R1.115 Million Savings at Large Plastic Recycling Plant

We recently completed a multi-faceted project at a large plastic recycling plant in Cape Town. The project included the rebuild and upgrade of the existing power factor correction system, replacement of the main distribution panel and circuit breakers, and an electricity tariff change. 

The customer has been using Powerstar’s online measurement system for years, and through the use of the available data, it was determined that the power factor correction system that they had on-site, was not sufficient to bring the power factor to unity. A PFC survey was done to determine the condition of the existing unit, and together with the Powerstar data, we calculated the required additional capacity.   

Unfortunately, the space in the DB Room did not allow for any additional PF capacity. This combined with the fact that the existing infrastructure was very old and non-compliant, meant the client opted to replace the entire distribution panel. This allowed us to design the panel to meet their needs, both in terms of power distribution, and power factor capacity. 

The existing 230 kVAr power factor equipment was found to be in good condition and was rebuilt into the new panel. We also added additional capacity of 475 kVAr giving them a total capacity of 705 kVAr, a significant and needed increase. This improved the power factor from 0.86 to 0.99, creating upwards of R30,000 in monthly savings on their demand charges. 

Along with our site evaluation, Powerstar also did a Tariff analysis that revealed that the client was not on the best available electricity tariff and that a tariff migration would yield significant savings. The migration process was handled by Powerstar and swiftly approved and implemented by the City of Cape Town Municipality. The calculated savings from the tariff migration is a whopping R1.115 million annually at current tariff rates.

We have also been working with the client in order to start a load-shifting program in order to take maximum advantage of the new tariff, and further increasing the annual savings. If you’re looking into servicing your power factor correction system or reviewing your electricity tariff, call us today on +27 21 975 4529.

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