Understanding Power Factor and How it Affects
Understanding Power
Factor and How it Affects
Your Electric Bill
Presented by
Scott Peele PE
Understanding Power Factor







Definitions
 kVA, kVAR, kW, Apparent Power vs. True Power
Calculations Measurements
Power Factor Correction
 Capacitors
System Impacts
 I2 R losses, Chapter 9 NEC
 Equipment sizing
Power Factor Charges
Problems with adding Caps
 Harmonic resonance
 Volt rise
Power Factor vs Load Factor
What is Power Factor
Power Factor is the cosine of the
phase angle between current and
voltage.
Power Factor is the ratio of true
power to apparent power.
Understanding Alternating Current
AC
200
Voltage Level
Magnitude
150
120 Volts RMS
100
169 volts
50
0
-50
One Cycle
.01666 seconds
-100
-150
60 Hertz/second
-200
0
Duration
Time
Phase Angle
200
Voltage Level
Magnitude
150
120 Volts RMS
100
o
90
50
180
o
0
-50
One Cycle
-100
-150
360
-200
o
o
0
270
Duration
Degrees
Three Basic Circuits or Loads




Resistive
Inductive
Capacitive
Or any combination




Resistive Inductive
Inductive Capacitive
Resistive Capacitive
Resistive Inductive Capacitive
Types of Loads



Resistive – Incandescent Lamp
Resistance heat
Inductive – Motors – Contactor Coils –
Relays (coils)
Capacitive – Capacitors – Start Capacitors
– Run Capacitors – Power Factor
Correction Capacitors
Resistive Loads
In Phase
200
150
50
Level
Magnitude
100
0
-50
-100
-150
-200
0
Duration
Time
Inductive Loads
Lagging
200
100
Level
Magnitude
150
50
0
-50
-100
-150
-200
0
Duration
Time
Capacitive Loads
Leading
200
100
Level
Magnitude
150
50
0
-50
-100
-150
-200
0
Duration
Time
What is Power






