Standard Capacitors
Standard Capacitors
Industrial Area, Delhi


Electrical Monitor

Article published in the esteemed electrical journal Electrical Monitor.

Excerpt below-

Standard Capacitors has been serving the industry for over three decades with energy-efficiency products like PFC capacitors, automatic power factor correction panels, APFC relays, energy storage capacitors, HT capacitors, etc. Subhash C. Gupta gives keen insights into the capacitor industry and sees how India’s energy-efficiency consciousness is bound to drive up demand. Apart from expounding on key industry challenges, he shares his view on China’s role in the global electrical equipment industry. An interview by Venugopal Pillai.

Standard Capacitors has been in the business for over 30 years now. Tell us in brief how the company’s product range has grown over these years.
Yes, Standard Capacitors has been in business for over 36 years now. We have grown from a humble beginning to gain respectable place in capacitor business. We have diversified in real time power factor correction systems, medium voltage capacitor installations and MV APFC systems. We undertake turnkey jobs for power factor correction in all voltages ranges and KVAr ratings.

Automatic power factor correction (APFC) systems are gaining important as they help in achieving power factor of “unity”. Tell us about the growing role of APFC systems and how Standard Capacitors plans to capture an increasing market share.
In last few years there has been increase of non-linear loads like variable speed drives, UPS and computers in many industrial and office electrical network. These non-linear loads generate current and voltage harmonics. PF improvement in these conditions become difficult as capacitors get overloaded because of harmonics and their application also may result in resonance conditions, making the condition worse.

There is often felt a need of a very reliable PF correction capacitor that shall not only withstand high RMS current but also offer long operational life under sustained harmonics overloads.

We are in line with the latest trends in this industry. Automatic power factor correction is our specialization. We have adopted real time power factor correction technology for faster correction of power factor, especially in industries where load is fast changing, as contactor-based switching system cannot keep pace with changing load. Besides, zero switching with thyristor based power factor correction systems ensures longer life of capacitors and switching equipment.

It is felt in industry circles that the government should provide subsidy to those electricity consumers that maintain a high power factor. What is your view?
In fact, almost all electric supply establishments are offering incentives for higher power factor. By way of reduction in maximum demand charges and rebate for crossing the upper limit of power factor right up to unity power factor. Also billing is done on KVAHr basis which prompts customers to maintain high power factor so as to keep the number of units consumed at low level.

What are the challenges faced by Indian capacitor manufacturers and what remedial measures could the government adopt?
Competition is on the rise as capacitors manufacturers cut prices to retain market share. Although the market is growing, so are the challenges. Companies that want to survive in the marketplace must begin to employ new competitive strategies to stay ahead.

Powering the capacitors Industry

Quoted in an article in Power Today
Excerpt below -The Indian power capacitor industry has been witnessing negative growth in the last few years. Several reasons, including stagnant demand, delays in project execution, stiff competition and fiscal difficulties faced by EPC contractors and utilities etc., contributed to the sluggish market. It was further accentuated by sharp price drops in the international market, and cut price imported capacitors entering the Indian market through legal and grey market channels. As such the power capacitors market comprising largely of low and medium voltage capacitors, is a small industry estimated to be less than Rs 1,000 crore, today.´As per our estimate, the market size of low voltage capacitors is around Rs 500 crore and that of the medium voltage capacitors is close to Rs 400 crore,´ reveals Ajay Joshi, Vice President - Capacitors, Universal Cables Limited. He further adds: ´Five years back there was tremendous growth to the extent of 30 per cent. Presently average growth is rate is 5 to 7 per cent only.´Several factors including project delays, reduction in incentives have played a role. For instance, in Odisha, the government reduced the incentives given to the power sector, resulting in consumers not bothering to install additional capacitors. ´We have taken up this issue with the government through Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA)´ he adds.Meanwhile, Abraham Varughese, General Manager- Power Quality Marketing, Schneider Electric India has a different view to offer. According to him, the capacitor industry was stagnating for the last few years. However, he says, ´We have seen some growth, about 8-10 per cent, in the last fiscal. This includes the medium voltage capacitor and low voltage capacitor market. In fact, the industry is almost coming to the level of double-digit growth.´Other industry professionals too predict a turnaround for the industry, basic driving factor being the developments in the power sector.The demand
The cumulative growth in the Indian power sector, and recent clearance of several projects valued at Rs 1.83 lakh crore by the Indian government are expected to provide a fillip to the capacitor industry. In addition, the massive rural electrification, increased use of electric pumps in irrigation and industrial purposes and increased focus on energy efficiency are also expected to boost demand. Power capacitors help to improve the overall power factor (PF) of the system and as such they form a very important part of energy-efficient systems.Subhash Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Capacitors Pvt Ltd, lists out the other factors that are boosting demand: ´Maximum demand charges, energy charges, charge on the basis of apparent energy (kVAh), which is a vector sum of kWh and kVArh, power factor penalty or bonus rates, as levied by most utilities etc., will increase the demand for power capacitors. With the tremendous industrial growth, the demand for capacitors is going to be enormous in times to come.´ 

