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# Contents

Introduction 3

Three-phase power 4
Phase power 4
Total true power 7
The power triangle 13

Power measurement 23
One wattmeter 23
Two wattmeter method 25
Three wattmeters 27
Power factor measurement 30

Summary 34

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Introduction

When a load is connected to a three phase supply, it draws power from that
supply. The value of the load power is important in determining the actual
size of the load which the source is capable of supplying, the size of the
cables connecting the source to the load and the type and size of the
protection used to protect both the load and the source.

In this section we will examine some of the concepts relating to three phase
power, the methods used to minimise reactive power at the source and the
means of measuring true three phase power and determining the power factor

## At the end of this section you should be able to:

 explain the purposes for measuring power, energy, power factor and
maximum demand of a.c. power systems and loads
 explain the difference between true power, apparent power and
reactive power and the units in which these quantities are measured in
a three phase system
 draw the power triangle to show the relationships between true
power, apparent power and reactive power in a three phase system
 describe the methods used to measure three phase power , energy,
power factor and demand
 determine how the power factor of a three phase installation can be
improved
 using manufacturers catalogues, select measurement equipment for a
particular installation.

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Three-phase power

## Power in a three-phase circuit is calculated in much the same way as single-

phase power. The main difference is that three-phase power refers to the
total power of a three-phase load, whereas single-phase power refers to only
one part of a three-phase load, or to the total load if it is supplied from a
single-phase source.

Phase power
The power developed, used and/or consumed in a phase is determined using
the equations already covered in this module. Look at the basic three-phase
circuit in Figure 1.

## Figure 1: Basic three-phase circuit

In the circuit drawn in Figure 1 we can see that there are three independent
loads, supplied from a three-phase source. The power used by each section
of the load is calculated by using one of the following equations.

The equations for each phase are therefore the same, except that when we
are dealing with a specific phase subscripts identifying that phase are used.
For example, the equations for A phase would be written as:

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Example 1

## Determine the phase powers consumed by a three-phase star connected load

consisting of inductors having an impedance of 24  with a power factor of
0.8 lagging, when supplied from a three-phase 415 V, 50 Hz source.

Solution

Step 1 Determine the phase voltage. As the load is star connected, use the
following equation:

## Rearrange to find Vphase:

B C
Similarly, V and V are also 240 V.

## Step 2 Determine the phase current using Ohm’s law.

B C
By similar calculation, I and I are also 10 A.

## Step 3 Determine the phase power using the equation.

Therefore:

P C  VC I C cos  C
 240  10  0. 8
 1920 W

As you can see from Example 1, if the load is balanced the values for
voltage, current and power have the same magnitude for each phase.

Student exercise 1

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1 Determine the phase powers consumed by a three-phase star connected load consisting
of heaters having an impedance of 50  if it is supplied from a three-phase 415 V, 50
Hz source.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

2 Determine the phase powers consumed by a three-phase delta connected motor, whose
winding impedance is 12  with a power factor of 0.7 lagging, if it is supplied from a
three-phase 415 V, 50 Hz source.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Check your answers with those given at the end of the section.

## Total true power

Total power in any circuit is determined by simply adding together the

With true power there is no phase separation. This means that total true
power for a three-phase load is the numerical sum of the three individual
phase powers. This can be written as:

## How the equation works for balanced loads is demonstrated in Example 2,

while Example 3 deals with unbalanced loads.

Example 2

## Determine the total power consumed by a three-phase star connected load

where each phase of the load consists of inductors having an impedance of
10  with a power factor of 0.6 lagging, if it is supplied from a three-phase
415 V, 50 Hz source.

Step 1 Determine the phase voltage. As the load is star connected, use the
following equation:

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Rearrange to find Vphase

Therefore:

Example 3

## Determine the total power consumed by a three-phase star connected load

supplied from a three-phase 415 V, 50 Hz source. The load consists of a
20  resistor (A phase), a 15  impedance with a power factor of 0.7
(B phase) and a 25  impedance with a power factor of 0.9 (C phase).

