Techniques for Power Factor Enhancement
February 25, 2018
Electrical energy companies require large power users to have their energy use above a certain limit. This requirement is not the sole reason as to why large corporations should engage in power factor improvement. Having the right level of power factor ensures that a firm gets the most efficient use of power out of all their electrical appliances. Therefore, the right power factor saves cost and contributes to a sustainable earth where energy is put to proper use. As an electrician or organization that enhances power factor for example Westline Electrical Services, the choice of methods to improve the power factor will be guided by the particular application being used in your field of work.
This method focuses on removing the unnecessary baggage at the input signal called harmonics. These harmonics are located in multiple areas of the line input frequency. Therefore, the filter can be built as a cut-off a just above the line frequency to achieve only the acceptable current. In this manner, the power factor will be enhanced. This technique works best with non-linear loads.
Using A static Capacitor
This method is most effective in fields with machines that use electric motors. Most of these machines use inductive system loads which leads to the lagging of current. To remedy this situation, the static capacitors are connected parallel with the electrical devices that have a low power factor (the static capacitor is indicated by “c” in the figure below). These capacitors offer leading current that neutralize the lagging current. In this manner, the power factor of the system loads will be improved.
• Low maintenance since no parts move.
• They are light thus easy to install.
• Work in any weather conditions.
• The static capacity operates for a short duration of up to 10 years.
• If the stipulated voltage increases, the capacitors are easily destroyed.
Using Synchronous motors
These devices can operate without a load. In this manner, they draw the leading current and eliminate the reactive part of the supply voltage. Consequently, the power factor will be enhanced.
• A long duration of operation of up to 25 years.
• Does not generate harmonics of maintenance.
• Faults with the motors are easy to correct.
• Maintenance involves only periodic greasing of bearings.
• Synchronous motors have no torque to start it by itself thus there is a need for an additional device for that.
Using Phase Advancer
A phase advancer is connected to the main shaft of the motor and liaises with the motor’s rotor circuit to influence the power factor. It can be an AC exciter that draws the ampere-turns that are produced by the stator windings of an induction motor. The windings usually produce 90% of the lagging current in any given device. Therefore, with the phase advancer, the power factor will be significantly improved.
• Reactive component of power is sufficiently reduced which reduces the lag in currency.
• Where the synchronous motor is not allowed, the phase advancer can be sued.
• Not viable for motors below 200 H.P.
These techniques for power factor improvement will save companies energy costs. It is therefore essential for the electrician attached to large users of power to consider the electrical devices they use and the various ways that they contribute to the lowering of the power factor. Of all the large users of energy, one of these methods of power factor improvement will come in handy.
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