POWER FACTOR CORRECTION
Power quality is critical to efficient operation of equipment. One contributing element to power quality is power factor.
Power Factor Correction (PFC) aims to improve power factor and hence power quality, utilising capacitors to offset usually inductive loads, for example motors. PFC systems increase the efficiency of power supply, delivering immediate cost savings on electricity.
When is Power Factor Correction right for you? Are you experiencing…
Electrical or electronic equipment failure
Overheating of transformers, switchgear and cabling
Nuisance tripping of circuit breakers or fuses
Unstable equipment operation
High energy usage and costs
How does Power Factor Correction work?
Power Factor is a measure of how effectively incoming power is used in your electrical system and is defined as the ratio of Real to Apparent (total) power where:
Real Power is the power that actually powers the equipment and performs useful, productive work.
Reactive Power is required by some equipment (eg. transformers, motors and relays) to produce a magnetic field for operation; however it does not perform any real work.
Apparent Power is the vector sum of Real and Reactive Power and corresponds to the total power required to produce the equivalent amount of real power for the load.
Power Factor Correction may be required where a system has a power factor of less than 90% (or 0.9). A poor power factor can contribute to equipment instability and failure, as well as significantly higher than necessary energy costs since it means that more current is required to perform the same amount of work. By optimising and improving the power factor, power quality is improved, reducing the load on the electricity distribution system.
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PFC equipment achieves a decrease in the total amount of electrical demand by using a bank of capacitors to offset an inductive load (or reactors if the load is capacitive).
Captech offer a range of products and services to ensure assess and improve power factor.
Our Power Factor Correction equipment maintenance includes checking that the system is operating at optimum performance levels. We check the following:
Electricity load reduction
Detailed equipment condition
Full functional operation
This level of maintenance is recommended by manufacturers to be undertaken every 6 months, or as required.
A comprehensive report is supplied on completion detailing the works carried out. It includes specific recommendations for consideration.
Captech offer a range of low, medium and high voltage PFC solutions.
OPTIVAR – Solid State Switched capacitor banks provide faster operating times by using thyristors instead of contactors for switching. The OPTIVAR system is specifically designed for applications where very fast load fluctuations exist and conventional PFC systems response times are unsuitable. The very high speed switching operation is designed for dynamic power factor compensation.
WHAT IS VOLTAGE OPTIMISATION
Voltage optimisation is an energy saving technology that is used to regulate, clean and condition the incoming power supply in order to reduce the voltage supplied to the optimum level for the on-site electrical equipment and appliances.
What is voltage optimisation?
The concept behind voltage optimisation is simple. In general, power from the energy grid is supplied at a higher voltage than necessary due to old electrical distribution networks in place which were designed to operate at higher voltage levels, as well as electricity suppliers being required to ensure all buildings are supplied voltage within set parameters.
If a building is being supplied at a higher voltage than necessary it will likely result in a mass of wasted energy, excessive levels of carbon emissions, and higher than necessary electricity bills in addition to power quality issues, including increased wear and reduced lifespan of electrical equipment.
In addition to reducing energy consumption, cutting carbon emissions and providing savings on electricity bills, voltage optimisation can also improve power quality by balancing phase voltages and filtering harmonics and transients from the network operators supply.
Voltage optimisation technologies are typically installed in series between the distribution transformer and the main low voltage distribution board, allowing all of the consumer’s electrical equipment to benefit from an optimised power supply.
There are two types of voltage optimisation system which are generally referenced when discussing this approach; ‘fixed’ Powerstar LITE, which optimises the voltage by a set amount and matches the incoming profile, or ‘electronic-dynamic’ Powerstar MAX, which uses intelligent controls to optimise the voltage and maintain it at a constant level.
For larger sites that operate their own HV/LV infrastructure, Powerstar HV MAX can be installed on the HV side to correct the incoming power supply issues at source through replacing the current HV transformer with a super-low loss amorphous core transformer and integrating this with voltage optimisation technology.