What is the value of Load Factor? Load factor is a very important factor in electrical power system. It depends on average load and the maximum demand. A high load factor means the load is using electrical energy more efficiently. Whereas a low load factor indicates the electrical energy used insufficiently compared to maximum demand. Let’s discuss about load factor.
What is a Load Factor?
The load factor is a ratio of average load to the maximum demand in a given time of period. Mathematically it is defined as below,
What is the value of load factor?
For example, if average load of a certain time of period is 80kW and maximum demand of that time of period is 100kW. The Load Factor then is
In other words, the Load Factor is the ratio of total energy (kWh) used over a specific period of time to the total possible energy available within that period. The mathematical expression of this as follows,
For example, if 18,000 kWh energy is used in a month and the maximum load for that month is 50 kW. Then the Load Factor is.
For generators or power plants, the Load Factor is a very important factor to find the efficiency of the power plants. In case of power plants, the Load factor is defined as a ratio of energy generated in a given time of period to the product of maximum load and number of hours of operation.
The Load Factor can be calculated over any time of period. Generally it is calculated based on a daily, monthly and annual basis. The below equations show the Load Factor for a different time.
For example, let, a power plant monthly generates 36,000 kWh energy and the maximum load is 100 kW. The the Load Factor for the plant is
All the above equations are multiplied by 100 to calculate the Load Factor in terms of percentage.
The load factor is mainly used to measure the efficiency of usage of electrical energy. The value of the load factor is always less than one. Because the average load is always less than the maximum demand.
How to improve Load Factor?
It is very important to improve the Load Factor. Because the high value Load Factor means the load is using electrical energy more efficiently. It gives more saving of electrical energy. And low Load factor means the electrical energy used insufficiently compared to the maximum demand. The low Load factor increase the average cost of per unit (kWh) electricity. Because, in this case (low load factor), the maximum demand is high and utilization rate is low. And the maximum capacity of electrical energy is inactive for a long time. As a result the cost of electricity increases. This is why we need to improve the value of Load Factor.
The meaning of improving Load Factor means to increase the value of Load Factor. If the consumer tries to keep average load near the maximum demand, then the Load Factor will increase.