Power factor correction is a technique used in electrical engineering to improve the power factor of an electrical system. The power factor is a measure of the efficiency with which electrical power is used in a system. A low power factor means that the system is using power inefficiently, leading to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills. Power factor correction helps to optimize the use of electrical power, reduce energy waste, and improve the overall efficiency of an electrical system.
Power factor correction is typically achieved by adding power factor correction devices, such as capacitors or inductors, to the electrical system. These devices are connected in parallel or series with the load, and they work by storing or releasing reactive power to counterbalance the reactive power drawn by the load. Reactive power is the power that alternates between the source and the
load, without being converted into useful work, and it can cause a low power factor.
When power factor correction devices, such as capacitors, are added to the electrical system, they
introduce reactive power of opposite sign to the reactive power drawn by the load. This helps to neutralize the reactive power, resulting in a higher power factor. Capacitors are commonly used for
power factor correction because they can store and release electrical energy quickly, making them effective for compensating reactive power in real-time.
Power factor correction can be implemented at various levels, including individual appliances, buildings, or at the utility level. It is commonly used in industrial and commercial settings where
large electrical loads are present, and where optimizing power factor can result in significant energy savings and improved electrical system performance.
In summary, power factor correction is a technique that involves adding power factor correction devices, such as capacitors or inductors, to an electrical system to counterbalance the reactive power drawn by the load, thereby improving the power factor and increasing the overall efficiency of the electrical system.