The power coefficient is defined as the ratio of effective capacity to total capacity. It is an indicator of the electrical power consumption efficiency of the machinery used in a manufacturing facility. A low coefficient in a facility leads to lack of full utilization of capacity and increases the flow of current in the electrical network, thereby increasing electric power losses and other problems in the internal network of the customer and the electrical network as well. The power coefficient could be improved by using capacitors that are installed in parallel with the equipment, which is useful in the following aspects :
- An additional increase to the carrying capacity of the factory network
- Stability of the network's voltage
- A decrease in the electricity bill by decreasing the losses and avoiding the penalties that are entailed for the low power coefficient. This means that it is lower than the allowed level.
- Improvement of the power coefficient (not less than > 0.9) to reduce losses and promote full utilization of machineries and equipment capacity.
Power coefficient Information :
The power coefficient (some people use factor) is defined as the ratio of the effective capacity / power (KW) of the total capacity / apparent power (KVA).
Power Factor = Effective power / Apparent power KVA kw
A decline in this indicator (PF) means that you have a loss difference (variation) between both powers called the nonproductive reactive power (Kvar) which overburdens the electric grid in your factory and thus obligates you for more extension.
And if you were not paying a compensation for the nonproductive power in the monthly consumption bill directly, then you will have to pay for the indirect expenses and costs as a result of low power factor / coefficient). As long as you have a distribution network, breakers, and other electric fixtures in your factory.
Advantages of the Power Factor / Coefficient (PF) Improvement for the Factory :
1 - Increase to the carrying capacity of the factory network :
Often you need to expand or extend electrical fixtures in your factory; an issue that requires an increase in the required electrical capacity, necessitating more investment in the form of power grid extension in your factory. The improvement of the power coefficient saves a significant quantity in the carrying capacity of your current network. It allows you to add more loads without the need for the enlargement of the network's size which in turn results in a decrease of the required financial expenses for the change or modification of the network to be placed with the development of your loads.
Example : A factory with the following characteristics (KVA = 1000, KW = 800, KVAR = 600, PF = 0.8)
If the PF was improved to 0.96 : Then that will increase the power capacity provided by the network to 20%, which means that the electrical network in the factory will be able to provide 960 KW with an increase of 160 KW.
2 – Voltage Stability :
The improvement of the PF will spare the factory the problems of low voltage represented in the following :
- Motor runs slow and its temperature increases.
- Increase in temperature of the cable due to increase in current.
- Effectivity of the electronic control devices working as the improvement of PF increases the electric voltage in the network branches.
3 – Retrenchment of Electricity Bill :
As the losses in the network (IR) are inversely proportional to the power factor, the improvement of the power factor (PF) at each of the load points will reduce the nonproductive current passing through the factory network and thus less current will pass to the network thereby resulting in a lower kilowatt hour (KWH) consumption appearing in your bill.
- Optimal use of electric power in factories :
- Establish a specialized unit to monitor the loads and the application of methods to raise the efficiency of the use of electric power.
- Carry out a review of the guidelines for the optimal use of air conditioning, lighting, and insulation as per the leaflets issued by the Company.
- Change work pattern and shift the electric load to out of peak time (1 pm – 5 pm).
- Use of spare generator for electric feed during peak time in coordination with the Company.
- Carry out periodic maintenance during summer season.
- Use of the auto control system for air conditioning loads and separate it from other loads.
- Use of high efficiency machinery and replacement of the old with new ones of high specifications.
- For a better efficiency of the internal combustion systems and lower fuel consumption, you must run the thermal furnaces and boilers according to absorption capacity designed for this purpose
- It is necessary to use thermal insulators of high efficiency in walls of thermal furnaces and boilers
- Limit production during summer and increase it during winter.
- Teach the workers about the importance and the various methods to conserve electricity.
- Installation of Load Control Management System.
- Installation of sensor units that switch off lights in areas that are unused.
- Seeking the assistance of a power auditing company to review your consumption and find energy saving areas.
- Use of high efficiency devices for lower power consumption.
- Installation of thermal insulation in non-insulated areas.
- General Guidelines :
Dear Factory owner:
Your compliance with the following guidelines will contribute effectively to the achievement of a notable reduction in electricity consumption.
Thus, we hope you will follow the following guidelines :
- Thermal Insulation :
- Use of thermal insulation in the existing and new buildings.
- Use of sun-reflective thermal panes.
- Air conditioning :
- Perform air conditioner maintenance once a year.
- Clean air filter on a monthly basis.
- Keep windows closed whenever air conditioner is in use.
- Switch off the air conditioner when leaving the place.
- Set the air conditioner's thermostat at medium temperature.
- Shade the outdoor air conditioner from direct sun light.
- Lighting :
- Utilize the natural light as much as possible.
- Use energy-saving lamps.
- Switch off lights when not needed or when leaving the place.
- Use multiple switches to distribute lighting especially in grand halls.