Power Factor

kVA (Apparent Power) kVAR (Reactive Power) Power Factor kW (Real Power)

“The Energy Management Series”
www.cosphi.com

com Originally published by: Ontario Hydro 2 . P. Box 24 Goderich.O. Ontario N7A 3Y5 Ph: (519) 440-0454 Fax: (519) 440-0446 info@cosphi. 240 Huckins St.com www.cosphi.POWER FACTOR POWER FACTOR Energy Management Series Re-published by: Cos Phi Inc.

POWER FACTOR Introduction As energy costs continue to represent an increasing proportion of the overall cost of doing business. Conversely. Power factor is not an easy subject to discuss without some knowledge of electricity. High power factor indicates that the amount of power doing real work is operating at a high level of efficiency. The section on Electricity basics provides a refresher of electricity and electrical power components. Improving power factor can reduce billed peak demand and enhance equipment reliability. Understanding power factor and how it affects your company’s electricity bill can help reduce power costs. energy management has become an important activity. 3 . Power Factor gives a reading of overall electricity use efficiency. low power factor means poor electricity efficiency which is always costly.

No heat or light is generated. The upwards direction indicates inductance. Schematically.Capacitive 4 . Current and voltage are applied to the load. real power is represented by an arrow pointing to the right. Figure 1b Arrow Convention Illustrating Inductive Reactive Power kVARI The vertical orientation represents reactive power.POWER FACTOR Electricity Basics Electrical energy is consumed by end uses called loads. Examples of inductive loads are transformers. Reactive Power . Their product reactive power.Resistance . is measured in kilo-volt-amperes-reactive (kVAR). The length denotes the amount or magnitude of kVAR. enabling machines to operate. kVARC The vertical orientation represents reactive power. Current and voltage are applied to the load.Inductive Reactance . In summary. real work is done.Inductive . The length denotes the amount of magnitude of kVAR. reactive power. kilowatts (1. Capacitive Reactance When electricity is applied to a capacitor. The lenght denotes the amount or magnitude of real power. Figure 1c Arrow Convention Illustrating Capacitive Reactive Power The left to right direction indicates real power. Real Power (Resistive Power) 2. Capacitive reactive power is represented by a downward arrow. Inductive Reactance When electricity is applied to a pure inductor no real work is done.000 watts) is most commonly used. All alternating current loads are comprised in varying degrees of three components: . The same is true for the other measures. Since a watt is a relatively small quantity.Capacitive Reactance Resistance When electrical energy is consumed in the resistive component. Inductivve reactive power is represented by an upwards arrow. no real work is done. motors and lighting ballasts. is measured in kVAR. The downwards sense denotes capacitance. Their product. Figure 1a Arrow Convention Illustrating Real Power kW Inductive reactance produces magnetomotive forces. two kinds of power exist: 1. Heat is generated or light is emitted The rate of doing real work is measured in watts. The product of the applied voltage and the current flowing in the resistive circuit is real power.

As shown in Figure 5 the power triangle is used to derive the forumla for calculating power factor.POWER FACTOR What is Power Factor? The relationship between resistive and reactive load components is called Power Factor. kVA2 = kW2 + kVAR2 kVAR2 = kVA2 . Figure 5 Power Factor Forumla Apparent Power (kVA) Reactive Power (kVAR) Real Power (kW) Power factor is represented mathematically by the cosine θ of the angle between real power and apparent power. a quantity necessary for billing purposes. It is a numerical way of expressing the proportions of real power (kW) and apparent power (kVA). Formula Power Factor = kW kVA If kW and kVA are known. can be calculated using the Pythagorean Theorem.kW2 6 .kW2 kVAR = kVA2 . the kVAR.

