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 Power Factor Survey 

Power Factor Survey

Have you considered implementing a power factor survey yet? It is by measuring your Power Factor that you can potentially save a lot on energy costs. Bill verification and tariff analysis are truly important, but your electricity might not be used efficiently if the Power Factor is out of sync. Some businesses might not require a Power Factor survey, only those that are on a peak demand tariff will be benefited by a survey.

Power factor, before and after

Your business’ operating power consists of two parts: real power (usable energy) and that of peak demand power. The result of a poor Power Factor is higher peak demand power which can result in high energy bills. There are concealed costs when your business is running on a poor Power Factor. A low Power Factor will pull more power from the grid that is needed, this will put further pressure on the electrical generators to increase their output, which will result in more money being spent.

The objectives of a Power Factor Survey are to gather information on energy usage and the subsequent difference between real power and the peak demand power. The survey includes testing of electrical systems and analyzing the following indicators:

  • Voltage
  • Amperes
  • KVA (apparent power)
  • KW (working power)
  • KVAR (reactive power)
  • Power Factor

This service is rendered on site, using online meters and existing meters to establish the best possible way of cutting energy costs.

How it works

Most electrical equipment use magnetic fields(inductive loads) to work properly. The magnetic field created requires power to be fed to it but it does not use up the energy. As such, it increases the demand of the equipment without increasing the energy usage.

Alternating Current (AC) has three components namely: Active Power, Reactive Power and Apparent Power.

  • Active Power is the power that the electrical product actually uses, which is measured in kW.
  • Reactive Power creates the magnetic field (inductive load) for the device to function properly, measured in kVAR.
  • Apparent Power is the entire usage of Active power and Reactive power combined, measured in kVA.

Electrical equipment needs to function at an optimal level, Power Factor is that measurement by which we gauge the effectiveness of the equipment and general energy usage.

The ideal factor is 1 or unity. A lower Power Factor will draw more power from the national grid to enable the equipment to operate at peak levels, thereby potentially costing you more money.

Our Power Factor Unit will be able to circumvent the problem by compensating for the reactive power and assure the use of all available energy at its most effective level.

FAQ

Q. What is Power Factor?

In technical terms it is the usable power measured in kW in proportion to the total power (active and reactive) measured in kilovolt amperes (kVA).

Q. What is Power Factor Correction?

Power Factor Correction is the improvement of a low Power Factor by installing capacitors or using existing units to improve the ratio between usable power and total power.

Q. Why does Power Factor matter?

When your companies power infrastructure has a low Power Factor, your peak demand can be considerably higher due to your demand outstripping your actual usage. The result is additional electricity costs, due to excess demand being pulled from the national grid.

Q. Are there extra costs involved with a low Power Factor?

Due to an inefficient Power Factor you may receive a higher energy bill due to demand charges being added. Some utilities also charge penalties when your Power Factor drops below a certain level.

Q. Are there indications to show a low Power Factor?

The most obvious sign is an unusually high energy bill. Excessive demand charges will be added to your account. The best way to identify a low Power Factor and how to improve it, will be to contact us.

Q. What causes a Low Power Factor?

Various different factors play a role, but the primary factor is equipment that creates a magnetic field like electric motors. The process of creating the magnetic field (inductive load) causes an excess of power being demanded from the grid. A lack of the proper equipment like capacitors will lower the Power Factor.

Q. What are the benefits of a Power Factor correction?

There are two big benefits. By reducing electricity demand charges, you are saving a lot on your electricity bills.

Q. How do I improve my Power Factor?

This will depend on your existing power system. After completing our power systems audit, we can recommend and install the correct unit to improve your Power Factor. Our services range from installing new capacitors, repairing existing correction units or the monitoring of your electrical power systems.

Q. How long does the Audit take?

This will depend on the location of your business as well as the size of your power system. The time period can be anything from 1 day to a couple of weeks.

Q. My business is not based in South Africa. Can you help me?

Yes, we can. We have clients from all over. We have recently provided various hotels in Dubai with our Energy Management Services.

Q. Will regular maintenance be required?

Capacitors will run quietly in the background. The upkeep is not labour intensive, but maintenance is required to have them run

Have you done a Power Factor survey yet?

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