How to Calculate Power Factor?
The increasing cost of energy is an issue of great concern among many people around the world. It is really frustrating to see your power bill going up every month. This means that you have to keep adjusting your budget regularly, which exposes you to numerous financial risks such as bankruptcy and so on. It has therefore become absolutely imperative to reduce energy costs.
By measuring your property’s power factor, this helps you to know the kind of effect that your power factor has on your bill. Power factor varies from property to property. Firstly, it is important to understand that the power factor is the effectiveness of the equipment on your property to utilize the energy it is demanding. In the USA, residential properties aren’t billed power factor penalties. However commercial properties are. If you know someone who owns a business of any size, you can help them reduce their energy costs.
An old motor on a farm may have a power factor of .62 whereas a swimming pool pump motor may have a power factor of .87 The lower the number, the worse off you are. But I have great news! If you do have a low power factor number (or know someone who does), do not worry, we have a solution.
In addition to paying for inefficient energy usage on your property, some power consumers have to pay a power factor penalty as well. This applies to large and commercial power consumers. So not only do you have to pay more for electricity to your equipment, you also are billed a penalty on top of this.
The penalty represents the disparity between the amount of power you consume and the capacity provided by the power supplier to power the available machinery in your business.
It is very important to calculate power factor in your company because at times your power company may miscalculate your power factor and hence overcharge you. Remember that if you are a business, your power factor will be used by the power company to do your billing.
Therefore you have to be watchful to ensure that the calculation is done properly. Another reason why you should do your own power factor calculation is to ensure that you are not charged unrealistic surcharges over your kilowatt-hours. The problem with most companies is that they rely on their power suppliers to calculate power factor.
This is risky because the company/business owner could potentially end up paying higher surcharges. It is like asking a wolf to watch over Red Riding Hood….someone’s gonna get eaten! YOU!
Another important reason why it is always important to calculate power factor is because power factors that are above 90% cost very little and sometimes they are not charged. But factors that are below 70% come with additional costs and can lead to higher penalties. So for you to ensure that you do not get into trouble with your power company, it is important to have accurate calculations of your power factor.
Many companies fail to calculate their power factors for fears of spending extra money. However, this is because they haven’t taken time to consider the available options. The truth is that calculating power factor has become quite easy these days. The ongoing technological advancements have led to the development of highly effective and inexpensive calculators that make the whole exercise simple and accurate. We recommend the Extech Meter Model 380976 to take your readings. Available here: http://www.bellnw.com/manufacturer/Extech/380976-K.htm
The meter is extremely accurate and easy to use. On top of telling you the power factor, it will also give you the number of kilowatts, volts, and amps. The good thing is that this device is readily available on the internet and at a very reasonable cost. And an electrician can do this for you very easily.
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