Power Factor of RLC Series Circuit

Resistors, capacitors and inductors are the basic components of electronics. These are passive components and each component exhibits its own properties. Since these are passive electrical components, they cannot generate power but can store, dissipate, or release the power. In most electrical circuits, they are connected with active components.


In this article, let us understand the function of each component, what is meant by the RLC circuit, RLC series circuit and the power factor of the RLC series circuit.


The resistor is a passive electrical component that consists of two terminals. It is used for either limiting or regulating the flow of electric current in electrical circuits. The SI unit of the resistor is Ohm. It is represented by the symbol R. Types of resistors are:

  • Fixed resistors
  • Variable resistors


The inductor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that stores energy in a magnetic field when an electric current flows through it. One of the key properties of an inductor is that it opposes any change in the amount of current flowing through it. The SI unit of inductance is Henry (H).  It is represented by the symbol L.


The capacitor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that has the capacity to store energy in the form of an electric charge. The space between the conductors can be filled by vacuum or with an insulating material known as a dielectric. The ability of the capacitor to store charges is known as capacitance. Capacitance is the ratio of the change in the electric charge of a system to the corresponding change in its electric potential. The SI unit of capacitance is the Farad. It is represented by the symbol C.

What is An RCL Circuit?

An RLC circuit is an electrical circuit that features a resistor (R), an inductor (L), and a capacitor (C), connected either in series or in a parallel manner. Resistor (R), inductor (L), and capacitor (C) can be combined in a number of different topologies as per the requirement.


When a pure resistance of R ohms, a pure inductance of L Henry and a pure capacitance of C farads are connected together in series combination with each other then RLC Series Circuit is formed.


The circuit in which resistor, capacitor, inductor are connected parallel to each other and this parallel combination is powered by a voltage source is known as RLC parallel circuit. The RLC series circuit function is opposite to the RLC parallel circuit. Let us know what is meant by the power factor and power factor of the RLC circuit.


In electrical circuits, the measure of how effectively the incoming power is used is given by the Power factor. In an RLC series circuit, the variation of power factor is given by:



  1. When XL > XC, the phase angle ϕ is positive. Here, the power factor is said to be lagging since the applied voltage leads the current.
  2. When XL < XC, the phase angle ϕ is negative, Here, the current leads the voltage by 90 degrees.
  3. When XL = XC, the phase angle ϕ is zero. Here, the current and voltage are in phase with each other. The value of the power factor is unity.




Power Factor of RLC Series Circuit
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