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Power Factor Correction – What does it mean to you?

A simple way to picture Power Factor is this: imagine filling your fuel tank with diesel and paying for the full tank.

But unknown to you your tank has a hole in it.

So before you get a chance to use it, a quarter of the diesel leaks out. If it was diesel you might see or smell it. But electricity is invisible so you don’t see it leaking, but like the diesel you do pay for it.

This waste of electricity is called a Reactive Loss. We also call it Power Factor.

The equipment which is used to correct and eliminate the loss is called Power Factor Correction Equipment

It happens when the current flowing through an electrical system is higher than that which is required to operate the electrical equipment. The excess power dissipates in the form of heat as the reactive current flows through resistant components like wires, switches and transformers.

Keep in mind that whenever energy is expended, you pay. It makes no difference whether the energy is expended in the form of heat or whether you use it to power the machine as intended.

In other countries like the UK and Northern Europe the electricity infrastructure has received continual investment and development. But in Africa, you know the story, we get special treatment. According to Zesco’s own studies, Reactive Losses can sometimes be as high as 50%.

What is power factor equipment and how does it work

It’s simple really. The excess power is not allowed to become reactive. Instead we use capacitors to store your excess energy. You can think of capacitors like batteries that store power.

But these are special batteries that charge very quickly. They absorb and store the excess power and then release it back into the system at the rate which your machines needs it. So nothing is wasted.

Another way to picture this is like an over-spill tank for water. So instead of water overflowing and being wasted the overfill tank stores the water so it can be used later.

What does it mean to you

Looking at the chart below you can see it all depends on what you currently spend each month. The other key factor is your size of Reactive Loss.

Even at just ZMK 20,000/month and below average losses, the total amount over the year is ZMK 96,000.

At ZMK 40,000 and a little above average losses, the total amount over the year is ZMK 192,000.

What if you spend ZMK 100,00?

What would it mean to you if saved ZMK 100,000 every year? What would that help you to do in the future?

How do we do this:

  • You can begin here and contact us by email or phone.
  • We’ll discuss your concerns together with you and answer any questions you might have.
  • If we think we can help, we’ll make an appointment to visit your site and perform a full survey.
  • During our first visit we’ll take and log detailed readings. You’ll be able to see the state of your incoming electricity supply for yourself.
  • During our visit we’ll take a variety of different measurements and calculate your True Power Factor for you. We also measure for harmonic interference. This is usually caused by equipment utilised in your process, such as invertors, VSD drives, and large electric motors.
  • After performing our full survey we’ll be able to sit down together and work through the numbers. If you want us to calculate an initial assessment of your savings and estimated pay back time, we’ll need minimum of three months utility bills.
  • We then consult with our engineering and design team and draw up a specification to meet your requirements.
  • A complete proposal and information pack will be supplied with your quotation.
  • Our payment terms are 50% with order, 50% on shipment.
  • The equipment will then be delivered, installed and commissioned for you.
  • After 3 months we’ll make an additional site visit to check your installation and if necessary fine tune it.
  • Once installed our PFC equipment will require an annual inspection by our Qualified Service Engineer.
  • For complete peace of mind our equipment comes with a 5 Year Warranty as Standard.

More Information

For an informal discussion please CONTACT US HERE.

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