Liberty Electric Products

Power Factor and Harmonic Distortion Basics

The benefits of improving industrial and commercial power quality.

Eaton - Surge Protection & Power Quality

Eaton is a global leader in power quality management products and services. Our diverse portfolio enables us to fulfill exact customer requirements and to deliver comprehensive solutions for current or future power quality applications.

Higher maintenance costs, equipment instability, and failure. Energy management is an important consideration for any business, and it is critical that power quality be assessed as part of any energy management strategy for industrial and commercial facilities.

In this webinar with Nick Caffas, Senior Marketing Engineer at the Power Quality Division of Eaton, he reviews the benefits of improving industrial and commercial power quality.

Power Factor and Harmonic Distortion Basics

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Power Factor and Harmonic Distortion Basics Webinar Recording

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Power Factor and Harmonic Distortion Basics Slide Deck

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Webinar Agenda:

  • What is power factor?
    • Should I be concerned about low power factor?
    • What can I do to improve power factor?
  • What is harmonic distortion?
    • What are the consequences of high harmonic distortion levels?
    • How do I diagnose/anticipate a potential harmonics-related problem?
    • How can harmonics problems be eliminated?

Webinar Q&A:

At the conclusion of our webinar, we had the below question submitted to our presenter and have compiled this into a readable format listed below.

Question: I talked a lot about how every system is different and how do you determine beyond a motor nameplate? What is it my system needs?

Answer: So, this question says are there any resources available to help us identify what type of capacitor solution that we need? Yes. There are a lot of great resources out there for you to use that my team that I'm a part of already makes and supports. So, if you go to our website,, you can look at all of our products.

There's a section of FAQs that will go through basic questions, videos, etc. But for you guys with plants that like looking at numbers and want to see what's going on, we have two great tools. We have a site survey, a worksheet, and our power factor correction guide for the consulting engineer. These two tools will be able to help you walk through your plant, check off all the boxes that you need to know, to know what your power factor problem is, and what your current power factor is, what your power factor needs to be, what are all your motors that need support, what are all your harmonic generators that need to be accounted for.

That allows you to walk through your facility or take a look at your one line and make a list of all the loads that we need to consider. Then, you look at the application guide. That's got all the equations and tables you need to be able to actually calculate how much kVAR you need and also determine whether or not you're going to resonate.

Now it can be a lot. Some people like to flip through these, and that's OK. You're not on your own. You also have myself and then we have a team of four application engineers. We have an email contact and phone number that's available on our Eaton website. And, you've got your local support, you've got Liberty Electric Products, which is an excellent resource because they can get people at your site to help you and also answer a lot of your questions, and once you guys have done that initial evaluation together, they can bring us in and we can help there.

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