Deepen your knowledge of power factor correction and learn how to leverage equipment such as a power factor correction device for optimal operations and minimise costs.

The factors that influence the power factor

We offer a simplistic explanation of the basic elements that affect the power factor.

  • Apparent power: Apparent power is the total electrical power that is supplied to you by your electrical utility company and it is measured in kilo volt ampere (kVA).

This apparent power consists of 2 components: active power and reactive power.

  • Active power: Active power is the useful power that performs the actual work. It is also referred to as ‘actual power’ or ‘real power’ and it is measured in kilo watts (kW).
  • Reactive power: This is the power that is drawn by an electrical installation to produce magnetic flux for equipment such as motors, transformers, ballasts, etc. It is measured in kilo volt ampere reactive (kVAr).

The power factor is the ratio of active power over apparent power and is a measure of how efficiently electrical energy supplied is being utilised.

How the power factor affects your business

These are some of the business advantages of an optimised power factor:

  • Increased load carrying capabilities and additional capacity.
  • Reduced voltage drop.
  • Reduced power system losses.
  • Reduced heating losses in transformers and distribution equipment.
  • Increased plant life.

Most importantly, an optimised power factor decreases your maximum power demand, reduces your electricity bill and can cut operating costs substantially.

Utility company normally charge large energy users for the following electrical parameters:

  • Active power consumption (kWh)
  • Maximum apparent power used during a 30 day period (kVA)

Some utility companies also charge for the following parameters

  • Maximum apparent power used during a 12 month period (kVA)
  • Reactive power consumption (kVArh)
  • Poor power factor penalty

Improving your power factor will reduce the maximum apparent power used during a specific metering period, reduce the reactive power consumption of the plant, and where applicable, result in you avoiding a poor power factor penalty

How to improve your power factor

Installing a power factor controller, will improve your power factor almost instantly.

Alpha Power Solutions is not only able to assist with professional installation of power factor correction equipment, but they will also be able to offer expert recommendations to improve your power factor and energy efficiency overall. The following is an outline of their typical process:

  • A high-tech data logger is used to take measurements of your electrical load profile
  • This is followed by an expert analysis of the data gathered in order to determine your exact power factor correction requirements.
  • Installation constraints are also investigated: i.e. space to install power factor correction hardware, ventilation, IP rating, etc.

A detailed proposal is then submitted, including recommendations, layout costs, timeframe for installation and a projection of how long it will take for you to yield a return on your investment. Clients of Alpha Power Solutions are on average able to pay back the investment costs within 12 to 18 months, after which they enjoy the full benefit of substantially reduced electricity costs and improved profits. Click here to contact Alpha Power Solutions now for an obligation free consultation.