A variety of ways may be used to enhance the efficiency of power management systems. One of them is the power factor correction. The power factor is a metric that measures how effectively you use electricity.
It offers various benefits, including reasonable demand charges on a power system, increased load carrying capacities in your existing power circuits, and a reduction in voltage to equipment, power system failure, and electric expenditures. The easiest way of amplifying the power factor is by adding power factor correction resistors to the power system. They employ producers of reactive current, which help in counteracting the non-working power required by inductive loads, hence increasing the power factor. However, the interaction of power correction resistors with specialized equipment like variable speed drives need a well-designed system.
Why is Power Factor Correction Important?
It’s crucial because you might be paying money for a power system that you cannot use to power your equipment. Improving the input voltage results in reduced use of current, which results in lower energy bills, longer life of electrical systems and less heat.
Many utilities charge for a basic load (kW) rate as well as the maximal demand tariff. If the maximum electrical load tariff is expressed in kVA, increasing the power factor reduces the installation’s electrical load tariff (kVA), decreasing the maximal demand tariff, resulting in lower power bills.
Consumers are required to maintain a particular minimal power factor (values might depend on your region). When someone’s power factor falls below a specified level, utility suppliers may even levy a surcharge on consumption charges.
Benefits of Power Factor Correction
Find below the benefits of power factor correction:
- It Prevents Penalties Related to Power Factor
A few industrial processing tasks use a huge number of induction motors to operate their pumps, machinery, etc. These motors allow the power factor for industrial facilities to be considerably low. Many power companies assess the penalty of power factor for low power factor. With the use of power factor correctors, it is easy to reduce the penalties related to power factor from your electricity bill.
- Reduces Demand Charges
Many grid operators charge for the maximum demand based on the highest demand registered in KW or based on a fraction of the highest demand registered in KVA, whichever is higher. Therefore, if the power factor is quite low, the measured KVA will be considerably higher in comparison to KW demand. Therefore, enhancement of power factor with the help of power factor correction will considerably lower the demand charge, thus, lowering the electricity bills.
- Increase Capabilities Of Existing Circuit
Loads that draw reactive power require reactive current too. By installing the power factor correction resistors at the existing circuit’s edge, the flow of current decreases in each circuit. This decreased current flow, which is a result of enhanced power factor, allows the circuits to carry even higher loads. This helps prevent the expenditure of the whole distribution network if extra capacity is required to employ another equipment or machinery, helping companies save a significant amount of upgrade costs. Also, the reduced flow of current nullifies the resistive losses happening in the circuit.
- Better Voltage
For a specific load, a reduced power factor would result in an increased current flow. With the increase in line current, the voltage in the conductor will drop at an increased rate, leading to reduced voltage in the equipment. However, with an enhanced power factor, there is a negligible drop in the conductor’s voltage, resulting in increased equipment’s voltage.
From the benefits mentioned above, we can understand how power factor correction helps in power management. This not only saves costs; rather, it provides other attractive benefits like reduction in demand charges, preventing power factor related penalties, etc. This is why the use of power factor correction resistors is gaining importance over time. However, before it’s installation, it is suggested to consult a professional for expert advice!