Power factor tests compare the capacitive current to the resistive current used by a piece of equipment. If the capacitive current becomes large in relation to the resistive current, it indicates a potential problem with the insulation. Insulation breakdown often leads to equipment breakdown.
Protec Equipment Resources offers many power factor test sets for rent. These units apply voltage to the conductors while measuring losses to ground. By comparing the results to historical results, abnormal conditions can be easily identified. Further tests can help determine exactly where the problem exists.
While power factor testing usually involves transformers and breakers, tests can be useful on other types of equipment such as switches, motors and voltage regulators.