A static synchronous compensator (STATCOM), also known as a static synchronous condenser (STATCON), is a regulating device used on alternating current electricity transmission networks. It is based on a power electronics voltage-source converter and can act as either a source or sink of reactive AC power to an electricity network. If connected to a source of power it can also provide active AC power. It is a member of the FACTS family of devices. It is inherently modular and electable.
A STATCOM is a voltage source converter (VSC)-based device, with the voltage source behind a reactor. The voltage source is created from a DC capacitor and therefore a STATCOM has very little active power capability. However, its active power capability can be increased if a suitable energy storage device is connected across the DC capacitor. The reactive power at the terminals of the STATCOM depends on the amplitude of the voltage source. For example, if the terminal voltage of the VSC is higher than the AC voltage at the point of connection, the STATCOM generates reactive current; conversely, when the amplitude of the voltage source is lower than the AC voltage, it absorbs reactive power.The response time of a STATCOM is shorter than that of a static VAR compensator (SVC), mainly due to the fast switching times provided by the IGBTs of the voltage source converter. The STATCOM also provides better reactive power support at low AC voltages than an SVC, since the reactive power from a STATCOM decreases linearly with the AC voltage (as the current can be maintained at the rated value even down to low AC voltage).