Understanding Power Factor Correction

An article on understanding power factor correction through case studies.
Excerpt below-
The power factor of an AC electrical power system is defined as the ratio of the real power flowing to the load, to the apparent power in the circuit, and is a dimensionless number between -1 and 1. Real power is the capacity of the circuit for performing work in a particular time. Apparent power is the product of the current and voltage of the circuit. Due to energy stored in the load and returned to the source, or due to a non-linear load that distorts the wave shape of the current drawn from the source, the apparent power will be greater than the real power. A negative power factor occurs when the device which is normally the load, generates power which then flows back towards the device which is normally considered the generator. In an electric power system, a load with a low power factor draws more current than a load with a high power factor for the same amount of useful power transferred. The higher currents increase the energy lost in the distribution system, and require larger wires and other equipment. Because of the costs of larger equipment and wasted energy, electrical utilities will usually charge a higher cost to industrial or commercial customers where there is a low power factor. So it is necessary to improve power factor of electrical system.
Low power factor is a problem that can be solved by adding power factor correction capacitors to the plant distribution system. Power factor correction capacitors work as reactive current generators “providing” needed reactive power (KVAr) into the power supply. By supplying its own source of reactive power, the industrial user frees the utility from having to supply it. Therefore, the total amount of apparent power supplied by the utility will be less.
A poor power factor (PF) indicates your operations are not optimising the usage of the electrical power being supplied to the premises. If your business is billed on a kVA demand tariff then your network charges will be higher than what they would be if you increased your Power Factor. If you’re billed on a kW demand tariff then improving your Power Factor will not have a financial benefit.
Case Study: A typical example of under-utilisation of transformers was dealt by us at Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi. Delhi Vidyut Boards (DVB) tariff for power supply effective during the period 1997-2001 was based on the power factor of 0.85. Consumers were required to install and maintain shunt capacitors of adequate ratings in proper working condition to ensure that the average power factor of supply taken did not fall below 0.85. In case the average power fact fell below 0.85, then DVB levied surcharge at specified rates. Sports Authority of India (SAI) had been drawing power supply from HT lines of DVB for the Indira Gandhi Stadium in which the power factor ranged from 0.48 to 0.79, that was below the prescribed power factor of 0.85. Consequently, DVB levied low power factor surcharge amounting to Rs.1.95 crore for the period August 1997 to January 2001. The situation arose due to non utilisation of shunt capacitors. The expenditure could have been avoided, had SAI taken timely action to acquire and maintain the shunt capacitors and regulate the power supply at the prescribed power factor of 0.85. The reasons for low power factor varying from 0.4 to 0.7 at the point of HT was no load losses of transformers By charging static capacitors, the desired power factor was achieved.

Role of capacitors in energy-efficient systems

An article on role of capacitors in energy efficient systems.
Excerpt below-
Nowadays there is increasing awareness about saving energy and utilising the available energy efficiently by employing energyefficient devices. Thus, there is a trend to convert conventional systems to energyefficient systems. A capacitor, which improves the power factor of the system, forms an integral part of the energy efficient system. Industry is rapidly changing over to energy efficient drives/devices such as DC drives, variable speed AC drives, energyefficient lamps, UPS, etc.

