The Importance Of Power Factor In The Electrical Process

In this age of high energy bills, the importance of power factor is extreme. The factor of the power of an electrical power system is defined as the ratio of real power flowing to the load and to the apparent power, which is present in the circuit. It is a dimensionless number anywhere between 0 and 1. Actually the real power of the circuit is the capacity to perform a job in a given time. In an electrical system a load with a low power factor draws more current than a load with high power factor for the same amount of useful power transferred.  

The higher currents are very much responsible for increasing the energy lost in the distribution process. They also require larger wires and other equipment. It is mainly due to the cost of larger equipment and wasted energy companies supplying electricity usually charge a higher price for industrial and commercial customers where there is low power factor. Now this is costly and if profit is the sole motive it is also expensive. Hence, some bit of alternative thinking is required. Anything less than 1 or 100% efficiency will have to be looked into and remedial measures will have to be sought.  

Now for Power factor improvement one must look to install more capacitors. Actually it is the process of compensating for the lagging current by applying leading current and it is in the form of capacitors. There are many stores selling these capacitors. Since most of them have online presence establishing contact is hardly an issue. There are multiple benefits of installing capacitors for improved power factor. Firstly there is reduced power consumption. It leads to lower electricity bills, which is financially beneficial.  There is voltage drop reduction in long cables, which is highly beneficial.  There is also extra KVA availability from the existing supply.

The Power factor is best expressed as active power KW and apparent power KVA. Capacitive power factor is best applied to circuits, which includes induction motors. They are means of reducing the inductive component of the current. It finally reduces loses in the supply. However, they hardly have any bearing on the operation of the motor. It draws current from the supply, which is made up of resistive and inductive components. The end result of this grand effort will be reduced energy bills, which are highly advantageous over a period. Hence, for people looking to save on energy bills this is the method to go about it.

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