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Unraveling the Myths of Power Factor Correction

This video explains how to understand and correct poor power factor, which if ignored can lead to wasted energy and eventually strain power equipment.

Spencer Chin

August 1, 2022

Mounting concerns over energy usage and power grid issues have prompted more concern for power factor correction, which if properly implemented can reduce electrical loads and increase energy efficiency. But a clear understanding of power factor correction is needed to properly correct a poor power factor.

According to this informative video from The Engineering Mindset, power factor represents the ratio between true power and apparent power. The video’s narrator uses the analogy of beer content vs beer foam to compare true and apparent power, to show how much actual power is present. Power factor correction is not so much an issue with residential installations, but it becomes much more of an issue with large commercial installations. While a good power factor is above 0.95, it is considered poor between 0.85 and 0.95, and bad below 0.85.  

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The video explains how to calculate power factor, and what factors account for a poor power factor which can be traced to inductive loads in the power circuit. Unresolved power factor issues can lead to energy-sapping voltage drops and losses, and in extreme scenarios can strain transformers and equipment. The video explains how to correct a poor power factor using properly-sized capacitors.

Click here to view the video.

Related:The 'Power' of a Good Charging Station


Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor with Design News, covering the electronics beat.

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