The Compensation of Reactive energy, a Crucial step to reduce the Electricity Bill

The Compensation of Reactive energy, a Crucial step to reduce the Electricity Bill

We can define the Apparent Energy as the vector sum of Active Energy and Reactive Energy. If we consider the Active Energy and the Reactive Energy as the legs of a right triangle and the Apparent Energy as its hypotenuse, we can observe that the smaller the Reactive Energy.

We see that the angle formed by P and S, is designated by Φ (fi). It is the angle whose cosine gives us the greater or lesser value (and consumption) of Q in our installation. Since the value of a cosine can only vary between 0 and 1, the higher the value of that cosine, the lower the Reactive Energy present in our facility. Therefore, in the compensation of reactive energy, the closest value of cosΦ to 1 will always be searched.

As a complement we can say that the apparent power (S) indicates that the power supply of a circuit not only has to satisfy the energy consumed and transformed into work (kW), but also has to be counted on which will "store" the elements with reactive consumption (kVAr). That is why the transformers are always designated by the Apparent Power that can deliver (kVA).

Why Compensate Reactive Energy?

  • Reduction of the electricity bill: After compensating the Active Energy Ontario, the penalty for energy consumption will be reduced or eliminated, with the consequent saving in the electricity bill.
  • Technical Optimization of the Installation: Reactive compensation prevents over sizing of many components of the installation:
    • Reduction of the section of the cables, due to the reduction of losses due to overheating.
    • Reduction of voltage drops throughout the installation.
    • More power available in the transformer. The Apparent Power of the installation approaches its nominal power in kW, so that the power transformer can deliver more kW.

Reactive energy & Harmonics:

As we talked when we met these old friends the presence of harmonics in a facility is not the best possible scenario for a battery of capacitors or fixed equipment.

Why? If the resonance frequency of the battery / inductance set of the network conduits or is close to some harmonic present in the installation, it will cause resonance between both with the consequent heating or even destruction of the capacitor bank. Therefore, we must be especially careful with the possibility of combining these two ingredients in our recipe for a happy and efficient installation.

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Finally, it should be noted that this energy can create alterations in the electricity grid, with the fatal consequences that this can imply in the industries.