Active, Reactive, Apparent, Capacitive and Inductive powers.

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Active, Reactive, Apparent, Capacitive and Inductive powers.

A brief comparison of active, reactive, apparent, capacitive, and inductive powers in order to define them.


Power triangle

Apparent Power: is the power acquired by the concessionaires of the generators.

Active Power: This is the power delivered to customers that generates work.

Reactive Power: is the power generated during the operation of certain equipment that generates high power factor and, when returned to the Electric Power System, impair the distribution and transmission networks of electricity, because the current is delayed in relation to the tension.


Current delayed relative to voltage

Capacitive Power: It is the power that, by having the current ahead of the voltage, compensates the Reactive Power, which has the delayed current.

Early current in relation to voltage

Inductive Power: It is generated by purely resistive equipment, where the power factor is 1 and does not harm the SEP.


Chopp Mug

We can make a power analogy with a beer mug, where:

*kVA is the apparent power that utilities buy from generators, which equals the full draft beer mug we buy in a beer house;

*kW is the active power supplied to customers that actually generates work, ie the net portion of the beer mug we actually consume;

*kVAr is the reactive power that is wasted, ie the foam that is not consumed.

In order to reduce the amount of foam in the cup (losses), the attendant passes the ruler on the edge of the cup (power factor control), which is equivalent to installing a Capacitor Bank in the customer’s.

The power supplied to customers by the Dealers is active.

Resistive equipment generates inductive power and its power factor is 1, which does not harm the SEP.

Equipment such as motors, transformers and reactors generate Reactive Power and, consequently, influence the power factor, which is the relation between Apparent Power and Active Power.

The ideal power factor is 1, but due to reactive power, we will never have this value in a power grid.

To minimize and control damage to the Electric Power System, the National Electric Energy Agency (BR) has established that the power factor cannot exceed 0.92 in Brazil.

If the customer exceeds this value, measured by the concessionaire’s watt hour meter, a fine defined in a contract with the concessionaire will be applied upon request for the connection of electricity.

This fine is charged to the electricity bill and passed on to the National Electricity Agency (BR).

If the customer deactivates machines, suspends activities or goes on a collective vacation, the capacitor bank must be resized or deactivated, as the excess of Capacitive Power also harms the Electric Power System and increases the value of Factor and Power.

SHORT Adolpho Eletricista

Adolpho Eletricista – Your 24 Hour Electrician in Saint Andrew – SP!

Electrician residential, real estate, commercial and industrial.

I attend region of the ABC of São Paulo, Greater São Paulo and East Zone of the State of São Paulo – BR.

+55 11 96898.4344


About Author

Adolpho Eletricista

Proprietário da Empresa Adolpho Eletricista. Técnico Eletrotécnico e Eletrônico habilitado. Eletricista residencial, predial, comercial e industrial autônomo com 40 anos de experiência. Atuação na região do Grande ABC e Grande São Paulo. Instrutor de NR-10. Atendimento Personalizado. Garantia de bons serviços. Redator de artigos técnicos profissionalizantes. Business Owner Adolpho Electrician. Electrotechnical and Electronic Technician enabled. Self-employed residential, building, commercial and industrial electrician with 40 years of experience. Expertise in the Greater ABC and Greater São Paulo region. NR-10 Instructor. Personalized service. Guaranteed good services. Writer of professional technical articles.

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