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Robert Lacoste's The Darker Side by Robert Lacoste

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Chapter 16 From Power Line Measurements to PFC

Note: This chapter is a reprint of the column “The Darker Side: From power line measurements to PFC,” Circuit Cellar, no. 229, August 2009.

In this chapter I will start by discussing how the power consumption of line-powered devices is measured. This may seem basic and less exotic than usual, but RMS power, apparent power, and power factors are sometimes misunderstood. Moreover, measurement tools are not so easy to use efficiently and, more important, safely. This will lead me to introduce power factor controllers, and I will share with you some experiments on a couple of pretty cool chips. Ready? Let’s go.

In this chapter I will start by discussing how the power consumption of line-powered devices ...

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