In order for the utility to maintain the equipment necessary to compensate for the increased reactive power (kVAR). Reactive Power (kVAR) Good Power Factor (90%) Apparent Power (kVA) 25 0 Real Power (kW) Reactive Power (kVAR) 8 .POWER FACTOR Poor Power Factor Poor power factor increases billed demand. welding machines. It costs Ontario industry millions of dollars annually. In an electrical circuit with poor power factor a large portion of the current does no useful work and is not registered at the energy (kWh) meter. billed demand is increased accordingly. Poor power factor results in higher than necessary kVAR use and increases electricity costs. Poor power factor can be caused by equipment design or operating conditions. Motors. speed and load. Power factor billing charges are levied if the power factor is below 90 per cent. The higher the percentage of the rated load. induction heating coils and lighting ballasts are major sources. This is sometimes referred to as Power Factor Penalty. Although reacitve power (kVAR) does no useful work it is necessary to make machinery operate. the higher the power factor. The power triangles shown in Figure 9 demonstrate increased billed demand with poor power factor. Lightly loaded induction motors are one of the worst offenders. even though the real power remains the same. the higher the power factor. Figure 9 Poor Power Factor vs Good Power Factor Poor Power Factor (70%) Apparent Power (kVA) 45 0 Real Power (kW) The increased apparent power (kVA) shown in the 70 per cent power factor triangle results in increased billed demand. The larger the motor and the higher the speed. transformers. though this has being phased out over recent years. The factors affecting the power factor of an induction motor are size. Most utilities allow a percentage of reactive power to be billed at no additional charge.

A capacitor is a device that does no work. The current which flows in a capacitor produces leading power factor. A typical load with lagging power factor is illustrated schematically in Figure 10. Machines that use lagging kVAR are said to be kVAR consumers while machines that use leading kVAR.POWER FACTOR Power Factor Correction Determining the amount of reactive power (kVAR) required to improve power factor to 90 per cent is called power factor correction. 9 . For example. Lagging power factor can be corrected by connecting capacitors to the system. A properly determined value of capacitance can nullify inductance and produce unity power factor. an induction motor which requires kVAR to magnetize its magnetic poles before it can do any work is a kVAR consumer. This current flows in the opposite direction to that in inductive equipment or machinery. Reactive power (kVAR) can flow in opposite directions. When the two circuits are combined. Too little capacitance will not correct a poor power factor. Lagging kVAR flows in the opposite direction to leading kVAR. Lagging power factor occurs when the inductive power requirements are greater than the capacitive power requirements. are said to be kVAR generators. for economic reasons power factor correction usually takes place at the meters. Usually only three-phase loads need power factor correction. However. uses no power (kW). but produces leading kVAR. Too much capacitance can cause undesirable effects. the voltage (volts) in magnitude over time. or lags. Figure 11 demonstrates the effect on power factor after the addition of capacitors. Figure 10 Power Factor Before Addition of Capacitors Apparent Power (kVA) Figure 11 Power Factor After Addition of Capacitors Apparent Power (kVA) Initial Maximum kVARI Resultant Reactive Power kVARI Capacitive Power Added kVARC Real Power (kW) Reactive Power (kVAR) Real Power (kW) Calculating the correct amount of capacitance is key to improving power factor. for example at each motor. When lagging power factor occurs the current (amps) follows. In most cases power factor is best corrected at the source. capacitance reduces the effect of inductance.

the true kW and kVA can be obtained by applying the billing multiplier factor to each reading. It is not possible to determine whether or not power factor penalty is present if only a kVA meter is installed. kVA For example. The difference of 225 kW is the power factor penalty.9 0 Real Power 1800 kW Reactive Power 1350 kVAR . the peak demands can be calculated as follows: (900 x 2000)/1000 = 1800 kW (1125 x 2000)/1000 = 2250 kVA The power factor is: 1800 kW x 100% = 80% 2250 kVA Assuming these are the peak readings for the month.F. Thus. 0.90 x 2250 kVA = 2025 kVA Since 2025 kVA is greater than 1800 kW. 1350 kVAR. kW x 100% = P. the bill will be based on 80 per cent power factor. and the payback perod for capacitor installation. 2250 kVA and 80 per cent power factor (Cos 36.kW2 = 22502 . Using a billing multiplier factor of 2000. if the watt meter reads 900kW and the volt-ampere meter reads 1125 VA. Figure 12 Power Triangle at 80 Per Cent Power Factor Apparent Power 2250 kVA 36. In this instance the power bill shows a higher kW figure than the meter indicated. the billed demand is 2025 kW.90 = 1800 kW/2250 kVA = 0.18002 = 1350kVAR The power triangle in Figure 12 represents the following values: 1800 kW. While the peak demand is 1800 kW. how to improve it. 10 Step 2: Drawing the Power Triangle Calculate kVAR using the formula: kVAR = kVA2 .POWER FACTOR Power Factor Correction and Power Billing Calculations The following exercise demonstrates a simple way to determine power factor. Step 1: Determining Billed Demand The billed demand is the true kW or 90 per cent of the kVA. whichever is greater. the power triangle completely describes the quality of power used.8). the billed demand is 2025 kW.

