Power Factor Correction Performance Improvement Project


PDP team visited Multan Electric Supply Company (MEPCO) for the field work

The power sector of Pakistan is going though an abysmal period in its history, a fact that is no surprise for the numerous consumers of the country who face serious power outages which can extend up to 12 hours a day. With energy being the driving force of all enterprise in the modern world, this state of affairs is seriously compromising the livelihoods and living standards of a majority of the population. Their anger and frustration is evident from the riots and protests against the energy management that have broken out in various areas of the country. Recognizing the urgency of the situation and the need to produce immediate results Power Distribution Program (PDP) decided to install low tension capacitors on the Lal Kamal rural feeder of MEPCO as part of its ‘quick intervention’ efforts. It was determined from field measurements taken in August, 2011 on Lal Kamal Feeder, that it was economically feasible to install low tension capacitors on this feeder since it had a large number of rural motors in the range of 20 HP to 40 HP and the power factor on them was too low. The measurements taken indicated that the intervention could reduce the current required by the average motor by 6.25 Amps per phase on the low voltage side. This translated to the potential being there for a significant reduction in losses and also release of capacity on the HT feeder.

During this project, USAID’s PDP team installed 181 LT capacitors, on 181 rural motors on Lal Kamal Feeder. Subsequent to the installation of these capacitors, field measurements on 35 of these motors were taken to determine what the benefits of the intervention were. The results of these measurements indicated that the motors were requiring 6.21 less amps per phase and 3.19 kVA less per motor.

The cost of the project was 1,237,988Rs, and the resulting cost/benefit analysis showed that the intervention would result in a loss savings of 27,499 KWH/month which will save MEPCO 3,121,670Rs/year in losses. The simple payback period for the project is less than 1 year. In addition, the analysis shows this project on Lal Kamal Feeder will reduce the KVA demand on the feeder by 517 KVA and allow the feeder to deliver an additional 468KW at 90% power factor.

With the test case on Lal Kamal Feeder as a basis it was logical to consider expanding this project to the remainder of the rural feeders of MEPCO and later to all DISCOS of Pakistan. The cost/benefit analysis including the entire MEPCO system indicates a potential increase in revenue to MEPCO of Rs. 682,621,372/yr and a reduction in demand of 154 MW at 90% power factor. The total cost of the project is estimated to cost Rs. 407,556,893. The resulting payback period is again less than a year and the project is in process.
The following chart is for illustration purposes only. It illustrates what the result is when you reduce the losses on a feeder by 500kW. In reality, on Lal Kamal Feeder the USAID’s Power Distribution Improvement Program increased the feeder’s delivery capacity by 465kkW. The values on the chart are not actual data since the illustration has been simplified for explanatory purposes.

PDP Engineering team working with MEPCO Linemen;-

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