Power Factor Correction in audio equipment

MMas

New Member
Dec 14, 2014
7
0
1
Space Coast, FL
#1
Does power factor correction(PFC) have any benefit in an audio system as it does in an industrial setting where motors are driven and capacitor banks are used? Some PLC manufacturers say their products perform PFC.
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
3,614
40
48
Monument, CO
#4
Units with linear (conventional) power supplies, probably not. Those with switch-mode power supplies could benefit but probably more from a power-input point of view and there may be an argument for helping the input stage of the power supply; hard to imagine PFC does anything that would be audible at the output of the power supply. However, as a "measurement troll" I have been skeptical about many other power things that folk claim to hear, so who knows?
 

Occam

[Industry Expert]
Dec 15, 2010
117
0
0
NYC
#5
Does power factor correction(PFC) have any benefit in an audio system as it does in an industrial setting where motors are driven and capacitor banks are used? Some PLC manufacturers say their products perform PFC.
As an aside, some power conditioner manufacturers use the term PFC (Power Factor Correction) to refer to an across the line ( X function) capacitor. I believe Furman was the first to do this with a ASC protected motor run polypropylene cap across the line.
http://www.furmansound.com/page.php...+factor+correction"&zoom_per_page=20&zoom_cat[]=-1&zoom_and=0&zoom_sort=0

with a line worthy of Prof. Erwin Corey
Power Factor Correction provides surplus current for power starved amplifiers
Other conditioner manufacturers have used term PFC instead of saying across the line caps in a marketing effort to make the simple appear complex.

Appropriate X rated caps, across the line certainly offer benefits, objective via attenuation of differential/normal mode line noise [and subjectively, with the right cap(s), making everything 'mo betta :cool:].
 
May 27, 2013
449
16
18
Chicago suburbs
#6
I believe that with their description termed as Active Power Factor Correction, Jeff Rowland designs are differentiating themselves from simply using a (passive) capacitor across the line to achieve PFC.
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
3,614
40
48
Monument, CO
#7
Many high-power switching supplies incorporate active PFC. Not saying Rowland designs are any better or worse than another design, but agree it is not just a cap across the input.
 

Occam

[Industry Expert]
Dec 15, 2010
117
0
0
NYC
#8
The Ncore1200 amps typically use the Hypex SMPS1200 switching power supply, which does not have power factor correction. I had thought the CE regulations called for PFC on switching supplies for anything over 70 watt power consumption. Someone commented on another board that this could be done as the average power consumption for the Ncore 1200 monoblock would be less than 70 watts. Does this seem a reasonable explanation? or are Hi-Fi components exempt from those regulations.
On the Pro PA side, the very inexpensive Crown XLS drive core series does use active PFC in their switching supplies.
 

Occam

[Industry Expert]
Dec 15, 2010
117
0
0
NYC
#10
EN 61000-3-2 and the IEC version only applies to 220 V and up systems.
Thanks Don. I was asking in relation to European directives and standards. I believe that Ncore Amp (Acoustic Imagery's Atsah and the Grimm Audio monoblocs) when sold in Europe would fall under EN 61000-3-2 as a class A device.
http://www.rfemcdevelopment.eu/index.php/en/emc-emi-standards/en-61000-3-2-2006-a1-a2
But looking at the class A limits, which are absolute current limits for each mains harmonic through the 40th, it might well be possible to meet those standards without requiring active power factor correction in the switching supply.
 

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