266 x kW will determine the required kVAR of capacitors required to increase the power factor to 90 per cent.50/kW = \$6.POWER FACTOR Step 3: Power Factor Correction Worksheet at 80 Per Cent Power Factor The Power Factor Correction Worksheet (page xx) highlights the potential benefits and monthly cost and savings that can be obtained by improving power factor.50 800 kW 0.90 P.50 kW = 1975kW x \$3.45 to \$1. the kVA meter shows a reduction. It summarizes the demand portion of the power bill and all power factor calculation components.F.60 per billed kW allowance.\$1. Accordingly 0.480 kVAR = 870 kVAR The kVA is now: These figures are used to calculate the demand charges at 80 per cent power factor using the General Service Rate Structure. the new demand charge and the resulting savings can be determined. Gross Demand Charge: 2025kW . the first 50 kW are not billed. The left hand column indicates the existing power factor.697. In this example the customer is eligible for \$0.215 =\$5.90 = 2025 Billed Demand kW In calculating the demand charge. The following values have been recorded on the worksheet: Present P. Improving power factor to 90 per cent reduces total kVAR to: 1350 kVAR . Step 4: Total Cost at 80 Per Cent Power Factor The billed demand is 90 per cent of the kVA. depending on the utility and the primary supply voltage.F. 0. The energy consumption charge (kWh) is ignored for this calculation as it is unaffected by the power factor.50 Transformer allowances are available to customers who own their own transformers. Allowances range in value from \$0. 2250 x 0. While there is no change to the kW meter reading. Step 6: Power Factor Correction Worksheet at 90 Per Cent Power Factor Using the Power Factor Correction Worksheet.60 = \$1.50 .266 x 1800 kW = 480 kVAR Installing 480 kVAR of capacitors will improve power factor to 90 per cent. The Power Factor Improvement Table is used to determine the kVAR of capacitors required to improve the power factor.00 Net Demand Charge: \$6.40 per kW of billed demand. This eliminates small power users paying demand charges and power factor penalites (This reduction has been phased out in Ontario).912. kVA kW kVAR 80% 2250 1800 1350 Step 5: Calculating Required kVAR for 90 Per Cent Power Factor Installing capacitors will raise the power factor to 90 per cent.912. = 2000 kVA 11 . Transformer allowance: 2025 kW x \$0. The top row of numbers indicates the desired power factor.215.

50 kW = 1750 kW x \$3. 2000 kVA x 0. Annual savings of almost \$8.\$1. Correcting the power factor increases efficiency and reduces energy costs significantly. Step 10: Determining Payback In Step 5 the required kVAR of capacitors needed to improve the power factor to 90 per cent was calculated at 480 kVAR. 870 kVAR. Using 1987 estimated rates of \$25 per kVAR.000.00 Transformer Allowance: 1800 kW x \$0.F.00 12 . 2000 kVAR.50/kW = \$6. Although the same maximum rate of work as been done with the same peak demand. In this example improving the power factor to 90 per cent realizes substantial monthly savings of \$625. the customer now benefits from the annual savings of close to \$8.00 each month. Thus. the power triangle completely describes the quality of power used when the power factor has been improved.000.9).00. the cost for installing 480 kVAR of capacitors is \$12.90 = 1800 Billed Demand kW The demand charge is calculated as follows: First 50 kW: No Charge Gross Demand Charge: 1800 kW .POWER FACTOR The following values have been recorded on the worksheet: Required P.045. kVA kW kVAR 90% 2000 1800 870 Step 9: Improved Power Factor Savings By maintaining the power factor at 80 per cent the customer in effect pays a power factor penalty of \$652.00 Net Demand Charge: \$6.60 = \$1. Step 7: Power Triangle at 90 Per Cent Power Factor The power triangle in Figure 13 represents the following values: 1800 kW.80 = 1800 kW / 2000 kVA = 0. Figure 13 Power Tirangle at 90 Per Cent Power Factor Apparent Power 2000 kVA 25 0 Real Power 1800 kW Reactive Power 870 kVAR Step 8: Total Cost at 90 Per Cent Power Factor The billed demand is now the same as the metered kW reading of 1800 kW.45 per cent overall reduction in the monthly power bill.00 .080.000 generate a payback period of approximately18 months.00 = \$5.080. The difference signifies the capacitive kVAR added. and 90 per cent power factor (Cos 25.125. an 11. Notice the minus sign between the power factor columns on the kVAR line of the worksheet.125.

