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How to Measure Power Factor #68729
08/15/06 07:00 AM
08/15/06 07:00 AM
R
rhpope  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 18
North Carolina
How do you measure power factor and what do you measure it with. Is there some type of hand held meter that can be used to measure watts as I am told this is really what you are looking for and trying to reduce?

Thanks,
Roger

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: How to Measure Power Factor #68730
08/15/06 12:28 PM
08/15/06 12:28 PM
J
John Crighton  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 177
Southern California
I assume you're asking about a meter for small appliances that plug into 120 V receptacles. Fortunately, there's a really neat meter for the purpose, and it's less than $25.

Froogle "kill-a-watt" -- you can't miss it.

It's a digital meter that measures RMS voltage and current, frequency, power, power factor, and VA, and it's become an indispensable part of my tool kit.

Re: How to Measure Power Factor #68731
08/15/06 01:49 PM
08/15/06 01:49 PM
D
derater  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 179
Hey, John what model do you have, do they vary in options/ performance? Froogle? I thought you were kidding!!

Re: How to Measure Power Factor #68732
08/15/06 03:04 PM
08/15/06 03:04 PM
J
John Crighton  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 177
Southern California
I'm pretty sure there's only one model, the P4400. Here's the manufacturer's web page for it.

They make great gifts for gadget geeks!

Re: How to Measure Power Factor #68733
08/15/06 03:27 PM
08/15/06 03:27 PM
D
Dnkldorf  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
Roger,

What exactly are you looking to measure, or is your question in general about PF?

Re: How to Measure Power Factor #68734
08/16/06 05:57 AM
08/16/06 05:57 AM
R
rhpope  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 18
North Carolina
The power factor question is related to a Rotary Phase Converter. I am trying to reduce the converters power consumption to the least possible amount. I just wanted to know how to measure the power draw from the two single phase legs on the input side so that is necessary I can add capacitance between these two legs to get the power factor closer to 0.9. Everything that I have been read is that a Rotary Phase Converter produces a bad power factor.

Roger

Re: How to Measure Power Factor #68735
08/16/06 09:14 AM
08/16/06 09:14 AM
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
First of all...the "Kill-a-watt" is sold in the ECN store!

Power factor, simply put, is the difference between "watts" and "kva."

If you have a steady load, you can get a good idea by comparing the meter reading to whay you get when you measure volts, measure amps, and multiply the result. This is one of those times you want to have "true RMS' type meters!

Re: How to Measure Power Factor #68736
08/16/06 09:50 AM
08/16/06 09:50 AM
D
Dnkldorf  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
Roger, count me in on this one. I want to see you get through it, and learn with you if you don't mind.


Give us the motor size and readings, and we can walk you through it, and all learn something together.

Radar??

Re: How to Measure Power Factor #68737
09/12/06 12:40 PM
09/12/06 12:40 PM
A
Almost Fried  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 98
Madison County, Ark. USA
rhpope, what did you ever do about this concern?

Re: How to Measure Power Factor #68738
09/14/06 11:56 AM
09/14/06 11:56 AM
Trumpy  Offline

Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,231
SI,New Zealand
Reno is quite right here.
Power factor is the ratio of useful power(VxI) to useless (Wattless) power in a circuit or even an entire installation.
To a degree, the lower the wattless component, the higher the power factor.
It is about using the most from what you have supplied to you.
We had a dedicated PF meter at the PoCo, but I can't at this moment remember how it was wired.
What's even more scary, is the fact that I built the thing in the first place. [Linked Image]

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