What is the significance of the power factor in electrical systems?
All industries use a combination of electrical equipment for an uninterrupted and profitable manufacturing process. And for every electrical equipment, its power factor is the measure of how effectively it is using electricity.
In the technical language power factor is the ratio of working or true power to the apparent power. To understand it in the simplest way let’s look at some useful terms first:
True power: this is the quantity of power used for the actual work like heating, motion, lighting, etc. It is expressed in KW.
Reactive power: this is the power needed for the equipment to generate the magnetic field required to operate. It is expressed in KVAR.
Apparent power: this is the vector sum of true power and reactive power. It is expressed in KVA.
So, the power factor = KW/KVA
The value of the power factor is always between zero and one. Most of the induction motors, industrial lamps, discharge lamps, and others operate at very low power factors ranging from 0.2 to 0.3. One of the major causes of low power factor is the presence of inductive loads.
A Simple way to improve power factor
To increase the power factor, current carrying capacity, and lower the electric bills a capacitor should be added in parallel with the loads. The capacitor reduces the non-working power and thus increase the power factor and efficiency.
The Role of Power Factor in Transformers
A transformer is an important part of the electrical system and almost all heavy machinery industries. Just like other electrical devices power factor of a transformer is the measurement of its efficiency which can be poor or excellent.
The power factor of the transformer should be high and the closer it is to 1 the better its efficiency. To maintain a high-power factor for power and distribution transformers, it is essential to add the right capacitor. The transformers with higher power factors have the following benefits.
- Maximization of current-carrying capacity
- Improvement of voltage to equipment
- Reduction of power losses
- Lowers the electricity expenses
As mentioned above, the simple of improving the power for electrical appliances is to add a capacitor but it must be cautiously calculated for every transformer separately depending upon the true and reactive power of every equipment based on its rating.
Here are some important points to keep in mind for the same:
Ways to Increase the Power Factor
As transformers are designed for different loads, it must be operated on its specified load only. Since the power factor may decline if the transformer works under a lighter load. Likewise, efficiency is reduced significantly if the transformer is used below or above the specified load range. Moreover, lower power loads affect the efficiency more and reduce the service life of the transformer too.
While increasing the power factor, the transformer must be operated at the rated voltage. Otherwise, both the service life of the transformer and the power factor will be reduced.
The power factor is a useful metric to calculate the efficiency of a transformer. And although it is fairly simple to increase the power factor by adding a capacitor, it must be done by expert professionals. One must always operate at the rated voltage and load range to avoid any reduction in service life and power factor.
To get expert help regarding any power factor query, you can reach out to Electro-tech Transmission Pvt. Ltd. Being an expert transformer manufacturer based in M.P India we can give the best advice based on your requirements.
Contact us @ email@example.com for any power factor issue and how to improve it.