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POWER FACTOR CORRECTION

& ASSOCIATED ELECTRIC BILL SAVINGS

In an electric power system, a load with a low power factor draws more current than a load with a high power factor for the same amount of useful power transferred. The higher currents increase the energy lost in the distribution system, and require larger wires and other equipment.  Because of the costs of larger equipment and wasted energy, electrical utilities will usually charge a higher cost to industrial or commercial customers where there is a low power factor.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS POWER FACTOR?

The power factor of an AC electrical power system is defined as the ratio of the real power flowing to the load, to the apparent or total power in the circuit, and is a dimensionless number between 0 and 1. Real power [W] is the capacity of the circuit for performing work in a particular time.

WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR POWER FACTOR CORRECTION?
  • Is a commercial or industrial location
  • Is an older building that has less efficient machines
  • Has a large number of AC motors (found on pumps, conveyors, HVAC, refrigeration, etc.) that are continuously running
  • Ideally, location open close to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Has power factor, kVAR or KVA charges on their electric bill
  • Is not signed up for a contract/fixed rate plan with their electric company
WHAT IS A POWER FACTOR ADJUSTMENT?

Power factor adjustments are conditional utility charges applied to demand charges and/or monthly consumption charges. They are based on the difference between your measured power factor and your utilities’ minimum power factor requirement (usually 85% – 95%). Our installations are designed to help customers achieve 95% power factor resulting in the predictable reduction or elimination of power factor adjustments and penalties.

CAN POWER FACTOR CORRECTION REDUCE KW OR KWH?

It is possible to predict the magnitude of the kW savings by analyzing each AC motor at a location to understand its contribution to a total kW savings; however, it is significantly more cost effective to measure the change in kW empirically with the unit activated vs. deactivated when installed.

WILL POWER FACTOR CORRECTION REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINT?

Yes. By reducing the total electrical current/power you place on the grid, you not only save the carbon used to generate that energy, you eliminate the associated transmission losses, and contribute to minimizing the grid capacity requirements that drive distribution conductor size, cost & its carbon footprint.

HOW DO I KNOW IF POWER FACTOR CORRECTION IS RIGHT FOR ME?

Our power factor correction experts start the qualification process with the itemized electric bill. The initial analysis will determine if there is sufficient data to calculate what your business’s power factor is and if there is a measurable savings opportunity. We offer a free power factor site evaluation, contact us to learn more.

HOW ARE SAVINGS DETERMINED?

During all installations, a licensed electrician will measure your energy consumption with a 3-phase power quality meter before and after the corrective units are switched on. This will show you in real-time the improvement in power factor and the reduction in energy consumption. Following installation, we will continue to monitor your electric bills for up to 3-months to verify the reduction and or elimination of any power factor penalties.