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POWER TRIANGLE

Power triangle

While direct current has one form of power, alternating current has three different forms of power that are related in a unique relationship. In this chapter, you will learn that power in AC circuits cannot be calculated in the same manner as in DC circuits. EO 1.1 DESCRIBE the relationship between apparent, true, and reactive power by definition or by using a power triangle. DEFINE power factor as it relates to true power and apparent power. Given the necessary values for voltage (E), resistance (R), reactance (X), impedance (Z), and/or current (I), CALCULATE the following power components for an AC circuit: a. True power (P) b. c. d. EO 1.4 Apparent power (S) Reactive power (Q) Power factor (pf)

EO 1.2 EO 1.3

DEFINE the following terms: a. Leading power factor

b. Lagging power factor

Power Triangle

In AC circuits, current and voltage are normally out of phase and, as a result, not all the power produced by the generator can be used to accomplish work. By the same token, power cannot be calculated in AC circuits in the same manner as in DC circuits. The power triangle, shown in Figure 1, equates AC power to DC power by showing the relationship between generator output (apparent power - S) in volt-amperes (VA), usable power (true power - P) in watts, and wasted or stored power (reactive power - Q) in volt-amperes-reactive (VAR). The phase angle (q) represents the inefficiency of the AC circuit and corresponds to the total reactive impedance (Z) to the current flow in the circuit.

Figure 1 Power Triangle

Equation (9-3) is a mathematical representation for reactive power.Basic AC Power Power triangle The power triangle represents comparable values that can be used directly to find the efficiency level of generated power to usable power. Equation (9-1) is a mathematical representation of apparent power. The measurement of apparent power is in volt. reactive power. The measurement of true power is in watts. S = I2Z = ITE Where S = apparent power (VA) I = RMS current (A) E = RMS voltage (V) Z = impedance (W) True Power True power (P) is the power consumed by the resistive loads in an electrical circuit. P = I2R = EI cosq where P = true power (watts) I = RMS current (A) E = RMS voltage (V) R = resistance (W) q = angle between E and I sine waves (9-2) Reactive Power Reactive power (Q) is the power consumed in an AC circuit because of the expansion and collapse of magnetic (inductive) and electrostatic (capacitive) fields. Equation (9-2) is a mathematical representation of true power. Reactive power is expressed in volt-amperesreactive (VAR). Q= I2X = EI sinq (9-3) where Q = reactive power (VAR) X = net reactance (W) I = RMS current (A) E = RMS voltage (V) q = angle between the E and I sine waves . which is expressed as the power factor (discussed later). Apparent Power Apparent power (S) is the power delivered to an electrical circuit.amperes (VA). Apparent power. and true power can be calculated by using the DC equivalent (RMS value) of the AC voltage and current components along with the power factor.

is dissipated by the circuit resistance in the form of heat. Equation (9-4) is a mathematical representation of power factor. We know that alternating current constantly changes. Power Factor Power factor (pf) is the ratio between true power and apparent power. called true power. It is the ratio of true power to apparent power. It is all returned to the source.Basic AC Power Power triangle Unlike true power. is thus zero. Total Power The total power delivered by the source is the apparent power. Cosq is called the power factor (pf) of an AC circuit. Cosq = P/S Where cosq = power factor (pf) P = true power (watts) S = apparent power (VA) Power factor also determines what part of the Figure 2 Lagging Power Factor apparent power is real power. It can vary from 1. because they expand and collapse their magnetic fields in an attempt to keep current constant. when the phase angle is 0°. The true power. The power delivered to the capacitance is stored in the electrostatic field when the capacitor is charging and returned to the source when the capacitor discharges. as shown in Figure 2 (9-4) Figure 2 Lagging Power Factor . reactive power is not useful power because it is stored in the circuit itself. Part of this apparent power. and by capacitors. Circuit inductance and capacitance consume and give back reactive power. thus. to 0. where q is the phase angle between the applied voltage and current sine waves and also between P and S on a power triangle (Figure1). This power is stored by inductors. and reactive power is the power that is stored in an AC circuit. Reactive power is a function of a system’s amperage. True power is the power consumed by an AC circuit. The power delivered to the inductance is stored in the magnetic field when the field is expanding and returned to the source when the field collapses. None of the power delivered to the circuit by the source is consumed. the cycle of expansion and collapse of the magnetic and electrostatic fields constantly occurs. The rest of the apparent power is returned to the source by the circuit inductance and capacitance. In an inductive circuit. the current lags the voltage and is said to have a lagging power factor. when the phase angle is 90°. which is the power consumed. because they charge and discharge in an attempt to keep voltage constant.