60/Billed kW NET CHARGE 0 \$6.00 Monthly Saving \$5.50/kW Total Less.F.00 \$12.697.00 18 ESTIMATED COST OF CORRECTION PAYBACK PERIOD (MONTHS) 13 .F.POWER FACTOR Power Factor Correction Worksheet Supply Authority Customer Your Hydro Rate Designation ABC Company Date October 1987 Present P.50 \$6.045.125.00 \$652.\$5.00 \$6.912.9 90% 2000 1800 870 1800 \$ \$ = 480 2025 \$ DEMAND CHARGE: First 50 kW @ no charge Next 4950 kW @ \$3.50 \$1.215. Required P.125. 1800 MEASURED DEMANDS kVA kW kVAR Billed kW = kVA x 80% 2250 1800 1350 0. Transformer Allowance @ \$0.000.50 .912.080.00 \$1.00 0 \$6.

395 .186 .329 .427 .134 .445 .654 .063 .769 .192 1.183 .317 .798 .349 1.459 .552 .573 .058 .131 .399 .392 1.556 .884 .154 1.294 .954 .982 .419 .504 .594 .459 .183 .407 .744 .342 .067 1.271 1.261 1.316 .037 97 1.776 .381 .620 .921 .875 .681 .000 81 1.743 .060 1. 843 .090 1.672 .355 .466 .805 .294 .291 .660 .481 1.540 .871 .051 1.371 .317 .031 94 1.026 .508 .275 .400 .429 .563 .395 .390 .479 .301 .063 1.116 1.767 .183 .014 .343 .882 .870 .685 .317 .237 1.237 .228 1.210 .204 .486 .078 .306 1.026 88 1.028 90 1.902 .263 .007 .829 .076 1.147 1.452 .756 .225 .909 .634 .114 .640 .139 1.093 .433 .343 .374 .549 .483 .698 .277 1.206 .687 1.652 .657 .077 1.561 .381 .518 .145 .607 .POWER FACTOR Table 1 .408 .489 .971 .034 96 1.342 .700 .509 .767 .992 .707 .027 87 1.198 .720 .544 1.528 .426 .976 .126 .685 .052 .220 1.079 .347 .053 .750 .849 .937 .809 .940 .342 .740 .251 .308 1.759 .812 .980 .024 .346 .529 1.277 .725 .Power Factor Improvement Desired Power Factor in Per Cent 80 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 0.672 .673 .777 .007 .369 1.525 .334 1.061 .000 85 1.183 .157 .958 .822 .121 .591 .343 .806 .061 100 1.155 .633 .253 .120 1.595 .314 1.160 .113 .026 .288 .541 .209 .937 .209 .351 1.187 1.008 .645 .453 .263 .159 1.878 .692 .774 .624 .217 .345 .238 .020 .515 .930 .026 .688 .407 .796 .165 1.534 .076 1.478 .684 .192 1.138 1.515 .200 1.785 .565 .104 .597 .788 .080 .485 .452 .149 .488 .781 .456 .322 .567 .740 .809 .039 1.974 .238 .335 .133 1.808 .679 .187 .541 .337 1.377 1.108 .973 .355 .290 .248 1.212 .370 .794 .836 .913 .662 .112 1.536 .952 .013 .666 .094 1.870 .292 .426 .462 .549 .172 .918 .567 .005 .387 .369 .904 .265 .053 .262 .141 . 235 .417 .236 .347 .587 .315 .262 .052 .114 1.887 .634 .865 .939 .316 1.075 1.374 .266 .949 .337 .821 .111 .292 .183 .030 .775 .698 .982 .440 .049 1.000 82 1.979 .750 .713 .240 . 