Prism responded to a BC Ferries’ request for proposal to analyse and correct poor power factor levels at their five major terminals, Prism was awarded the project and the team carried out site reviews and analyses to produce power factor and power quality reports for the Tsawwassen, Horseshoe Bay, Swartz Bay, Departure Bay and Duke Point ferry terminals.
The reports prioritized the two locations providing the best return on capital investment. The team prepared specifications the automatic power factor correction systems, provided construction coordination support, and reviewed the final installations at these ferry terminals.
Temporary electrical metering equipment was installed on the service feeders of the main power distribution centres to log electrical data.
The meters were installed on the secondary side of the transformers and collected short interval data parameters essential for accurate power quality assessments including:
- Power Factor;
- Reactive Power kVAR;
- Phase and Line Voltage and Amps;
- Total Power kVa;
- Real Power kW;
- Total and individual harmonic distortion levels of current and voltage waveforms;
Prism investigated the cost-effective and safe methods of installing power factor correction before preparing specifications for equipment to allow for competitive tendering of the installation. Additionally, power surge suppression systems were installed on select panels to protect sensitive equipment from transient surges that can occur when power factor correction capacitors interact and amplify harmonics within the electrical distribution system. The cost savings realized through eliminating BC Hydro power factor surcharges were estimated to be between $24,000 and $30,000 annually.