Most business owners fail to realise the importance of Powerfactor . Powerfactor is an equally important factor contributing to power wastage as are any malfunctioning equipment. It is same as having an extra non-productive equipment connected in the line, which does not serve any purpose other than burning a hole in your pocket.
The simple definition of Powerfactor is the ratio of the real power absorbed by the circuit to the apparent power flowing in the circuit. In an electric power system, a load with a lower Powerfactor draws more current than a load with higher Powerfactor for the same levels of productivity. And these higher currents are merely wasted in the distribution system, and may even cause insulation on the wires to burn off eventually causing fire accidents.
a load with a lower Powerfactor draws more current than a load with higher Powerfactor for the same levels of productivity
Bad Powerfactor will lead to utilities spending more on larger equipment / wires. This is the primary reason that electrical utilities charge hefty fines from their customers for not maintaining good power factor ( i.e. either above 0.95 or 0.9 ). But there are few who charge only the heavy load ( industrial or HT customers ) alone, and leave our the low load ( domestic or LT customers). Powerfactor is a problem that impact every energy consumer irrespective of the load levels they usually use. There are some utilities that even go to the extent of having APFC ( Automatic Power Factor Controllers ) panels connected at the distribution transformers to deal with this menace.
Powerfactor is a problem that impact every energy consumer irrespective of the load levels they usually use.
HT and high load consumers usually have APFCs in their premise to deal with their problem. But this is more of a one-time installed feature in their electrical system, which is forgotten a period of time. Periodic maintenance and monitoring ensures that the APFCs are performing as they are expected to. There are occasions where the Powerfactor drops when the actual demand ( Watts ) falls below a particular level. This happens due to bad design of the APFC which does not allow capacitors to engage when the load goes below a particular level. It is always recommended to design APFCs to work during the most common load condition. Studies show that at least 8% of the power consumed at a premise could be wasted due to bad power factor. Efficient tracking of Powerfactor trends could help eliminate this wastage and thereby save money.
Studies show that at least 8% of the power consumed at a premise could be wasted due to bad power factor.
Continuous monitoring helps achieve efficiency through realtime tracking of the performance of these capacitors. It tells the customer
- the average Powerfactor during different times of the day or different load conditions
- the load conditions when the Powerfactor drops below the thresholds ( let’s say 0.9 ),
- alerts user when a particular equipment introduces bad Powerfactor into the system.
By having this information, consumers can understand the performance of their APFC panels and take corrective actions to eliminate this wastage.