Joe Evans is responsible for customer and employee education at PumpTech Inc., a pump and packaged system manufacturer and distributor with branches throughout the Pacific Northwest. He may be reached via his website PumpEd101.com.
In the residential sector, homes have many small motors that power washers, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, heating systems and other devices. Although most are fractional horsepower, they typically have a very low PF (0.6 to 0.7).
When all the small motors run together, they may produce between 1 and 2 horsepower.
Multiply that by several thousand homes, and PF becomes a significant problem for the utility. That is why utilities have their own PF correction facilities spread throughout their distribution systems.
Several resources can provide more information on PF correction.
The first two cover larger installations, and the third covers correction for a single motor. They will also help you determine if PF correction is worth the investment.
- Power Factor in Electrical Energy Management pdhonline.org/courses/e144/e144content.pdf
- Power Factor Correction: A Guide for the Plant Engineer eaton.com/ecm/groups/public/@pub/@electrical/documents/content/sa02607001e.pdf
- The Cowern Papers pumped101.com/index.html#cowern