Thursday June 22, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Q?
What is Power Factor?
A.
In the most simplest terms, power factor is the measure of how effectively your equipment converts electric current (supplied by your power utility) into useful power output, such as light, heat or mechanical motion. In technical terms, it is the ratio of active or usable power measured in kilowatts (KW) to the total power (active and reactive) measured in kilovolt amperes (KVA).

Power Factor = KW/KVA
Q?
What is Power Factor Correction?
A.
Power factor correction is the process of improving a low power factor present on a power system by means of installing power factor correction capacitates or harmonic filters, increasing the ratio of active/usable power to total power.
Q?
Why Does Power Factor Matter?
A.
Power Factor matters because it can cost your company money & increase your company’s carbon footprint. When your company’s power system has a low power factor, your power system is demanding significantly more power than it is actually using. This results in additional charges on your company’s electricity bill and increases the amount of energy demanded on the power grid, increasing your company’s carbon footprint.
Q?
What Are The Costs Associated With A Low Power Factor?
A.
Having a low power factor can take the form of a number of costs. Since your company’s power system is demanding more power than it is actually using, your company is facing unnecessary demand charges on its monthly electricity bill. Some electric utilities also charge users a penalty when their power system’s power factor drops below a certain level, usually below 90%. This power factor surcharge covers the electric utility’s cost of supplying your power system with additional reactive power.
Q?
What Are Signs of a Low Power Factor?
A.
The obvious signs that your company's power system is experiencing a low power factor can be witnessed firsthand in your company's monthly electricity bill. If your electricity bill is abnormally high, or you are being charged a power factor surcharge, these are obvious signs that your power system has a low power factor.
The best way to determine your power system’s current power factor & identify power factor improvements is to contact us and conduct a power system audit.
Q?
What Are The Causes of a Low Power Factor?
A.
A low power factor can be caused by a number of different factors, but the primary cause of a low power factor on your company’s power system is the result of equipment that creates a magnetic field to function, such as electric motors, transformers, welding units and static converters. The energy used to create the magnetic field required by these pieces of equipment to function adds additional load to your power system; if the proper power factor correction equipment, such as capacitors & harmonic filters, aren’t installed, your power system will be subject to a low power factor.
Q?
What Are The Benefits of Power Factor Correction?
A.
There are a number of benefits to power factor correction. The most obvious benefit of power factor correction is cost savings, since you are taking measures to reduce your electricity demand, thus achieving lower monthly demand charges. There are also environmental benefits associated with power factor correction, as your company’s power system is putting less demand on the electricity grid reducing your company’s carbon footprint. For a complete explanation of the benefits of power factor correction, please check out the benefits of power factor correction.
Q?
How Can I Improve My Power Factor?
A.
Power factor improvement can be obtained through power factor correction. This can take a number of forms depending on the status of your existing power system. After Power Factor Service audits your existing power system, we can recommend & install the appropriate power factor correction equipment. This can range from installing (additional) power factor correction capacitors, harmonic filters, repairing existing capacitors or conducting electrical power monitoring.
Q?
How Long Does a Power Audit Take?
A.
A power audit can take anywhere between 1 day and a few weeks. This will time will vary depending on the size and scope of your power system, as well as your company’s location.
Q?
Do You Service Clients Outside of Ontario?
A.
Power Factor Services primarily focuses on clients in the southern & central Ontario market. However, we occasionally service clients across Canada and the United States. Please contact us with your specific needs so we can determine if we’ll be able to help you.
Q?
I Have A Failed Capacitor; Do I Need To Replace My Entire Capacitor Bank?
A.
No! Power Factor Services provides capacitor repair and capacitor maintenance services, so you can replace an individual capacitor without having to undergo the costly and time-consuming task of replacing your entire capacitor bank.
Q?
But My Capacitor Is No Longer Manufactured. Can You Still Help?
A.
Yes, Power Factor Services provides custom capacitor repair services, so we can fix & repair your existing capacitor bank, even if your capacitors are no longer manufactured. Please contact us to tell us more about your existing capacitor bank!
Q?
What Is The Difference Between Fixed vs. Automatic Capacitors?
A.
Fixed capacitor banks are “on” at all times, regardless of the load in the facility, while an automatic capacitor bank varies the amount of correction (KVAR) supplied to an electrical system. An automatic capacitor is much more expensive per kVAr (3 to 5 times) than a fixed system. To learn which type of capacitor will best suite your company’s needs, please contact us.
Q?
I Installed A 130 kVAr 600 Volt Capacitor But My Power Meter Indicates That It Is Only Operating At 119 kVAr?
A.
The amount of kVAr is based on the nominal voltage of 600 volts. As the voltage increases above nominal, the amount of usable kVAr increases and as the voltage decreases below nominal, the amount of usable kVAr decreases. For example, 130 kVAr rated at 600 volts will only deliver 119.4 kVAr at 575 volts. Conversely, it would deliver 136.6 kVAr at 615 volts.