Maintaining a high
power factor in a plant can yield direct savings. Some, such as reduced power
bills and release of system capacity, are quite obvious; others, such as
improved voltage and decreased
are less obvious but nonetheless real, as are many indirect savings as a result
of more efficient performance.
The cost of
improving the power factor in existing plants and of maintaining proper levels
as load is added depends on the power-factor value selected and the equipment
chosen to supply the compensating reactive power.
generally is the most economical way to improve the plant power factor,
especially in existing plants. Capacitors have several beneficial features,
including relatively low cost, ease of installation, minimal maintenance
requirements, very low losses, plus the fact that they are manufactured in a
variety of sizes. Individual units also can be combined into suitable banks to
obtain a large range of ratings. Thus, capacitors can be added in small or large
units to meet existing operating requirements with additional units added only
when necessary to meet increased future requirements.