Power Factor Correction (PFC) is a smart solution for optimising the efficiency of your power system and can be a requirement of your power utilities provider.
The power factor effectively is an index indicating how your system converts electric power during consumption periods. It ideally should be as close to '1' as possible for the overall system to be it's most effective. - but that's not usually the case due to inevitable power losses in real-world systems. Inductive equipment like motors, transformers, and lighting ballasts create a phase ship and change the relationship between current and voltage, leading to a lower power factor.
PFC works by adding capacitance to your system to counterbalance the effects of the harmful indicatancevand brings your power factor closer to the unity '1'. This means you'll be making the best use of the power you're paying for, reducing the strain on your power system and minimising power loss through ineficiant equipment. Power Factor Correction not only leads to a more sustainable and efficient operation but can also result in significant cost savings.
At Select Switchboards, we offer a full range of Power Factor Correction services including; the initial site visits and the installation of data loggers, the processing and analyses of the data collected, and the design and installation of the PFC system. Our solutions include Traditional Capacitor Bank Correction, Static Var Generators (SVGs), and Hybrid Static Var & Capacity Systems, with optional aftercare to ensure that your electrical system is always operating at its optimum performance level.
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Traditional Capacitor Bank Correction
Traditional Capacitor Bank Correction is a time-tested traditional method of Power Factor Correction. It involves the use of capacitors that counterbalance the inductive power incurred by inductive loads in an electrical system. Capacitor banks improve the efficiency of power utilisation, thus reducing power loss and decreasing energy costs.
Generally switched automatically by a power factor controller capacitor banks or stages can range in size from 12.5Kvar to 200Kvar steps. This is known as a step modulation sequence and is the most simple method for controlling power factor. Their simplicity and reliability have made them a standard solution in many industrial and commercial settings.
At Select Switchboards, we specialise in the supply and installation of Traditional Capacitor Bank Correction systems. With our expertise, we can customise the right solution for your power needs, ensuring efficient and reliable operations for your business.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Traditional Bank Correction
Simplicity: The Traditional Capacitor Bank Correction system is the simplest of all the power factor correction systems.
Cheapest: The simplicity in comparison with other solutions means that these units are typically the most affordable solution for power factor correction.
Require Continuous Maintenance: Due to these units including continuously moving parts, it is important that regular maintenance is conducted to ensure safety and operational performance.
Contain Large Capacitors: Typically oil-filled, these solutions can become a potential fire hazard if there is a fault within the system.
Loud: Contactors continuously pulling in and out can cause a large amount of noise pollution, this makes these unsuitable for use in locations where noise disruption is an issue.
Static Var Generator (SVG)
A Static Var Generator (SVG) is a more advanced solution for Power Factor Correction. While traditional capacitor banks rely on passive components to provide reactive power, SVGs employ sophisticated electronics to actively adjust the power factor in real time. An SVG can instantaneously produce any amount of reactive power needed, as opposed to capacitor banks that are limited to predefined levels of reactive power.
SVGs can compensate for both leading and lagging power factors, making them extremely versatile. They are especially useful in electrical systems with rapidly changing loads, where the power factor can fluctuate widely in a short amount of time. As such, SVGs are highly effective in environments with dynamic and non-linear loads such as those created by variable frequency drives, modern LED lighting, and certain types of industrial machinery.
At Select Switchboards, we provide high-quality SVGs that are engineered for optimal performance and durability. Our expert team will assist you to ensure a smooth and efficient installation process, providing you with an effective and long-lasting power factor correction solution.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Static Var Generators
Dynamic Response: SVGs provide instantaneous reactive power compensation, thus effectively handling rapidly fluctuating loads.
Versatility: SVGs can correct both under-compensation (lagging power factor) and over-compensation (leading power factor), offering a versatile solution for various types of electrical loads.
Harmonic Mitigation: In addition to power factor correction, SVGs are capable of mitigating harmonic distortion, a common problem in systems with non-linear loads. This leads to a more stable power supply and reduces the risk of equipment failure.
Compact Size: SVGs are generally more compact than traditional capacitor banks, making them ideal for installations where space is at a premium.
Produce a Lot of Heat: Large amounts of heat is emitted as a by-product from SVGs. This requires appropriate ventilation and makes the location of the system a major factor.
Price Comparison: As a more complex system, SVGs are more costly than a simpler Traditional Capacitor Bank system.
Hybrid Static VAR & Capacitor Systems
Hybrid Static VAR & Capacitor Systems combine the benefits of both traditional capacitor banks and Static Var Generators (SVGs), offering the best solution for power factor correction. This hybrid approach allows for the fast response times of SVGs and the economical reactive power supply of capacitor banks.
These systems are capable of rapidly compensating for both inductive and capacitive loads, making them incredibly versatile. Moreover, the hybrid system can manage power factor correction for steady-state loads using the capacitor bank, while the SVG can handle dynamic load changes. This ensures a highly effective and efficient power factor correction process, even in systems with a mix of static and rapidly changing loads.
At Select Switchboards, our Hybrid Static VAR & Capacitor Systems are designed with high-quality components and the expertise of our experienced team. We ensure seamless integration with your existing power infrastructure, offering a robust and durable solution for power factor correction and improved energy efficiency.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Hybrid Static VAR & Capacitor Systems
Optimal Balance: Hybrid systems combine the best of both worlds, providing the cost-effectiveness of capacitor banks with the fast response and versatility of SVGs.
Efficiency and Cost-effectiveness: By leveraging the strengths of both SVGs and capacitor banks, hybrid systems can offer significant energy savings and cost reduction while ensuring optimal power factor correction.
Reduced Maintenance: The use of SVGs in hybrid systems helps lower the maintenance demand compared to solely using traditional capacitor banks, increasing overall system longevity.
Designed for Large Installations: For a hybrid solution to be cost-effective, the site and or property needs to be relatively large-scale, such as a shopping center or a commercial building.
PFC Support and Aftercare
At Select Switchboards, we understand that successful Power Factor Correction (PFC) is not only about employing the right solutions but also ensuring their proper installation, commissioning, and ongoing maintenance. Our holistic approach to PFC aims to provide seamless and continuous power efficiency, delivering both immediate and long-term benefits to your power infrastructure.
Our highly skilled team ensures your PFC device is installed correctly so that it works to its full capacity. The process extends into commissioning, where we conduct rigorous tests and calibrations to confirm that your system is functioning optimally, delivering the expected efficiency from day one.
However, our commitment to your power efficiency does not end with installation and commissioning. Over time, factors such as environmental changes, harmonic distortion, changes in load characteristics, and general wear and tear can affect your PFC system's effectiveness. That's why regular auditing and maintenance are crucial for the continuous efficiency and longevity of your power infrastructure.
Through our comprehensive aftercare and support services, we provide routine system checks, performance audits, and necessary adjustments, repairs, and deep cleaning. Our expert maintenance services aim to prevent potential operational issues, ensuring your PFC system is always at its best.
Our auditing services involve a detailed analysis of your PFC system's performance. We identify any potential issues, assess overall system efficiency, and suggest improvements where necessary, using the latest diagnostic tools and adhering to best industry practices.