Solution

Step 1 Determine the phase voltage. As the load is star connected, use the
following equation:

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Step 2 Determine the phase current using Ohm’s law.

## Step 4 Determine the total power.

As Example 1 showed, if the load is balanced the phase powers are equal,
and the simplest way of determining the total power is to calculate one phase
power and multiply it by three. That is:

## In star connected loads the following equations apply:

If we substitute the star equations into the total power equation we can write
the often-used equation for total power in a balanced load:

## In delta connected loads the following equations apply:

If we substitute the delta equations into the total power equation we can
write the often-used equation for total power in a balanced load:

As you can see, the total power equation is identical for both types of
balanced loads, either star connected or delta connected. As the phase

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values are typically unobtainable, being within the machine or equipment, it is
very important to be able to use line values of voltage and current—these are
the only values that can be measured at the point of connection.

Example 4

## A three-phase delta connected induction motor draws 20 A at a power factor

of 0.8 lagging from a three-phase 415 V, 50 Hz supply. Determine the
electrical input to the motor.

Solution

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Student exercise 2

## 1 A three-phase delta connected induction motor draws 20 A at a power factor of 0.8

lagging from a three-phase 415 V, 50 Hz supply. Determine the electrical input to the
motor.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

## 2 An 11 kV transformer supplies a 300 kW balanced load operating at a 0.9 power factor

lagging. Determine the line current supplied by the transformer.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

3 Determine the total power consumed by a three-phase delta connected load where each
phase of the load consists of inductors having an impedance of 25  with a power
factor of 0.8 lagging, if it is supplied from a three-phase 415 V, 50 Hz source.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Check your answers with those given at the end of the section.

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The power triangle
As you know there are three types of power in ac circuits: true power,
apparent power and reactive power.

You will remember that these powers can be linked together by means of a
power triangle. As power is the same for three-phase power as for single-
phase, the triangle is the same (Figure 2).

## Figure 2: Power triangle for three-phase system

In Figure 2 the horizontal line represents the true power (P), the vertical line
represents the reactive power (Q) and the diagonal line represents the
apparent power (S). The triangle is always drawn this way, regardless of the

problems.

## Calculations using the power triangle use the trigonometric relationships of

sine, cosine and tangent, and Pythagoras’ theorem. The equations commonly
used for calculating each power are:

These equations apply both to the individual phase powers and to the total
power of the three-phase load. Take care when performing calculations with
three-phase power that you keep phase power values separate from the
three-phase values.

Example 5

## A three-phase transformer is rated at 50 kVA. If the transformer is fully

loaded, determine the true power and the reactive power for the transformer
if the load it is supplying has a power factor of 0.6 lagging.

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Solution

## Step 2 Convert the power factor to an angle.

pf = cos °

Since the power factor was lagging the phase angle is a negative value
with respect to the voltage.

 = –53.13°

## The power factor

We have seen that keeping the power factor as close as practicable to unity
has a number of advantages, the most important being that the line current
drawn from the supply will have a minimum value.

The power triangle can also be used to illustrate and/or solve problems
dealing with power factor correction. (If the triangle is used to solve a
problem, remember that it must be drawn to scale). Example 6 gives the two
methods of solving a problem dealing with power factor correction, one
graphical and one analytical.

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Example 6

## A three-phase balanced load requires 180 kW of power when operating at a

power factor of 0.6 lagging and connected to a 415 V, 50 Hz three-phase
supply. Determine the kVAr rating and capacitance of a star connected
capacitor bank that would improve the power factor to 0.9 lagging.

## Step 2 Determine the original circuit phase angle.

Step 3 Determine the true, apparent and reactive powers for the original

P = 180 kW (given)

Note that you only need P and the angle to construct the power triangle.

## Step 4 Select a suitable scale and convert the values determined in

Step 3 to scaled values. We will use a scale of 5 kW (or kVA, or
kVAr) to 1 mm.

