Power Factor Correction :: Electrical Switchboards Contractor :: Power Quality Testing :: Power Management Services :: Power Efficient System

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Power factor is an index used to compute the efficiency level of electrical usage. The index is measured from 0 to 1. A higher index shows efficient usage of electricity and vice versa.

Certain appliances have a power factor of 100%, meaning that they are 100% efficient. However, in some appliances whereby additional power is needed, Low power factor not only shortens the lifespan of electrical appliances but also constitutes a loss to both the consumer as well as TNB.

To understand Power Factor, we will start with the definition of some basic terms:

KW Working Power (also called Actual Power, Active Power or Real Power). It is the power that powers equipment and performs useful work.
KVAR Reactive Power. It is the power which magnetic equipment such as transformers, motors and relays need to produce the magnetizing flux.

Power Factor is the ratio of Working Power to Apparent Power [Power Factor = KW / KVA].

Let's look at a simple analogy in order to better understand these terms.

Let's say you are at a park and it is a hot day, you order a glass of a carbonated drink. The thirst-quenching portion of the drink is represented by KW. Unfortunately, along with your drink comes a little bit of foam. The foam does not quench your thirst. This foam is represented by KVAR.

The total content of your glass, KVA, is this summation of KW (the carbonated drink) and KVAR (the foam).

Thus, for a given KVA:
- The more foam you have, the lower your power factor.
- The less foam you have, the higher your power factor.

For efficient usage of electricity, power factor must approach 1.0. Power factor that is less than 0.85 shows an inefficient use of electricity.