What is Power Factor Protection?

Today’s post is a little tutorial on the basics of Power Factor. So,

What is Power Factor?

Power Factor is the measurement of how efficient your facility is using the power that is being supplied by the utility company. When looking at an individual piece of equipment, the Power Factor of that piece of equipment is the expression of its operating efficiency. For example, if the Power Factor measured at the equipment is 75%, then that piece of equipment is only operating at 75% efficiency.

How is Power Factor Measured?

Power Factor, no matter where it is measured, is simply the relationship between the True Power that is being delivered to the facility and the Apparent Power, which is the actual power that is being consumed by the equipment and is measured by a meter that can differentiate that relationship. The utility measures power factor as a ratio of the true power measured by the wattmeter, versus the apparent power which is a function of the Voltage and Amperage.

What is a PFC Unit?

A PFC unit is a device consisting of capacitors that supply the reactive current needed for the magnetic fields in motors right at the motor itself. The PFC unit is unique in the fact that it is sized exactly for the operating load and increases the power factor to almost unity, which is 100%.

What if my Power Factor is already close to 100%?

If you have a Capacitor installed on the Main Service of your facility, chances are your power factor reading is pretty good. But, a capacitor only works from the point of installation back to the source of power (transformer), so your utility bill might show a high power factor, but in reality, the Power Factor, or efficiency inside your facility will be lower.

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