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Figure 5: Phasors for example 6

## Step 6 Determine the new circuit phase angle.

Step 7 Draw a line at the new phase angle of the circuit onto the original
triangle representing the original load as in Figure 6.

## Figure 6: Line for new phase angle for example 6

Step 8 Using Figure 6, measure the distance between the points at which
the original and the new lines representing the apparent power
touch the reactive power side of the triangle. This distance
represents the capacitive VAr added to the circuit.

## Convert this value to a real unit using the scale.

30.6  5
Qcap 
1
 153 kVAr

Step 9 Determine the phase current in the capacitor bank. In star, we have:

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or, as the capacitor bank is star connected, and in star , the phase
current may be calculated using

pf = cos °

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Step 3 Determine the true, apparent and reactive powers for the original

P = 180 kW (given)

## Step 4 Determine the new circuit phase angle.

Step 5 Determine the true, apparent and reactive powers for the new load
including the capacitor bank.

P = 180 kW (given)
P
Snew 
cos 
180  103

cos (–25.8)
180  103

0.9
 200 kVA

## Step 6 Determine the capacitor bank rating by finding the difference

between the original reactive power and the new reactive power.
Qcap  Qold   –  Qnew
 240 – 87
 153 kVAr

Step 7 Determine the phase current in the capacitor bank. Remember that
in star

Or, as the capacitor bank is star connected, and in star , the phase
current may be calculated using

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Rearrange to find Iline

Step 8 Determine the phase impedance of each capacitor using Ohm’s law.

## As a capacitor is a pure component, its impedance equals the

capacitive reactance: ie

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Step 9 Determine the capacitance in each phase of the load.

The analytical method looks easier, as there are fewer steps in solving the
problem. The graphical solution, however, allows the principles of power
factor correction to be more easily understood.

## The most common three-phase arrangement for connecting capacitor banks

is delta, as this allows for maximum effect on the line current with minimum
current rating of the actual capacitors.

The capacitors may be arranged in delta whether the load is star connected
or delta connected. This is shown in Figures 7(a) for a star load and 7(b) for

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Student exercise 3

## A three-phase balanced load requires 750 kW of power when operating at a power

factor of 0.75 lagging. It is connected to a 415 V, 50 Hz three-phase supply. Determine
the kVAr rating and capacitance of a delta connected capacitor bank that would
improve the power factor to

## (a) 0.85 lagging

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

## (b) 0.95 lagging

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Check your answers with those given at the end of the section.

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Power measurement

There are a number of methods to measure the power used and/or developed
by a load. They all involve a meter called a wattmeter. This meter was
discussed in other resource modules.

## Three-phase power is measured using one, two or three wattmeters. The

method which is used, is determined by three factors:
• whether the load is balanced or unbalanced
• whether the supply system is three wire or four wire
• the availability and cost of the wattmeters.

One wattmeter
The one wattmeter method of connection can be used on both three wire and
four wire three-phase systems. It is easiest to look first at the three-phase
four wire system. This is illustrated in Figure 8.

## Figure 8: Connection of single analog wattmeter

In this method the voltage coil of the wattmeter is connected between one
phase and neutral. The power measured is phase power.

If the load is balanced, the total power used by the load is three times the
measured value. This is written as

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Example 7

## A single wattmeter is used to measure the power consumed by a balanced

load. If the wattmeter is connected to measure the power in the A phase of

Solution

If the load is unbalanced, the technique is to measure each phase power and
add the three phase values together. This is written as

This method suffers the disadvantage that the connection process is more
tedious than for a balanced load, as the actual connections of the wattmeter
must be changed for each reading.

Example 8

## A single wattmeter is used to measure the power used by an unbalanced

three-phase load. If the power measured in A phase, B phase and C phase is
1200 W, 3245 W and 2790 W respectively, determine the total power in the

Solution

## A disadvantage of this type of wattmeter connection is that it is not accurate

The three-phase three wire system of supply can also be monitored using a
single wattmeter. Remember that to measure phase power the wattmeter
must be connected between one line and neutral. In the three wire system
there is no neutral. To overcome this, an artificial star point (neutral point) is
created by connecting one end of the voltage coil of the wattmeter to one
line and the other end to two impedances which are in turn connected to the
other two lines. This is illustrated in Figure 9.

