FAQ | Kroll Enviro
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FAQ

What is Power Factor?

Power Factor is a ratio of actual electrical power and a measure of effectiveness of the electrical performance of your equipment.

 

Power Factor Correction Equipment

Improving the power factor will reduce operating cost by eliminating or deferring the need for new equipment, help existing equipment last longer, and make future expansions less costly. Also, lower rating sized equipment can be used, saving unnecessary capital expense.

All this is in addition to a quick return on investment and long term savings that are realized from installing capacitor systems to improve power factor.

From the utility company’s point of view, raising the average operating power factor of the entire grid network could reduce cost from inefficiencies in the network, increase generation and distribution potential and reduce demand on the grid.

The utility can save hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fuel (and produce fewer emissions), have more transformers available and reduce the likelihood of building new power plants and their support systems.

For this reason, many utility companies charge a power factor penalty so they can recover the additional costs incurred from supporting an inefficient system.

What is Voltage Power Optimisation (VPO)?

Voltage Optimization is an energy saving technology that is installed in series with the main electricity supply to systematically optimise, regulate and clean the incoming power to bring the voltage supplied into a building in line with what is required by equipment, machinery and appliances.

Voltage Optimisation is beneficial when the electricity supply to a site is at a higher voltage level than needed, resulting in excessive energy consumption and high electricity bills.

The In-Coming Supply Voltage (electricity supplied from the main grid) is never perfect nor stable. The Australian Standards for allowable Supply Voltage to be received at your site is anywhere from 216 Volts to 253 Volts. A huge disparity in acceptable voltage supply.

The average voltage supplied from the Australian grid is around 242V, however most electrical equipment is designed to operate efficiently at 220V. Voltage Power Optimisation (VPO) units optimise the voltage supplied from the grid to reduce the voltage to the preferred level (typically 220V) to enable plant equipment to run as efficiently as possible.

VPO units implement a controlled reduction in the voltage supplied to the equipment to reduce usage, demand and reactive power. This is important because reduced usage means a lower electricity bill.

VPO systems are generally installed on the main electrical supply to a building, allowing all equipment within the building to benefit from the controlled voltage supply.

What might an average VPO return on investment look like?

Site with lots of refrigeration or HVAC equipment and a 24/7 operation:

1. Energy bill saving 10-15% normally

  • 2. Return on Investment
  • 2-4 year simple payback
  • ROI 25% – 50%
What is power quality?

Power quality refers to the ability of electrical equipment to consume the energy being supplied to it. A number of power quality issues including electrical harmonics, poor power factor and voltage instability impact on the efficiency of electrical equipment. This has a number of consequences including:

  • Higher energy usage and costs
  • Higher maintenance costs
  • Equipment instability and failure

It is therefore critical that power quality be assessed as part of an energy management strategy, and that energy management is an important consideration for any business.