By Chris Stenberg, Manager, Commissioning and Services.
The Secret to boosting Building Energy Efficiency is right under your nose.
There’s a box in your electrical switch room. It’s unassuming, easy to ignore. Every now and then, a serviceperson charges you a couple of hundred dollars to tell you they’ve given it the once over. All good. Nobody got hurt. Back to work, bigger fish to fry etc etc.
We’re talking about your Power Factor Correction unit and if properly maintained, it can make a big difference to operational efficiency and thousands of dollars difference to your energy bill. Every. Single. Month.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT POWER FACTOR IS?
If you do, that’s great. You’re already ahead. For those of you who don’t, that’s ok because here’s a great link that explains what it is in simple terms. I’m going to skip over those details to get to the main point –
Power factor is the measure of how effectively your building uses its supply of electricity.
With that in mind, it’s really important to know that power factor correction in your property reduces the lag between voltage and current and so increases the available energy. Here are 4 reasons why Power Factor Correction is essential for your building and your business:
- Apparent Power is your slice of the electricity network pie. The lower your power factor, the bigger your slice. Electricity suppliers will charge a tariff based on how big your piece is, or in some countries, may penalise you for maintaining a low power factor. You will be paying more for less. Nobody wants that.
- You can increase the load on your current circuits, meaning you can power more equipment without the need for expensive upgrades
- Improved voltage at the equipment
- Reduce demand by about 20%. When you consider that the demand portion of an electricity bill can be between 20 and 40%, this is a significant saving on a property’s opex.
WHERE DO EP&T GLOBAL FIT IN?
We have over 25 years’ experience in the design, manufacture, installation, and service of Power Factor Correction Equipment. Our non-invasive service model has no downtime of the unit during peak times, ensuring no adverse effects to the maximum demand of the building.
Regular testing and servicing PFC Equipment will ensure that the units continue to operate effectively.
We recommend bi-annual servicing for Power Factor Correction units. However, if the unit is in good condition and in a suitably stable environment, annual servicing may be more appropriate.
Every service includes a thermal scan of your PFC unit; traditional thermographic surveys will not energise every step (run them for an appropriate amount of time to allow a fault/heat to present itself). EP&T’s Service will conduct a full scan of every joint on every step under full load conditions.
If your regular facilities team don’t know how to properly optimise and maintain your PFC, then you know who to talk to.