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Figure 9: Single analog wattmeter with artificial star point

It is very important that the impedance values of the two impedances used
with the voltage coil to create the artificial star point are the same as that of
the voltage coil of the wattmeter, otherwise inaccurate readings will result.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to use two coils identical to the voltage
coil of the wattmeter. These are obtainable from the manufacturers and
distributors of these meters.

## As for the four-wire connection of a single wattmeter, the load may be

balanced or unbalanced.

The total power for the load is determined in the same way as for the four
wire connection. That is, for balanced loads

## Two wattmeter method

This method may only be used on three wire systems. The connection
diagram is shown in Figure 10.

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Figure 10: Connection of analog wattmeters for two wattmeter method

The total power is found by adding the readings of the two meters. This is
written as:

## This can be proven mathematically by considering the instantaneous values of

current and voltage to be e1 and i1 for A, e2 and i2 for B with e3 and i3 for C.

Voltage across W1 = e3 – e2

Voltage across W2 = e1 - e2

## Average power indicated by W2 = i1 (e1 – e2)

W1 +W2  i3 (e3 - e2 ) + i1 (e1 - e2 )
 i3e3 - i3e2 + i1e1 - i1e2
 i1e1 + i3e3 - e2 (i3 + i1 )
But (i3 + i1 )  -i2 ( total zero at node )
\W1 +W  i1e1 + i3e3 + i2 e2

## This method of connection is accurate for balanced and unbalanced loads,

but it does give inaccurate readings for loads with low power factors. A
further disadvantage is that phase power cannot be measured.

Example 9

The two wattmeter method of measuring total power is used to measure the
power used by an unbalanced three phase load. If W1 reads 10 kW and W2

Solution

As most analog meters deflect in one direction only, for some loads, the
meter will try to deflect backwards due to the phase relationship between
current and voltage within the meter. When this occurs, the voltage coil
connections must be reversed. Some meters provide a reversing switch that
will reverse the connections of the voltage coil in the wattmeter. This will
then allow the meter to indicate the power that the load is consuming. For
the total power calculation, this reversal of the coil will mean that the value
measured by that wattmeter should be regarded as negative. Don’t forget to
alter the polarity of the reading in the total power equation.

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Example 10

The two wattmeter method of measuring total power is used to measure the
power used by an unbalanced three phase load. If W1 reads 4.5 kW after the
reversing switch is closed and W2 reads 13 kW, determine the total power in

Solution

Three wattmeters
Like the single wattmeter, this may be used with either three phase three wire
system or three phase four wire systems.

We will look first at the four wire system. The current coil of each wattmeter
is connected in a line and the voltage coil is connected between one line and
neutral. This is shown in Figure 11.

## Figure 11: Connection of three analog wattmeters

With this method each phase power is measured, and the total power is the
sum of the three readings. This is written as

The main disadvantage of this method is the expense of installing and using
three meters.

Example 11

## Three wattmeters are used to measure the power consumed in an unbalanced

three phase load supplied from a three phase four wire source. If the power
measured by W1, W2 and W3 is 4700 W, 5200 W and 3750 W respectively,
determine the total power in the load.

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Solution

## The connection diagram for using three wattmeters in a three-wire system is

given in Figure 12.

Figure 12: Connection of three analog wattmeters using artificial star point

Figure 12 shows how an artificial star point is created by connecting one end
of each of the voltage coils together. It must be stressed that this artificial
star point can only be created with the voltage coils if they are identical. If
they are not identical, they will not develop symmetrical phase voltages, and
the wattmeters will give incorrect readings.

The total power is again the sum of the phase powers measured by the three
wattmeters.

