Proposed Automatic Load-Side Power Factor Correction System Algorithm and its Economic Benefits in Battery Based Renewable Energy Systems
Keywords:Power factor correction, Cost Reduction, Microcontroller, Automatic Control, Renewable Energy Systems
The low power factor in electrical installations results in high power losses and increased installation costs. This comes as a consequence of the high current flowing through the transmission lines due to high reactive power consumption. Most often, before the installation of renewable energy systems involving battery storage, the load demand is not evaluated in terms of the different load power factors. Because of these diversified power factors for different loads, the overall power factor of the installation will witness a decrease which puts the user at a disadvantage as more charges will be incurred. For these reasons, this paper presents the economic benefits of using an automatic power factor correction system in renewable energy installations. The Arduino microcontroller has been used in the proposal as the main automat. The power factor correction is done by installed capacitor banks connected to the loads automatically using MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) power electronic switches and relay blocks with control signals from the microcontroller. A small system was analyzed involving a water pump, fan, television, and a fluorescent lamp. A targeted corrected power factor of 0.99 was used and the results showed that 430.18 W of power was saved after power factor correction leading to a reduction of 58% line losses. Also, $1300 could be saved by the user on batteries and photovoltaic modules by incorporation the power factor correction system. The proposed correction algorithm was economically beneficial and is therefore strongly recommended to be employed by renewable energy users in particular and the grid-connected individuals in general.
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