what is the reactive energy? All you need to know

reactive energy

La reactive energy It is a concept unknown to many, but one that can be of great interest. Especially if you are looking to save something on your home or business electricity bill. In fact, you have surely seen it reflected in your energy bill and you have overlooked it.

When this reactive energy is analyzed, it is a term that implies sinusoidal networks, harmonics, joule effect from the network, etc. Somewhat strange concepts for most users who do not know what they are talking about. But here you can understand in a simple way what it is.

What is reactive energy?

reactive power scheme

When you talk about an electrical network you can talk about the total energy, which is the apparent. This is the sum of two energies, or in other words, it can be decomposed into two different types of energies:

  • Active energy: is the one that really becomes work (or heat). That is, the one that the machines are actually using and stay connected to the network. For example, the one that consumes the stove, the light, the television, appliances, etc. It is measured in kWh.
  • Reactive energy: This other phantom energy is not consumed for practical use. In this case it is measured in kVArh (kilovolt-ampere reactive per hour). It is associated with devices that use coils, such as industrial machines, fluorescent tubes, pumps, electric motors, etc.

You may be wondering that if reactive energy is not consumed, then why They end up charging you on the electricity bill. The reason is that, although it does not have to be produced, it does have to be transported, since it comes and goes in the network consumption 50 times per second (European alternating current networks operate at 50Hz). This produces variations in the electrical intensity of the circuits, triggering overloads in transformer lines and generators. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize or compensate it.

This causes the energy companies have to make more investment in generation equipment, and in lines with greater distribution capacity, as well as transformers for the transport and transformation of this reactive energy. All these costs are also billed for reactive energy.

Can this cost be eliminated?

electricity meter, consumption

According to Spanish regulations, if the reactive power consumption is higher than 33% of the active energy consumed, so you will pay about 4.15 cents per kVArh. On the other hand, if it were higher than 75% of the active energy consumed, it would rise to about 6.23 euro cents per kVArh.

In order to reduce or compensate for reactive energy costs, a capacitor bank. To do this, you should contact a technician, and check the budgets, since it must be a controlled price that compensates what you are going to save. If what you are going to save is less than the installation costs, then it will not compensate ... In general, it does compensate, and in a short time you can return the investment.

These capacitor banks not only avoid annoying penalties Due to this reactive energy, they also allow to stabilize the network signal and the quality of the supply, so all your connected devices will appreciate it. They cancel out the useless energy demanded by the power grid and improve the power factor.

Su operation is very simple and efficient. These equipments use a regulator that interprets the signals sent by the auxiliary equipments and determines the reactive power that must be compensated at each moment. Based on this, it will order a series of actions (steps of capacitors that it will connect or disconnect as needed) to counteract.

As can be seen in the video, it must be connect to the general panel of the installation of your company or home. The technician will be able to carry out this assembly safely and will also analyze the needs of each client to adjust the installation to offer the best results.

Do these capacitor banks really save?

Yes, these elements manage to compensate for that reactive energy quite well, reducing this concept of your bill. a 0€. Therefore, you will only pay for active energy, which you are actually consuming for something useful. In addition, you will also avoid the VAT corresponding to reactive energy. Therefore, the annual savings can be considerable. Much more in companies.

What are the best brands?

If you are interested in buying one of these capacitor banks for an electrician to install them for you, you should know some of the best brands:

  • Schneider Electric
  • Cydesa
  • Circutor

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