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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Power factor correction in residential service


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Old 02-07-2009, 08:46:52 AM
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PaulGray PaulGray is offline
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Question Power factor correction in residential service

Been reading about correcting the power factor for inductive loads in the home. Is it true that the residential meters only measure true kW and automatically calculate in an offset for the assumed power factor? Was interested in some sort of p.f. correcting device to reduce the monthly bill..... What's the scoop?
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:16:06 AM
Jim Rankin Jim Rankin is offline
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Default Re: Power factor correction in residential service

The scoop is you pay for the kWh and the power co charges you a rate that factors in the increased size of the transmission lines and switch gear to handle the kVAr needed. You will not get anything back from them even if your power factor was 1.0 Your power factor probably isn't all that low anyway unless you have eliminated all the incandescent lighting and heating elements in your home in favor of more efficient technologies.

An industrial plant may have a poorer power factor because of extensive use of HID lighting, many electric motors etc. Sometimes industrial comsumers are charged a penalty for power factor below .95 or 1.0 even to encourage them to correct their own/pay for the power co doing it.

Power factor correction is a fertile ground for "snake oil" salesmen. It's sort of like selling ice to eskimos when the power co isn't charging a penalty or you can't recover it.
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:30:41 PM
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Default Re: Power factor correction in residential service

Thanks Jim!!
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