5 Myths about the advantages of Power Factor Correction debunked

Understanding the concept of Power Factor and what it all entails can become confusing. No wonder people get muddled up with incorrect information they find on the internet. Let us debunk some of the myths that are present when speaking about the advantages of power factor correction.

Let’s start with a necessary explanation of what Power Factor is.  Power Factor (PF) is the measurement of how effectively your business uses electricity. PF is a ratio of the power used divided by the power supplied.

Knowing this, we can dive into some myths. Answering all the questions which you might have, but haven’t found the answer to:

  1. Power Factor Correction can help any industry
  2. Power Factor Correction always give the same ROI
  3. Power Factor Correction affects Harmonics
  4. Anyone can install PFC Equipment
  5. You are set once the installation is complete

Clarifying these five myths will provide you with a more in-depth insight into what correctly designed Power Factor correction equipment can do for your company. Allowing you to get in contact with Alpha Power Solutions and start your journey to continuous savings.

Power Factor Correction can help any Industry

The fundamentals of this statement are correct, but with qualifications. Yes, power factor correction equipment can help any industry but not all businesses to the same extent.

What power factor correction equipment does is reduce the amount of reactive power drawn by an electrical installation from the power utility.  As a result, the reactive power consumption drops and the total power drawn from the utility, is reduced.

Power factor correction equipment will only benefit you if you are being billed for your reactive power consumption and/or your electrical power demand (kVA).  Also, the amount of reactive power consumed is industry type and size dependent.  In other words, power factor correction does not benefit all industries to the same

Power Factor Correction always give the same ROI (RETURN on INVESTMENT)

Numerous technical factors will determine the size of the investment required in power factor correction equipment.

Technical factors as well as the applicable electricity tariff will determine the monthly savings to be achieved from a power factor correction intervention.

But the bottom line is this: provided the electrical peak load profile of an electrical installation is known, it is possible to guarantee the monthly savings from an investment in PFC equipment and as a result, it is possible to guarantee the ROI.

Power Factor Correction Affects Harmonics

Harmonics, which are a form of electrical pollution, distort electrical waves and can cause malfunction and premature failure of electrical equipment.

Power factor correction equipment does not generate harmonics but the capacitors of a PFC panel will amplify the harmonics present in an electrical distribution system, if the PFC panel has not been fitted with harmonic blocking reactors.

Power factor correction equipment (even if fitted with harmonic blocking reactors), does not reduce existing harmonic levels in an electrical distribution system in any significant way.

Anyone Can Install Power Factor Equipment

Unfortunately, not anyone can install Power Factor Correction Equipment. Designing and installing the necessary equipment requires specialized knowledge as well as expensive and sophisticated test equipment.

Power factor correction is Alpha Power Solutions’ core business and we have the required technical teams to do the necessary assessments, designs, installations and repairs. The process starts with a free PFC pre-assessment, which results in an estimated cost/benefit analysis. The next phase is to compile a power factor correction report and refine the PFC requirements so that a detailed proposal can be submitted, including guaranteed savings.  Once the equipment has been installed, we can provide the required maintenance support in order to ensure the continued performance of the PFC equipment

Whether the equipment is old or new, supplied from Alpha Power Solutions or a third party, our team can repair it.  But if does not make financial sense to do so, we will offer to replace the existing unit with a new, high performance unit.

You are set once the PFC installation is complete

People typically think that once the installation of a PFC panel has been completed, then I can forget about it. Unfortunately, that is not the case in this instance and regular but minimal maintenance is required on the equipment (typically every 6 months or so).

Issues you would want to prevent, which can cause your PFC equipment to perform optimally, could be:

  • Hot connections
  • Failed Capacitors and Reactors
  • Faulty Contactors
  • Faulty Controllers
  • Dust or water ingress
  • General wear & tear

We offer service level agreements to customers who prefer to outsource the maintenance of their PFC equipment. It is also possible for us to monitor the performance of the PFC equipment, for complete peace of mind.

With over 30 years’ experience in the Power Factor Correction and Harmonic Filtration industry, Alpha Power Solutions can provide you with the knowledge and expertise to reduce your electricity usage and cost.

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