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Common Sources Of Energy Waste In Power Distribution: Useful Insights By One Of The Leading Engineering Companies In Kenya


The amount of power generated is not the same as the power eventually consumed. This discrepancy is due to various types of losses along the way. In an efficient power generation and distribution system, these losses are minimal. However, identifying where these losses occur is essential to prevent power wastage and to address inefficiencies. Below, we share some insights into the common sources of power loss within the electricity distribution system.


  1. Transmission Line Losses: Electricity encounters resistance when moving through transmission lines due to the internal properties of conductors. To overcome these resistive forces, some electrical power is lost as heat. When transmission lines are long and transport electricity over great distances, this kind of loss increases.
  2. Inefficiencies within the Distribution Transformer: Transformers play a vital role in the power distribution process by regulating voltage before power is transferred for consumption. However, transformers are not 100% efficient, resulting in some power loss during the conversion process.
  3. Mismatched Capacitors and Inductors: Efficient power distribution systems require power factor correction. This process necessitates ensuring that capacitors are correctly sized. If they do not match each other in size, substantial power loss can occur. Regular monitoring of capacitors can help detect incorrect sizes and configurations.
  4. Overloaded Distribution Equipment: All distribution systems have rated capacities for the power they can handle efficiently. Exceeding these limits can cause excess stress on transformers, capacitors, and other components, leading to overheating and increased energy wastage. It is important to monitor load profiles and upgrade equipment to meet rising power demands.
  5. Vampire Loads and Standby Power Consumption: Vampire loads are a significant source of power loss. Certain electrical devices continue to draw a small amount of electricity even when switched off or on standby. Over time, these small amounts of power wastage can accumulate into substantial losses. Employing smart power strips can reduce power wastage through vampire loads.

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