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Leading vs Lagging Power Factor: What Are the Differences?



Leading vs Lagging Power Factor: What Are the Differences?

You may have heard of the terms “leading power factor” and “lagging power factor” before, but what do they mean?

Many people don’t know the difference between leading and lagging power factors. This is a problem because understanding the difference is important for making sure you’re getting the most out of your electrical system.

But don’t worry. Keep reading because, in this leading vs lagging power factor guide, we’ll break down the differences between leading and lagging power factors so that you can understand them better.

What is Leading Power Factor?

Leading power factor occurs when the current waveform leads the voltage waveform by a certain phase angle. This can happen when inductive loads are used, such as motors or transformers. When this happens, it means that the current is flowing into the load before the voltage reaches its peaks.

As a result, leading power factor can cause problems with equipment and increase energy costs. To correct for leading power factor, utility companies will often use capacitors to store energy and release it into the system when needed.

This helps to even out the flow of current and reduce energy losses. Leading power factor can also be corrected by using power factor correction devices on individual loads.

These devices help to ensure that the current and voltage are in phase, which leads to more efficient operation of equipment and lower energy costs.

What is Lagging Power Factor?

Lagging power factor is a relatively common occurrence in electrical systems. It occurs when the current waveform lags behind the voltage waveform by a certain phase angle. This can happen when capacitive loads are used, such as electric lights or computers.

When this happens, it means that the voltage is reaching its peaks before the current flows into the load. As a result, some of the electricity is effectively wasted since it is not being used to power the load.

Lagging power factor can be corrected by adding inductive components to the circuit, which will shift the current waveform so that it leads the voltage waveform.

This ensures that the current is flowing into the load when the voltage is at its peak, resulting in a more efficient system.

The Differences Between Leading vs Lagging Power Factor

There are a few key differences between leading and lagging power factor:

1. Cost

The cost of power factor correction can be a deciding factor for many businesses. Lagging power factor is typically more expensive to correct than leading power factor.

This is due to the fact that lagging power factor results in higher current demand, which leads to higher energy consumption and increased wear and tear on equipment.

In contrast, leading power factor results in lower current demand, which can lead to reduced energy consumption and decreased wear and tear on equipment. As a result, businesses must weigh the upfront costs of power factor correction against the potential long-term savings.

2. Efficiency

A power factor of one is the most efficient, and it is impossible to have a leading power factor of one because that would mean the current would be running ahead of the voltage. A lagging power factor occurs when the inductive load is greater than the capacitive load.

When this happens, more current is required to supply the same amount of power, and hence, the efficiency decreases. A leading power factor implies that there is a higher capacitive load than inductive which causes current flow to lag behind the voltage, resulting in an increase in efficiency.

For this reason, a lagging power factor is generally more efficient than leading power factor.

3. Power Quality

When it comes to power quality, there is a significant difference between leading and lagging power factor. Leading power factor can cause a number of problems, including voltage drop and line loss.

It can also lead to capacitor failure and circuit breaker trips. On the other hand, lagging power factor generally does not cause power quality issues. In fact, it can actually improve power quality by reducing voltage distortion.

As a result, when choosing between leading and lagging power factor, it is important to consider the impact on power quality.

4. How to Correct It

A power factor is the ratio of the real power being used to perform work to the apparent power that is supplied to the equipment. The real power is the actual power being used by the equipment, while the apparent power is the total power that is supplied to the equipment.

A lagging power factor indicates that the equipment is using less real power than apparent power, while a leading power factor indicates that the equipment is using more real power than apparent power.

A power factor can be corrected by adding capacitors or inductors to the circuit. Capacitors are used to correct a leading power factor, while inductors are used to correct a lagging power factor.

Correcting a lagging or leading power factor can result in improved efficiency and reduced energy costs.

If you’re looking for a measuring system, go here:

Which One Wins?

The main difference between the leading vs lagging power factor is that leading power factors are concerned with creating voltage while lagging power factors are concerned with storing energy. It’s important to understand both types of power factors so you can manage your company’s electricity usage effectively.

Want to learn more? Check out our blog for more articles like this.


What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters That Exist Today?



What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters That Exist Today?

Did you know that water heating accounts for as much as 20% of your household energy use? And that figure grows the longer you stay in that nice hot shower!