Power is measured in Watts.
Volts X Amps X Power Factor = Watts
Watts only equals Volts X Amps when the
Power Factor is 1 or unity.
Most of the time the Power Factor is less
than 1.
Power = Watts : True Power
Volts X Amps = VA : Apparent Power
θ
B= Side Adjacent
A= Side Opposite
Understanding Right Triangles
Right Angle 900
Power Triangle
True power
Power Factor =
Hypotenuse
θ
Power Factor = Cos
B= Side Adjacent
A= Side Opposite
Adjacent side
θ
=θ
Cos
Apparent power
True power
θ
B= Side
TrueAdjacent
Power
Apparent power
Power
Side Opposite
A= Reactive
Power Factor =
Right Angle 900
Watts, KW, Power
VAR, kVAR Reactance
θ
B= True Power
A= Reactive Power
Understanding Power Triangle
Inductive
Motors
X
θ
R
Resistance
Inductive
Reactance
Graphical representation of resistance,
reactance, and impedance
Graphical representation of resistance,
reactance, and impedance
Resistance
θ
X
Capacitors
Capacitive
Reactance
R
Imaginary
Inductive
Motors
θ
kVAR
Reactance
Imaginary
Real - WATTS – kW (KWH over Time)
Cosine of θ
POWER FACTOR
Capacitive
Capacitors
True Power
10 HP 460 Volt 4 Pole Motor
Transformer
Conductor
Load
Power
Factor
VA
Amps
Watts
VAR
Amps
Reactive
Amps
Resistive
125%
0.82
13203
16.6
10883
7476
9.4
13.7
115%
0.81
12240
15.4
9972
7099
8.9
12.5
100%
0.79
10830
13.6
8592
6593
8.3
10.8
75%
0.73
8771
11.1
6397
6002
7.5
8.0
50%
0.61
7105
8.9
4323
5639
7.1
5.4
25%
0.40
5886
7.4
2331
5405
6.8
2.9
min load
0.17
5399
6.8
911
5322
6.7
1.1
Motor
= KW Load (resistive)
= KVAR Load (reactive)
10 HP Energy Flow
Transformer
θ
Power Factor = .79
VAR = 6593
A= Reactive Power
Conductor
B= True Power
Measured Amps = 13.6
Watts =8592
Reactive Amps = 8.3
Resistive Amps = 10.8
Motor
= KW Load (resistive)
= KVAR Load (reactive)
10 HP Adding Capacitance
Transformer
Conductor
VA =8595
Watts =8592
VAR = 1
Measured Amps = 10.8
θ
B= True Power
VAR = 6593
A= Reactive Power
Measured Amps = 8.3
Measured Amps = 13.6
Motor
Watts =8592
= KW Load (resistive)
= KVAR Load (reactive)
10 HP Energy Savings
Transformer
Conductor
200 Feet of #12 Gauge wire
Saving are calculated on I2 R losses.
Using a # 12 gauge wire from Table 9 in the NEC
the resistance is 2 ohms per 1000 feet.
200’ @
2 Ohms/1000’ is .5 ohms. Using this the total saving
will be approx. 11.8 watts. NOTE: This is only if the
I2 X R = Watts
capacitor is at the motor.
2.8 2 X .5 = 3.92
3 X 3.92 = 11.76
Motor
= KW Load (resistive)
= KVAR Load (reactive)
10 HP Capacitor Sizing
Transformer
Conductor
Utility Meter
II22 R
R Savings
Losses
Capacitor to large then var flow in both
directions and one may increase cost.
Motor
= KW Load (resistive)
= KVAR Load (reactive)
Based on one month operation at 8 hours a day
Example of Power Factor Charge
PF Charge Factor
NC Charge
$0.40
Max Billing kW
8.592
Power Factor
kW Charge
$10.25
kWh Charge
$0.03854
0.79
Calc
kVA
Calc
kVAR
10.8759
6.6681
kW
8.6
kWh
2064
Less than .85 then a $0.40 charge
For kVar – (kW X.62)
In this Case $0.54
PF Charge
$0.54
kW Charge
$88.15
kWh Charge
$79.55
Total Charge
$168.23
10 Horse Power Motor
VA Watts VAR
VA
14000
Watts
VAR
125%
115%
12000
100%
10000
75%
8000
50%
6000
25%
Min
0.40
0.17
4000
2000
0
0.82
0.81
0.79
0.73
Power Factor
0.61
Power Factor vs Amps
Volts
Amps
VA
kW
Power
Factor
VAR
Amps
Reactive
Amps
Resistive
208
83
10000
10
1
0
0
83
208
88
10526
10
0.95
3287
28
83
208
92
11111
10
0.9
4843
41
83
208
98
11765
10
0.85
6197
52
83
208
104
12500
10
0.8
7500
63
83
208
111
13333
10
0.75
8819
74
83
208
119
14286
10
0.7
10202
85
83
208
139
16667
10
0.6
13333
111
83
208
166
20000
10
0.5
17321
144
83
Power Factor vs Amps
180
160
140
120
100
kW
Amps
80
Power Factor
60
40
20
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10 HP Voltage Rise
Transformer
Conductor
200 Feet of #12 Gauge wire
kVAR * Xsource /kVA/100 = Voltage Rise %
Note This does not include the wire inductance
that will cause some additional rise in voltage.
Note: With this voltage rise an increase in kW
and kwh can occur.
Motor
= KW Load (resistive)
= KVAR Load (reactive)
System VAR Requirements
Power
Plant
Generator
MVAR
(Met by Power Plant Generator)
T/D
Substatio
n
Transmission Circuit
KVAR
MW
KW
Distribution Circuit
L
L
Industrial
Load
Commercial
Load
= KW Load (resistive)
Substation
Capacitor
Bank
L
Residential
Load
= KVAR Load (reactive)
System VAR Requirements
Power
Plant
Generator
(Met by Power T/D Substation)
T/D
Substatio
n
Transmission Circuit
KVAR
MW
KW
Distribution Circuit
Substation
Capacitor
Bank
L
L
Industrial
Load
Commercial
Load
= KW Load (resistive)
L
Residential
Load
= KVAR Load (reactive)
System VAR Requirements
Power
Plant
Generator
(Met by T/D Sub and Feeder Capacitors)
T/D
Substation
Transmission Circuit
KVAR
MW
KW
Distribution Circuit
Substation
Capacitor
Bank
L
Industrial
Load
Feeder
Capacitor
Bank
L
Commercial
Load
= KW Load (resistive)
L
Residential
Load
= KVAR Load (reactive)
Things We have Talked About And
Other Things to Talk About


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
Phase Angle
Power Factor
I2R Loss
Power Factor Penalty
Voltage Rise
Harmonic resonance
Load Factor --- Power Factor
Harmonic Resonance
X Source
Equivalent Circuit
XT
3 PHASE AC
INPUT
X Source
XT
XC
Harmonic
Source
Harmonic Filters
L1
XF
XC
L2
L3
L1
L2
L3
Power Factor Vs Load Factor
They have no relation
 Load Factor is kW at 100% operation
Yielding so many kWh vs. Actual kWh

Example
Hours in a Month = 30 X 24 = 720 Hours
Load is at 8 kW
8 X 720 = 5760 kWh
Actual kWh by load is 3240
Load Factor then is 3240/5760
Load Factor = .56
BOTTOM LINE ON
Understanding Power Factor and
How it Affects Your Electric Bill
z
Very small charge with penalty
most customer have no Power
Factor Penalty
z
None or very small savings or
possible increase cost when using
Power Factor Correction Devices
Questions
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