Case Study - Produce Packing Company and Power Factor Correction
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Produce Packing Company Achieves Near Unity Power Factor and Eliminates Penalites - Clewiston, FL

Magnolia Packers, Inc. has a unique business model that requires it to effectively function on a six-month time basis. Within the last few years, the Florida-based company found that it was operating in an extremely low power factor, significantly raising its electric bill and fixed costs.

Magnolia Packers utility provider told management that it would soon begin receiving a monthly penalty of between $1,000 - $1,500 more than previous bills. This penalty was a result of its low power factor that had been around .75.

So after working with its utility provider and some local electrical suppliers that management trusted, Magnolia Packers made the decision to install an automatically switched capacitor bank from Myron Zucker in its 120,000 square-foot facility in the city of Clewiston in the summer of 2008. The difference has been extremely noticeable.

"We run our plant six months of the year as a fresh vegetable packing house," says the packing house manager. "That's when the fresh vegetable season is down here. And when it's time to pack, we are on a very tight deadline."

That deadline generally requires Magnolia Packers to pack all goods on the same day as when they were picked. The company runs three different lines at its Clewiston facility - one for green beans, one for eggplant and squash and the third for bell peppers and cucumbers. It then sends its final goods to retailers all over North America, including such big names as Kroger and Wal-Mart.

Because the company is on such a tight deadline, any length of time when the electricity is down during packing season can have a devastating impact on revenue. After a certain period of hours, the vegetables will no longer be considered fresh, and this food can be wasted. There can be frequent power outages in Florida because of high winds and other inclement weather from November - May, when much of the company's packing is completed.

Once the Myron Zucker capacitor bank was installed, not only did Magnolia Packers benefit from reduced electrical bills each month, but it achieved much higher power factor levels and experienced a more steady power supply, said one of the company's senior mechanics and electricians.

"Any variations in power that we experienced have become more (streamlined)," the senior electrician said. "We usually lose several variable frequency drives each year but since the capacitors were installed we lost only one. Our electrical supplier has been amazed at how well they have worked."

Magnolia Packers, Inc., vegetable growers, shippers and packers
Clewiston, Florida

Facility size:
120,000 square feet; 70-110 employees
*Because of the seasonal nature of its business, Magnolia Packers generally operates 6-7 months of the year.

The challenge:
A low power factor of around .75 led to low efficiency and higher electrical costs. Because of this consistent low power factor, the company's local electrical company was going to begin charging an additional monthly penalty of $1,000-$1,500 unless the power factor was raised. In addition the company had a fully loaded transformer and wanted to run more equipment without having to upgrade the transformer.

The solution:
After researching various options and working with trusted consultants, Magnolia Packers settled on Myron Zucker's AutocapacibankTM solution, which automatically adjusts the amount of capacitance needed to keep the facility at their target power factor of .95. Myron Zucker's experienced team of professionals worked with Magnolia Packers management team to determine how much kVAr was needed to achieve .95 power factor and applied service entrance capacitors to achieve this target.

Not only has this target been met but it has been exceeded. In the first nine months following installation, power factor hasn't fallen below .98 and the electrical system has been streamlined. The solution helps to maintain efficient operations, and has helped ensure a more steady power supply. Only one variable frequency drive has ceased working since the installation when several variable frequency drives were usually lost throughout the year before the Autocapacibank was installed.

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MYRON ZUCKER INC. products are designed to:

  • Improve power factor
  • Eliminate utility penalties or surcharges
  • Increase available distribution capacity
  • Mitigate harmonic distortion
  • Protect sensitive equipment
  • Decrease downtime
  • Reduce line losses and associated cost
  • Comply with industry standards


Myron Zucker, Inc.
36825 Metro Court
Sterling Heights, MI 48312
Phone: 586.979.9955
Fax: 586.979.9484