"ELI the ICE man.com . :Krishna murari : raju_murari2000@yahoo. the current leads the voltage and is said to have a leading power factor.Basic AC Power Power triangle Figure 3 Leading Power Factor In a capacitive circuit. A mnemonic memory device. ELI refers to an inductive circuit (L) where current (I) lags voltage (E)." can be used to remember the voltage/current relationship in AC circuits. ICE refers to a capacitive circuit (C) where current (I) leads voltage (E). as shown in Figure 3.

Apparent power is a function of a circuit's total impedance (Z). This “phantom power” is called reactive power. As a rule.Basic AC Power Power triangle We know that reactive loads such as inductors and capacitors dissipate zero power. and not merely the “real” or “imaginary” portion of the current. Reactive power is a function of a circuit's reactance (X). P=IE being useful only for that purpose. rather than watts. without reference to phase angle. I must use the polar magnitude for current. The combination of reactive power and true power is called apparent power. Resistive load only: . usually resistances (R). reactance. and it is the product of a circuit's voltage and current. a purely reactive load in Figure below. if I'm calculating true power from current and resistance. There are several power equations relating the three types of power to resistance. Since we're dealing with scalar quantities for power calculation. Apparent power is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps (VA) and is symbolized by the capital letter S. and impedance (all using scalar quantities): Please note that there are two equations each for the calculation of true and reactive power. The mathematical symbol for reactive power is (unfortunately) the capital letter Q. There are three equations available for the calculation of apparent power. both of these formerly complex quantities must be reduced to their polar magnitudes for the scalar arithmetic. and it is measured in a unit called Volt-Amps-Reactive (VAR). Examine the following circuits and see how these three types of power interrelate for: a purely resistive load in Figure below. not by real or imaginary rectangular components. If I'm calculating apparent power from voltage and impedance. and a resistive/reactive load in Figure below. and impedance must be represented by their polar magnitudes. current. in a circuit is called true power. any complex starting quantities such as voltage. as always). true power is a function of a circuit's dissipative elements. and it is measured in watts (symbolized by the capital letter P. The actual amount of power being used. yet the fact that they drop voltage and draw current gives the deceptive impression that they actually do dissipate power. For instance. or dissipated.

Reactive load only: True power. and apparent power for a purely reactive load. and apparent power for a purely resistive load. reactive power. reactive power.Basic AC Power Power triangle True power. Resistive/reactive load: .

and apparent -. and S = hypotenuse length. we can solve for the length of any side (amount of any type of power). and apparent power for a resistive/reactive load. reactive power. reactive. Q = opposite length. or the length of one side and an angle. We call this the power triangle: (Figure below). . True power is symbolized by the letter P and is measured in the unit of Watts (W).relate to one another in trigonometric form. both dissipated and absorbed/returned is referred to as apparent power.true. These three types of power are trigonometrically related to one another. Reactive power is symbolized by the letter Q and is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps-Reactive (VAR). Power triangle relating appearant power to true power and reactive power. Power merely absorbed and returned in load due to its reactive properties is referred to as reactive power. The opposite angle is equal to the circuit's impedance (Z) phase angle.Basic AC Power True power. REVIEW: Power dissipated by a load is referred to as true power. Power triangle These three types of power -. P = adjacent length. Using the laws of trigonometry. In a right triangle. Total power in an AC circuit. Apparent power is symbolized by the letter S and is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps (VA). given the lengths of the other two sides.

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