Power factor: a silent budget-eater you don’t see coming

Understanding power factor should be one of the biggest priorities for all businesses, because having a low power factor is basically burning money.

Electricity is supplied through two different elements: active and reactive power. The active power (kW) does the useful work which powers your utilities. Reactive power (kVAr) does no useful work but is needed for things like inductive loads. Both active and reactive power combine to make apparent power (kVA).

Your power factor is the ratio between your active power (kW) and apparent power (kVA). They must always be equal to each other to form the optimal power factor of 1. When unequal the result is “bad power factor”.
A power factor value between 0.95 and 1.0 is considered the most effective as it means that your metered power and used power are almost equal. For your business, this means that you are using what you’ve paid for, with minimal wastage – an ideal scenario.

There may be unseen consequences if your power factor falls below 0.95 as you will incur reactive power charges. More worryingly, you may also cause damage to valuable equipment, shortening its lifespan and potentially costing you thousands in maintenance and repairs.

Improving your power factor ensures that your bottom line is reduced on your energy bills. But there are more practical reasons to take action too: using the right amount of power from the network improves the operating life of your equipment, boosting reliability and reducing the need for regular maintenance and replacement.

Currently, the only way to know if you’ve incurred any additional charges due to “bad power factor” is to wait for a monthly energy bill and look for any reactive power charges. But this won’t give you the data you need to take preventative maintenance action. This is where ALPHA. Lite can help.  Immediately, after a simple two-minute sign-up, Alpha.Lite will instantly analyse the last 14 months of your power factor ratio in 30-minute blocks.

ALPHA. Lite’s simple-to-use User Interface will allow you to easily assess 14 months of your power factor data, making it easier determine and identify the issues of “bad power factor” and the associated cost to your businesses, allowing you quickly and easily implement preventative measures.

ALPHA. Lite will enable business owners to make proactive, informed decisions on investing in power factor correction equipment, and know precisely if the costs of equipment are more than the cost of your “bad power factor”. i.e.: ALPHA. Lite will show you if the return on your investment is worthwhile. ALPHA. Lite gives you your power factor assessment at your fingertips, without the need for intrusive site visits or expensive hardware. Currently, no other platform can do this.

This technology is exclusive to ALPHA. Lite and unavailable elsewhere in the energy industry. ALPHA. Lite’s goal is to make businesses more efficient, to stop energy wastage and work towards net zero carbon.

That’s why we’ve set subscription at a minimal fee of £15 a month – less than a few cups of coffee — and a lot less than the tens of thousands you could potentially spend on maintenance costs. There are no contract ties either, you can sign-up for as long as you like and ensure your business saves on energy wastage. Together with ALPHA. Lite, we can work towards carbon neutrality.

Visit here to find out more and sign up.