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Clean power prevents breakdown.

For those trained in electrical theory, the concept of power factor (PF) used to be fairly simple to understand. However, with introduction of harmonics generated by today’s non-linear loads, power factor analysis has become increasingly complex which has contributed to many power factor misconceptions. Common misconceptions include:

1. Low power factor is normally caused by electrical motors and other inductive loads.

2. Any leading power factor is bad.

3. Low power factor can always be corrected by adding capacitance.

4. Power factor must always remain high to prevent power factor penalties.

5. Harmonic filters must always be equipped with contactors to switch out capacitors under light loading conditions.

6. Leading power factor is a problem for generators under any condition.

Although a low power factor does indicate that a power system is not being effectively utilized, if this occurs only when the system is lightly loaded and the reactive power component (kVAR) is quite low, there is no need for concern. Only when the power factor is quite low under more heavily loaded conditions does it need to be addressed. Placing conditions that are too rigid with respect to power factor can lead to installations that are more complex, costly and unreliable than necessary. And in many instances, a little leading power factor can be effective in compensating for inductive reactive power located elsewhere on the distribution system.

Power factor and Non-linear loads

Today, with the heavy proliferation of non-linear loads, low power factor on a power system is often the result of a high distortion reactive power component and not inductive reactive power. Therefore, one can no longer say that low power factor is normally caused by electric motors and other inductive loads. And since the best way to improve a poor power factor caused by non-linear loads is to remove the harmonic currents, the traditional means of adding power factor correction capacitors is, quite often, no longer suitable due to the proliferation of non linear loads like drives. In fact, simply adding capacitors may often make the problem worse as they can resonate with the power system inductance.

The large capacitor banks of conventional trap filters and most broadband filters present a high capacitive reactance to the power system which can raise voltages or cause excitation control problems in generator applications. WAVEFORMS TERMINATOR designed to have a maximum capacitive reactive power of 15% which is less than ½ of the 35% - 40% of other passive filters.

Generators, Leading PF and Capacitive reactance

The ability of a generator to handle leading power factor loads is often raised as a concern. Although it is true that excessive capacitive reactive power can cause voltage regulation, excitation control and other issues with a generator’s operation, they can definitely tolerate a leading power factor at certain levels. All generator manufacturers publish reactive power capability curves for their generators from which a user can determine the acceptable levels of reactive power for the generator, both capacitive and inductive.

There are many benefits for a power system to have a high power factor but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a low leading power factor at light loads is a problem. Harmonics generated by non-linear loads introduce distortion reactive power which will lower power factor. The conventional method of installing power factor correction capacitors however, is not an effective way of increasing power factor under these conditions. In fact, power factor correction capacitors can often make the situation worse if they happen to resonate with the power system inductance. Our engineers have the necessary experience and expertise to simulate conditions and provide optimum solution. We have a wide range of harmonic mitigating solutions to provide ideal and cost effective solutions. One needs to note that some solutions can be worse than the problem hence due care needs to be taken when arriving at solutions.

Automatic Power Factor Correction

Automatic power factor correction systems are designed to automatically turn power factor correction capacitors on or off to maintain a desired target power factor under varying load conditions on the low voltage distribution systems of industrial, institutional, and commercial facilities. WAVEFORMS design team are experienced and possess the desired expertise to assist you in assessing your requirement accurately. We are well equipped with the tools (including simulation software) to analyse and predict your requirement based on the type of load of your electric system.

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Detuned Power Factor Correction

The increasing use of modern power electronics apparatus (drives, ups, etc.) produces harmonics. Due to the flow of harmonics the capacitor act as a harmonic sink and cause resonance. This resonant phenomena can be avoided by connecting capacitor in series with anti-resonance filter called as detuned.

We WAVEFORMS have plausible solution for power factor correction with anti-resonant filter, which basically helps to block the harmonics and improve the reliability, durability and decrease the power consumption.

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Dynamic Power Factor Correction

The usage of new technologies in modern industries claims for faster and more dynamic power factor correction banks that follow the faster process and allow a “REAL TIME” power factor correction or Dynamic Power Factor correction. This system use electronic switches called thyristor modules which allow an infinite number of switching operations on one hand and ensures an extremely fast reaction time upon load changes. High inrush currents* is one of the big problems while switching shunt capacitor with conventional contactors. Thyristor switches have ZERO CROSSING SWITCHING techniques i.e.) the capacitors are switched ON/OFF during every ZERO CROSSING of the sinusoidal wave and therefore transient current can be eliminated.

* - Inrush current can damage capacitor and equippment connected to the load.

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Features & Benefits


Increased system capacity (generators, cables, transformers).


May reduce harmonics on the power system (with harmonic filters).


Reduced electric utility bill if there is a penalty (a typical payback 1-5 years).


Reduced losses in transformers and cables.


Improved voltage regulation.


Greening the power system.

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