936 .368 1.104 .876 .604 .369 .236 .086 .324 1.425 .343 .949 .828 .835 .104 .048 1.369 .996 .716 .082 .079 .970 .693 .619 .123 1.821 .169 1.939 .590 1.847 .212 .192 .295 .847 .186 .442 1.268 1.423 .174 1.727 .484 .413 .358 1.857 .205 1.238 .519 .151 1.132 .682 .035 .971 .536 .085 1.395 .701 .775 .658 .167 .269 .058 1.783 .042 98 1.210 .185 .221 .966 .434 .202 1.190 1.480 1.631 .032 95 1.117 .047 99 1.519 1.079 1.189 1.745 .234 .142 C u r r e n t P o w e r F a c t o r 14 .213 .253 .329 .358 .079 .618 .314 .184 .507 .713 .436 1.730 .209 .584 .364 .296 .005 .899 .292 1.248 1.262 .456 .088 1.480 .593 .497 .480 .175 1.053 .156 .512 .071 .887 .117 1.103 1.316 .105 .523 .265 1.363 .436 .103 .744 .945 .425 .136 .028 91 1.066 .403 1.670 .926 .388 .130 .355 .801 .629 .188 .480 .644 .397 .010 .779 .526 .321 .463 .457 1.709 .370 .309 .157 .084 .027 .106 .564 .580 .348 .568 .645 .596 .718 .913 .487 .876 .203 1.398 .626 .856 .935 .015 .460 .263 1.132 .535 .299 .442 1.939 .905 .130 .159 .722 .582 .893 .127 .105 .996 .997 .078 .447 .396 .400 .466 .966 .191 1.834 .811 .512 .043 1.369 .131 1.230 .500 .770 .299 1.679 .733 .714 .758 .328 .105 .211 .643 1.361 .108 .317 .997 .492 .568 .270 .145 .652 .052 .424 .320 .450 .887 .696 .661 .771 .309 .564 .134 .861 .593 .815 .749 .251 .904 .657 .453 .008 .019 .211 .308 1.580 .131 1.421 .453 .559 1.803 .593 .873 .157 .629 .822 .053 .541 .902 .645 .325 .838 .620 .687 .229 1.264 .027 89 1.817 .158 .538 .447 .499 .870 .866 .850 .157 .050 1.607 .769 .291 .426 .026 .860 .289 .414 .405 1.216 .571 .575 .089 .729 .183 .754 .741 .283 .636 .838 .231 1.329 .265 .482 .794 .096 1.451 .239 1.410 .236 .759 .905 .062 1.276 1.041 .217 1.509 .184 .492 .451 .203 .753 .878 .514 .440 .706 .319 .300 1.372 .484 1.079 1.567 .545 .083 1.033 .878 .164 1.396 .144 1.157 .620 .351 .177 .150 .507 .655 .079 .907 .416 1.081 .190 .602 .613 .850 .056 .191 .654 .060 1.591 .030 93 1.000 84 1.919 .109 .078 .530 .795 .837 .047 1.264 .398 .912 .356 1.968 .480 .724 .156 1.157 1.397 1.608 .554 .809 .000 86 1.601 .384 .164 .026 .782 .840 .598 .855 .850 .108 1.713 .500 1.131 .089 .131 .268 .399 .248 .210 .105 .403 .236 .267 1.600 1.928 .618 .381 .078 .712 .989 .787 .688 .055 .131 .289 .280 1.303 .220 .284 .473 .165 1.623 .164 .966 .023 .476 .909 .268 .986 .395 1.539 .042 1.137 .992 .437 .433 .716 .290 .257 .223 .828 .124 1.160 .047 1.052 .131 .103 1.091 1.026 .052 .291 .226 1.963 .600 .028 92 1.893 .691 .541 .471 .537 .942 .840 .425 .936 .936 .105 .034 .962 .079 .578 .056 .151 1.196 1.243 .502 .162 .567 .176 .804 .373 .281 .610 .320 .239 .158 .653 .233 1.546 .421 .663 .440 1.508 .338 1.242 .242 .086 1.625 .343 .262 .370 .748 .289 .576 .474 .214 .741 .732 .512 .627 .672 .721 .553 .192 .113 1.000 83 1.315 .117 1.377 .097 .902 .650 .515 .732 1.230 1.

