Understanding Power Factor Correction: What is Over-Correction?
What is Overcorrection (in PFC)?
Many people do not know what overcorrection is or what happens when it is occurring.
Most attribute it to “product doesn’t work” without knowing what is happening. Many, many people in this field do not understand the point I am going to explain to you. What’s worse is that these people are muddying up the field in which we do business. So, the correct thing to do is clear up this misunderstanding so that you can DOMINATE your area.
If you have ever had a customer that said, “this product doesn’t work for me” or “my power bill went up instead of down”, Overcorrection could be the culprit.
First and foremost, did you do a pre/post test?
When you were installing the unit, did you turn on the motor and test with unit off and then on to be sure amps were dropping? (Make sure you are measuring above the disconnect when you do this.) If you did this step, you are making sure that over-correction doesn’t occur on your customers homes and you can rule this problem out.
But, what if you or your electrician skipped this step? Now after his work is finished, a couple months later you may have customers complaining that they aren’t getting results or that your units don’t work. The problem is not that they aren’t working, it could be that the units are over-sized for their home or business. There is a certain technology (or way of doing this correctly) to getting results for your customers. The best way to change a customer from an unhappy one to a happy one is to get them what they want…the results so that their power bill is lower.
A couple questions to go over with yourself or your staff…
How was the weather in your area?
Was it hotter than last year, or last month, and what is the customer comparing the “no results” to? Get in communication with your customer so you can help locate the exact problem for your customer and get them results.
If it was hotter, you may need to explain the simple answer that it was hotter and everyone’s power bill fluctuates. It could be that the bill went up because of the hotter weather. But, instead of their bill going up $100, it only went up $50 (because your unit saved them $50). Before stating this, please be sure that you have ruled out overcorrection.
Where is the power company’s meter in relation to where the motors are on the property?
If the motors are close to the meter, this may be the problem. The key to dropping kilowatts for your customers and thus saving them money on their power bill is to have distance between the motors on the property and the meter. (Installing the unit directly at the motors. ) Installing closer to the motor yields better kilowatt savings than at the panel.
If customer has their central a/c unit just 12 feet away from where their power company’s meter is, they won’t get as much in savings (because there isn’t much waste to correct on that application). You can only correct what is currently being wasted.
In the example below, the customer really doesn’t have any distance between the A/C and the meter. But, they do have a pool pump and you can save them money on that.
But, remember, distance is NOT the only factor when determining if you can save your customer money on energy. If their A/C motor is older and/or has a lower SEER rating, you can probably make a significant difference on your customer’s power bill. Doing a pre/post evaluation of the power saver on the motor will really tell the tale.
If there is some distance between the motors and the power company’s meter, where did you install your unit?
If you or your electrician installed very close to the meter, let’s say near the homeowners main electrical panel and the power company’s meter is on the other side of the wall, this may be the problem. The customer would have better results by installing directly on their largest motor in the home (usually the A/C-Heat Pump) that is furthest away from the meter. This could be directly on the contactor of the A/C, heat pump or on a pool pump.
In the next example below, your customer may have the unit installed at the main electric breaker, but could get better results if the unit were installed directly to the A/C and a smaller model unit installed at the subpanel in the garage. Again, ALWAYS be sure upon installation that you are checking w/ motors at full load that the amps are going down and NOT up.
I realize we can’t possibly draw out all the different possible scenario’s of all the properties that exist worldwide. But, hopefully this brings some light to some of the different scenarios that can and do occur and how you would correct this issue.
Overcorrection is not something you want to occur, this can cause a person’s power bill to go up and tarnish your reputation. But, putting a unit that is too big for the A/C or other motor, or putting the unit in the wrong place can cause you to get no results or bad results. We don’t want that either.
Our purpose is to help customers lower their power bills, and make their motors last longer so that their quality of life is improved. The only thing that can really cause your customers to give you trouble is NO results.
So be sure you aren’t causing over-correction in the home and you are getting your customers results. Their word of mouth advertising will keep you busy…because everyone wants to save money and have a better life! Do this right and you will be “snowed in” with business!
Thanks for reading!
To your Success,
Electric Saver 1200