Need for power factor correction | Optimising operations

Considering the ever-rising costs of electricity, it comes as no surprise that the need for power factor correction is increasing. Learn about the benefits of power factor correction and how to ensure that your power factor equipment continues to function optimally.

Key advantages of power factor correction

  • Decrease your maximum demand and save electricity costs: Utilities monitor and charge for the maximum demand of electricity registered during the billing period. Power factor influences the maximum demand for electrical energy and if your plant has a low power factor, your maximum demand will be unnecessarily high.  By improving the power factor of your installations, you will lower the maximum demand charge and cut costs on your electricity bill.
  • Improve your voltage at the equipment: A low power factor will lead to an increase in the line current, which will increase transmission losses which in turn may result in a reduced voltage. By improving the power factor, the voltage drop will decrease – which will in turn improve the voltage at the equipment.
  • Boost the carrying capability of your existing network: Power factor correction equipment will reduce the current flow in the supply transformers and associated electrical cables. This has the three-tiered benefit of optimising operations, freeing up extra capacity to carry additional loads – and reducing resistive losses in the circuit.
  • Lessen power system losses: System conductor losses are relative to the current squared, and as an improved power factor reduces the current – it will exponentially decrease power system losses too.

There is another major spin-off from an improved power factor: since it decreases electricity consumption, it has the added benefit of lessening your dependence on the national electricity grid – and reducing your carbon footprint.

Power factor correction implementation process

Here’s how you should ideally go about optimising your power factor:

  • Point of departure should be a power factor correction assessment: Commission a complimentary professional power factor correction assessment by Alpha Power Solutions to get an objective analysis of your current scenario with expert recommendations for correcting your power factor.
  • Calculate the ROI and install or repair power factor correction equipment: Alpha Power Solutions’ power factor correction assessments are concluded with detailed reports. This includes a costing of the power factor equipment that will be necessary to get your power factor to where it needs to be. Should you already have a power factor correction system installed, the report will include a costing for the required repairs for any defects identified during the assessment. The reports also offer a projection of the period it will take for you to yield a return on your investment – which is typically between 12-18 months for new installations, but you can expect significant and tangible savings on your utilities bill, once the recommended power factor correction equipment has been installed.
  • Maintain your power factor professionally: Looking at the above, it becomes crystal clear that power factor maintenance is crucial for ongoing optimised operations and energy efficiency. As it does not necessarily form part of normal maintenance duties, there is a possibility that the upkeep of the power factor correction equipment will fall by the wayside at your company. Entering into a services contract with professionals such as Alpha Power Solutions, will ensure that your power factor equipment is maintained consistently and efficiently. Case studies indicate that the cost of deploying experts to handle this task on your behalf; is insignificant in comparison to the financial impact of a poor power factor.

Click here to contact Alpha Power Solutions for free advice on how to improve your power factor or to book a complimentary, obligation-free power factor correction assessment.

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