With the development of new inverter type power sources with sophisticated controls and ever increasing demands for energy efficiency, new types of power sources are being introduced. These systems incorporate an ‘Active Power Factor Corrector’ (active PFC) system that controls the amount of power drawn by a load in order to obtain Power Factor as close as possible to unity. In most applications, the active PFC controls the unit input current of the load so that the current waveform is proportional to the mains voltage waveform (a sine wave) improving efficiency.
The advantages of PFC are:
The energy used in the inverter is around 70% active power and 30% reactive power. The active power is that which is used to perform work and the reactive is lost in either the current line or the inverter. The use of PFC results in an energy saving of 30%.
The saving on reactive power will result in lower energy costs.
The reduction of 30% input consumption will decrease the energy loss also. This means the fuel demand is reduced and hence a fall in CO2 emissions which is a major contributor to the ‘green house effect’.
With less current demand from the mains a PFC machine can exploit the full use of input giving more output for the same input as standard (non PFC) machines.
Input Power Flexibility
The wide input voltage tolerance of PFC means that it can be used on engine driven welders, power generators and a wide range of mains input voltage.
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