Power Factor Analysis

Grid Operations and Control

A use case for the analysis of power factor values and how to manage these for an optimized grid.

The Utility Problem

The power factor is the ratio of active to apparent electrical power in an alternating current (AC) circuit. Low power factor values at the appliance mean higher power losses on the supply line. Therefore, it is a very important parameter. The closer the value is to 1, the more power is transferred and the lower the line losses are. Thus, utilities should do their best to keep power factor values in the grid’s range of 0.95 – 1.

To achieve this, they first need to identify the areas of the grid where the power factor is poor. For this, it is necessary to have measured data from the grid and visualize it for better evaluation. However, only raw grid measurements are often taken, and the data is not processed or used in any way.

Once locations with poor power factors are found, various adjustments to the grid can be made (e.g. power factor compensators, filtering devices, etc.).

 

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