Sales and technical support 07572 532 884


safe payments by secure trading

What is power factor?

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Not all the current in the electrical distribution system is used for doing useful work at customers' premises.Simplifying dramatically some of it is simply current that washes back and forth.

Power factor is a measure of how much of the current is doing useful work as a fraction of the total current - the electricity company would like the power factor to be as close to one as possible. The power factor is never greater than one and often is between 0.6 and 0.9 and is sometimes written as cosø because it can be depicted as the angle in a triangle that electrical engineers draw.

When the power factor is low the electrical distribution companies have to put in extra large cables, generating stations, and special power factor correction equipment to make sure that the consumers at the end of the line still get the power they need.

In some countries consumers who have poor power factors are directly charged extra for this, and in other countries the extra cost is spread across everyone irrespective of whether they have good or bad power factors. The extra generating capacity also ends up contributing to increased pollution, as some spare capacity needs to be kept in service even if it is not on line.


At Boost we can build phase converters that will improve your power factor. This makes it cheaper for you as a client, means that your electricity company will be happy, and reduces pollution.