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power factor correction south africa
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What is Power Factor? How do we lose all that electricity?
Imagine filling your vehicle with diesel and then paying cash for the full tank. But your tank has a hole in it. So before you get a chance to use the diesel 1/4 of it leaks out.

If it was diesel you might see or smell it, but electricity is invisible so you don’t see it leaking. But like the diesel you do pay for it.

Sometimes the hole is even bigger and you leak more like half. And if you own or operate a business in South Africa that consumes 3 Phase Electricity, you could be severely affected.

This waste of electricity is called a Reactive Loss. We also call it Power Factor.

Reactive Losses? What is Power Factor?
Reactive Power loss happens when the current flowing through your electrical system is greater than that needed to operate your electrical equipment.

Put simply: you have more power coming in than you need. And it's happening all the time.

Your machines are unable to use the excess so it escapes and gets wasted in the form of heat. It flows through and over-heats resistant components like wires, switches and transformers.

The problem you have is that it makes no difference whether the energy escapes in the form of heat, or you use it to work your machines. Either way, you pay.

To calculate Reactive Power Losses we use a measurement known as Power Factor (PF). The PF is the ratio between total power purchased and power used for the intended purpose. A Power Factor of 1 (i.e. 100%) means that all electrical power is used to work your machines, there is no reactive loss.

In South Africa the average Reactive Loss is 22% and sometimes it can be as high as 40%.

At Optimised Power Products we specialise in eliminating Reactive Losses using technology called Power Factor Correction Equipment.

How does Power Factor Correction equipment work?
It’s simple really. The excess power is not allowed to become reactive. Instead we use capacitors to store your excess energy. You can think of capacitors like batteries that store power.

But these are special batteries that charge very quickly. They absorb and store the excess power and then release it back into the system at the rate your machines need it. So nothing is ever wasted again.

Another way to picture this is like an over-spill tank for water. So instead of water overflowing and being wasted the overfill tank stores the water so it can be used later.

This is what our Power Factor Correction Equipment will do with your electricity supply.

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