When working with electrical systems, it’s vital to know the difference between amps, volts, and watts. An understanding of these electrical terms are helpful when it comes time to repair any old household wiring. While you may run into some confusion seeing terms like amps, volts, or watts, they aren’t that difficult to understand. We’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about these electrical terms and what they do:
What Are Amps?
Amps, short for amperage or amperes, are the unit that measures the volume of electrons that are found in an electrical circuit. Capital “A” is the symbol for amps or amperes.
What Are Volts?
Volts, short for voltage, represent the speed at which electrons can pass a specific point within a closed circuit. Voltages represent the difference potential between two points of a conductor that’s made of wire, which then carries a constant current. A constant current equals one amp, and the energy then dissipated between the two points is one watt. A capital “V” is the symbol for a volt.
What Is a Watt?
A watt is derived from the formula V x A = W. Watts describe the rate of power flow that results from amps flowing through the electromotive force of the volt. The watts then measure the power generated within an electrical system and can be symbolized as a capital “W”.
It’s important to know that watts and volts can’t exist independently. A watt is created from a combination of volts and amps; it can’t exist alone.
The Difference Between Volts and Amps
Amps and volts work together but with distinct functions within the electrical circuit. While an amp can measure electricity, volts represent the difference in potential that allows amps to flow through the closed circuit.
What Are Volt-Amperes
Volt-amperes are units of measurement for electrical power, calculated by multiplying a voltage by the amperage. Volt-amperes are used in determining how much power the current will draw when in use.
Volt-Amperes and Watts
While volt-amperes and watts both measure the power of electricity, what makes them different from each other? The type of power measured is what makes a difference in the distinction between the two. Volt-amperes measure “apparent power” while watts measure “real power”. Real power is defined by the amount of energy being generated or consumed. Apparent power calculates the amount of electricity that the current is drawing in.
Why Are They Important?
It’s important to understand these terms, as it will make calculating electrical use and understanding power supply a lot easier. It may seem like a lot to take in at first, but a basic understanding of how these electrical sources behave can help solve any future problems.
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