Power Supply FAQs
  • Questions about active power factor correction (PFC):

    • What is "power factor"?

    • Power factor, or “PF” for short, is the ratio of the real power used by a device, to the apparent power used by that device.

      Real power is the capacity of the circuit for performing work in a particular time and is measured in Watts. Apparent power is the product of the voltage and current (V x A ÷ PF) of the circuit and is measured in volt-amperage (or “VA”.) It is true that it sounds almost as if Watts and VA are technically the same thing, and in DC they are (240W DC is equal to 240VA DC, for example) but because energy stored in the load of a device using alternating current (AC) is either returned to the source, or has a distorted wave shape due to a non-linear load, the apparent power can actually be greater than the real power. This would give you a power factor of less than 1. Power factor below .70 is generally considered poor power factor.

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