Optimal Power Factor (PF): 90%
Electrical equipment, whether belonging to a customer or Hydro-Québec, is designed to operate at a relatively stable voltage. Through its tariff structure, Hydro-Québec reminds customers that a PF of at least 90% should be maintained at all times. A margin of up to 10% is tolerated.
What happens if your PF is below 90%?
Some customers make less than optimal use of the electricity provided to them, which forces Hydro-Québec to supply them with additional power and correct the impacts on the power system.
To ensure that such customers pay the real cost of their electricity supply and thus ensure fair treatment for all customers, a new charge will be applied progressively on each kilowatt of apparent power demand beyond the limits set in their contract.
Expressed in kilowatts (kW), power demand is the total amount of electricity required by equipment at a given time. In more technical terms, it is the combined effect of voltage and current.
Demand (kW) = voltage (V) x current (A)
Real power is the component of apparent power that operates equipment that produces heat (lighting equipment, radiators, etc.) and is expressed in kilowatts (kW).
Apparent power is the power supplied by Hydro-Québec. When it is used, it is broken down into real power (kW), which runs equipment, and reactive power (kVAR), which results in the creation of magnetic fields.
Maximum power demand corresponds to the greater of the two following values:
- Real power
- 90% of apparent power
Voltage is the difference in electrical potential between two points.
It is expressed in volts (V) and is a function of power expressed in watts (W).
Voltage (V) = power (W)
The power factor is the ratio between real power and apparent power.
Apparent Power x 100