15 Apr Power Factor Correction – Are you Paying Too Much for Your Electricity?
Modern day living is highly reliant on the use of electricity and the different appliances, equipment and fixtures it powers. Industries are even more reliant on electricity and their profitability is closely knit with how seamlessly their systems operate. They rely on electricity to such an extent that they rarely give it a second thought; well, at least not until something goes wrong such as:
- Electronic/electrical equipment failure
- Motor failure
- Nuisance tripping of fuses or circuit breakers
- Overheating of cabling, switchgear or transformers
- Unstable equipment operation
- High energy usage & costs
Most of these problems can be attributed to poor power factor. Let’s understand a little more about what that is.
About Power Factor
Power factor is essentially a measure of how effectively the incoming power is being used by the electrical equipment on your premises. It is expressed in terms of a numerical value in the range of 0-1. A higher power factor indicates that the electrical equipment is being used more effectively.
For instance, if the power factor is 0.8, it indicates that 80% of the power supply to the equipment is being utilised effectively and that 20% is being wasted. Regardless of what this ratio of effective usage Vs wastage is, the latter is an unnecessary expense. Typically, your power factor should be closer to 1; it indicates that your site is using energy in an efficient manner.
The importance of having a higher Power Factor
A number of businesses are currently being charged a kVA tariff and not a kilowatt tariff. This means, your service provider is probably charging you for the power they supply to you, rather than that you actually use. Simply put, you are paying for power that is being supplied to you, but which is being wasted. If your business has a low power factor, it means you pay even more for this waste. There is another aspect you should keep in view. As mentioned at the start, poor power factor has the potential to cause power drops and power losses; in turn, these lead to motor failure and overheating and failure of other equipment too.
Installation of Power Factor Correction equipment might just help avoid prohibitively expensive infrastructure upgrades; it does this by reducing the current electrical demand on your system & improving the efficiency stability. Based on which tariff you are on, power correction might just prove to be an excellent way for your business to deescalate its electricity costs.
What can you do to improve your power factor?
The power factor can be improved by installing Capacitor Banks. These are PFC (Power Factor Correction) equipment and help correct the inefficiencies in the energy supply. Apart from this, they also reduce the peak demand on the power network. This is an effective and cost-effective solution to reduce your power bill as it helps lower the monthly demand and the capacity charges. Generally, the payback periods for PFC are between 1 and 3 years. Taking the life span of the PFC equipment into consideration & the potential savings, this investment can prove to be very worthwhile for you.
If you feel that you are paying too much for electricity, we at Allround Electrical can conduct a survey of the equipment used on your site and map their electrical consumption against the power your plant is using and is being charged for. We will then provide you a report of what your power factor is; and if it is low, how it can be corrected. For more information, call us at 1300 169 263. You can also drop us a line via email.
Thanks for reading,
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