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[ Focus: Power factor correction ]


A typical example of an electricity bill, highlighting key data and charges


n Power factor average peak kVA; n Average power factor; n Reactive power factor; and n Chargeable capacity.


Other benefits of power factor correction include: n Improved energy efficiency – It reduces system currents and kW losses;


n Security of supply – Reduction in peak currents prevents fuse failure and loss of supply;


n Release of additional capacity – Take advantage of the full current capacity available in transformers, switchgear and supply cables. Increase system load without the need to invest in additional infrastructure;


n Environmentally friendly – Reduced kWh losses mean that less power needs to be generated, so less CO2


is produced, which contributes to your


carbon reduction commitment (further details available on request from the technical department of the ECA); and


n Increase in the service life of your infrastructure – The amount of heat generated within cables, switchgear, transformers and other equipment is reduced, helping increase the service life of your vital assets.


Solving harmonics and system disturbance problems A low power factor might only be one of the symptoms of a range of power quality problems that can reduce the reliability and efficiency of electrical equipment in your electrical installation. A full PFC installation survey will detect any power


quality issues, such as harmonics, flicker and unbalanced load. You will then be able to select options from a range of state-of-the-art equipment, including active filters, to provide the ideal cost-effective solution.


Further reading


The ECA guide to power factor correction is available from the ECA website. To download, visit www.eca.co.uk


Power-hungry solutions


ABB helped the McCain Food site at Scarborough to make more efficient use of its existing power installation by installing PFC equipment. It was then able to handle the power demand of its new Home Fries production line without needing a major investment in new installation infrastructure.


Ceramics manufacturing company Max demand: Power factor:


Cost of PFC including installation:


Potential annual savings in reactive power charges and authorised supply capacity (ASC):


Payback: More info


For further information regarding power factor correction, contact Giuliano Digilio at Giuliano. digilio@eca.co.uk


This article was prepared in conjunction with ABB Limited. Email abbep@gb.abb.com or call 0151 357 8400


Food manufacturing company Max demand: Power factor:


Cost of PFC including installation:


Potential annual savings in reactive power charges and authorised supply capacity (ASC):


Payback:


665kW 0.78 £8k


£5.2k (per annum) 1.6 years


Typical power factor correction panels for larger installations


Solving power factor problems Most dedicated PFC equipment is based on capacitors that provide a source of reactive power to help increase your electrical installation’s power factor. Your penalty charges will drop instantly and could even be eliminated completely. Power factor correction equipment is an easy and cost- effective solution to install. It starts paying back on your investment immediately, with typical payback times from 12 to 24 months. See examples below.


637kW 0.85


£5.8k £3.3k


(per annum) 1.3 years


May 2011 ECA Today 53


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