Welcome to the B&D Technologies Applications Engineering Group’s (AEG) blog about all things ABB.
This blog comes from the years of experience and partnership with ABB. We have the distinction of being the first ABB Authorized Value Provider in the US for drives.

11-18-16-pf-correctionFrom ABB:

ABB Authorized Value Providers are official members of ABB’s channel program, the ABB Value Provider Program. ABB Authorized Value Provider benefits include assurance that member providers are fully trained, regularly audited and officially authorized to represent specific ABB products and services.

Their in-depth knowledge of local markets and expertise in selected products and services ensure speed, efficiency and consistency across their whole range of activities.

ABB Authorized Value Providers are fully trained in products, tools, databases, processes and service. They are audited to confirm that their company facilities and tools fulfill the specified criteria. The authorization program ensures that ABB Authorized Value Providers provide high quality and globally consistent customer support and services.

OK, enough of the corporate description. . . the bottom line is that we know ABB and more importantly, they know us.

All the Parts of ABB:

We are one of the few distributors with access to all the areas of ABB and if by chance we are not a distributor- like some weird light only available to cruise ships, it has happened- we will direct the request to the folks that are.

Like our other blog, this is dedicated to applications that we solve with ABB products on a daily basis. We will list out the application, zoom-in on a particular detail, and then give an opinion of relevant information that sometimes our friends at ABB may not like. The point being that honest discussions makes both ABB and B&D a better value to our customers and the region.

A simple one to start. . .


A customer calls us with a bad capacitor unit on a power factor correction system in the plant. The units have some data on what to replace the bad cap with. They are stymied by the internet and know we are the ABB folks in the area.  We get a call. They made out the words ABB and part of a part number.

Based on the description and several conversations we come up with an ABB C485G50 — 480V, 50 KVAR, CLMD53, NEMA 1. We verified enclosure type KVAR, and etc.

What the Heck is Power Factor Anyway?

POWER FACTOR (PF) is the ratio between the useful (working) power (kW) to the total (apparent) power (kVA) consumed by an item of AC electrical equipment or a complete electrical installation. It is a measure of how efficiently electrical power is converted into useful work output. The ideal power factor is unity, or one.


If Apparent Power is a Glass holding the beer — the Working Power is the Beer and the Reactive Power is the foam on top. The goal of PF correction is to reduce the foam.


Power companies and utilities have tried to control the usage of PF correction for large inductive motors/loads and they can generally charge industrial customers for reactive power consumption because they’re the ones that have to provide extra current to meet the demand of vintage/lower efficiency systems. Although utilities currently charge residential home owners only for real power consumption, they have to add power to the system to support the out-of-phase losses, and losses due to poor power factor. . . as you can imagine this adds up quickly.

Last Words:

There are no standards but what the local power providers establish for their customers. . . so they try establish minimum power factor as an operational requirement. Just pay attention to what your contract says.