems tied to the main grid create a bidirectional flow of energy that needs to be properly managed, using metering and advanced power electronics conversion techniques.
In this laboratory, several types of user can be simulated using static and dynamic loads to study power factor compensation, energy consumption, load profiling and the optimization of electrical power use.