Electrical switching & drive systems & components


Power-factor correction to cut energy costs

Third Quarter 2019 Electrical switching & drive systems & components

Power-factor correction is a mechanism to reduce operating costs associated with electricity consumption. Some of the key advantages are reduced kVA charges, improved plant efficiency and network voltage and reduced overloading of cables, switchgear and transformers.

ElectroMechanica (EM) product manager, Artur Socha explains that the power factor is simply the ratio of actual power (known as active power) used in a circuit, expressed in kW, to the mains power drawn, expressed in kVA. Large industrial, commercial, or retail operations can have maximum demand charges applied to their electricity bill. Improved power factor relates to immediate savings on the demand charges. Even sites that have switched to renewable energy sources such as solar still need to take power factor into account.

To determine the estimated savings that can be realised by installing a power factor correction system, EM recently launched a power factor correction calculator to allow customers to determine savings if they are being penalised on their electricity bills with a maximum demand charge. Combined with active harmonic filters, it provides complete solutions for all aspects related to power factor and power quality requirements.

Two main products from EM play a key role in power-factor correction, the Lovato DCRG power-factor correction controllers and Electronicon three-phase cylindrical capacitors. Features include the capability to operate with several units interconnected in master-slave mode, a quick current transformer (CT) programming function, and automatic identification of the direction of the CT current flow.

For more information contact Karen Zotter, ElectroMechanica, +27 11 249 5000, karenz@em.co.za, www.em.co.za



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