Freddy wrote:He's an electronic guy & we had a good time curing all the worlds electrical problems. We are going to build "power factor correction" devices for our homes and in with them will add whole house surge protectors. I'm not all so sure about the PFC thingy, but the whole house surge protector will be cool. Once I get it on line I'll post the directions for those of you that don't mind messing inside your main electric panel.
Whole house power factor correction for residential use makes no sense at all. The purpose of power factor correction is to force the load current to be in phase with the supply voltage. Doing so helps the electric utility because the power they are supplying is doing real work rather than a portion of it being used to power the inductive or capacitive non-real power load. A residential electric utility meter can only measure the real power. From a cost savings having a poor power factor does not cost you anything because there is no way the utility can charge you differently, poor or perfect.
Given all the different kinds of dynamic loads in a typical house it would be almost impossible to design a power factor correction device that resulted in a steady perfect power factor of one. For certain type of loads for example electric arc welders, which are highly inductive it is possible to add capacitors and somewhat correct the power factor.
Modern electronic power supplies, those call switching types, are designed to have power factors close to one. They do this by forcing current to be drawn during all times of the sine wave voltage input. This mimics the characteristic of a "resistive" load. In Europe there are strict regulations on power factor. See: http://www.energy.eu/directives/l_19120 ... 290058.pdf
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
Europe is way ahead of the US in requiring energy efficient designs. The requirements will be coming to the US soon. It's a good thing. Not only does it reduce the load on the utilities it reduces the harmonic currents on power lines which have all sorts of harmful effects.