Power Factor Correction

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Council has instigated a wide range of energy improvements measures on Council-owned and operated buildings with the aim of reducing energy costs and reliance on grid-generated electricity.

A key component of these works has been the installation of power factor correction (PFC) units at:

  • City Works Depot
  • War Memorial Cultural Cente (WMCC)
  • Lambton Pool.

The power quality at these sites was not as high as it could be which was resulting in each site paying higher utility bills because of a high demand charge.

The PFC units use capacitors to balance out the inductive loads at the site (e.g. motors, lifts, air conditioners). This raises the power factor to 1 or unity, and reduces the power demand at the site.

After installation of the power factor corrections units each site saw a significant improvement in demand and reduced operating costs. 

It is estimated these projects have paybacks of 3 - 4 years and reduce electricity charges annually by over $10,000.

Quick Facts

Lambton Pool - Install 100kVAr PFC unit

Results Before After
Annual Demand (kVA) 206 168.5
Average Power Factor 0.81 0.99
Investment $12,000
Savings pa $4,745

City Works Depot - Install 50kVAr PFC unit

Results Before After
Annual Demand (kVA) 148 130
Average Power Factor 0.87 0.99
Investment $9,000
Savings pa $2,300

WMCC - Install 50kVAr PFC unit

Results Before After
Annual Demand (kVA) 159 135
Average Power Factor 0.84 0.99
Investment $9,000
Savings pa $3,050

* All $ figures exclude GST

To find out more contact Energy & Resource Management in the Projects and Contracts Unit on 02 4974 2000.