Transformer K-Factor Rating and Harmonics

A conventional transformer has restricted use in an environment where non-linear loads are utilized, unbalanced input voltage or load current exceeds 5% total harmonic distortion.

K-factor rating is a value used to determine how much harmonic current a transformer can handle without exceeding it's maximum temperature rise level. K-factor values range from 1 to 50. K-factor of 1 is used for linear loads only, and a K-factor of 50 is used for the harshest harmonic environment possible.

The K-factor is a number derived from a numerical calculation based on the summation of harmonic currents generated by the non-linear load. The higher the K-factor, the more significant the harmonic current content. Details of the calculation method can be found in IEEE Standard 1100-1992.

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo
A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) - Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) - Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).
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