Reduction of electricity bills with reactive power compensation at the Ruda Śląska Town Hall
Ruda Śląska is a town with population of approximately 130,000 inhabitants. As a part of the Upper Silesian Conurbation, it is also one of the major transport nodes for this area.
Ruda Śląska, with its multi-centenary history of a mining town reflected in diverse and unique architecture, is also one of the greenest towns in Upper Silesia. The municipal authorities invest in sustainable solutions and development of green areas. The also encourage people to spend their leisure time in active ways. Faced with the growing cost of electricity and forced to look for savings for the budget, the Town Hall decided to implement a reactive power compensation solution.
The challenge for the Ruda Śląska Town Hall was to reduce the electricity bills without compromising the quality of public services, including in particular the safety and comfort of the inhabitants.
The Town Hall realised how heavily the electricity price increases would burden the annual municipal budget. Expecting a large double-digit percentage increases in energy prices, they decided to order an innovative reactive power compensation system to be installed by engineers from the Atende’s Silesian branch in Mysłowice.
A few years earlier, the Ruda Śląska Town Hall installed a guaranteed power system in its in‑house Data Center technical infrastructure, provided by Atende. The project scope included the implementation of a guaranteed power system, a gaseous fire suppression system, a surveillance system, and a BMS. So the installation of a reactive power compensation system was a natural continuance of investing in the enhancement of the Data Center infrastructure.
After discussions with the customer and reviewing the documentation, including the historical electricity bills for one of the managed facilities, the monthly invoiced cost of energy distribution could be analysed. In the following step, non-invasive measurements were taken and the specification of the electrical connection was analysed. The results confirmed an excessive consumption of passive capacitive power at the customer’s facilities.
On the basis of this analysis, engineers from the Technical Infrastructure and Service Team in Katowice suggested installing an active compensator of reactive power at the Town Hall. Appropriate equipment was selected with consideration of the measurement results. An advanced active compensator with inverter technology was specified for the solution to provide automatic scalability for the reactive power fluctuations in terms of volume and type. Unlike traditional capacitor-based or attenuation-based systems, active compensators used by Atende ensure smooth adaptation to changing values of reactive power as well as seamless compensation of both inductive and capacitive reactive power.
The implementation of the system resulted in total elimination of the charges for reactive power after the first month since the system was commissioned.
Elimination of charges for reactive power
Previously, they accounted for up to 68% of the monthly electricity bill
100% return on investment
It took just 3 months for the investment to return in 100%
An advanced functionality not available in traditional solutions
Accurate information about the volume of compensated reactive power
Remote monitoring of compensation parameters
Improved system management
No charges for reactive power after just one month
Measurable savings for the municipal budget
After furnishing the Town Hall with new equipment, including LED lighting, photovoltaic panels, UPS units, lots of computer hardware, and an EV charger, we recorded a noticeable increase in charges for capacitive reactive power. The installation of the active compensator was a wise decision because we managed to reduce these charges to zero.