The power factor is used to indicate the amount of energy that has been converted into work, or in simpler words, it is an indicator of the correct use of energy.

The optimal range for the power factor is between 0 and 1, where 1 is the ideal value, which indicates that all the energy consumed by electrical devices has been transformed into work.

A low power factor (less than 0.90) means that energy is being wasted, which can cause an unnecessary increase in billing and, therefore, penalties.

The penalties or bonuses are applied as follows: when the PF (power factor) is less than 0.90, a penalty of up to 120% is applied to consumption, on the other hand, if the PF is greater than 0.90, as established, there may be a bonus of up to 2.5% on invoiced consumption. Here are 2 examples of how the FP can be in our favor or against us:

In addition to the increase in billing, a low power factor also leads to the following problems:

• Higher current consumption

• Increased losses in conductors

• Premature wear of conductors

• Overload of transformers and distribution lines

• Increase in voltage drops

On the other hand, by correcting the power factor we obtain certain benefits such as:

• Decrease in losses in conductors

• Reduction of voltage drops and risk of interruption

• Increased power availability of transformers and lines

• Increase in the useful life of installations and equipment connected to the electricity grid

• Reduction of the cost of your electricity billing

• Reduction in consumption billing costs

• Increased availability of power in transformers and transmission lines

Among the causes that can cause a low power factor are:

• Poor planning and operation in the electrical system

• High demand for refrigeration and air conditioning equipment

• Electrical network and equipment in poor condition

• Large number of motors or electrical equipment connected

We have talked about the allowed factors, penalties and benefits of being within the ranges, but what about the solution? How can we correct the power factor?

In the first instance, it is recommended to carry out a complete energy quality study, this will help us identify the type of solution that best suits your needs. The most common solution with which the power factor is corrected is through a bank of fixed or variable capacitors. These studies must be carried out by professionals specialized in the subject. Remember that all services related to electrical installations entail certain delicate maneuvers that must be carried out with the necessary care and precautions to minimize risks.

Contact us and request advice on this.

Nezco, energizing your world.

Ing. Ángel Nevares

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