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Reactive power: new penalty from 2016


Reactive power in the plant? Watch out for the penalty in the bill. Yes, because from 1 January 2016 the threshold beyond which the penalty for the so-called reactive energy, that is, that which is absorbed by the devices (motors, transformers, lamps…) but does not produce work and is only a burden for the manager of the power line, who partially reverses the cost on users.

With the implementation of Resolution 180/2013 / R / EEL, the penalty for 'excessive absorption of reactive power’Will in fact start from a percentage of reactive energy compared to active energy by 33% and not more than 50% as required by current rules.

What does it mean? That companies will do better to verify by 2015 the adequacy of their systems power factor correction, which must be calibrated with a power factor cosȹ (pronounced cosfi) minimum of 0.95 in order not to incur the penalty.

It remains to be seen what those who have photovoltaics will have to do in order not to be charged the penalty. In fact, in photovoltaics the reactive power taken from the grid remains the same, vice versa the active energy is reduced by the portion given by the photovoltaic generator. The problem already exists today, but with a lower penalty threshold things get worse.

Need a power factor correction

The solution to the problems of reactive energy it is called power factor correction. We said that the Reactive Power (Q) it does not transmit a truly usable power, however it is linked to a real additional current that forces the energy supplier to oversize its infrastructure. For this reason, excessive reactive power is charged to the user, who finds it in his bill. The power factor so it is in fact a system quality index: the lower the power factor, the higher the reactive inductive component in relation to the active one.

A power factor correction system, connected in parallel to the loads, lowers the value of the inductive reactive power that must be supplied by the electricity service manager. In this way it is possible to reduce, but also to completely reduce the charges for excessive absorption of reactive energy.

You may also be interested in these articles: Reactive energy: what it is and how much it costs; The cost of reactive energy



Video: Photovoltaic Self-Consumption: How to Avoid Power Factor Penalties. Schneider Electric (January 2022).