Understanding the basics: What is Power Factor Correction?

What is power factor? (a summary)

Power factor in simple terms

What the measurements mean

How to calculate power factor

How does the power factor correction formula work?

A step-by-step guide to using the PFC calculation formula

  • Real Power (kW): This component of the formula represents the actual power being used by the load to perform useful work, such as generating heat, light, or motion. Real power is measured in kilowatts (kW) and is what you typically pay for on your electricity bill.
  • Apparent Power (kVA): This component represents the total power supplied to the circuit, including both real power and reactive power. Apparent power is measured in kilovolt-amperes (kVA). Reactive power arises from the inductive or capacitive elements in the circuit, which don’t perform “useful” work.
  • Ratio Calculation: The Power Factor Correction formula calculates the ratio of real power to apparent power. This is done by dividing the real power (kW) by the apparent power (kVA) to get a decimal value between 0 and 1 or a percentage between 0% and 100%.

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