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Bad Power Factor ? Solar power plants can help !

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

All industrial , commercial & institutional connections and in some case domestic connections too are charged considering the power factor. The actual power used by an establishment also called "active or real power" is what we should pay for although there is one other component of power called "reactive power" which is billed too. This can make you pay 10% to 50% higher electricity bill than actual.

Consider buying yourself a cup of cold coffee and paying extra for the froth. Coffee is like active power (kWh) and the froth is like reactive power(kVar) . We pay for both active and reactive power , vector sum of both the components , also called apparent power (kvah).

Below is a sample electricity bill showing how consumers often pay more for electricity than that they actually consume. It can clearly be seen having consumed 27576 units they have actually paid for 30102 units.The ratio between these two numbers kWh/kVah is know as power factor (PF). Ideally it should be 1 or 100% which in this particular case is 92% or 0.92.

Electricity Bill of a shoe factory clearly showing power factor losses

The good news is though , with the advent of cutting edge technology which has evolved in the past couple of years , solar power plants can now eliminate most of this loss and can increase the power factor of the establishment to more than 99%. Solar power systems can generate both active and reactive power and can export or import both in order to better the power factor. Most important being the accuracy and reliability of these systems in achieving unity (1) power factor.

Benefits of controlling power factor using solar power plants

  1. Can achieve ideal unity power factor or 100% which means you need to pay only for active power import and not for reactive power as solar power system can supply that power instead of the grid/

  2. No additional expenditure recurring or non recurring , for example maintaining APFC panels , changing capacitors etc.

  3. Provides reactive power in the night time too/ This feature is also called "Q on demand " or " Q 24X7"

Not all solar plants have this capability . get most out of your solar power plant when you get it designed , installed and executed by Heliumfour solar pvt ltd. Gurgaon

In Nutshell we pay to the grid for both COFFEE & the FROTH. To keep froth (Reactive power) minimum , Power factor correction units (capacitor banks) are used. Power factor itself is a ratio between the real power (kWh) & apparent power (kvah). Say it is 92% before the solar power plant was installed. After the solar power plant is installed it produces active power or real power and compensates for the kWh used from the grid . The active or real power consumption will decrease but if the APFC panel is not working optimally the reactice power drawn from the grid is still the same. This leads to the fall in power factor.

The real problem is not power factor but the reactive power used by the load. This is usually mitigated by the use of capacitor panel .

Our Solar power plants can reduce this to zero and can even compensate the reactive power consumption of the transformers and can make the power factor more than 99%.

Some References :-

165 kWp solar plant with PF control at MB apparels Noida, UP .

290 kWp solar plant with PF control at Kothari International School Noida , UP

565 kWp solar plant with PF control at Karnal , Haryana


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