Effective power factor : analysis and implementation



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The study reviews and examines the definitions of reactive power, apparent power, and power factor. Among the different definitions of power factor in three-phase circuits under a non-sinusoidal condition, this study adopts the definition of the effective power factor, which is also advocated by IEEE Standard 1459-2010. The effective power factor is defined as the ratio of the real power consumed by the load over the effective apparent power. The effective apparent power is the maximum power transmitted to the load (or delivered by a source) while keeping the same line losses and the same load (or source) voltage and current. The effective power factor theory gives apparent power a definite physical significance and provides more insights than other definitions in unbalanced circuits. Another merit of the effective power factor definition is that it only involves measurements and computations in the time domain. This study implements the computation of the effective power factor in MATLAB for use in PSCAD/EMTDC. The latter simulates the power system and provides three-phase voltage and current measurements. MATLAB performs the effective power factor computation and sends the results back to PSCAD. A number of simulations are provided in this report to demonstrate the validity and the accuracy of this implementation.