Reactive Power Converter

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How to Use Reactive Power in AC circuits


In alternating current (AC) circuits, reactive power is the result of voltage and current waveforms being out of phase. Reactive power flow back and forth between the source and load, and doesn’t do any useful work. In this convert tool, we will explore what reactive power is, why it’s needed in an AC circuit, and how it can be used.

What is Reactive Power.

Definition of Reactive Power

Reactive power is a value associated with the storage and release of energy in an electric circuit. It is the product of voltage and amperage that does not perform any useful work in the circuit. The unit for reactive power is the volt-ampere reactive (VAR). Reactive Power in AC circuits.

In alternating current (AC) circuits, reactive power is required to maintain the magnetic fields created by the flow of current. The strength of the magnetic field is determined by the amount of current flowing through the conductor. If there is no current flow, there will be no magnetic field.

The need for Reactive Power in an AC circuit.

Power Factor

The power factor of an AC circuit is the ratio of the real power to the apparent power, and is a measure of how efficiently the circuit converts supplied electrical energy into useful work output. A low power factor indicates that the circuit is not operating at peak efficiency, and that it is wasting energy. There are two main ways to improve the power factor of a circuit: by adding reactive power, or by reducing the amount of resistive load in the circuit.

Improving the Power Factor

Adding reactive power to a circuit can be done by using inductors or capacitors. Inductors store energy in their magnetic fields, while capacitors store energy in their electric fields. By adding either of these components to a circuit, the overall power factor can be improved. Reducing the resistive load in a circuit can also be effective in improving its power factor. This can be done by using more efficient electrical devices, or by replacing resistive loads with inductive or capacitive loads wherever possible.

How to Use Reactive Power.

Theoretical explanation

Reactive power is the "unused" or "wasted" power in an AC circuit. It is created by the inductance and capacitance in the circuit, and can be harnessed to improve the power factor of the system.

Practical example

Adding a capacitor to an AC circuit will create a phase shift between the voltage and current waveforms. This shift will cause the current to lead the voltage by a small amount, and will result in a decrease in reactive power.


Reactive power is a crucial element in AC circuits, and it is important to understand how to use it properly. By improving the power factor, reactive power can help make an AC circuit more efficient. In addition, by understanding the theoretical explanation behind reactive power, readers can better understand how to apply it in practical situations.


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