Inverter Drive Improve Power Factor and Boosts Grid Supply Quality

  • Air-conditioning is responsible for approximately 20% of the total annual electricity consumption in a country like the USA. The introduction of inverter drive technology in air-conditioning and heat pump systems presents an opportunity for significant energy savings due to efficient part-load operation, and also helps improve power quality of the grid.

    Power factor is an important measure of how hard the power utility must work to deliver electricity.

    Increasing the power factor of installations can directly impact the quality of power supply. For electric utilities, this equates to fewer losses and improved reliability of service. For building- and homeowners, this means more efficient equipment with the possibility of local utility, state and/or federal incentive programs.

    Power factor is the combination of the displacement power factor (displacement of active and reactive power) and the distortion power factor (distortion of the electrical power due to harmonics).

    Power factor close to 1 means:

    • No interference with other installed equipment,
    • No interference with the mains, 
    • Reduced losses and higher efficiency. 
    The use of inverter drives allows a significant enhancement in power factor, since the displacement power factor is close to 1. The distortion power factor however negatively affects transformers, cabling, fuses and circuit breakers due to harmonics.

    The Danfoss inverter technology has a low distorsion and high power factor (0.98) due to correction from a DC choke whilst other inverter frequency drives or mechanically modulated systems can have a power factor as low as 0.60.

    Other benefits of the prequalified drive correction in Danfoss inverter solutions:
    • Boosts the immediate circuit voltage whenever necessary which improves operating capabilities at low supply voltages. 
    • Increases voltage within the AC inductor, reducing current and stress throughout the entire chain of power components while minimizing costs. 
    • The higher DC-link voltage reduces motor current and losses. 
    • The Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) can be switched on and off as desired for best system efficiency.

     

     

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