Though these devices facilitate the use of energy efficiently, they reduce the power factor of the system and inject harmonics in the system. These problems further gives rise to another problems and ultimately there is reduction in the overall efficiency of the system.


1. DC drives:
DC drives are used as they give better efficiency than that of AC drives. Also the speed control of DC drive is easy. AC supply is converted into DC supply using converters. Converters reduces power factor and introduce harmonics. AC------> Converter------> DC

2. Frequency converters : These are used to control the speed of AC drives. First AC supply is converted into DC supply which is again converted into AC with different frequency. This also reduces the power factor and introduces harmonics. AC (50Hz) ------> DC(Using Converter)------> AC (Using Inverter) (Variable frequency)

3. Electronic items:
For accurate and automatic control, there is an increase in use of electronic controls Also use of computers has increased. All these electronic items require switched mode power supply (SMPS) which draws current over a part of each half cycle. This reduces the power factor.

4. Energy efficient lamps:
These lamps draw an almost instantaneous current over a short portion of the voltage wave. This reduces the power factor.

All these devices form what is called as nonlinear load, which not only causes the problem of low power factor but also problem of harmonics.


In an electrical distribution system, low power factor and harmonics cannot be tolerated as it reduces the overall efficiency of the system and also affects the working of other devices. To improve the power factor, the use of capacitor is essential. Where harmonic level is high only capacitor does not serve the purpose and use of power factor correction capacitors along with the harmonic filter becomes essential. Reactive power compensation is very important as it not only improves the efficiency of the system but also reduces the penalty for low power factor

Reduction in power loss, improvement in efficiency of the system
  • Reduction in KVA rating of equipment's, better utilisation of equipment
  • Better voltage profile
  • Less voltage fluctuations
  • Higher stability
Capacitor itself is an energy-efficient product as it has low power loss. Its efficiency can be as high as 99.9%. In addition to this, capacitors has low initial cost, flexibility in choosing rating, compact size, easy installation, less maintenance etc.

News Headlines

How has the growth of your company been? Are you working on government projects?
The demand for capacitors has definitely gone up in the last few years, partly because of a push from utility companies to charge on KVA consumed. We have also seen a lot of smaller businesses and even households off late show interest in power management through capacitors. In the last few years, our company´s growth has been in the range of 10-18 per cent. After a slight dip in FY2013-14, our turnover increased 74 per cent in FY2014-15, which is a very positive sign. Every year, we increase our targets to cater to more consumers across the country and are now looking to venture into previously untapped requirements for controlled capacitor banks for agricultural capacitors and residential capacitors too.
We work extensively with many government departments such as Railways, Ordinance Factories, National Hydro Development Corporation, Bharat Petroleum and many others for supply as well as turnkey projects and even annual maintenance, to ensure a steady high power factor throughout the year. A new project with the Rail Coach Factory is underway and in prototype stage. The implementation of this will lead to the development of one of its kind power management system for the Indian rail coaches. How well is this industry doing is the government supportive?
Analysts forecast capacitor market in India to grow at CAGR of 12.46 per cent over 2014-19. We visualize tremendous potential due to expected industrial growth in view of the plan of setting up of 100 smart cities by the Government of India along the Delhi-Mumbai Corridor. These smart cities will have industrial hubs, which would be set up on the most modern lines with advanced technology. Domestic players need to grab this opportunity. What factors boost demand for capacitors? Will this growth be converted into actual capacity expansion and higher utilization?
Factors that are boosting demand are the maximum demand charges, energy charges, charge on the basis of apparent energy (kVAh)--which is a vector sum of kWh and kVArh, power factor penalty or bonus rates, as levied by most utilities etc. With the tremendous industrial growth, demand for capacitors is going to be enormous in times to come. As per available production data of capacitors, the capacity installed is under-utilized at present and there is a substantial scope of higher production with the capacity already installed. Therefore, at present, there may not be capacity expansion due to growth in demand, but sooner or later capacity expansion will take place. How successful have Indian manufacturers been in implementing advanced technology in capacitors?
There is a vast range of capacitors being manufactured in India. Compared to many other countries, we are quite ahead in capacitor technology. So, as far as implementation of technology is concerned, this answers the question. A lot of R&D is being undertaken by Indian capacitor manufacturers and we will soon be a global leader in this field. What are the challenges this sector faces? Have global players dominated this space till now?
A major challenge faced by Indian manufacturers is availability of quality raw material at competitive prices. We have to import raw material, especially film, which destabilizes the cost of capacitor manufacturing due to currency fluctuations. To be able to compete globally, this factor need to be attended to. Please share your views on reactive power management.
Electrical machinery as well as electrical devices connected to an alternating current system require both active and reactive power to function properly. A major function of reactive power is voltage control. Some of the major instances of blackouts in first world countries have been insufficient voltage and reactive power support systems [contd.]

