Trane launches power factor correction service
Trane, the HVAC manufacturer and Ingersoll Rand subsidiary, last month launched a Power Factor Correction service to optimise the performance of chilled water systems.
The new service will help building owners to achieve ‘significant and immediate’ cost savings, the company said.
Optimising the power factor of a building’s heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems can have a number of benefits for owners, especially as utility companies penalise buildings with poor power quality.
“As utility costs continue to rise, our goal is to help customers manage and lower their energy expenses,” said Jose Laloggia, service and parts leader for the Trane commercial business in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa.
“The Trane Power Factor Correction helps building owners optimise the power quality and the system distribution capacity of their chilled water system, improving HVAC energy performance as well their bottom line,” he added.
Buildings with a power factor of close to 1.0 use the power fed into their systems by the utility company with maximum efficiency.
However, inductive loads such as HVAC compressors and motors with a low power factor can increase the reactive or ‘non-working’ power considerably, Laloggia said.
As a result, utility companies must supply surplus current to the building, for which they often charge extra fees.
The capacitor is mounted directly onto the chiller with adapted brackets, with only one capacitor panel needed for each chiller, irrespective of the number of compressors or fans.
The use of Trane’s service helps bring the power factor of chilled water systems down to 0.95, minimising the risk of having to pay utility penalties and surcharges.
Some of the operational benefits of the service include reactive power and associated energy costs. As a result, energy costs of chilled water systems decrease by up to 8%.
Laloggia said that in most cases, the return of investment is achieved in less than two years.
He said that the service helps improve the power distribution efficiency of the chilled water systems, thereby increasing branch capacity through the reduction of power losses. He added that even a power correction of 0.1 would help improve available real power by 14%.
In addition, a higher power factor also contributes to increased system reliability, with minimal voltage drops and better power quality, thereby reducing the risk of overheating and premature failure of motors.
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