Is Your Industrial Business Operating with Poor Power Factor? How Improving Your Power Factor Can Reduce Your Electricity Bill.

Electricity costs are one of the highest operating expenses for commercial and industrial businesses – think, compressor motors, fluorescent and high bay lighting, and welding sets. But, is your site operating efficiently? Or, are you paying for energy you don’t use?

If your site has poor power factor, you might be paying more for electricity than you need to.

What is power factor?

Power factor is the ratio between the energy you’re supplied by the grid and the energy you use. The energy you use is your kW – and your energy supplied is known as your kVA.

To help you visualise – Imagine you’ve just bought a pint of beer. The full pint of beer represents the power you’re supplied (kVA). The amber liquid represents your real power (kW) – what you need to operate a motor. The foamy top of your beer represents your reactive power (kVAr) – the power you need to sustain the electromagnetic field in the motor. This reactive power doesn’t do useful work, but, it places a heavier drain on the transformer and the electricity network.

So, the more efficiently your facility is operating, the less money you’re wasting on electricity you don’t need. Apply for a Free Energy Bill Audit

How You Can Improve Your Power Factor

Your power factor = your beer liquid (kW) / your pint volume (kVA). The closer your power factor is to 1, the more efficiently your system’s operating and the less energy (and money) you’re wasting.

Industrial and commercial businesses will find it difficult to reach a power factor of 1 because of your heavy reliance on electric motors and lighting for operations. However, you can improve it so it’s pretty darn close.

You can reduce your amount of reactive power (kVAr) by installing capacitors into your electrical distribution boards. These capacitors will free up your pint-capacity, reducing the amount of froth so you don’t need to buy a bigger pint. It also means you’ll pay less for your beer! Capacitors are a solid investment as they prolong equipment life, reduce maintenance, and reduce electricity demand and costs.

Where to next?

Power factor correction equipment can be the most cost-effective way to lower your energy bill and promises a return on your investment, usually within 1 – 3 years. You’ll need to talk to an energy expert to help model the right sized system for your site.

Check out this case study HERE

Get in touch with our team if you’d like to learn more about power factor correction and forecast your achievable savings and payback period. Apply for a Free Energy Bill Audit