Get a better understanding of how power factor installation can help in reducing your monthly bill.

If you are frustrated with high monthly electricity bills, a power factor installation will be a good solution because as we’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, increasing your power factor will lead to lower electricity costs.

But first, let’s do a quick recap… What is power factor?

The fun explanation is…  A large beer is ordered to quench the thirst of a thirsty individual. The beer has some froth on top that does nothing to quench the individual’s thirst – this represents the kVAr (reactive or apparent power). The beer does quench the thirst – this represents the kW (real or active power). The total contents of the mug (the beer and the froth) represent the apparent power. The glass must be full of beer with no froth for the individual to gain maximum benefit from the glass of beer. And for systems to have maximum power efficiency they should not be drawing any kVAr (froth).

The solution to systems that do draw kVAr and that have a low power factor is power factor correction.

What is the power factor correction?

Power factor correction (PFC) is the process of improving low power factor in a power system through installing power factor correction capacitors. PFC is ideal for optimising your operations and there is an increasing need for power factor correction as electricity costs just keep increasing.

Also, when the apparent power is greater than the active power, the utility provider must supply the excess reactive power and the working power. Through power factor installations, you can increase the ratio of active power to apparent power and cut back on the amount of power the provider needs to send your way.

Power capacitors are basically power generators and they reduce the amount of current your system takes from the grid.

Why you should install power factor correction devices

There are many benefits to power factor installations including:

  • Lower electricity costs
  • Lower demand for apparent power (also known was maximum demand)
  • Increased system capacity
  • Reduced carbon footprint

And even if you are not being billed for maximum demand or for consuming reactive power, you could still benefit from power factor installations because it will increase your systems’ capacity and thereby increasing production.

Installation of power factor correction controllers

Alpha Power Solutions performs electrical energy audits and does power factor installations. However, you might be interested to know how we do this.  

Where do we install power factor correction equipment? Basically where a continuous and stable load can be found. Automatic power factor correction is usually installed in proximity of the main distribution board. For electrical systems with only a few large loads, it is usually cheaper to install suitably rated capacitors directly onto the inductive loads.

We use a high-tech data logger to take measurements of your electrical load profile, followed by an expert analysis of the data to determine your exact power factor correction requirements. We also investigate any constraints to installation 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. Easy as pie!

As an interesting side note, it is not advisable to install power factor correction equipment on diesel generators. Even though most diesel engine alternators will be able to cope with the increased output, the actual diesel engine will not be able to. Many suppliers even indicate that power factor correction will render their warranty null and void.

Contact Alpha Power Solutions today to cut your electricity costs, increase your power factor, and reduce electricity wastage. We supply passive harmonic filters and power factor correction capacitors, install and repair them. We also perform inspections of electrical installations to determine your specific needs. Alpha Power Solutions – Beyond Capacity.