Assuming that the voltage remains unchanged by the introduction of capaciApparent Power Reactive 104 kVA tors.2 kVA Adding capacitors to the motor has decreased the current drawn from 100 amps to 89 amps.832) = 63 kVAR 15 . Power Factor = 83 kW / 104 kVA = 80% kVAR = (1042 .8 0 Power 41 kVAR kVA = 3 x kilo-volts x amps Real Power 83 kW kVA input = 3 x 0.266 x 83 KW = 22 kVAR full load.9 increase electrical equipment reliability by optiReal Power 83 kW mizing and not overloading existing systems.2 kVA 0 25. The nameplate on a 100 hp.POWER FACTOR Improving System Reliability Correcting power factor by installing capacitors The power triangle for this load is: reduces billed demand. 3-phase motor indicates that it draws 100 amps at 100 volts at 0. the reduction in kVA will result in a decrease Power in current (amperes). increase the power factor to 90 per cent.2 kVA results in a draw of only 89 amps. The following example demonstrates how The Power Factor Improvement Table is used to approaching 90 per cent power factor reduces determine the kVAR of capacitors required to the current drawn. the input is 83kW. a reduction of 11 per cent. The power % efficiency triangle for this load at 90 per cent power factor is: For a 3-phase motor of 90 per cent efficiency. The kVA required can be calcuApparent Power Reactive lated using the following forumula: 92. the lagging 63 kVAR drawn by the motor hp x 0.746 kW = would be reduced to 41 kVAR. The kW input can be calculated using the formula If capacitors producing 22 leading kVAR are added. 3 x 0.600 kV x 100 amps = 104 kVA At 600 volts.600 kV x 89 amps = 92. 92. Reducing current helps to 63 kVAR 36.

Wiring Since capacitors have 100 per cent load factor. They are less likely to heat up than renewable fuses. contactors supplying machinery may need to be upgraded. on the load side of the meter. If a capacitor is left off for only 15 minutes during the load period. Unstable resonances within the tank circuits can cause stress to connected equipment and voltage variations within the plant. there is often unused space and adequate wire size available. Fuses Non-renewable or HRC type fuses are recommended. Operation Once capacitors are installed they must be left on continuously. Harmonic voltages and currents can create low impedance circuits when capacitors have been added. There is less likelihood of capacitos being accidentally disconnected in this location. Capacitors should be frequently checked with a clamp-on ammeter to be sure they are operating.POWER FACTOR Capacitor Installation Pointers Contactors When capacitors are installed at the inductive load side of the switchgear. for example. The capacitors should be left on at all times when a load is running. it may as well not have been installed for the entire month. All switches should be of extra heavy duty construction. Harmonics generated by solid state rectification can blow protective fuses. Location The preferred location for capacitors is in the switch room. they should be accessible for inspection of fuses and terminals. 16 . Harmonics Capacitors installed either in series or parallel to inductive loads can create tank circuits. Maintenance While capacitors require little maintenance. all wiring should be maximum copper crosssection. unless. there is excessive voltage during light load periods. As well. Switching Manual switching is preferred.

Harmonics. Energy Management visit www. even when not connected or in use.POWER FACTOR SAFETY Capacitors can store extremely large voltages. Always insist that experienced personnel and licensed contractors install electrical equipment.cosphi. Extreme caution must be exercised when handling them.com “The Solution Company” 17 . All electrical equipment installations must be inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) For more information on Power Factor.

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