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The Importance of Reactive Power

Reactive power cannot be avoided, as inductive loads require it in order to generate and maintain magnetic fields. As a result, an electrical circuit will have both active and reactive energy. 

Power Factor is represented by the symbol, cosφ and the circulation of reactive power in the electrical network has major technical and economic consequences. For the same active power P, a higher reactive power means a higher apparent power, and thus, a higher current must be supplied. 

  • The circulation of active power over time results in active energy (kWh).
  • The circulation of reactive power over time results in reactive energy (kvarh)

It should be noted, however, that the requirement for reactive energy in a distribution network can also lead to the following:

  • Transformer overload
  • Rise in temperature throughout the system
  • Large voltage drops
  • Higher energy consumption and cost
  • Less distributed active power

Power factor correction occurs when reactive energy is generated at the load. This can be achieved by the use of capacitors, which produce reactive energy in opposition to the energy absorbed by loads such as motors. The improved power factor reduces power losses and efficiently improves energy consumption. Since the capacitors are providing the reactive power, there are no longer line charges for reactive power. 

kVAr Solutions Power factor correction units can be capacitor based, a Hybrid System, or the full SVG system.