Power Factor Correction

Installing Power Factor Correction (PFC) equipment will reduce the amount of power your business draws from the network at your peak time.

What is power factor?

Power factor is a way of measuring efficient power usage. It is expressed as a numerical value between 0 and 1. The closer your power factor is to 1, the more efficiently the business is consuming electricity. Installing PFC equipment helps improve this efficiency.

One way to understand power factor is to think of it as a cappucino.

Power factor correction explained using a cappuccino diagram. Froth is the reactive power kVAr, coffee is the Real power kW and the whole cappuccino is the Apparent power.

Power factor is the relationship between 'real power' and 'apparent power'. Apparent power is your total usage, made up of real power (which is the part that does the work) and reactive power (which is required by AC systems to operate). Reactive power contributes to your electricity bill but is not actually used.

In other words, a good cappucino includes coffee and froth, but it's the coffee that does the important work. To get the best value out of your morning cuppa, you want more of the coffee and less of the froth.

Power Factor Correction (PFC) equipment

Power factor can be improved by installing PFC equipment called capacitor banks. Capacitor banks work to correct energy supply inefficiencies, while also reducing peak demand on the electricity network.

A power factor between 0.95 and 1 is most cost effective. A poor power factor (below 0.8) can negatively impact electricity bills. PFC equipment is readily available and may be a cheaper solution than upgrading electrical equipment.