Difference Between Reactor and Inductor
Reactor and inductor are two concepts with tight correlation but complete difference. Although objectively, the reactor can be named as the inductor, the application scope and operation principle of the two are absolutely different.
Inductor is the electronic component transforms the electric energy to the magnetic energy and then reserves it. The structure of the inductor is similar to the transformer, but it usually has one winding. Inductor possesses a certain inductance, which is used to hinder the current change. When the current passes through the lead, a certain magnetic fields will be generated around the lead. And the lead in this electromagetic field will generate the induced electromotive force-self-induced emf. We call this as the electromagnetic induction.
In order to enhance the electromagnetic induction, people usually wind the insulated leads into coils with a certain coil numbers. We call such coils as the inductance coil or inductance machine, namely inductor for short. People still produce choking coils, transformers and relays and so on by utilizing the characteristics of the inductance. If the inductor is in a status of having no circuit flowing, it will try to impede the current flowing through it when the circuit is connected. If the inductor is in a status of having no current flowing, it will try to maintain the unchanged current when the circuit is disconnected. The inductor is also named as the choker or dynamic reactor. The two primary functions of the inductance is to filter the wave and reserve the energy.
Reactor is used to maintain the current and stabilize the voltage of the electrical system. The reactor adopted in the power grid is substantially a hollow coil without the permeability magnetic material. It can be arranged in vertical, horizontal and stagger assembling forms as the demand. When the electrical system has short circuit, the short-circuit current with high values will be generated. If it is not restricted, it is very difficult to maintain the dynamic stability and thermal stability of the electrical equipment. Therefore, in order to satisfy the interrupting capacity requirement of some disconnectors, reactors are usually connected in the outgoing breaker in series, so as to increase the short-circuit impedance and limit the short-circuit current.
The electrical conductor with current carrying has the induction of the general significance. However, the electrified long and straight conductor has rather low induction, so the generated magnetic field is not strong. Therefore, the practical reactor is to wind the leads into the solenoid shape, namely the air reactor. Sometimes, in order to increase the induction of the solenoid, an iron core will be inserted into the solenoid, namely the iron core solenoid. In the field of AC power, in addition to the current impedance of the resistance, the current flowing will be hindered by the capacitor and inductor as well. Such a function is named as the reactive resistance, which means to resist the function of the current. The resistance of the capacitance and induction is respectively called as the capacitance resistance and induction resistance.
The resistance is divided into the induction resistance and capacitance resistance. According to a rather scientific conclusion, the inductor and capacitor are both included in the electric reactor. However, because the inductor was generated first and it was named as the so-called reactor, the capacitor mentioned by people now is exactly the capacitive reactance, while the electric reactor specially refers to the inductor.