PFC power factor
The acronym PFC stands for Power Factor Correction, that is, Correction of the Power Factor. The Pfc power factor is the ratio between the actual power supplied by the power outlet and the power that the power source is capable of using. In an ideal circuit, this ratio would be 1, that is, all the voltage and current that comes out of the socket could be used by the power supply. The power factor is usually a decimal that goes from 0 to 1.
There is a feature of the power supply that many users often overlook, but they should not. The PFC power factor (or its absence, in its absence) is a very important characteristic of these, which is combined with the efficiency of it.
Among the characteristics of the most commonly overlooked sources is the PFC of the power supply. And the truth is that we should not forget about it, given that it is very closely linked to the efficiency of one’s own food source.
However, the way the electrical current travels through the wires does not form a perfect sinusoidal wave, as would be ideal. Actually, it does so base on small voltage peaks, which are then corrected in the internal transformers of the sources themselves, to create the direct current required by the internal components of our computers.
The PFC of the source is corrected based on components and circuits
If the PFC is not regulated in a power source, the resulting power factor is usually 0.65. That is, only 65% of the power supplied is used. Or, seen in another way, the socket has to supply 35% extra current for what the power source is asking for.
The problem can be solved in two ways:
This type of correction system uses coils and capacitors to improve the power factor that the source receives. It is a very cheap way to solve the problem, but at the same time, it does not solve it completely. In fact, the maximum correction of the power factor that can be achieved with this type of components is usually around 0.85.
By law, this is the type of correction ordered by the European Union that must use all sources of power in its territory since 2001. In this case, the correction is made through a series of integrated circuits, in which MOSFETs are installed that take care of all the work. With this method, the resulting power factor is 0.99, that is, almost all the power that arrives is transformed into useful power.
Therefore, the inclusion of one of the two types of PFC in the topology of a power supply is fundamental for the source to be the most efficient in its operation.