Case study

Power factor correction case study


Our client was planning to decommission an on-site 15MW power generation plant, which gave them the flexibility to control the power factor of their remaining import of power from the grid.  As a result of this decommissioning, our client could have incurred significant penalties on its electrical bill due to a low power factor, and had to make a decision on whether or not to take corrective action.


To specify the right equipment we took a structured approach that enabled our client to make a fully informed decision on the most cost effective power factor correction strategy.  Based on the network characteristics and the current and future operating regimes, we made a balanced consideration of various options, using both qualitative and quantitative measures that included a return-on-investment analysis.

Our methodology involved:

  • Identification of possible power factor correction options;
  • Definition of equipment specification for quotes;
  • Identification of potential suppliers prepared to quote;
  • Evaluation of these options against client requirements including trade-off analysis;
  • Impact assessment of the new arrangement on the existing system, including the risk of resonance.


Our analysis provided our client with

  • An informed and clear strategy on power factor correction by identifying the  most economically and technically balanced option;
  • Identified opportunities for saving, not only in the post-decommissioning configuration but also in the existing arrangement, by highlighting areas of improvement in their current operating regime.

This type of study could also be beneficial for optimising machine performance, extracting maximum active power from the electrical supply and by reducing the reactive power consumption (which will result in an increased machine power factor).

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