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Article Date: 13th June 2018

ABB Power Grids - Don’t Pay the Price for Poor Power Quality

Power Quality - Power Factor Correction - Metered Electricity Consumption

ABB Power Grids - power quality

Many businesses in the UK are now being affected by a sudden increase in energy prices as a result of the new DCP161 regulation that was introduced in April 2018.

Since April, new excess charges apply to any business that exceeds its agreed maximum Half-Hourly (HH) metered electricity consumption. Ofgem has introduced the rule so that energy companies can pay for the upgrades required to meet the growing demand at peak time.

Previously, excess consumption was billed at the same tariff as standard consumption – but the new rules mean that business may be charged as much as three times the standard rate, depending on the location and voltage of the supply.

However, the new charges are avoidable if firms can keep their HH consumption below the maximum agreed in their contract.

Power Factor Correction is one potential solution. It has a lot of potential for companies that operate equipment such as AC motors, arc welders, furnaces and fluorescent lighting, such as factories, processing facilities and commercial buildings.

When electricity is used at these sites, equipment stores energy briefly, causing electricity to be consumed as ‘active power’ that does the work and ‘reactive power’ that is simply a waste. It’s similar to a frothy latte, where reactive power is like the foam at the top of the glass. Too much foam is just left behind and wasted at the bottom of the glass – like reactive power.

Installing Power Factor Correction equipment will counteract this effect to get the balance of power right and reduce consumption so that firms use only the active power, meaning they cut their consumption.

Steve Joyce, ABB’s Power Quality Manager, based in Bromborough, Merseyside, said: “One simple way to check a site’s power factor is by looking at the electricity bill, which should include a breakdown that shows whether there has been a charge for reactive power. If power factor is below 0.95 then you should take action.

“ABB has a team of surveyors around the country who can carry out a free, no-obligation survey. We can then work with you to design and install the ideal solution for your site.”

Power Factor Correction equipment will deliver real savings on electricity bills from day one by reducing reactive power charges and avoiding excess charges under the new DCP161 scheme. Typical payback periods are less than two years.

To request a free on-site power factor survey please use the email option below:

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