Power factor is an expression of energy efficiency. It is usually expressed as a percentage—and the lower the percentage, the less efficient power usage is. PF expresses the ratio of true power used in a circuit to the apparent power delivered to the circuit. A 96% power factor demonstrates more efficiency than a 75% power factors. PF below 95% is considered inefficient in many regions.
There are three main ways to improve power factors:
- Capacitor Banks
- Synchronous Condensers
- Phase Advancers
E.g.: A steel stamping operation runs at 100 kW (Working Power) and the Apparent Power meter records 125 kVA. To find the PF, divide 100 kW by 125 kVA to yield a PF of 80%. This means that only 80% of the incoming current does useful work and 20% is wasted through heating up the conductors. Because Edisto Electric must supply both the kW and kVA needs of all customers, the higher the PF is, the more efficient our distribution system becomes.