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Student exercise 4

1 A single wattmeter is used to measure the power consumed by a balanced load. If the
wattmeter is connected to measure the power in the B phase of the load and the reading
is 4200 W, determine the total power in the load.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

2 The two wattmeter method of measuring total power is used to measure the power
used by an unbalanced three phase load. If W1 reads 40 kW and W2 reads 27 kW,
determine the total power in the load.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

3 The two wattmeter method of measuring total power is used to measure the power
used by an unbalanced three phase load. If W1 reads 6 kW after the reversing switch is
closed and W2 reads 9.2 kW, determine the total power in the load.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

4 Three wattmeters are used to measure the power consumed in an balanced three phase
load supplied from a three phase three wire source. If the power measured by W1, W2
and W3 is 1500 W, 3650 W and 2740 W respectively, determine the total power in the

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Check your answers with those given at the end of the section.

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Power factor measurement
An advantage of the two wattmeter method of measuring three phase power
is that it allows the power factor of the load to be determined. The circuit for
the two wattmeter connection is shown in Figure 13.

## Figure 13: Two wattmeter connection

The equation for determining the power factor angle or phase angle of the

Note: For this equation to work, W2 must be in the phase immediately before
W1 as shown below:
Phase sequence � :
A B C A B C A
b b
W2 W1

Recall that the cosine of the phase angle is the power factor (cos  = pf).

Example 13

The two wattmeter method of measuring total power is used to measure the
power used by an unbalanced three phase load. If W1 reads 5 kW and W2

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As mentioned earlier, most analogue meters deflect in one direction only, and
in some meters a reversing switch is provided which will reverse the
connections of the voltage coil in the wattmeter. This allows the meter to
indicate the power the load is consuming. For the power factor calculation,
this reversal of the coil means that the value measured by that wattmeter will
be a negative value. Don’t forget to alter the polarity of the reading in the
power factor equation.

## If the wattmeter reading of W2 is greater than that of W1 the power factor is

lagging, while if the reading of W1 is greater than that of W2, the power
factor is leading. Typically, however, the nature of the load is used to
have a lagging power factor and capacitive loads have a leading power
factor. As capacitors and capacitive loads are mainly used for power factor
correction, for normal distribution and utilisation purposes where wattmeters
are connected the usual power factor for a load is lagging.

If you have Jenneson, refer to section 9.8 ‘Three phase power’. See also
Appendix 1 for a description of a power factor meter. Note particularly
Figure A1.4 which clearly shows the same configuration of potential and
current coils used for the two wattmeter method.

## If you have Hampson, refer to ‘Energy and Power requirements of ac

systems, on page 204.

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Student exercise 5

1 The two wattmeter method of measuring total power is used to measure the power
used by an unbalanced three phase load. If W1 reads 2.5 kW and W2 reads 12 kW,
determine the power factor of the load.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

2 The two wattmeter method of measuring total power is used to measure the power
used by an unbalanced three phase load. If W1 reads 0 kW and W2 reads 10 kW,
determine the power factor of the load.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

3 The two wattmeter method of measuring total power is used to measure the power
used by an unbalanced three phase load. If W1 reads 10 kW and W2 reads 10 kW,
determine the power factor of the load.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Check your answers with those given at the end of the section.

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Summary

##  Phase power is determined using one of the following:

 Total power is the power used by the total load. For three phase
loads it is the sum of the three phase powers.

##  For balanced loads the equations that can be used are

 There are three types of powers, apparent power (S), reactive power
(Q) and true power (P).
 The three types can be linked by a power triangle in which the
horizontal line represents true power, the vertical line reactive power
and the diagonal line apparent power.
 Capacitor banks are used to improve the power factor of an inductive
load. These capacitors are normally connected in parallel with the
 • When connecting capacitor banks in three phase systems, the
capacitors are usually connected in delta.
 To measure power, a wattmeter is used.
 To measure three phase power either one, two or three wattmeters
are used, depending upon the load, the type of supply and the
availability and cost of the wattmeters.
 The power factor of the load can be determined when using the two
wattmeter method by the equations

and

In questions 1 to 9, place the letter matching your answer in the brackets provided.

