Industrial Customers Cut Costs by Raising Power Factor
A low power factor causes voltage drops and energy losses on the system, making it necessary to oversize all the facilities from the generating station to your electrical panel. By improving power factor, you can reduce your demand charge and improve equipment efficiency.
WHAT IS POWER FACTOR?
Power factor is the ratio between active power and apparent power. The power supplied by us is called apparent power (kVA). Apparent power is broken down into active power (kW), and reactive power (kVAR). Active power provides energy for motion, heat, light and sound. Reactive power (inductive) is used to create magnetic fields necessary to drive rotating equipment such as motors, compressors, etc.
Power factor = Active power (kW) X 100 / Apparent power (kVA)
By installing capacitors, the reactive power component (kVAR) by the Utility will decrease causing the apparent power component (kVA) to decrease thereby improving the power factor.
Customer “A” has a load with the following characteristics:
Apparent power = 100 kVA
Active power = 80 kW
Reactive power = 60 kVAR
Power factor> = 80%
The installation of a 30 kVAR of capacitors will decrease the reactive power supplied by the Utility to 30 kVAR and the apparent power supplied by the Utility to 85.4 kVA. The power factor measured at the Utility meter increases to 80 kW / 85 kVA> X 100 = 94%.
The relation between the real power (kW), the apparent power (kVA) and the reactive power (kVAR) may be represented by a triangle as follows: