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Thread: Power Factor Correction

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Power Factor Correction

    I saw an ad for a device to correct power factor in homes, claiming it could save 25% of the power. I know this has been done economically in industrial applications. But at home? Is there really a prize here? Thanks.
    It ain't the things you don't know that get you in trouble. It's the things you know for sure that just ain't so.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Power Factor Correction


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Power Factor Correction

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post

    Egon:

    Great article.

    I was going to look for something but this sums up the issues. I remember we had to do this for our manufacturing plants -- but the current draw was pretty significant. I could not see the home benefits. I printed the PDF to look at later.

    Maybe if you have three or four half-ton planers...

    Interesting that the EU will require correction on a machine by machine basis for new equipment -- probably won't hurt, and will probably help with millions of air-conditioners (for example) out there!
    ---
    Will

    “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” —- Mark Twain

  4. #4
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    Bill

    Default Re: Power Factor Correction

    Residential power cost is not penalized by power-factor issues. Your meter measures real power only so correcting the power-factor which means reducing the reactive power component of the total power will have no effect on your bill. The reactive power component is actually returned to the grid but the reason the utility doesn't like it is because the generation and distribution equipment has to be rated to handle the total power, real and reactive.

    If you have a commercial power installation then you can be penalized by a bad power-factor.

    billh

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Power Factor Correction

    Quote Originally Posted by billh View Post
    Residential power cost is not penalized by power-factor issues. Your meter measures real power only so correcting the power-factor which means reducing the reactive power component of the total power will have no effect on your bill. The reactive power component is actually returned to the grid but the reason the utility doesn't like it is because the generation and distribution equipment has to be rated to handle the total power, real and reactive.

    If you have a commercial power installation then you can be penalized by a bad power-factor.

    billh

    Bill:

    Understand all that...

    There is no direct penalty -- however there is a indirect penalty -- the need for more power stations and higher capacity transmission lines.
    ---
    Will

    “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” —- Mark Twain

  6. #6
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    Bill

    Default Re: Power Factor Correction

    There can be an impact on distribution but the energy is not lost. The load seen by the generators is not your house but the whole grid with whatever power-factor correction devices and inherent loads there are.

    Apparently the highly-touted CFL has a pf around 0.5.

    billh

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