What Causes Power Factor?
When the current flowing into your facility is backed up because of machinery running without load, or large numbers of lights switching off, then you have a Power Factor. Normally it is very short term and low.
Utilities have to generate more than a minimum volt-amperes to supply real watts. Then the utility has higher costs.
Cabinet making equipment, welding equipment, machine shops, warehouses with large lighting requirements, conveyors, and similar electrical equipment, will draw power unevenly. If not corrected, it can cause physical damage and triggers surcharges from the power utility.
Costs to Facility Owners
– stress on power lines and systems
– agitation and vibration on motors
– if power factor is below .9 (90%), then BC Hydro adds a surcharge
– Surcharges increase exponentially – a serious cost issue
If below .95, you need to act on it. If it’s below .9, you will pay surcharges. And your infrastructure and equipment will pay in higher stress, downtime and maintenance costs.
Power Factor Calculation
Step 1: Assessment
Contact Intel Power Electric and we will schedule a free Assessment. This will require looking at your utility bills, and possibly do direct testing of your lines and equipment.
Step 2: Report
Normally very short term and minor fluctuations are not a problem. However, equipment that is older or oversized in comparison to your infrastructure and utility plan, will cause serious issues
You will receive a Report that shows usage and limits, so you can anticipate when your facility may need Power Factor Correction
If the situation is serious, we will provide options
Passive Power Factor Correction
– these are simple solution, but can be costly
– Filters – capacitors or inductors, to make the non-linear device more like a linear load.
Active Power Factor Correction
– there are a number of technologies on the market. Load changes, infrastructure, amount of power used and other factors will direct us to more appropriate solutions
– Power electronics to change the wave form of current drawn. There are a number of solutions available: first you need to understand your situation.
The variety of controller Integrated Circuits requires proper understanding of all the variables, including the long-term costs.
Benefits of Power Factor Correction
• Reduced power consumption
• Reduced electrical costs
• Better Voltage Regulation, Power Line Stabilization, and Power Quality
• Reduced Load Losses On the Distribution System
• Increased Systems Capacity
• Avoid power factor surcharges
There is no cost to learn from Intel Power Electric about your Power Factor issues, their levels, and your choice of solutions.
For full business electrical services (installation, repairs, preventative maintenance, upgrades), contact Intel Power Electric.