Electrical diversity factor is the ratio of the sum of the individual maximum demands of the various electrical components of a grid to the maximum demand of the grid. The value of the diversity factor of an electrical grid usually exceeds one.
Diversity occurs in an operating grid when all loads connected to the source are not operating simultaneously, or are operating at less than maximum loading. The sum of individual power requirement maximums of a system is always larger than the total system maximum.
The diversity factor indicates this time interdependence of the different components of the system on the total power requirement. Diversity factors expressed as percentages must be multiplied by the load factor before usage. Diversity factor should not be confused with diverseness or diversity, which refers to the percentage of time that a single grid component operates at peak loading. A diversity of 70 percent indicates that a single system component operates at peak capacity 70 percent of the time, whereas a diversity factor of 1.5 indicates that the diversified load of all grid components exceeds the maximum system load 1.5 times.
Diversity factor is also used in computer science and mathematics where it indicates the load on a single node of a distributed system.