Unlike the active power that is transformed entirely into work or heat and is measured in kWh, reactive power:
✓ Is not consumed and can’t be used for heating.
✓ Is measured in kVArh (kilovolt-amperes reactive hours).
✓ Involves all those devices that rely on windings (that is, those that work with motors or transformers) and are powered by alternating current (the direction of flow between the device and the grid changes 50 times per second).
Reactive energy does not have to be produced, but it does have to be transported since, as explained above, it goes to and from the grid 50 times a second, causing changes in electrical currents in circuits, triggering overloads in transformers and generating stations. In other words, reactive power produces no useful work and must be neutralised or offset.
If a reactive power charge appears on your electricity bill, there is a simple technical solution to get rid of it: installing capacitor banks.
Capacitor banks are units that by their capacitive nature, reduce the demand for reactive power in the grid, lowering or eliminating the reactive power charge that may otherwise appear on your bill. Plus:
- They reduce losses from Joule heating in conductors and transformers located “upstream” of the banks, which translates into improved energy efficiency of the electrical system.
- In installations with a power transformer (high-voltage clients), the power available at the secondary winding is increased.
Companies that want to reduce the reactive power in their installations and stop paying for this power on their bills can contact Nexus Energía for a customised study.