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Power Factor Correction

We can provide a consultancy service help you to decide on the best power factor correction solution, supply and install the complete solution.

We can offer a full installation service for all our solutions, or alternatively we will be happy to provide your appointed electrical contractor with any assistance that they may require.

So what is Power Factor Correction, and why might you need it?

Put simply, Power factor is the ratio of "useful power" to "total power" consumed by electrical equipment.

Any electrical equipment requiring the creation of a magnetic field to operate - such as AC motors, induction heaters and other transformer applications - will draw a current which is said to lag behind the voltage, thus producing a "lagging" power factor.

On the other hand, capacitors, contained in most power factor correction equipment, draw current that is said to lead the voltage, thus producing a "leading" power factor.

If capacitors are connected to a circuit that operates at a nominally lagging power factor, the extent that the circuit lags is reduced proportionately to the amount the capacitors lead. Circuits having no resultant leading or lagging component are said to operate at a unity power factor - where the total energy consumed is equal to the useful energy.

Most commercial electricity users are also subjected to an additional charge for reactive energy - generally referred to as an "availability" charge. Reactive energy is effectively the power used to energise the magnetic fields in motors, inductive heaters and so on.

While the useful energy is measured in kilowatts (kW), the reactive part is measured in kilo volt amps reactive (kVAr). It is the aim when specifying and installing power factor correction equipment to reduce the reactive energy drawn from the system.

It is not uncommon for industrial installations to be operating at power factors between 0.7 and 0.8 (that is, between 70% and 80% efficiency) – clearly there would be cost & efficiency benefits from installing power factor correction measures.