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Power Factor Correction: What You Need To Know

Mar 7, 2017

When did you last look into how much power your business is charged for as opposed to how much power you actually used? That information tends to go unmentioned in your monthly bill. Hence, this deserves further investigation. 

In business, ‘improved efficiency’ is all about achieving the desired outcome, but with less input or cost. While the focus usually applies to the human or mechanical aspect – energy consumption is often overlooked.

“Power Factor” is a measure of how efficiently the load current is being converted into useful work output.

In the above, the ‘load current’ refers to the amount of electrical current passed from a power source to the device receiving the power.

Identical businesses can have hugely varying energy bills despite having the same energy requirement because of how energy providers choose to calculate their charges. We are not talking about energy saving globes here – that’s the output point of the power flowing into your business. We are concentrating on the power input.

When you pump petrol into your car, the fuel is sold to you in litres and hence you pay for $/litre. If you buy a bag of kiwis, the grocer charges you by the ‘kilogram’ ($/kg). Electricity bills are based on either kW (kilowatts) or kVA (kilo Volt Amperes). When you are billed by KW – you are paying for the actual power your business uses.

When you are billed by kVA, you are charged for the overall energy flowing into your business, regardless of what proportion of it is actually used. So if your Power Factor is low – you could end up paying for a big chunk of electricity you never even used!

Like all other investments, it’s important to consider the ROI on Power Factor Correction as well. Over the last few years, the industry average that ROI has been within 1-2 years – nearly 4 times faster than solar solutions! Plus, the installation is very quick (in as little as 8 hours for SMEs).

At Programmed Electrical Technologies, we tailor Power Factor Correction solutions that that deliver real results.  Speak to us to find out how Power Factor Correction can generate savings for your business!

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