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- Electrical Power and Energy
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## Electrical Power and Energy

Power is an electrical quantity measured in watts that is the rate at which a circuit absorbs or produces energy. We know that light bulbs and heaters absorb energy, and the higher their wattage value, the more energy they consume. Also, batteries and generators produce energy, and the higher their electrical rating, the more power they provide to the load. The unit of electrical power is the watt, symbolized by the capital letter “P” for constant direct current, or the small letter “p” for time-varying alternating current.

Electrical energy is related to energy, which is the ability to do work. It can also be defined as the rate of energy transfer. If one joule of work is absorbed or transmitted at a constant rate of one second, the corresponding power is equal to one watt, so power P can be defined as 1 joule/sec = 1 watt. Then we can say that one watt is equal to one joule per second and electrical power can be defined as the rate at which work is done or energy is transferred.

Similarly, we can define energy in watts per second or joules. So while power is measured in kilowatts (thousands of watts) and time is measured in hours, the unit of electricity is the kilowatt-hour (kWh), and 1 kWh is the amount of electricity used by an appliance rated at 1,000 watts in one hour.

Kilowatt-hours are the standard units of energy that our home electricity meters use to calculate the amount of electricity we use and therefore the electricity we pay for. So, if you turn on an electric light with a 1000 watt cell and leave it on for 1 hour, you have used 1 kWh of electricity. If you turned on two electric lights with 1000-watt cells for half an hour, the total consumption would be exactly the same – 1 kWh. So 1000 watts in one hour uses the same amount of power as 2000 watts (twice as much) in half an hour (half the time). In order for a 100 watt bulb to use 1 kWh or one unit of electricity, it must be on for a total of 10 hours (10 x 100 = 1000 = 1 kWh).

So we now know that the unit of power is the watt, with the power absorbed by an electrical circuit given by the product of voltage V and current I, which gives:

**P (Watts) = V (Volts) x I (Amperes)**

Also, by substituting Ohm’s law into the above equation, we can also define constant DC as:

**P (watts) = I^2 (amps squared) x R (resistance)**

or

**P (watts) = V^2 (voltage squared) / R (resistance)**

Then there are three possible formulas for calculating the electrical power of a circuit. If the calculated power is positive, (+P), the circuit or component is absorbing power. But if the calculated power is negative (-P), the circuit or component is providing power, in other words, it is a source of energy.

__Power rating__

Electrical components are given a “power rating” in watts, which indicates the maximum rate at which the component can convert electrical energy into another form of energy, such as heat, light, or motion. For example, a 1/4W resistor, a 100W light bulb, etc. Thus, electrical devices use energy to convert a single source of power, so for example an electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical power.

Electric motors and other electrical systems have an efficiency rating defined as the ratio of the power converted to work to the total power consumed by the device. Efficiency is expressed as a decimal fraction, but is generally defined as a percentage value, such as 85% efficiency. So we can define efficiency as output power divided by input power x 100%.

The efficiency of an electrical device or motor is always below one (100%) due to electrical and mechanical losses. If an electrical device has an efficiency of 85%, only 85% of the input power is converted into mechanical work, the remaining 15% being lost to heat or other losses.

Household electrical appliances such as washing machines, dryers, fridges and freezers also have energy efficiency ratings that indicate their energy use and costs. These ratings are given as “A” for effective and “G” for less effective.

So remember that the more energy efficient the device is, the less energy it consumes and the more you save money and benefit the environment.

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