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Thread: power factor correction

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    power factor correction

    i did some research into power factor correction for the home owner and found a couple of sites which had developed a small box type PFC unit for the domestic market...but most people shoot it down because they say it is not viable for the domestic market.

    my question is surely if you look into the link powersaving .co.za and check out the fridge appliance test you will notice how much the load affects the power...resistive compared to the compressor...surely even a small amount of saving like this would make a difference especially considering...your fridge...swimming pool...dishwasher...tumble drier...home entertainment centre...aircons...to list a few all contribute to the electricity bill at the end of the month...surely installing a pfc unit to improve the pf would make a difference at the end of the month...and make your home a little more energy efficient...i know in industry the pfc units are expensive so installing them are not always the best option purely because of the initial outlay...however if they were more affordable could impact positively to the overal power consumption nation wide...eskom is always telling us to be more energy efficient....why are they not promoting this type product?


    pfc can also negatively effect the installtion if designed and installed incorrectly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    i did some research into power factor correction for the home owner and found a couple of sites which had developed a small box type PFC unit for the domestic market...but most people shoot it down because they say it is not viable for the domestic market.
    I'm not sure about other areas of SA but as far as I know domestic customers aren't penalised financially for poor power factor so correction of PF in a domestic installation wouldn't make financial sense.

    The items in a domestic environment that might cause poor power factor would be;

    Garage door motor
    Gate motor
    Bathroom fan
    Irrigation pump motor
    Swimming pool motor
    Fridge compressor motor
    Computer switch mode power supplies
    Fluorescent lighting ballasts

    All of the above are intermittent loads possibly with the exception of the computers which some people prefer to leave running. The problem with intermittent loads is that you can't introduce power factor correction in the DB or at the point of incoming supply because when these loads aren't running you would be over-correcting the power factor which is equally as undesirable as not correcting at all.

    Any power factor correction would need to be installed on a point by point basis at each individual appliance. In technical terms this is gonna get messy, invasive and expensive with no financial gain for the customer. This is why I've always considered domestic PFC to be a white elephant.
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    I agree....power factor only really effect consumers billed for KVA. That's my understanding anyway.

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