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Site updated: 18.11.17

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What is PFC (Power Factor Correction)?


If you are interested in being "green" and saving the planet, you might like to read a short explanation of how our power supplies can save energy using Active PFC (Power Factor Correction), not to be confused with Power Conversion Efficiency which is also very good in most of our PSUs. "Power Factor" is a measure of how efficiently electrical power is consumed. Ideally, Power Factor would be 1 (or 100%) and known as unity.

Unfortunately in the real world, Power Factor is reduced by highly inductive loads down to values of 0.7 (70%) or less. This induction is caused by equipment such as small electric motors, fans, fluorescent lighting ballasts and transformers such as those in PSUs. This is bad news for the electricity generating companies who can impose a surcharge on heavy users if they have a consistently low Power Factor, as more electricity has to be produced to make up the shortfall.

Power Factor Correction (PFC) is used in some equipment to minimise the inductive component of the electrical current. This helps to reduce the losses in the electrical supply to that equipment. Power Factor Correction capacitors are normally used to reduce induction in an electrical load, which minimises wasted energy and hence improves the efficiency of a company and reduces electricity costs.

It is not usually practical to reach unity, i.e. Power Factor 1, and it seems that most electricity supply companies accept consumers having a Power Factor as low as 0.94 (94%) without imposing a surcharge. Unfortunately most of the cheap (and not so cheerful) PSUs tend to have a Passive PF as low as 0.75 or 75% which in a large office can lead to a PF surcharge.

However, the good news is that most of Quiet PC's PSUs implement a system known as Active PFC which involves some clever electronics. This means that their power factor (PF) can be as high as 0.94 or 94% (at full load), while harmful harmonic frequencies are reduced to well below legal requirements. So by using our products, you can be happy in the knowledge that you are doing your bit to save the planet!

 

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Brawby Grange
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Malton
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