Of course, the types of water heaters you choose can also increase (or reduce) your that figure. Once upon a time, people just had a simple hot water tank heated by a fuel of some kind. Today, there’s a surprisingly extensive range of water heaters to choose from, and knowing which is best for your home can be daunting.

If you’re upgrading your current heater or choosing appliances for a new build, diving into the pros and cons of each machine is essential. Below, we explore it all. So read on!

What Is a Water Heater?

Before you can find the best water heater for your home, you need to understand what a water heater is and does!

Believe it or not, but the is right there in the name: a water heater is an appliance that heats the water in your home, which you then use to wash dishes, clean your body, and wash your clothes–among other activities.

Before the 1890s or so, Americans had to heat their water in an enormous metal bucket atop their wood-burning stoves. Then, they’d carry it over, bucket by bucket, to fill a bathtub in the kitchen.

Today, we’re far luckier–we have water heaters and indoor plumbing to do the job for us.

How a Water Heater Works

Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s explore how a residential water heater does what it does. While there are many types of water heaters (more on those later), they all work in similar ways.

First, water is fed into a tank or runs through a pipe. Then, the water is heated slowly (in the case of the tank) or rapidly (in the case of the pipe) until it reaches a pre-determined temperature. Then, when you turn on the hot tap anywhere in your home, the water leaves the tank or runs through the pipes, arriving in the sink or shower hot.

Water heaters mostly used to function on electricity, but now you can run water heaters on gas, solar, and even the hot air from your attic!

If you need a water heater replacement, that’s usually a plumber’s job. But, unfortunately, it’s also typically a significant expense!

Types of Water Heaters: Explained

Let’s say your current water heater has broken down, and you’re in the market for a new one. If you’re a smart homeowner, you’ll look into all the standard options available today rather than just buying a replica of what you already had.


Almost every homeowner will be familiar with a conventional or tank-style water heater when it comes to homeownership. If you didn’t have one in the house you bought, you almost certainly grew up with one in the house.

This water heater has a tank that fills with water. The tank has two valves:

  • A temperature control valve, which releases at 120 F
  • A pressure control valve, which releases at 150 PSI

The water in the tank is constantly re-heated to stay at the desired temperature. Then, the hot water is piped all over the house as needed.

Tank water heaters come in various capacities depending on your budget, how it’s powered, and the size of your home (namely, how many places in your house need hot water).


Some homes (especially new homes) have a tankless water heater installed.

As soon as you turn on the hot tap, the coils in the water heater are filled with water. Next, an element heats the coils, which heats the water. It’s the instantaneous result that people love about these water heaters.

In most cases, this type of heater is powered by gas. If they’re run on electricity, they might not be as efficient and may raise your utility bills more than you’d like.

Tankless water heaters are great for homes using a small amount of hot water, like condos or apartments. However, larger homes requiring larger volumes of water might get tepid rather than hot water coming out of the tap.

They also require a certain level of water pressure to function effectively.

Hybrid or Heat Pump

If you’re looking for ways to lower your utility bills (and who isn’t these days), consider a hybrid water heater.

This type of heater uses the heat from the ground and the air to heat water. It only uses electricity to transfer the heat to the water, rather than using it to heat the water itself, saving energy.

This type of water heater is typically quite significant because it features a pump on the top of the appliance. This means you need a decent amount of ceiling clearance to install it in your home.

And while it’s relatively inexpensive to run and easy to maintain, it has a higher upfront cost than most other types of water heaters.


A water heater option to emerge in the past decade or so is the solar-power water heater. This option is excellent for those considering adding solar panels to their home and perfect for anyone who already has them!

You need to connect your water tank to solar panels installed on your roof to get hot water. The energy from the sun is transferred to the tank via a closed-loop system made of heat-conductive material. It’s this that heats the water in the tank.

Just remember that while solar is beneficial (and cost-saving) in most parts of America, areas with low sunlight hours might not get the return on investment they were expecting.

Get the Steamy Bathroom of Your Dreams

Whether you’re happy to stay on the grid or excited to embrace the eco-friendly age, there are types of water heaters to suit.

Environmentalists can choose between solar-powered water heaters and heat-pump or hybrid options. Traditionalists or those in areas with low sunlight hours can stick with a conventional water heater or go for a tankless model. What’s essential is that you do your research on how each option meets your needs and shop around for the best prices.

For more advice on everything household related, browse the other articles on our website.

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