Low Power Factor - Harms
In industries we have different types of loads viz. resistive, inductive & capacitive. These loads have different characteristics while in operation and affect the electrical system thereby causing huge electrical energy loss to consumer as well as nation. Out of these loads inductive load is the most prominent in causing major energy losses if not checked and corrected timely.
In inductive loads the voltage & current are never in phase with each other. Sometime voltage is lagging behind and some its current that lags behind the voltage. When the current lags behind the voltage by certain angle, power factor comes into the picture or in other words power factor is the ratio of real power (kW) to apparent power (kVA). In an electric power system, a load with a low power factor draws more current than a load with a high power factor for the same amount of useful power transferred. The higher currents increase the energy lost in the distribution system, and require larger wires and other equipment. Because of the costs of larger equipment and wasted energy, electrical utilities will usually charge a higher cost to industrial or commercial customers where there is a low power factor.
Low Power Factor - Monitoring
So the consumer has to check at his/her end that the power factor of their plant or electrical system must not go down. This checking is done manually by installing power factor meters and recoding the data on daily basis. If there is any low value of power factor then immediate remedial actions are taken to bring it back to certain good level or near to 1. But manual checking & monitoring is very tiresome and not worth for big power consumers as a low power factor or few minutes can cause they a huge penalty by SEBs.
Low Power Factor - Corrections
So now Automatic Power Factor Controllers are being used to control the power factor in auto mode. These automatic power factor controllers are installed near the system panel and connected with electrical system/machine of which power factor is to be monitored and corrected. These power factor controllers check the system and switch On or OFF the capacitor bank(s) to maintain a preset value of the power factor for the electrical system.
Low Power Factor - Online Monitoring:: Why?
Sometimes the capacitor banks installed do not work properly for one reason or the other. The capacitors installed with the bank for power factor improvement may get weak or faulty (which generally happens with continuous use) but this goes unattended till we get the electricity bill. So its better to have some foolproof arrangement to keep a continuous track on power factor of the plant machinery by installing some advance technological systems. Installing some online monitoring system is recommended.
Low Power Factor - Wireless Smart Energy Meter
Softbitonline has launched a GPRS/GSM wireless smart energy meter which continuously monitors the power factor online in real time. In addition to power factor monitoring it also monitor voltage, current, power factor, frequency, KW, KWH, KVA, KVAH of the plant and machinery continuously. The data is stored on Softbit central server so that you can generate daily reports for the electrical consumption and power factor status.
The monitoring of power factor can be done on your smart phones, laptops and PCs live and from anywhere in the world. You can also set SMS alerts in case the power factor goes down a certain preset point. You can store 5 mobile numbers to send SMS alerts to take immediate actions. Add-on modules can be supplied to cut the less important loads in case the power factor goes too low. So it also works as smart energy monitoring system.
Our GPRS/GSM wireless energy meters are being installed at hotels, sub stations, dg set, energy saving systems, cooling towers, HVAC plants. Energy auditors are using these meters extensively for their client site installations. Know more about - GPRS Wireless Energy Meter