Power Factor Explanation in Very Easy Manner

Power factor is defined as the ratio between real and apparent power. After going through this post you’ll be able to master the power factor.

Real power, reactive and apparent

Real power is the actual power which is measured in watts, whereas the Reactive power is utilized in the reactive element of the equipment. For example, consider the example of the fan where the reactive power generates the magnetic field in the motor so as to rotate the fan of the motor. The reactive power is the power which continuously bounces back and forth between source and load. It is expressed by Q and is expressed in VAR. Apparent power is the product of voltage and the current flowing across the equipment. It is the power which is considered without including the phase angle. Let’s summarize our discussions in mathematical form:

  1. Real power → P = VI cos θ
  2. Reactive power → Q = VI sin θ
  3. Apparent power  → S = VI
The power factor is simply defined as the ratio between real and reactive power. It can also be defined as the ratio between resistive and reactive load.
The video below illustrates the power factor:

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