# ALPHA POWER SOLUTIONS Presented by Eric Solot An Introduction to Power Factor Correction.

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ALPHA POWER SOLUTIONS Presented by Eric Solot An Introduction to Power Factor Correction

What is Electrical Maximum Demand? Demand = Voltage (Volt) X Current (Amp)Demand = Voltage (Volt) X Current (Amp) Maximum Demand = highest average demand in a 30 minute window, usually during a 30 day periodMaximum Demand = highest average demand in a 30 minute window, usually during a 30 day period Consumption (kWh) vs demand (kVA)Consumption (kWh) vs demand (kVA) Why utility companies charge for maximum demand?Why utility companies charge for maximum demand?

What is Power Factor? Most loads in modern electrical distribution systems are inductive (require or generate a magnetic field):Most loads in modern electrical distribution systems are inductive (require or generate a magnetic field): MotorsMotors TransformersTransformers Lighting ballastsLighting ballasts Induction furnaces, etcInduction furnaces, etc

What is Power Factor? Inductive loads require 2 kinds of current:Inductive loads require 2 kinds of current: For the working power (kW): to perform the actual work of creating heat, light, motion, machine output, etcFor the working power (kW): to perform the actual work of creating heat, light, motion, machine output, etc For reactive power (kvar) to sustain the magnetic fieldFor reactive power (kvar) to sustain the magnetic field Does not perform useful work but circulates between the generator and the loadDoes not perform useful work but circulates between the generator and the load Results in higher loading on power sources as well as the distribution system (electrical cabling and transformers)Results in higher loading on power sources as well as the distribution system (electrical cabling and transformers)

Benefits of power factor correction Reduction in apparent powerReduction in apparent power Lower electricity billsLower electricity bills Increased system capacityIncreased system capacity Reduced volt dropReduced volt drop Reduction in (heat) lossesReduction in (heat) losses Automatic capacitor banks allow for optimal compensation during changing load cyclesAutomatic capacitor banks allow for optimal compensation during changing load cycles

Capacitor banks and cabinets Modular designModular design Indoor or outdoor application (IP rating)Indoor or outdoor application (IP rating) Natural or forced ventilationNatural or forced ventilation Corrosion and dust protection optionCorrosion and dust protection option

Protection against capacitor pressure build-up:Protection against capacitor pressure build-up: Expansion zone in the aluminium housingExpansion zone in the aluminium housing Internal wireInternal wire Gets severed when the housing expandsGets severed when the housing expands Acting as a back-up fuseActing as a back-up fuse Aluminium housing allows for optimal heat dissipationAluminium housing allows for optimal heat dissipation Capacitors Consist of a thin plastic film on which a layer of Zinc and Aluminium has been sprayedConsist of a thin plastic film on which a layer of Zinc and Aluminium has been sprayed This film is then tightly rolled up and placed inside an Aluminium housingThis film is then tightly rolled up and placed inside an Aluminium housing

Uncorrected power factorUncorrected power factor Target power factorTarget power factor Current and voltage harmonics present in the systemCurrent and voltage harmonics present in the system Load changesLoad changes Unbalanced loadsUnbalanced loads Installation constraintsInstallation constraints Factors influencing PFC investment payback period

Only applicable to industrial and commercial installations, usually not residentialOnly applicable to industrial and commercial installations, usually not residential Accurate measurements of the electrical installation of a customer are required to determine the most cost effective solutionAccurate measurements of the electrical installation of a customer are required to determine the most cost effective solution Pay-back periods of well designed systems are usually shorter than 18 months and the equipment has a life expectancy of at least 10 yearsPay-back periods of well designed systems are usually shorter than 18 months and the equipment has a life expectancy of at least 10 years Pay-back period for PFC equipment

Power Factor Correction has up to recently not been a financially viable proposition for most companies – long pay-back periods due to low cost of energyPower Factor Correction has up to recently not been a financially viable proposition for most companies – long pay-back periods due to low cost of energy Power factor correction still does not form part of IDMs strategy:Power factor correction still does not form part of IDMs strategy: not considered relevant contributor to energy efficiencynot considered relevant contributor to energy efficiency ignore the potential reduction in heat losses (which can contribute up to 3% of total kWh consumed)ignore the potential reduction in heat losses (which can contribute up to 3% of total kWh consumed) Pay-back period for PFC equipment

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