Our solutions
Atlas Copco Rental
Solutions
Atlas Copco Rental
Atlas Copco Rental
Atlas Copco Rental
Atlas Copco Rental
Atlas Copco Rental
Compressors
Solutions
Compressors
Compressors
Compressors
Compressors
Equipements d'alimentation en énergie
Solutions
Equipements d'alimentation en énergie
Equipements d'alimentation en énergie
Equipements d'alimentation en énergie
Outils et Solutions pour l'Industrie
Solutions
Outils et Solutions pour l'Industrie
Produits
Outils et Solutions pour l'Industrie
Produits
Produits
Produits
Produits
Produits
Produits
Outils et Solutions pour l'Industrie
Outils et Solutions pour l'Industrie
Solutions de vide
Solutions
Solutions de vide

Electric Power

In order to turn air into compressed air, you need power. This power comes in the form of electricity. Here we will learn about the three types of electric power: active, reactive and apparent power. We will also take a look at the power factor.

What is active, reactive and apparent power?

Active power P (in Watts) is the useful power that can be used for work. A Watt-meter only measures the current component that is in phase with the voltage. This is the current flowing through the resistance in the circuit. Reactive power Q (V.Ar) is the "useless" power or "out-of-phase" or "phantom" power and cannot be used for work. However, it is useful for providing the magnetizing field necessary for the motor. Apparent power S (V.A) is the power that must be consumed from the mains supply to gain access to active power.

It includes the active and reactive power and any heat losses from the electric distribution system.

The relationship between active, reactive and apparent power is usually illustrated by a power triangle.

The active power for three-phase star and delta configurations is:

What is the Power Factor?

The phase angle expresses the degree to which current and voltage are out of phase. A quantity known as the Power Factor (PF) is equal to cos φ. Many power utilities apply a penalty to their consumers for applications with a low, lagging Power Factor. This is because the electric distribution, transmission and generating equipment must be substantially oversized to accommodate the apparent power (sum of active and reactive power and of heat losses), while consumers are billed based on kWh (kilowatt hour) consumption registering active power only. Power Factor improvements often result in substantial cost savings. The PF can be improved by reducing the reactive power by:

• Using high PF equipment: lighting ballasts

• Using synchronous motors operated at leading PF at constant load

• Using PF improvement capacitors

Related articles

An Introduction to Electricity

Learn about the basics of electricity and the role it plays in the compression of air. Some basic terminology and definitions.

The Electric Motor

Learn about the basics of electric motors and how they fit into modern day air compressors.