Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Jahangir

Many of us cannot remember the difference between the Load Factor and the Diversity Factor. They easily forget it. I have explained in this post with examples so that you will never forget the difference between the Load Factor and the Diversity Factor. There are various kinds of consumers that consume electricity at different times of day at a power plant. Due to this, it is always true that the maximum demand for electricity on the power station is never greater than the sum of the maximum demand for electricity by each individual customer.

Hence, there will always be a diversity factor that is greater than 1. Power generation is much cheaper when the diversity factor is high as the power is produced from a broader range of sources.

**What is the main difference between Load Factor and Diversity Factor?**

**Load Factor:**

The load factor is an essential parameter that helps us to identify the maximum demand of a particular electrical load. The ratio between maximum demand as well as average load is called the load factor. It can be represented as

**Load Factor=Average Load/Maximum Demand**

**Load factor calculation example**

As an example, if we consider that an average load of a home is 2KW and the maximum demand of the house is 3KW, then the load factor is equal to

LF=2/3=0.667

Note: The value of the load factor is always less than one because the average load cannot be higher than the maximum demand.

On the other hand, if we consider a generation plant, which is the heart of an electricity distribution system, then we can get some more clear idea about the load factor. If we assume the average load of a 10MVA substation is 6MVA, and the Maximum Demand of the power plant is 7MVA, then the load factor of this power plant is equal to

LF=6/7=0.85

It is crucial to have the load factor as much as possible because we need to use the total generated power. If the load factor is small, that means we are not using the total generation power. Since we are determining the load factor by dividing the same unit, so it does not have any unit. The load factor is represented in percentage, i.e. %.

The load factor of a system may be a daily load factor, a monthly load factor, or an annual load factor, depending on the measure of time taken. The load factor is always smaller than 1 due to the fact that the average load is much less than the maximum demand. The load factor is imperative in determining the cost per unit generated as it executes a vital part in deciding the overall cost. The cost per unit that can be generated by a power station will be lower if the power company can increase the load factor of the station.

**Diversity Factor Formula:**

On the other hand, diversity is the ration between the maximum demand and the individual max demand of the customer. The diversity factor is usually higher than 1. When its value is more, then the generation cost requires less. We can clearly understand the diversity factor formula in power system using the below example:

**Diversity factor calculation example**

Consider a substation that has five feeders. And these feeder has the following maximum demands. This is an assumption only for determining the diversity factor for a substation.

If the 5MW is the max demand of the feeder A, 6MW is the max demand of the feeder B, 5MW is the max demand of the feeder C, 4MW is the max demand of the feeder D, and 7MW is the max demand of the feeder E;

Therefore, the sum of the individual max demand is 5+5+6+4+7=27MW.

On the other hand, if the maximum demand of the substation is 23MW, then the diversity factor is equal to the ration between the individual max. demand of the feeder and the maximum demand of the substation. The diversity factor will be as follows-

Diversity factor=(5+5+6+4+7)/23=27/23=1.17

**Summary**

The load factor as well as the diversity factor both use the maximum demand but the main difference between the load factor and diversity factor that the load factor uses the average load. In contrast, the diversity factor uses the individual maximum demand. Both parameters, such as load as well as diversity factor, are fundamental parameters in the power system, which gives us a lot of benefits to determine various significant parameters in the power system field.

**Frequently Asked Questions**

You may interest to read current divider formula as linked below.

*Having seven years of experience in the Engineering field, Md Jahangir Alam is qualified in the electrical and electronics engineering field. He is the Chief of our organization and he has provided guidance to a hundred and fifty Engineers in their migration skills assessment process for Engineers Australia. He has played a significant role in the organization CDRFOREA since it was established back in 2013.*