Improve the power factor of your plant & up your savings with PFC
A low power factor can negatively impact your business in a variety of ways. Learn how you can improve your plant efficiency and up your savings with PFC solutions.
Not only can low power be inefficient but also prove to be very expensive. If the power factor of your plant is less than a certain value, typically 0.90, you can be charged an additional fee, as a fine. This means that above a loss of overall capacity, you’ll be paying more too.
It comes as no surprise – electricity costs are among the top 5 operating expenses experienced by most businesses. To make things worse, electricity costs are estimated to double over the next decade. For businesses, this could mean a major impact on productivity and profitability.
The solution to low power factor & high electricity costs
With electricity costs set to increase, solutions seem far and few between, but are they? Enter Power Factor Correction.
Power Factor Correction is the process of improving a low power factor present on a power system by installing Power Factor Correction capacitors. By installing these capacitors, you are able to increase the ratio of active power to apparent power and improve a low power factor.
There are several advantages that businesses can gain through Power Factor Correction but before we jump into the benefits of PFC, let’s have a look at why you may need to improve your plant’s power factor.
Low power factor – why you need to improve it
Power factor is the measure of how effectively your electrical equipment converts electric current supplied by your power utility into useful power output.
Although a low power factor can be a common occurrence, the effects are often looked past until a penalty from a utility company finds its way onto your income statement.
Low power factor results in decreased operating efficiency. When there is an inefficiency in a power system some of the electricity that’s provided by the electricity company will be wasted. This translates into extra costs and a heavier than usual utility bill.
However, the negatives don’t stop there. A low power factor can also cause equipment overloads and voltage drops which puts a lot of stress on equipment, which ultimately reduces its lifespan.
Power Factor Correction is a means of improving a low power factor and keeping away the above unwanted effects that come with a low power factor. Aside from mitigating risks of reduced equipment life, PFC brings about a host of other benefits.
Benefits of Power Factor Correction
For businesses, PFC has an array of benefits. Let’s look at some of the advantages of improving your plant’s power factor through Power Factor Correction.
- Decreased maximum demand and network access charges
- Improvement in voltage
- Increased supply capacity
- Reduced carbon footprint
To better understand how PFC can be beneficial for your business, let’s look at these advantages in more detail.
Decreased demand charges
Most utility companies charge for Maximum Demand (which is the highest average Apparent Power recorded in a 30 minute window, during a specific month) and in some instances for Network Access as well (which is the highest average Apparent Power recorded in a 30 minute window, during a specific 12 month period). By improving the power factor through Power Factor Correction, you can lower the Maximum Demand charge and Network Access charge levied, which in turn will help you to decrease your electricity bill.
Improvement in voltage
When a low power factor is present, there will be a higher current flow for a given load. When the current of that line increases there will be an increase in the voltage drop in the conductor. This all results in lower voltage at the point of consumption.
By improving the power factor, you can reduce the voltage drop in the conductor which translates to an overall improvement in voltage.
By installing Power Factor Correction capacitors, you can reduce the amount of current carried by each circuit.
By reducing the amount of current, you open opportunity for the circuit to carry new loads which will save your company a lot of money in the long run as the need for upgrades won’t be present.
Reduced carbon footprint
Through the reduction of a system’s power demand via Power Factor Correction, you’re decreasing the amount of stress on the power grid, resulting in a decreased carbon footprint.
Although there may not be any immediate change as a result, over time the improvement of your electrical efficiency can contribute to a great amount of reduced carbon production.
Start reducing your electricity costs today
At Alpha Power Solutions, we can assist you in optimising the power factor of your plant and offer you peace of mind, profitability and long-term benefits.
We have over 3 decades of experience in providing reliable, effective and affordable PFC solutions. Let us help you generate upfront savings with our Power Factor Correction equipment and solutions.