Power Factor is a way of describing how efficiently electrical power is consumed. It is the ratio of Real Power (kW) to Apparent Power (kVA). In an efficient, purely resistive circuit, all of the current delivered to the load is converted to real work (kW).
Therefore kW = kVA, and the Power Factor = 1 (Unity)
Many loads in industry today are inefficient inductive types, particularly motors and transformers. This inductance causes the current to lag behind the voltage. Subsequently, reactive currents drawn (kVAr) are used to create the magnetic field needed to operate these machines. Therefore, power is lost or ‘wasted’ in the magnetic field and KW’s are less than kVA’s, and Power Factor is less than 1.
The greater the ratio of inductive loads to resistive loads across your site, the lower the power factor and the higher the reactive charges you will see itemised on your bills. As well as increasing transformer losses (I2R) there is an increased danger of blowing the main fuses because the unnecessary high currents drawn from the supply can exceed the supply capacity.
Power factor correction is the calculated introduction of capacitors to an inefficient system. The capacitors, whether static or automated, reduce current and improve the power factor of a system, bringing it as close to unity as possible. Power factor correction technology increases electrical capacity by reducing the maximum kVA drawn on an electrical system.
Installing Power Factor Correction will reduce your overall power consumption, leading to lower electricity bills and reduced charges. Due to the effects of this power stabilisation, heat reduction, and voltage drop reductions there will be an overall improvement in power quality, resulting in increased life expectancy of electrical equipment. Transformer and distribution losses will also be reduced, leading to an increase in supply capacity.
GWE have an Eco-Max Power Factor Correction range of solutions, both off the shelf and bespoke and tailored to a specific site’s requirements. Our units are manufactured in the UK, using the highest quality components and sturdy steel powder coated enclosures to prevent corrosion and exposure to harsh environments. They are usually installed at the incoming mains supply to a building, but can be installed on any specific plant equipment with a power factor needing correction.