An electrical reactor can be termed as a coil that has a large number of turns and whose ohmic resistance value is greater as compared to others. They are basically used to control the short circuit currents that can cause issues and problems to the device’ of the power system. However, the additional reactances that are added in the series are called reactors.
Apart from this, reactors are also used to limit the circuit breakers of different ratings and protect the short circuit currents according to the capacity of the circuit breakers. Hence, while making changes in the power system, you don’t really have to replace the circuit breakers. Instead, you can simply add the reactors and use the same circuit breaker, thereby saving your money and time.
A current limiting reactor, on the other hand, is a type of reactor that limits the heavy flow of the current with the use of other sections of the system. So, in this way, you don’t have to power off the whole system, rather you can simply isolate the faulty area.
Some other applications of electrical reactors:
• To use for the suppression of arc
• To eliminate the harmonics
• They can be used in series that have low reactance auto-transformers
• To give protection from high voltage waves, lightning, and surges
• To limit the starting currents of the motors
• In series that have low induction regulators
Aside from these applications, electrical reactors have different roles to play in an electrical power system. They can further be classified according to their applications and modes. Mentioned below are a few major types of electrical reactors.
• Tuning reactor
• Current limiting reactor
• Shunt reactor
• Earthing reactor
• Damping reactor
• Smoothing reactor
• Earthing transformer
• Arc suppression reactor
Additionally, electrical reactors can also be classified as:
• Outdoor type reactors and
• Indoor type reactors
On the other hand, from the operational point of view, reactors can be classified as variable reactors and fixed reactors, and from a constructional point of view, they can be classified as grapped iron core reactors and air-core reactors.
Electrical reactors are very simple and have constant reactance and current. In addition, they also have great mechanical strength. They offer great protection against short circuit currents and also have a very higher thermal capacity that is suitable for both outdoor and indoor services. Moreover, they can be operated at any level of voltage.