How Does APFC Panel Work in Electrical ?

apfc panel

APFC or Automatic Power Factor Control Panels are predominantly used for sustainment of Power Factor as per State Electricity Board. Power Factor is defined as ratio of active power to apparent power and it is mainly  a key factor in measuring electrical consumption. Everyone knows that how costly electricity is computed now-a-days. Therefore it becomes very much important to reduce  on electrical consumption for reducing expenditure and economizing the utility expenses by harnessing electrical utility by operation at desired power factor to curtail unwanted electricity penalty rising because of continuous power factor drop.

APFC Panel with stage based pre- programmable micro-controller of varied make  which triggers the capacitor banks of suitable capacity automatically  in multiple stages by directly sensing  the reactive load  which works in the principle of VAR( Volt Ampere Reactive )  sensing tends to maintain the PF to 0.99 Lag. The capacitor banks are  selected in number of stages as 4/6/8/12/16  according to the load pattern as per the customer requirement.

APFC Panels  readily serves the purpose in the achievement of PF to 0.99 Lag. For this purpose. Use of these control panels becomes  essential in those industries where electrical installations are meant to cater to large electrical load.

A drop in Power Factor can be a causative agent for operational utility energy losses and might impose penalty from electricity board.

Expert Engineers with their plant at Khushkhera is a renowned and leading APFC panel manufacturers and are known for their expertise in manufacturing quality adherent, customized, APFC Panels.

APFC Panels are very much used to control Industrial Power Consumption by stabilizing Power Factor as per protocol of State Electricity Board or Corporation or private undertaking . We need to get introduced with basic nuances  and constituents of APFC Panels and to comprehend how APFC Panels work in providing electrical utility services.

We would explore basic fundamentals for requirement of APFC Panels , the design parameters and control implemented to balance power factor.

What is APFC unit?

It consists of a micro controller which stage wise detects the power factor value, if the power factor goes below 0.9 (lagging) during peak hours it automatically connects capacitor banks to improve it.

Why capacitor panel is required?

Capacitor Panels are special devices designed as it verily increases the power factor correction by a large magnitude. Normally the electric load running all around a facility or residence is reactive in nature and  Capacitor panel can prevent in great losses as mentioned earlier.

What is the function of APFC panel?

Automatic Power Factor Control or APFC Panels are mainly used for the improvement of Power Factor and sustain at 0.99 Lag . Power Factor is the ratio of active power to apparent power and it is a major component in measuring electrical power consumption.

What power factor means?

Power factor (PF) is the ratio of working actual  power, measured in kilowatts (kW), to apparent power, measured in kilovolt amperes (kVA). The result is expressed as kVA units. Power Factor  defines the ratio of true power used in a circuit to the apparent power delivered to the load  circuit.

What is 0.8 Power Factor?

Power factor is the difference between voltage and current sine waves, often expressed as a percentage. .The industry standard is for generators to be rated at a 0.8 power factor, meaning it can handle a load of that magnitude.

Can power factor be more than 1? A power factor of 1.0  is attained when the voltage and current are in phase and there’s no remaining reactive power in the load circuit.

How do we calculate power factor?

It is found by multiplying (kiloVoltAmpere = Volt x Ampere). The result is expressed as kVA units. Power Factor reflects the ratio of true power used in a load circuit to the apparent power delivered to the load  circuit. A 96% power factor demonstrates more efficiently than a 75% power factor.

How do we know if current is leading or lagging in APFC Panels ?

If the currents leads the voltage (greater phase  angle than voltage) then the power factor is termed leading (capacitive load). If the current lags the voltage (less  phase angle than voltage) then the power factor is lagging (inductive load).

What is capacitor and how it works?

A  capacitor (basically termed as a condenser) is a passive two-terminal charged component mainly  used to store energy in an electric field. A capacitor  predominantly stores energy in the form of an electrostatic field between its plates.

The function of a cluster of  capacitor bank installed in  APFC  Panel is to provide desired  reactive power to the inductive loads (thus  improvising  power factor) and raise the voltage according to the required system strength and capacitor bank size. This is common when the cluster of capacitor bank is large and the system is relatively less charged. Inductive loads absorb reactive power and capacitive loads strengthens  reactive power. So cluster of capacitor banks are used to improve power factor in power factor correction of load  circuit. By connecting capacitor banks parallel to load, power factor is increased by APFC Panels. This purpose basically achieved using automatic power factor programmable  controller.

How is APFC panel Capacitance calculated?

Calculation of required capacitor:

  1. Suppose Actual P.F is 0.8, Required P.F is 0.98 and Total Load is 516KVA.
  2. Power factor = kwh / kvah.
  3. kW = kVA x Power Factor.
  4. = 516 x 0.8 = 412.8.
  5. Required capacitor = kW x Multiplying Factor.
  6. = (0.8 x 516) x Multiplying Factor.

How do we  calculate KVA?

Expression is : Power (KVA) = Volt Ampere /1000 where Power (KVA) is apparent power in KVA, V= voltage and A =current in amperes. For example, if V is 100 volts and A is 10 amperes, P(KVA) = VA/1000 = (100)(10)/1000 = 1.0 KVA.

How do we fix leading power factor?

Power factor correction is the method to reduce the lagging power factor in inductive loads by fixing a high value capacitor across the phase and neutral in proximity to the load. These capacitors monitor  leading power factor so that it will neutralize the lagging power factor of the existing  load in APFC Panels.

The Working Schematics of Capacitor Panels are illustrated below

APFC Panels find Use in undermentioned industries

  • Malls and Multiplexes
  • Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Hospitals
  • Paper Mills
  • BPO Organizations
  • Granite Industries
  • Manufacturing Companies
  • Rice Mills
  • Cement and Paper Mills
  • Commercial and Residential Applications
  • Mobile Handset manufacturing Industries
  • Robotics and Automation Based Industries

The main features of  EXPERT ENGINEERS APFC panels are

  • Customised manufacturing with aesthetic and electrically acceptable capacitor mounting in APFC Panels
  • Maintains high Power Factor steadily and continuously
  • High efficiency prevailing best with reputed APFC Panels
  • In-built fuse protection system
  • Protection from excess power generated in the system
  • Prevents leading Power Factor to prevail in low load conditions
  • Installed with suitable and reputed or approved make Indication Lamps, Auto / manual Selector switches , Contactors, capacitors  and customized stage Controllers
  • Minimizes harmonic currents
  • Avoid any kind of manual disruption
  • Corrosion-resistant with quality Ingress Protection
  • Tough Electrical insulation
  • Protects electrical equipments

Why Use APFC Panels

  • Even under turbulent and fluctuating  loads, Automatic Power Factor Controller ( APFC )  panels ensure a higher consistent power factor
  • They prevent the leading power factor to circulate
  • They optimize electricity consumption and minimize electricity bills and penalties
  • APFC panels reduce operational cost  losses
  • APFC Panels with programmable microcontroller can sense and control the load continuously without fail and delay
  • They are easy to use as every operation is done correctly and automatically
  • The panels can switch on or switch off the concerned capacitors as and when required   so that consistent power factor is maintained



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