Definition: Capacity factor

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Capacity factor

The ratio of actual energy produced by an energy generating unit or system in a given period, to the hypothetical maximum possible (i.e. energy produced from continuous operation at full rated power)[1][2]

Wikipedia Definition

The net capacity factor of a power plant is the ratio of its actual output over a period of time, to its potential output if it were possible for it to operate at full nameplate capacity continuously over the same period of time. To calculate the capacity factor, take the total amount of energy the plant produced during a period of time and divide by the amount of energy the plant would have produced at full capacity. Capacity factors vary greatly depending on the type of fuel that is used and the design of the plant. The capacity factor should not be confused with the availability factor, capacity credit (firm capacity) or with efficiency., The net capacity factor of a power plant is the ratio of its actual output over a period of time, to its potential output if it were possible for it to operate at full nameplate capacity continuously over the same period of time. The capacity factor is calculated by dividing the total amount of energy the plant produced during a period of time and divide by the amount of energy the plant would have produced at full capacity. Capacity factors vary greatly depending on the type of fuel that is used and the design of the plant. The capacity factor should not be confused with the availability factor, capacity credit (firm capacity), efficiency or cost of energy., The net capacity factor of a power plant is the ratio of its actual output over a period of time, to its potential output if it were possible for it to operate at full nameplate capacity continuously over the same period of time. The capacity factor is calculated by dividing the total amount of energy the plant produced during a period of time and divide by the amount of energy the plant would have produced at full capacity. Capacity factors vary greatly depending on the type of fuel that is used, the design of the plant, it's location, reliability, maintenance schedule and can also be subject to regulatory constraints and market forces. The capacity factor should not be confused with the availability factor, capacity credit (firm capacity), efficiency or cost of energy., The net capacity factor of a power plant is the ratio of its actual output over a period of time, to its potential output if it were possible for it to operate at full nameplate capacity continuously over the same period of time. The capacity factor is calculated by dividing the total amount of energy the plant produced during a period of time and divide by the amount of energy the plant would have produced at full capacity. Capacity factors vary greatly depending on the type of fuel that is used, the design of the plant, its location, reliability, maintenance schedule and can also be subject to regulatory constraints and market forces. The capacity factor should not be confused with the availability factor, capacity credit (firm capacity), efficiency or cost of energy.



Related Terms
EnergyWind turbinepower
References
  1. http://205.254.135.24/tools/glossary/index.cfm?id=C
  2. http://www.leg.state.vt.us/jfo/envy/Wind%20Power%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf