Analysis of factors affecting the quality of power supplied to manufacturers in Kenya
This study was aimed at analyzing the factors that affect the quality of power supplied to manufacturers in Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to establish which of the various factors that define power quality were significant and the impact such factors had on the manufacturers business. Survey research method was used in this study. The population comprised of the 512 members of the Kenya association of Manufacturers, from whom a convenient sample of 50 members was taken. The findings of this study were that voltage surges and voltage dips were very frequent. Voltage level was found to be mostly outside the acceptable range. Most manufacturers reported damage to equipment and revenue loss due to these factors. On the other hand, though power rationing was considered to have very severe impact on business, its occurrence was rare and hence this factor had little effect on business. Frequency variation and harmonics were not frequent, with many manufacturers stating that they did not monitor these two factors. The study also found that for 54% of respondents, electricity costs accounted for between 10 - 30% of production costs. This implies that the cost of electricity was significant in determining the final product cost. The results show that KPLC was slow in responding to breakdowns. In summary, the quality of electricity supplied to manufacturers was found to be poor, specifically in the areas of voltage variation, voltage dips, voltage surges and response to breakdowns. The study recommended that KPLC carry out further investigations to establish the cause of the numerous voltage dips, voltage surges and voltage variation and take corrective action. The study also recommends that manufacturers install power quality analyzers in their firms to monitor the various power quality parameters so as to make informed decisions that will help to improve production efficiency. This can he done at firm level where possible or by initiating the necessary communication with KPLC for power quality improvement. There is also need for KPLC to improve on response to breakdowns.
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