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Understanding power factor

  • In an AC circuit, power is used most efficiently when the current is aligned with the voltage.
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  • However, most equipment tend to draw current with a delay, misaligning it with the voltage. What this means is more current is being drawn to deliver the necessary amount of power to run the equipment. And the more an equipment draws current with a delay, the less efficient the equipment is.
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  • Power factor is a way of measuring how efficiently electrical power is being used within a facility's electrical system, by taking a look at the relationship of the components of electric power in an AC circuit. These components are referred to as Real Power, Reactive Power and Apparent Power:
    • Real power (kW) — the work-producing power that is used to actually run the equipment
    • Reactive power (kVAr) — the non-work producing power that is required to magnetize and start up equipment
    • Apparent power (kVA) — the combination of real power and reactive power

Why improve low power factor?

  • Reactive power is one of the most significant ways that electricity is lost when it travels along power lines , The more reactive power that customers use, the more energy the electric system loses. This results in the use of larger equipment on the distribution system that otherwise would be unnecessary.
  • There is also a corresponding increase in the amount of greenhouse gases that get released into the atmosphere, Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the amount of reactive power being lost through the system, by improving your power factor, Improving your power factor could be beneficial to you as a customer.

Some of the benefits of improving power factor are:

  • Your utility bill will be smaller. Low power factor requires an increase in the generation and transmission capacity to handle the reactive power, so improving power factor will require less reactive power being drawn from the system.
  • You won't be charged a reactive power fee if your power factor is above 95%
  • Your electrical system's branch capacity will increase. With low power factor, power losses can occur in your distribution system, and you may even experience voltage drops. This may cause overheating and premature failure of motors and other inductive equipment.

Applications segments:

  • Any Facility Tends to consume intensive electricity

For Ex:

  1. Factories ( oil&gas , cement , fertilizers , steel and petrochemical industries ).
  2. Shopping centers & cinemas.
  3. Administrative towers and residential towers.
  4. Hotels.
  5. Compounds.
  6. Hospitals.
  7. Water stations.
  8. Large show rooms.
  9. Clubs.
  10. Stadiums.