News Headlines

The industrial sector accounts for approximately 37% of total energy consumption of India1. Of this, the manufacturing sector consumes about 66 percent (2004-05). In most such facilities, the majority of electrical equipment is inductive loads such as transformers, motors, welding sets, furnaces etc. These inductive loads require reactive power in order to maintain the device’s internal magnetic field which is needed for its smooth running, in addition to active power for performing useful mechanical work. Thus, for a given KW of load, the KVA drawn from the system will be higher, which will lead to more burden on the supply side. This ratio of active KW used to the actual KVA drawn from the system is a measure of efficiency of the electrical system and is also known as the power factor of the system. The closer this factor is to unity, the more efficient is the system in terms of better utilization of electrical machines on the consumer’s end and lower the line losses and need for larger capacity equipment on the utility company’s end. Thus, there is a huge push from the government for installation of power factor improvement equipment.   In many states, the penalty levied for low power factor is as high as 1% on the total bill amount for PF between 0.85-0.9 and as much as 2% below 0.85 PF2. The tariffs for supply of electricity at high tension (3.3 KV and above) are very high on per KVA usage basis and also there is huge penalty on exceeding the billing demand over the contracted demand. In our recent experience, the power factor of an installation of Delhi Jal Board was as low as 0.6 before installation of capacitors which led to severe penalization for poor efficiency by the utility provider. After installation of power factor control system, the power factor came up to 0.98 and utility demand fell by 30%, thus leading to significant savings for the consumer. In addition to this, uncorrected power factor was leading to power loss and voltage drops, which was addressed through power factor correction. Thus, on the consumer’s end, there is definitely an advantage in bolstering their long-term energy efficiency through power factor control systems.   On the other hand, for the utility companies too, there is an advantage in installing capacitor banks in order to generate reactive power at the source. So, that the burden of reactive power generation at the consumer’s end is reduced and installation of the PF system for the consumer locally becomes economical. This will also result in improving the voltage regulation as the capacitors will ensure a leading current supply and therefore lead to better electrical service to the consumers. In one such case, the power factor of Tehri Hydro Electric Development Corporation was 0.85. Upon installation of static capacitors and APFC panel in medium voltage system, the power factor at the supply station was improved to 0.98, resulting in higher capacity being available to service more consumers.   Also, due to the increased number of rectifier-controlled motors in use in industries as well as non linear loads such as battery chargers, SMP supplies and variable frequency drives that are extensively in use in commercial settings these days, the electrical supply gets severely polluted with harmonics leading to distortion of the input sine wave. These voltage and current harmonics also increase power losses, which in turn has a negative affect on the electrical utility distribution systems. To mitigate the harmonics, consumers have to install harmonic block reactors and active harmonic filters at their end, which also serves another purpose of improving power factor by providing reactive current as and when needed. These devices are almost a necessity in hospitals and organizations employing sophisticated electronic equipment.
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Subhash C. Gupta (Proprietor)
B-70/43, DSIDC Complex, Lawrence Road Industrial Area
Delhi -110035,India

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