Myron Zucker, Inc. FAQ
Toll Free  :  800.245.0583
Fax  :  586.979.9484
 

HomeAboutProductsServicesResourcesNewsContact Us




Resources > FAQ
1. What is power factor?
Power factor (PF) is a measure of how efficiently the total current supplied by the utility company is converted into useful work. PF is the ratio of real power (kW) divided by total power (kVA). Utility companies indicate PF on power bills as an average value for the billing period. Average PF is calculated by dividing real energy consumed (kW-hours) by total energy consumed (kVA-hours).

Top of Page

2. What is the ideal power factor?
The ideal power factor (PF) is unity. Anything less than unity means extra current is being supplied by the utility company than is needed to achieve the actual task at hand. This extra current is defined as reactive current. Since a PF of unity is somewhat impractical, a good PF is one that is greater than the PF penalty threshold value. The penalty threshold value varies from utility company to utility company but is usually between 85% to 95%.

Top of Page

3. What is power factor correction?
Power factor (PF) correction is the term given to a technology in use since the turn of the 20th century to increase the present PF to a desired or corrected PF value. This is achieved by connecting power factor correction capacitors (PFCCs) to the electrical system. PFCCs provide the reactive power to the inductive load by supplying the reactive current. The result is that the utility company is not required to supply the reactive current since the reactive current is supplied by the PFCCs. This significantly reduces the amount of total current required from the utility supplier.  PFCCs can be installed at the main service or at the load. Myron Zucker was the first person to apply Capacitors At the Load (CAL method) to achieve optimal power factor correction.

Top of Page

4. What types of equipment cause low or poor power factor?
Inductive loads result in low power factor (PF). Typical inductive loads are induction motors, induction heaters and magnetic ballast fluorescent lights. The PF of induction motors is further reduced when motors are lightly or intermittently loaded.

Top of Page

5. What are the factors that affect your electric utility billing?
  1. Energy Charge:
    The total amount of kilowatt-hours (kW-h) consumed during the billing period.
    The total amount of kilovolt amperes-hours (kVA-h) consumed during the billing period.
  2. Demand Charge:
    This type of charge compensates the utility for the capital investment required to serve the facility's peak load. Demand charges may be a large portion of the total electric bill, as much as 75%. Demand charges are usually expressed in kilowatts (kW) but can also expressed in kilovolt-amperes (kVA). Demand charges are usually calculated by determining the average demand of either a 15 or 30 minute period during which the greatest amount of energy was consumed. Demand charges, if expressed in kW, can be reduced by reducing energy peaks. Demand charges, if expressed in kVA, can be reduced by reducing energy peaks or increasing power factor (PF).
  3. Power Factor Penalty Charge:
    This is a rate structure charge imposed to encourage the industrial, commercial and institutional user to increase PF. The PF penalty charge is not always easy to recognize on the utility bill. Methods of indicating the PF penalty charge vary from utility company to utility company. The charge is obvious if shown as a PF penalty or PF adjustment. The charge is less obvious if demand is billed as kVA or energy consumption is billed as kVA-h. With many utility companies, penalty billing is imposed when the PF drops below 95%. In most cases, the least expensive, most efficient and most reliable method to reduce this charge is to increase PF by adding properly designed fixed or automatic power factor correction capacitor systems.

Top of Page

6. What are the benefits of power factor correction?
  • Reduced electrical utility cost
  • Increased electrical distribution capacity
  • Less total plant kVA for the same kW working power
  • More kW working power for the same kVA demand
  • Reduction in the size of transformers, conductors and switchgear in new installations
  • Reduced power losses in distribution systems
  • Improved voltage regulation due to reduced line voltage drop
  • Decrease carbon footprint on the environment

Top of Page

7. What do power factor correction capacitors do to improve power factor?
Power factor correction capacitors (PFCCs) provide the necessary reactive power (kVAr) for inductive loads by supplying the reactive current. This is accomplished by the way capacitors and inductors function together. Both capacitors and inductors absorb and release current. The difference is capacitors and inductors function 180º out of phase. In other words, when the capacitor is releasing, the inductor is absorbing and vice versa. The result is that the utility company is not required to supply the reactive current since the reactive current is supplied by the PFCCs. This significantly reduces the amount of total current required from the utility supplier.

Top of Page

8. Where is the most efficient location for power factor capacitors?
The location that provides most benefits is at the load. Power factor correction capacitors (PFCC) supply reactive current resulting in reduced total current. Reduced total current occurs within the electrical system form the point of PFCC connection back to the source. This results in additional benefits. These benefits are increased distribution capacity, reduced losses and improved voltage. Individual, at the load, correction is not always practical. Since all facilities and operations are different, the most effective capacitor location is also different. In some cases it is more practical to connect larger capacitors on the distribution bus or install an automatic system at the incoming service along with fixed capacitors at the load.

Top of Page

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

CONTACT US

Myron Zucker, Inc.
36825 Metro Court
Sterling Heights, MI 48312
Toll Free: 800.245.0583
Phone: 586.979.9955
Fax: 586.979.9484
Email: info@myronzucker.com