Reactive Power Fine
In the case of reactive power, additional reactive currents run through an installation. Additional energy transport takes place, but this energy is not used as active energy (powering light, heat or movement, for example). The energy supplier needs to generate this extra capacity. What’s more, reactive power remains in the electricity grid and takes up part of the energy supplier’s transport capacity. The energy supplier may charge an extra fee for this on the energy invoice, in the form of a reactive current fine.
More reactive current with a range of motors, motor controllers and welding equipment
In particular, large-scale energy consumers are affected by this. Especially when a large number of motors, motor controllers and welding equipment are connected. These loads cause a shift between voltage and current, creating reactive current. The larger the number of connected devices, the greater the chance of a higher amount of reactive current. For this, the energy supplier may include a fine on the energy invoice which may appear under the heading ‘transport costs reactive power’.
The costs of reactive current
Transporting the reactive power (kVArh) has a target price of € 0.007 per kVArh. Fines can amount to several hundred euros per month. The specific fine and conditions thereof vary for each energy supplier. Energy suppliers will often introduce a fine if 62% or more reactive current is required in addition to the reactive power (kVArh). This amounts to a cosine phi of 0.85.
Reactive current and solar panels
If energy is supplied by solar panels, for example, this 62% is calculated in relation to 120% of the energy consumption. However, if solar panels are used, energy consumption will also be considerably lower as a result, so that the permitted reactive power consumption limit will also be lower.
However, fines are not the only disadvantage. Reactive power has even more consequences, including overheating of cables and distributors, unnecessary heat loss (energy loss and tripping of fuses and protections).