Power Factor Correction

What is Power Factor? Download our Fact Sheet for a quick lesson.

 PFCU Fact Sheet.pdf

How much does a Power Factor Correction Unit cost and how much will it save? See a sample analysis we can perform for your company which estimates the efficiency improvements to your electricity supply and the corresponding savings you might achieve.

 Sample Company.pdf

In this realistic example, by installing a Power Factor Correction Unit it is estimated Sample Company would save approximately $11,250 per year.

Sample Company would not have to change their operations at all to obtain these savings - the savings are gained purely by correcting an inefficiency in the power supply.

Customers new to to the concepts of Power Factor and Power Factor Correction are encouraged to look at the two documents above together. Savings are estimated based on SAPN tariffs introduced on 1 July 2013 for customers on a demand tariff.

How do I read my bill?

In the example bill, the Network Charges show the customer is charged for a demand of 339kVA but they actually used on 201kVA. Power Factor Correction can lower your demand and reduce your Network Charges.

 Example Bill.jpg

Which Tariff?

Customers often have difficulties understanding the various charges on their electricity bills. Let us help.

Businesses are generally on either a Business 2-rate tariff or a Demand Tariff. Customers may have the option of choosing which tariff they are on. Making the correct choice can save (or cost!) thousands per year! We can produce simple comparisons such as the one below. Call for advice.

In this realistic example Sample Company would save around $12,800 per year by selecting the right tariff (in this example a Demand Tariff is the right choice).

 Network Tariff Estimate.pdf
 Network Tariff Estimate 2.pdf


Improving your power supply...

...and your bottom line

Electric Motor

Power factor is a concept unique to electrical plant and equipment.

Many items of electrical plant require the creation of a magnetic field to operate.

Examples include

  • Rotating electrical motors such as those found in pumps, compressors, conveyors, refrigeration units etc
  • Lighting such as flood lighting, downlights, fluoro tubes
  • Air conditioning
  • Pneumatic or hydraulic presses.
  • Lifts, elevators and escalators
  • Computers and other office equipment

The magnetic field is created through electrical current flowing through the item of plant around a magnetic core.

The need for these items to be magnetised causes the electrical supply voltage and electrical current to be out of phase. When the electrical supply voltage and current are out of phase, the electrical supply becomes inefficient. The measured inefficiency is called Power Factor.

The inefficiency causes customers to draw more electrical power from their electrical supply than they actually need to use. Power Factor is the ratio of Power Drawn (what you use) to Actual Power Drawn (what you pay for).

In practical terms, customers will draw more electrical current from their power supply to compensate for this inefficiency. The reason this is significant is that customers pay for this extra electrical current, but receive no practical benefit from it

Often the additional electrical current required can be as much as 40%.

More importantly, most customers will not know they have a Power Factor problem until one of two events occur:

o Their electricity account shows increased kVAR demand charges in the Network Charges component of their bill or

o They wish to add more equipment or machines to their operations and the electrical supply to the premises is no longer large enough.

PFCU - 8 capacitor banks

Power Factor Correction restores the phase imbalance providing four main benefits

o Reduced kVAr Network Charges on your monthly electricity bill (lower power bills)

o The overall electrical load is reduced, providing additional capacity for sites where the feed-in transformers is reaching its capacity (increased capacity)

o Reduced system losses due to less electrical currents flowing (lower power bills)

o PFCUs reduce harmonics and improve other elements of the power supplies which can improve the lifespan of lighting and other electrical devices (reduces maintenance costs)

What Keightley Electrical Services can do for you

PFCU - success

Power Factor Correction units are engineered solutions designed to suit each customers' requirements. We have supplied and installed many units for customer applications from fabrication facilities to showrooms, packing to wine making and more.

The results from using a Power Factor Correction unit can be significant with payback periods from as little as 6 months (less than 2 years typical).

Contact us for a discussion if you...

o Are on a Demand Tariff and your Maximum Demand is more than 80kVA

o Are on a Business 2-rate Tariff but your bill is about $5,000 per month or more

o Are running out of power capacity from your feed-in transformer

o Simply want to reduce your electricity bill

We install and maintain


Once installed, Keightley Electrical Services will service your Power Factor Correction unit (usually annually) to ensure it continues to operate at peak efficiency. Maintenance covers four main functions

  • Clean the unit inside and outside. Units are ventilated and often draw in dust or dirt which can be detrimental over time.
  • Inspect fuses, capacitors, ripple rejector coils, blocking reactors, busbars and wires
  • Ensure connections remain tight (contactors, fuse bases, blocking reactors, control circuits).
  • Measure capacitance of each reactor bank to detect possible faults or impending faults
  • Check each phase of each sub-module, to ensure the current draw is correct and phases are balanced.
  • Check the operation of the controller to ensure each capacitor bank is functioning correctly and determine preemptively whether any component failure is likely.

Contacting us is easy...


phone: 08 8396 4288
fax: 08 8396 4299

12 Jennifer Ave, Ridgehaven, 5097











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