WHAT IS POWER FACTOR IN ELECTRICITY GENERATION?

POWER YOU CAN TRUST

Power Factor is an important parameter that is used to examine the efficiency and the quality of electricity being drawn from electrical devices or an electrical installation.

Here at WBPS we offer a measure for all your electrically powered projects, to ensure they are performing as efficiently as possible.

Within an electrical system there are three different types of power that will determine a Power Factor. Real Power, Reactive Power and Apparent Power are all power types, that when combined provide a significant value that can be used to measure the efficiency and quality of your electrical devices. By looking at a Power Factor’s value, we can predict the behaviours of the electrical devices against the power grid.

An important process in any electrical installation, the measurement of Power Factor is an effective parameter for businesses and organisations to use and to understand how efficiently a business or organisation utilises electricity.

Power Types

Real (Active) Power (kW)

The power that is supplied and consumed in an AC circuit is known as Real or Active Power. This represents the true power that is transmitted to the load for energy conversion.

Reactive Power (kVAR)

This measures the power associated with reactive components within a circuit, such as inductors and capacitors.

Apparent Power (kVA)

The Apparent Power is the combination of Active Power and Apparent Power. It is also known as ‘Demand’ which gives a measure of the amount of power used to run machinery during a certain period.

Power Factor is an effective measure of true incoming power. It not only looks at how efficiently electricity is being used, it also assesses the quality of the electricity too.

How is power factor calculated?

Power Factor is calculated by measuring the ratio of Active Power, measured in kilowatts (kW), to Apparent Power, measured in kilovolt amperes (kVA). Apparent Power, which is also referred to as ‘Demand’, is the measure of the amount of power used to run machinery and equipment during a certain period.

The power demand is usually greater than the real power and is usually referenced as a number between 0 and 1. Businesses and organisations should be aiming for a higher Power Factor, indicating that the electricity is being used as efficiently as possible.

A Power Factor of 1.0 is the number for a perfect rating, indicating that all the energy supplied by the source is being consumed by the load. Less than 1.0, may indicate that extra power is needed to achieve the job it has been assigned, and therefore may not be utilising the electricity as efficiently at source.

Power Factors can be stated as either ‘leading’ or ‘lagging’ which shows the sign of the phase angle. Capacitive loads are leading (current leads voltage), and inductive loads are lagging (current lags voltage).

What is Peak Demand?

Peak Demand is a term used by power suppliers to determine electricity usage and how it is charged. Peak Demand is when electricity demand is at its highest. Many power suppliers charge for the base load (KW) and a maximum demand tariff. If the Power Factor falls below a certain level, Reactive Power charges will occur. In most cases, power suppliers will define a charge anytime the Power Factor falls below 0.95.

By working to improve the Power Factor within your business, the kVA of an electrical installation is reduced which in turn reduces the maximum demand tariff and associated costs. This alone will help to improve your Power Factor score whilst saving you money in the long run too.

Implementing Power Factor Correction

Investing in Power Factor Correction into your day-to-day operations can potentially help you to reduce your electricity costs. For example, when power is determined as lagging, the controlled use of capacitors or inductors may be used to help realign the voltage and the current into the required phase. By assessing your Power Factor and working to improve its score we can help you to stabilise your electricity supply.

The Benefits of Power Factor Correction:

  • Savings on electricity costs.
  • Increased available power.
  • Increased efficiency.
  • Reduced installation size.
  • Reduced voltage drops.

Utility companies will supply a certain amount of reactive power at no extra cost, however for companies requiring high reactive power loads, they will be charged extra for the reactive component. By implementing Power Factor Correction, we can help you to reduce costs, whilst improving your carbon footprint too.

As well as monitoring the performance and efficiency of your power system, we can undertake capacitor repair and maintenance, monitor loads and investigate any lags or disturbances in your power system, ensuring your systems are optimally performing at all times.

Power Factor Correction at WBPS

At WBPS, we will work with you to ensure all your electrical and generator installations are working as efficiently as possible. With many businesses and organisations losing money through inefficient power systems, we can help bring your Power Factor so that all energy supplied at source is consumed as efficiently as possible.

Utilising over 40 years of knowledge and technical expertise, we can help you with all your generator requirements. We believe your generator is at the heart of your operations and with a wide range of generator services on offer, we will invest our time to ensure you are achieving the very best service from the very outset of your project.

To find out more about WBPS’s Power Factor Correction Service and how we can keep your power system and your generator at its optimal efficiency, speak to one of our experts today to see how we help you.

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