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Leading vs Lagging Power factor

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Member level 3
Jul 18, 2015
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Do they have the same effect in terms of apparent power.Apparent power would be the same for P+jQ and P-jQ,right?And I have always seen where adding capacitor in parallel to an inductive load increases power factor.What should be done with a leading load.Should an inductor be added in parallel? (I know for a fact that capacitors are added because they can supply leading VARs)And lastly which one is more efficient out of these two power factors,leading or lagging?

Power factor is a number between 0 and 1, it can't be "leading" or "lagging". You can have leading or lagging current.

Respecctively, this question makes no sense
And lastly which one is more efficient out of these two power factors,leading or lagging?
I also don't see how reactive power can be "efficient".

You could compensate capacitive reactive load ("leading current") with a parallel inductor. But I'm not aware of technical loads with capacitive reactive current.


leading is capacitive behaviour
lagging is inductive behaviour


What is the difference if I operate at 0.8 lagging or 0.8 leading?I will have to supply the same kVA..The first thing you pointed out is a technicality.Books do refer to power factor as leading and lagging.And yes there aren't many capacitive loads.But they can be compensated by adding an inductor in parallel.

You may consider Apparent Power to be leading or lagging and that p.f.=Real/Apparent Pwr. as the effective utilization of power which is the same for both scenarios.

Motors are the biggest loads with lagging current and apparent power.

Non linear loads such as diode cap rectifiers are leading pulsed currents and have low p.f. and lots of THD unless corrected, filtered etc.

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