Calculating the load factor is useful for raising the load factor. When calculating the cost per generated unit, load factor is a major factor. Load factor is a measure of how much of the time the power plant is actually producing electricity.

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## Load Factor

Load factor is defined as the ratio of the average load to the peak load over a specified time period.

Load factor = (Average load) / (Maximum load)

Since the Average load is less than the maximum, the load factor is always less than one.

## Average Load

An average load is the sum total of all power demands made on the power plant over a specified time period (day, month, or year).

- The DAILY AVERAGE LOAD = the number of units generated each day divided by itself (24 hours)
- The Monthly Average Load is calculated as follows: (No of hours in a month)
- How many units are generated per year = annual average load (No of hours in a year)

## Maximum Load/Demand

It represents the peak demand placed on the power grid during that time.

## How Can I Raise the Load Factor?

Maximum energy demand and energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (KWh) define a consumer. If you want to meet someone’s energy needs, you have to build them a power plant that can initially handle their peak demand.

A load factor of 100% means that the consumer is always making full use of the installed capacity because his peak demand is equal to his average load. So, the price of energy would be at its lowest.

However, if the load factor is less than 100% because the average load is lower than the peak demand, the consumer will pay more for electricity.

The consumer’s load factor has a direct correlation to energy costs. The variable load characteristic makes it challenging to reach a load factor of 100% in practice.

## Load factor enhancement strategies:

### Off-peak energy consumption:

The load factor can be increased through peak demand management. By reducing peak demand, the load factor can be increased. A load factor of around 100% can be achieved by encouraging consumers to use electricity during off-peak times.

### Make the load curve flat,

When multiple users are tied into the same power grid, it’s important to coordinate their usage patterns so as to flatten the load curve.

### Establishing a Average Load:

- Total energy consumption for the time period is represented by the area under the load curve, which is measured in kilowatt-hours.
- The typical load on a system is the energy consumed divided by the total time.
- Alternatively, the Load factor can be thought of as the ratio of actual energy consumption to the energy that would have been consumed if peak demand had been maintained continuously throughout the measurement period.
- Load factor = (Average load) / (Maximum load)
- Load factor = (Periodical Energy Use) / (Maximum demand x time under consideration)

## First Example of Determining the Load Factor

A consumer has a maximum demand of 1.5 kilowatts and a connected load of 2 kilowatts. When calculating the load factor, what do you use?

Solution:

Maximum load / average load yields a load factor of 1.33, so 2 / 1.5 = 1.33.

## Second Example of Determining the Load Factor

Each day, he uses 20 units of energy, which equates to a maximum demand of 2 kW. How heavy is his load?

Solution:

Maximum demand multiplied by the time under consideration yields the load factor, which in this case is calculated as 20 kWhr/2 kWx24hr=0.416=41.6%.

Load Curve:

A load curve is a graph showing the relationship between the power plant’s load and time.

Daily, monthly, and annual load curves are the three distinct varieties of load curves.

## Multiple load curves are used in the load factor calculation.

**Load curve for a day’s work:**

Daily load curve refers to the line plotted between the load variations relative to the various time periods throughout the day.

According to the daily load graph

Energy consumption multiplied by 24 hours yields the daily load factor.

24 hours in a day.

**The Monthly Load Curve:**

From the daily load curve, this value is derived. The monthly load curve is a graph showing the average monthly value of power over various time intervals.

The Monthly Load Curve, Determined

Load factor for the month equals energy used in a month divided by 720 hours of peak demand.

The monthly total of hours is 720 (30 days x 24 hours).

**Curve of Annual Loading:**

It’s derived from the load curve plotted over the course of a year to determine the annual load factor.

Amount of work per year as shown by the annual load curve

The annual load factor is calculated by dividing the maximum demand by 8760 hours.

Hours in a year equal 365 * 24 = 8760

**Third Example of Determining the Load Factor**

At the residence of one of our customers, there are 12 100-watt light bulbs connected to the grid. What he or she needs in terms of load:

Find the I daily energy consumption, (ii) daily average load, (iii) daily peak demand, and (iv) daily load factor by drawing the load curve.

Solution:

The daily load curve is as follows for the specified loads.

- Daily electrical energy consumption = load curve area

= 200 × 5 + 700 × 1 + 1,000 × 2 + 500 × 3

= 5,200 Wh

- In addition, daily average load is calculated as daily energy use divided by 24.

=5200/24=216.7 W

- Maximum Demand

= 1,000 W

- Load factor = (Average load) 100% (Maximum load)

=216.7/1000

=0.2167

=21.67%