Why Improve Power Factor?
While there are many reasons to correct poor power factor we find
that in general a facility will correct it's Power Factor for one or
more of the following reasons:
- To Reduce Utility Power Billing
Most, if not all Hydro Utilities charge a penalty for poor power
factor. In a lot of cases this penalty can be quite substantial
(20-40% of the Demand Charges plus high I2R Losses).
Therefore, one of the main reasons for correcting your facilities
power factor is to eliminate needless financial losses.
- To Increase System Capacity
Improving the Power Factor releases system capacity and permits
additional loads (motors, lighting, etc..) to be added without
overloading the system. In a typical system with a .80 P.F., only
800kW of productive power is able to be used out of 1000kVA
installed. By correcting the system to unity (1.0 P.F.), the kW =
kVA. Now the corrected system will support 1000kW, versus teh 800
kW at the .80 P.F. uncorrected condition; an increase of 200kW of
- Improved System operating characteristics
A good power factor (.95) provides a "stiffer" voltage, typically
a 1-2% voltage rise can be expected when Power Factor is brought
to +/- .95.
Improving Power Factor will also lower losses in the
distribution system of the facility since losses are proportional
to the square of the current.
Regardless of why you improve the electrical systems Power Factor
it will provide a combination of all the things listed above.