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Directory:Power Factor Correction
Directory of Power Factor Correction and Power Conditioning technologies and resources.
- Explanation of Power Factor - L M Photonics Ltd. sells power factor calculator.
There is truth in the fact that our homes have devices which consume electricity at reduced power factors. As an example we know that "CFL light bulbs" have a Power factor of between 55% and 70%, while incandescent light bulbs have a power factor of 100%. All electric motors, including fridges, air conditioners, fans and computers generate reactive power which will affect a circuits power factor.
Based on the above information it sounds logical that a technology which corrects power factor would save money.
But this is NOT a correct conclusion at all. Improving consumer power factor, assuming the technology works as claimed, has ZERO affect on the amount of money a consumer is charged for electricity.
A reduced power factor does not mean lost electricity, it means that the phase of the electricity has been moved away from the the optimal of 100%. The costs of this inefficiency are real, but they are in the distribution losses to the utility, who must deliver the power and then receive it back. At time of peak demand this can cause extra costs as the utilities bring less efficient equipment on line to meet the demand, but it is a complex topic and one where industrial consumption is a much bigger issue than consumer.
Almost all consumers share a distribution circuit with other home owners. Power factor phase shift is the net of all power phase shift on a circuit. It is quite possible that one home owners phase shift is the correction of another home owners. This is why consumers cannot individually address this issue, it is a matter for the utilities and device manufacturers.
Commercial and industrial supply are a different issue all together, here dedicated circuits are in place, and correcting the power factor directly affects the utility, and savings are allowed. But again, they are distribution adjustments, not 35% savings as might be though from the name "power factor".
- NAAC Energy Controls - Offers the most advanced and best in World Power Quality Solutions with thrust in the key areas of energy audit India, energy saving and Power Quality Management India.
- sEnergy Solution introducing motor, lighting, and thermal-control efficiency retrofit solutions - Motor control unit only pulls as much energy as is required to maintain torque, resulting in far lower net energy consumption and longer motor life. Enables soft start, soft stop, hard start, and other features. (PESN; Oct. 19, 2006)
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- Pacific KVAR Power Conditioning Units - The KVAR/KEC system reduces the amount of power drawn from the utility by eliminating otherwise lost electricity (reactive power) created by inductive loads at any given facility. The KVAR Energy Controller unit stores and releases this reactive power thus eliminating this wasted energy.
- Xedia Technologies, Inc. XPower Saver - Supplies reactive power locally at the load by the use of specially designed capacitors. Improves Power Factor closer to Unity resulting in better electrical efficiency and cooler motors. There is now also a 3-phase 240v device called the XPS.
- USES® Power Enhancement Systems - Power conditioning hardware for industry, to reduce electrical consumption, protect equipment and save money.
- Powergy Clean Power Systems - power conditioning devices for sale for residential, small business, commercial applications; increases efficiency of power usage and longevity of appliances.
- The Power-Save 1200™ - "The Power-Save 1200™ energy saver is responsible for thousands of Americans saving millions of combined dollars on their utility bills! The Power-Save 1200™ saves families as much as 25% on their electric bill every month without sacrificing normal energy consumption and the comforts it provides."
- Electrotek - Specialists in the design and manufacture of power factor correction equipment and harmonic filters.
- Mini Sun Power - This Korean company has been manufacturing and distributing electricity saving devices since 1998.
- Compact Fluorescent >
Are U.S. CFL's Designed to Make Us Pay More on Our Power Bills? - In Europe, a small capacitor is added to Compact Fluorescent Lamps for power conditioning and additional savings on the utility bills. Similar savings can be realized on AC motors. Why are these inexpensive modifications omitted from U.S. CFLs and many residential motors? (PESWiki; Aug 25, 2008)
Power factor correction is usually used in industrial settings, where large inductive load exists; in which case distribution inefficiencies are best eliminated, and greater longevity of the appliances achieved.
The typical power factor for a consumer ranges from 75% to 90% depending on the inductive loads such as from a pool pump, or a koi pond pump -- unless the unit does not draw current during "idle" mode when no inductive load is present, and potentially CFL lighting which ranges from 55% to 75%.
Most modern home appliances that have inductive loads, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, and come with power factor conditioning built in.
When the power factor is less than 100% it means that there is a phase shift between voltage and current. It does not mean that power is lost! Consumer tariffs are based on Real Power KWH, only the electricity actually consumed by a device and not the electricity drawn KVA - kilovolt-ampere. The consumer electrical tariffs include provision for the distribution losses which this "out of phase" might cause the electricity supplier.
A detailed explanation of power factor correction is worth reading if you are that technically inclined.
It is true that electricity suppliers need to manage their distribution networks, and that power factor IS one of the factors that impacts their distribution losses. But distribution losses will not be solved by consumers. They are aggregate issues that can only be solved by the utility companies (the smart grid) in partnership with industry and device manufacturers
Although it is technically possible for the power factor to be corrected doing so will have NO affect on a consumers electricity bill. Buying a power factor correcting units for home use is certainly a waste of money. It will increase home energy consumption by the amount the power factor correcting device uses!
Because power factor correction can be demonstrated, and because power factor correction technologies do work, consumers are being duped into thinking that power factor correction (demonstrated by sales persons offering free energy audits) will reduce their energy bills. This is misrepresentation marketing at best, and potentially fraud.
Here is a complete list of questionable power factor correction systems and other energy saving scams like DIY windmills, DIY solar power and magnetic generators being promoted as ways to reduce home owner electricity costs.
This directive of smart ways to save electricity will be a significant help to any wanting to save, and wanting to avoid the many scams doing the rounds.
Reports by Sterling D. Allan
- My experience with Power Factor Correction unit on my home - consumed more energy because of low usage time; unit itself continually draws energy.
- Installing a Unit on My Home - was very easy (results were not as expected, though, and unit was removed about 1.5 months later).
- DMOZ > Power Factor - listing of companies and solutions
- Google >
Note: open4energy has read the linked reports in full. There is an error in the explanation which needs to be noted:
Real Power - stated in Kilowatts is described as being Volts x Amps - This is not correct - this is the definition of Kva - volt-amperes
For the studies to help us understand the data, we would need the power factor reading during the respective periods of testing.
But, it is not unexpected that the electricity bill remained unchanged by power factor correction. Delivering 1000Kva at 100% power factor for one hour results in billing of 1 Kwh and delivering 2000Kva at 50% power factor for one hour results in billing of 1 Kwh.
Yes the utility suffers for delivering 2000Kva and having 50% returned to them, but they only lose the distribution costs not the energy. Electricity is a wave energy, not a physical energy.
Consumers are billed on Kwh - the same in either case above - with correction and without - hence the NO savings in the electricity bill for consumer power factor correction!
See Discussion page