How to reduce the electricity bill for your factory in Uganda.

If you run a manufacturing industry and need to find a way to cut costs, slashing your energy bill could be the easiest and most substantial way of reducing your budget. Energy costs are unavoidable, but are increasingly becoming a part of manufacturers’ bottom line. With the current rise of prices in Uganda today, it is becoming extremely important to keep production costs in check.

Here are five ways to reduce the electricity consumption in your factory and improve the overall energy efficiency of your facility:

1. Control your lighting

a. Switch off the lights when not in use

Switching off lights remains one of the easiest ways to save on energy but it’s surprising how often lights are kept on, even when no one is in the lit area. This problem is compounded in when employees go in and out of various buildings and work areas as they go about their duties.

b. Use natural light

Artificial lights consume power – natural light is free. So, limit the use of artificial lighting and use natural light.

 Replacing normal iron sheets with transparent ones is a good way to start.

c. Choose energy efficient light bulbs

Less energy spent means less money wasted on electricity bills. If your workplace does not get enough natural light during the daytime, you can opt for low wattage lights.

You can also replace existing bulbs with CFL or LED lights. LED bulbs use about a quarter of the energy to produce the same light as halogens and can last five to ten times longer. This makes them the logical lighting choice for energy savings, particularly when manufacturing workspaces need adequate and plentiful lighting.

2. Turn off equipment when not in use

Ensure you shut off machinery and equipment when not in use. Just like with lights, make sure that you switch off and plug out all equipment when not in use. This includes air conditioners, computers, printers and scanners during weekends or holidays. Specifically, reduce the operating pressure of your air compressor, check for leakages, and turn it off completely when not in use

3.  Clean and maintain your equipment

Regular cleaning and planned maintenance of your electrical and mechanical equipment will go a long way towards maximizing its performance and lifespan, which can translate to energy efficiency savings. Also, replace old electrical equipment that is no longer working at their maximum efficiency, as they could only draw unnecessary power, costing you more money.

4. Use natural ventilation

Opening a window, or building door is a simple energy saving technique that can help reduce air conditioning and heating costs by relying on natural ventilation for climate control. Especially as many places in Uganda experience enough weather throughout the year, that you can open windows or a roller door.

5. Use power factor correction

 What is power factor?

Power Factor is a measure of how effectively incoming power is used in your electrical system (energy efficiency) and is defined as the ratio of Real (working) power to Apparent (total) power.

Real Power (kW) is the power that actually powers the equipment and performs useful, productive work. It is also called Actual Power, Active Power or Working Power.

Reactive Power (kVAr) is the power required by some equipment (eg. transformers & motors) to produce a magnetic field to enable real work to be done. It’s necessary to energise this equipment however it does not perform any productive work.

Apparent Power (kVA) is the vector sum of Real Power (kW) and Reactive Power (kVAR) and is the total power supplied through the mains that is required to produce the required amount of Real Power for the load. It is also known as the ‘demand’.

The picture below best explains this with THE BEER ANALOGY.

Beer is active power (kW)—the useful power, or the liquid beer, is the energy that is doing work. This is the part you want.

Foam is reactive power (kVAR)—the foam is wasted power or lost power. It’s the energy being produced that isn’t doing any work, such as the production of heat or vibration.

Therefore, for a given power supply (kVA):The more foam you have (kVAR), the lower your ratio of beer (kW) to kVA (beer plus foam). Thus, the poorer your power factor.The less foam you have (kVAR), the higher your ratio of kW (beer) to kVA (beer plus foam) and the better your power factor. As your foam (or kVAR) approaches zero, your power factor approaches 1.0 (unity).

Read more here

Low power factor means you’re not fully utilizing the electrical power you’re paying for. You can improve power factor by adding power factor correction system/capacitor bank to your plant distribution system.

 Power factor correction saves on the electricity bill. It eliminates penalties on reactive energy, decreases demand on kVA, and reduces power losses generated in the transformers and conductors of the installation.

Read more here

At ECS, we design power factor correction capacitor banks that are custom designed to  suite a client’s specific needs. However big or small your facility is, we can design a capacitor bank that’s tailored to fit your requirements.

Need help with power factor correction? Need a capacitor bank? Contact us

A technician working on a power factor control panel

A power distribution panel with power factor regulation all in one.

Our equipment is custom designed for your specific need.