How to Improve the Power Factor of an Electrical Distribution System

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One of the most effect ways to improve the power factor of the electrical distribution system is to install equipment that have the ability to decrease the reactive component of the power supplied by the utility company. One of such equipment is the Capacitor. Other equipment with the same ability to decrease reactive power includes:
Synchronous motors
Synchronous generators
We can reduce reactive power and increase power factor in an electrical distribution system by the following method:

Installing Capacitors
Installing capacitors decreases the magnitude of reactive power (KVAR), thus increasing your power factor. A capacitor freely supplies the distribution system with what is called a Leading reactive power compared to the Lagging reactive power supplied by the utility company. With capacitors in the electrical distribution system, the ‘’reactive powers’’ cancel each other out depending on the size of capacitor (in micro-farad) in use or at best reduces the level of reactive power in the distribution system.
The presence of both a capacitor and inductor in the same circuit results in the continuous alternating transfer of energy between the two. Thus, when the circuit is balanced, all the energy released by the inductor is absorbed by the capacitor. In effect, a capacitor cancels out the effect of an inductive load.

Minimizing Operation of Idling or Lightly Loaded Motors
We have already established the fact that a major cause of low power factor in most industrial premises is the prevalence of a large number of induction motors. The problem of low power factor will be compounded if most of theses electric motors are lightly loaded or left to idle away without any load. To prevent this from happening, induction motors should be appropriately loaded and idling of the motors should be discouraged.

Replacing Standard Motors as they Burn out with Energy-Efficient Motors
The rising cost of energy is leading us into an era where every device that consumes energy need to be energy efficient. With energy-efficient motors, power factor can be significantly improved but even with these kinds of electric motors, power factor can be adversely affected by variations in load. A motor must therefore be operated near its rated load in order to realize the benefits of a high power factor design.

Avoid Operation of Equipment above its rated Voltage.
This is also another potential cause of low power factor. This should be avoided within a facility.

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