Given that there is usually no penalty with regard to power factor in a residential setting, is it desirable to have PFC? I know that my local utility will love me for correcting power factor but not enough to give me a discount for doing so. I find that often in a project at home my welding machine may spend more time simply ON than it does actually welding. With the higher current draw at idle with PFC would I be better without it or with some form of automatic switching to engage it only during welding cycles?
I think that Willie B(please correct me if that is not what you meant) is suggesting that this extra current, about 20 amps, may not be registering on my meter but I can't imagine my utility letting me get away with that. On the other hand at nearly 25 amps idle current on 230v I don't think I would see 5750 watts of wasted heat in my welding machine which I would expect to see if the machine was actually dissipating this current. Does anyone know if the standard residential utility meter is recording the real power or the apparent power consumed?
There is of course the lighter requirement for wiring to consider with PFC. I fairly recently acquired a used Idealarc 250 without PFC(wrong color for this forum) but they are similar to the Dialarc and the question would apply equally to either. I am running this machine from a 40 amp breaker and although I have not done a lot of work with it, it has yet to trip the breaker even though the breaker is way too small for this size of machine. My concern is that if I was to add PFC that the in-rush current would be more likely rather than less likely to cause nuisance trips.---Meltedmetal