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Old 10-21-2009, 06:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by CDH View Post
, far as capacitor banks go if they are controlled by SCADA ie can be turned on/off remotely not manually they are generally not associated with a timer, it is generally more of a system need ie not happening everyday at 8.34. .
Time/temperature capacitor controlled banks used to be quite common.
8:34 PM could easily be a time of day that demand is waning and the bank switches off. The need could be system voltage support or Power Factor correction.
On the other hand, one of the reasons time/temp controls were a pain was when the clock got off (during outages) causing them to switch regularly, but not in coordination with any actual need. SCADA systems are great, but not everybody has them on their distribution.
If the Goofus engineers put them immediately behind a regulator bank, the regulator will likely buck (compensating for the reactence) and will be low when the cap bank switches off.

Having said all that, it's true that if the POCO is the problem, you wouldn't be the only one complaining. I suspect and overly sensitive UPS system. Can the switching point of the UPS be adjusted? Have you been able to actually monitor a dip in voltage?
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:45 PM   #17
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I vote for a capcitor bank at the POCO.

I have an APC business grade UPS on one of my servers in the basement and it monitors any power fluctuations and logs them. I also have a UPS on my dvr and a few other things in the house.

Back in February the basement UPS started flagging power issues. Starting about march the rest of the UPS' in the house would all beep at the same time, sometimes we would notice a very brief dimming of the lights. This was all very random. Maybe 15-30 times a day, according to my UPS log. (I had also upgraded to new 400 amp service with a new transformer dedicated to me from POCO, so I knew it wasnt a problem between the transformer and my house)

In July/august, I called POCO and had them send out a lineman. He came out, did a volt test and said everything was fine, that it was likely just my A/C unit kicking on and a dip and left. (Too bad for him I have a wholehouse monitoring system I built. Whenever there was a blip to the UPS, my A/C, sump-pump, water heater, etc were not on and did not kick on.)

I called back again a week later and said the problem still wasnt fixed and asked they actually put a monitor on the line. The lady gave me a little push back, but after insisting, she set it up for someone to come out.

About a week later, POCO came out to install the monitoring device. I showed the guys (younger guys who had a truck full of laptops and other monitoring gear) my logs. They had me check my UPS settings to make sure it was set to accept a 15% voltage change either direction. We confirmed it was only alerting if it was a change greater than that.

They installed their test meter and said they would do some other checking down the line and come back in about a week to get their monitor.

About 30 minutes later I get a phone call from them. There is a switching capacitor bank in the line about 1/4 mile from my house. When they hooked up to the controller, they showed that it had been switching over 3,000 times in the past month. Said normally it would be 30-60. They replaced the controller and I have not had a single problem since.

They were surprised no one else had called about this problem. Said that line (3 phase) runs to two neighborhoods and serves around 4000 homes and a couple of businesses.

So don't assume that anyone else will call on the problem.
DIY hobbiest

Last edited by AndrewF; 10-21-2009 at 07:47 PM.
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