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Capacitor


A capacitor is a passive, two-terminal electronic component that stores electrical energy in an electric field. It is made of two metal plates and an insulating material called a dielectric. Its effect is known as capacitance, and while some capacitance exists between any two electrical conductors in proximity in a circuit, a capacitor adds capacitance to a circuit.

Products include two types of capacitors with the accessories and controls to form complete capacitor installations:

  • Shunt capacitors that are ? kVa and larger for power factor improvement and other low-frequency AC applications and the assemblies of capacitor units
  • Series capacitors that are ? kVa and larger for series connection in low-frequency AC circuits

NEMA provides active, effective, and organized marketing and technical programs, and related activities so that Members do not have to spend resources to track and engage independently.?

Activities

Technical

  • Develops Standards, white papers and guides that serve technical needs in the marketplace; current work includes a Standard for DC capacitors; develops white papers that promote capacitor capabilities on such issues as protection from geomagnetic disturbances and energy efficiency capabilities
  • Educates users on the selection, installation, operation, monitoring, maintenance, and decommissioning of capacitors to maximize performance and minimize costs over the product's lifetime
  • Participates in direct harmonization efforts between United States, Mexican, Latin American, and global Standards to ensure that foreign markets remain open to Members' capacitor products
  • Administers the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) U.S. Technical Advisory Group TC33 to promote harmonization with European and global standards 
  • Coordinates input to the National Electrical Code? (NEC), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Capacitor Subcommittee, and other bodies

Advocacy

  • Provides intelligence on Mexican regulation designed to facilitate privatization of the power grid, including access to Mexico's standards regulator for the power grid

Applications

  • Common applications include local energy storage, voltage spike suppression, and complex signal filtering.
  • Power capacitors play a vital role in ensuring the reliability and efficiency of the electrical grid by providing reactive power for power factor correction applications such as volt/VAR optimization.
  • Utility distribution systems
  • Industrial substations
  • Distributed energy resources and renewable energy systems?

Resources

Staff Contact

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