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Power Factor

Power Factor

Power factor is the way of describing how efficiently electrical power is consumed.  It refers to power in an alternating current (AC) electrical circuit. The power that is drawn from the network consists of two parts, Useful Power (also known as True or Real Power) and Reactive Power.

Useful Power is the power that equipment needs to achieve the task in hand and is measured in kW.

Reactive Power is drawn in addition to useful power by a reactive load and is measured in kVAr.  The consumption of reactive power does not contribute to achieving the task.

The useful power and the reactive power together determine the power drawn from the network, i.e. the Total Power (also known as Apparent Power) measured in kVA.

Power Factor is the ratio of delivered useful power to the total power taken from the supply.  An ideal ratio is 1.0 (known as unity power factor).

It is possible to compensate for reactive power by installing power factor correction equipment.

What is power factor correction (PFC)?

Power factor correction techniques aim to bring power factor closer to unity (1.0) by reducing the effects of reactive power.  In the great majority of cases, poor power factor is due to inductive loads which can be compensated by adding electrical devices called capacitors into the circuit.

Benefits of Power Factor Correction: 

  • Less Power is drawn from the network saving money on your electricity bill
  • PFC can prolong the life of electrical equipment
  • It can help avoid voltage drops over long cable runs
  • Reduce efficiency losses in your supply transformers
  • PFC will increase the effective capacity of your local electrical network.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss Power Factor Correction in greater detail.

 

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