What is Power Factor so I can understand it?

It's Pete Ainsworth from SMD Inc./KVA Distribution, an authorized distributor for TDK Corporation. Yes, the fellow with the baseball cap that you may have seen in your sales areas championing the EPCOS Brand of TDK. SMD Inc. focuses on Power Film and ALU Capacitors, providing products to customers primarily in the industrial arena. Our customers are active in applications such as factory automation, LRV/ train traction/HVAC/APS systems, motor drive control, power quality, inverters/converters (i.e. DC Link apps), and renewable energy generation. Additionally, we specialize and inventory a comprehensive line-up of Power Factor Correction products (PFC) within the TDK EPCOS Brand. So........................…

What is Power Factor so I can understand it?

Active Power, Reactive Power, Apparent Power, Inductive load, Cos phi, Hypotenuse etc.
Great for cocktail hour banter or impressing that favorite someone but........

Power Factor is simply a measure of how efficiently the electricity from the Utility company is being converted into useful real work by the User and more particularly is a good indicator of the effect of the Users load on the efficiency of the utilities supply system.

When you buy gas for a vehicle, the manufacturer makes it in gallons, the pump dispenses it in gallons and you pay for it in dollars per gallon- simple!

When you buy electricity, the "manufacturer" (electricity generator) makes kVA (kilo volt amperes) and you pay for it in kWh (kilowatt hours) or maybe Units - not so simple!
So what is this kilowatt hour (or unit). It is 1000 watts of power being used for 1 hour.

Power (Watts) equals Voltage x Amps or P=EI.

In the real world, a Power Factor of 1 or unity is rarely obtainable because industrial motors, fluorescent lighting etc, creates an "inductive load" which causes the current in the utility supply to lag the voltage. This lag is the Power Factor. Enough of that...................without getting into any more formulas and multi syllable words, as the power factor worsens from 0.98 to 0.5, the utility has to supply more kVA for each kW you are using. Utilities think ripped off-very unhappy!

As an example, if an industrial user has a .7 Power Factor and requires a 100KW to run a distillery, then the utility company would have to supply 100÷.70=143KVA to provide the 100kW to run that distillery. The utility would be supplying 43% more electricity than they are charging the distillery. The PF police are sent (no warrant needed) and monetary penalties are levied.

How does the distillery do away with the utilities Power Factor penalties? By installing a TDK EPCOS Brand suitably sized switched capacitors into the power distribution circuit. The PF is improved thus minimizing wasted energy and liberating KW sent from the utility. The penalty goes away and the utilities PF Police apologizeJ

There are companies that build PF Panels so the Users Power Factor is acceptable to the utilities. These companies measure, build and install. As a professional Electronic/Electrical Rep, you certainly have other lines. It makes no difference how you discover these PF panel manufacturers, just send them to KVA/SMD for TDK EPCOS Brand PFC and accessories.

Electrical Contractors at times get involved with PFC. Knock on their door and simple ask if they do PFC work. It will either start a discussion or the door will by slammed shut. At worst--2 minutes of time.
PF penalties are not State imposed- so not always Statewide. They are imposed by the Utility.

My contact numbers are (Office) 949.470.7739 and (Mobile) 949.735.6992.

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