Every electric appliance that is working on the AC supply has particular specifications. These appliances include fans, toasters, fridge, and so forth. There are a total of three parameters of these appliances which you need to know. These parameters are power factor, wattage, and voltage. The PF is the value amid 0.6 and 1. The wattage rating shows how much power the appliance is using when it is on. On the other hand, the voltage rating shows the normal working voltage of the appliance.
All electric appliances consume power when they are working like heating, moving, or lighting. These appliances change a big part of the consumed power into their projected activities. The remaining power goes waste in the form of heat. The power ratio converted to valuable work to the total consumed power is the appliance efficiency.
There is only one part of the consumed power works as real power. The balance is known as reactive power. According to the engineers, the real power is measured in watts (W) while the reactive power is measured in Volt-Ampere-Reactive (VAR). The appliances transform real power into their intended work. Nevertheless, they require the reactive power to withstand a magnetic field. It does not directly contribute to the appliance's actual work done.
Consequently, the actual power is known as operating power. The reactive power is known as non-operating power. The total of operating and non-operating power of the appliances is known as the apparent power. This power can be referred to as Volt-Amperes (VA). It is the item of the normal working voltage and the current expended by the appliance when working.
Power factor is the ratio of the operating or actual power to the apparent power. It is a sign of how competently the appliance will be utilizing the electricity. The issue is, you have to pay the electric utility for the consumed apparent power. The appliances will be transforming the real power to work properly. Thus, the higher PF rating of your appliances will be beneficial for you. It is important to take this factor close to 1 as soon as possible.
The low PF is a big problem for the utility contributing you with the power. It is easy to explain PF with the help of an example. Assume that you have to handle an operation for which you need 100KW to run. If you install equipment that has 0.8 power factor, then it will chalk up to 125VA on the meter of apparent power. However, it will transform 80 percent of its inbound power into the operational work. As the utility electricity will need to supply both reactive and active power to its consumers, the misused power will end up in heating the conductors of the entire system. In this way, the voltage will start dropping at the end of the consumers.
From the above explanation of PF, you can know how much it is essential. If you want to improve power factor, then you have to add up the capacitor banks to your electric system. These capacitors are not so expensive, yet they will be useful for you in the long run.