1 The minimum number of fixed wattmeters required to measure total power drawn by a

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(a)one
(b)three
(c)two
(d) four. ( )

## 2 A maximum demand indicator measures maximum:

(a)volt amperes for a given time period
(b)volt amperes irrespective of time
(c)power used for a given time period
(d) power used irrespective of a time period. ( )

3 The total power in a three-phase system may be measured using a single fixed
wattmeter, provided the:
(c)neutral is not connected
(d) load is star connected. ( )

4 When using a wattmeter to measure power in a three-phase star connected system, the
current coil is connected in:
(b)parallel with the supply
(c)series with the neutral
(d) parallel with the load. ( )

5 When using a wattmeter to measure power in a three-phase star connected system, the
voltage coil is connected in:
(a)series with the neutral
(d) series with the supply. ( )

6 When measuring balanced three-phase power with the two wattmeter method and both
readings are equal, the power factor is:
(a)unity
(b)zero
(d) 0.5 lagging. ( )

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7 The power factor of a three-phase load may be determined by the two wattmeter
method provided:
(b)the power factor is greater than 0.5
(c)the neutral is connected
(d) there is no current in the middle phase. ( )

8 A three-phase wattmeter can be constructed using the concepts of the two wattmeter
method using:
(a)two current coils on a single shaft
(b)two potential coils on a single shaft
(c)fixed potential coils
(d) a current coil and potential coil on a single shaft. ( )

## 9 Three-phase power factor can be measured using a:

(a)crossed coil meter with coils at 60°
(b)VAr modified wattmeter
(c)maximum demand indicator
(d) crossed coil meter with coils at 90°. ( )

10 A star connected ac generator develops 11 000 volts per phase. Determine the MVA
rating of the machine if the current per phase is 50 A.

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11 A three-phase alternator delivers a full load of 140 A at a power factor of 0.9 lagging. If
the terminal voltage is 415 V, calculate the:

## (b) true power.

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## 32 EGG202A: 14 Calculate and measure power in three phase systems

NSW DET 2006 2006/060/10/2006 LRR 4980
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12 A factory draws a line current of 130 A from a 415V supply at a power factor of
0.6 lag. Determine the:

(a) kVAr rating of a capacitor bank to improve the power factor to 0.866 lag

## (b) line current with the capacitor bank connected.

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## EGG202A: 14 Calculate and measure power in three phase systems 33

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13 The power in a three-phase 415 V system is measured by the two wattmeter method
where W1 indicates 30 kW and W2 indicates 20 kW. Calculate the:

## (c) line current.

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14 The power input to a three-phase, 415 V induction motor is measured by the two
wattmeter method where W1 indicates 10 kW and W2 indicates -6 kW (note the minus
sign). Calculate the:

## (b) power factor of the motor.

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## 34 EGG202A: 14 Calculate and measure power in three phase systems

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Student exercise 1
1 1152 W

2 10.05 kW

Student exercise 2
1 11.5 kW

2 17.5 A

3 16.53 kW

Student exercise 3
(a) 196 kVAr, 2290 µF per phase

## (b) 414 kVAr, 8160 µF per phase

Student exercise 4
1 12.6 kW

2 67 kW

3 3.2 kW

4 7.89 kW

Student exercise 5
1 0.6 3 1 (unity)

2 0.5

## EGG202A: 14 Calculate and measure power in three phase systems 35

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36 EGG202A: 14 Calculate and measure power in three phase systems
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1 (b)

2 (c)

3 (b)

4 (a)

5 (c)

6 (a)

7 (a)

8 (b)

9 (d)

10 1.65 MVA

(b) 90.75 kW

(b) 90 A

13 (a) 50 kW
(b) 0.945 lag
(c) 73.6 A

14 (a) 4 kW
(b) 0.143

## EGG202A: 14 Calculate and measure power in three phase systems 37

NSW DET 2006 2006/060/10/2006 LRR 4980