Electrical loads are those devices or components which consume electrical energy in the form of electrical current and transform it into other forms of energy that may be heat, work, force or light. An electrical load can be something which eliminates electrical power from a circuit for some purpose such as a motor that turns an electrical machine, a loudspeaker that produces a sound or maybe an antenna that send radio signals.
What are the major aspects of electrical loads?
The electrical load can be categorized according to different factors. The essence of the load depends on the power factor, load factor, demand factor, diversity and utilization factor of the system.
Categories of electrical loads
It is a type of electrical load in which the resistive load consumes electrical power in the same ratio that voltage wave remains in phase with the current wave. Thus, the power factor of the resistive load remains in unity and therefore, will have very little inrush currents. These types of loads do not produce a magnetic field as the inductive load produce.
Usually, the resistive load is used to transform current into a source of heat energy. The best example of resistive loads is electric heaters and Incandescent bulb. Other appliances include iron, cooker, electric kettle and soldering that uses heat for operation.
The inductive load is a type of load in which there is lagging of the current wave from the voltage wave and the power factor of the inductive load is lagging too. The resistive loads require the use of magnetic fields for operations. The inductive loads contain a coil which stores magnetic energy as it travels through the current. To create a magnetic field, the inductive loads require little time as the voltage is applied, and the current is delayed.
The example of inductive loads includes the transformers, generators, electric motors, electric welding machines, washing machine and air compressors in refrigerators and air conditioners.
Capacitive loads are those in which the current and voltage are out of phase as within inductive loads. In these types of loads, the current wave leads the voltage wave because the current reaches its maximum values before the voltage value.
The examples of capacitive loads are capacitor bank, buried power cables and capacitors used in three-phase induction motor starting circuit.
Combinations of inductive, resistive and capacitive loads
Most of the electrical loads used are not always resistive, inductive or capacitive, but many of the practical electrical loads use the combination of resistors, inductors and capacitors. Thus, the power factor is less than the unity factor and maybe results in lagging or leading.
The example of these kinds of loads is single phase motors which commonly uses capacitors to assist an electrical motor during start and drive.