How to Understand Electricity: Watts, Amps, Volts, and Ohms

Apr 12,  · Amps, volts, and watts are three basic concepts you will repeatedly deal with when working on any electrical system. A fourth being resistance which is measured in ohms. It may seem overwhelming, but you don’t need an engineering degree to understand what electricity is and how to use it to your advantage. Aug 07,  · Voltage is measured in volts (V) Current is measured in amps (A) Resistance is measured in ohms (?) Power is measured in watts (W).

Amps, volts, and watts are three basic concepts you will repeatedly deal with when working on any electrical system. A fourth being resistance which is measured in ohms. Similar to how water flows through a hose, electricity is the flow of electrons through a conductor.

In most electrical systems, the conductor is a wire. The ampereor amp for short, is the unit of measure for electrical current. In our water analogy, electrical current is equivalent to the flow rate or amount of water flowing through the hose. Voltage is the difference in electrical potential, or the number of electrons, between any two points in an electrical circuit. In our water analogy, voltage is equivalent to water pressure. Pressure is the force that moves the water through the hose, just like voltage pushes electrons through a conductor.

Resistance tries to slow how to clean car interior fabric at home the flow of electrons.

In our water analogy, resistance is the diameter of the hose. A wide hose has very little resistance and allows water to flow through it quickly.

Conductors with low electrical resistance, like copper wire, allow electrons to flow easily through them, just like the wide hose. Power is the rate at which electrical energy is transferred in a circuit and is measured in watts. Power is a little harder to explain using the water analogy. In an electrical system, you can increase the power by increasing the current or increasing the voltage.

It is represented by a simple equation. If you keep the resistance the same and increase the voltage, the current has to increase. Like in our hose analogy, if you increase the pressure, then more water will flow through it. Resistance works against voltage to slow down the flow of electrons. If resistance increases while the voltage stays the same, the current flowing through the circuit will decrease. Similarly, if you pinch the hose to create a smaller diameter or increase the resistance, less water comes out of the end.

To bring together watts poweramps currentand volts voltagewe need one more simple equation. Looking back at our example of water flowing through a hose, we can now see how power is directly related to current and what to do for lose weight using this equation. The faster the wheel turns, the more power is generated. If the hose size remains the same, we can make the wheel turn faster in two ways.

The first is to increase the flow rate, which means more water and weight are hitting the wheel and spinning it faster. The second way is to increase the water pressure so that the water is hitting the wheel with more force and turning it faster. In our analogy, the water flow rate is equivalent to current and water pressure is equal to voltage.

What Are Volts?

Oct 25,  · What's the difference between a volt, amp, and watt? Why is your power bill in kilowatt-hours and your battery bank in milliamp-hours? Why are there so many.

Rik is an engineer who has held a range of marketing, technical support, and management roles. He is also a qualified teacher. Electrical power, or the wattage of an electrical system, is always equal to the voltage multiplied by the current.

A system of water pipes is often used as an analogy to help people understand how these units of electricity work together. In this analogy, voltage is equivalent to water pressure, current is equivalent to flow rate and resistance is equivalent to pipe size. In electrical engineering, there is a basic equation that explains how voltage, current and resistance relate.

This equation, written below, is known as Ohm's law. Ohm's law states that voltage is equal to the current flowing in a circuit times the resistance of the circuit. One way of understanding Ohm's law is to apply it to the imaginary plumbing system we've employed as a representation of an electrical system.

Let's say we have a tank of water attached to a hose. If we increase the pressure in the tank, more water will come out of the hose. Thus, if we increase the voltage in an electrical system, we will also increase the current. If we make the diameter of the hose smaller, resistance will increase, causing less water to come out of the hose. Thus, if we increase the resistance in an electrical system, we will decrease the current.

With this brief introduction of the workings of an electrical system, let's jump into each of the units of electricity separately and learn about them in more detail. The image above depicts a simple electrical circuit with a bulb, some wire, and a battery. Volts are the base unit used to measure Voltage. One volt is defined as the "difference in electric potential between two points of a conducting wire when an electric current of one ampere dissipates one watt of power between those points.

In our battery diagram above, the battery provides what is known as a potential difference in an electric circuit, or voltage. If we go back to our water analogy, the battery is like a water pump that propels water through a pipe.

The pump increases the pressure in the pipe, causing the water to flow. In electrical engineering, we call this electrical pressure voltage and measure it in volts. A voltage of three volts can be written as 3V.

As the number of volts increases, the current increases too. But in order for the current to flow, the electrical conductor or wire must loop back to the battery. If we break the circuit, with a switch for example, then no current will flow. There are standard voltage outputs for everyday objects like batteries and household outlets. In the United States, the standard voltage output for a household outlet is V. In Europe, the standard voltage output for a household outlet is V.

Other standard voltage outputs are listed in the table below. The ampere, often shortened to "amp" or A, is the base unit of electric current in the International System of Units. Electricity consists of the flow of electrons through a conductor, for example, an electric wire or cable. We measure the rate of flow of electricity as an electric current just as we think of the rate of flow of water in a river as the river current.

The letter used to represent current in an equation is I. A current of 2 Amps can be written as 2A. The bigger the current the more electricity is flowing. Ohms are the base unit of resistance in an electrical system. The ohm is defined as "an electrical resistance between two points of a conductor when a constant potential difference of one volt, applied to these points, produces in the conductor a current of one ampere, the conductor not being the seat of any electromotive force.

In our battery diagram above, if we remove the bulb and reconnected the wire so the battery was short circuited, the wire and battery would get very hot and the battery would soon be flat because there would be virtually no resistance in the circuit. Without any resistance, a huge electrical current would flow until the battery was empty.

Once we add a bulb to the circuit, resistance is created. There is now a local "blockage" or narrowing of the pipe, per our water pipe analogy where the current experiences some resistance. This greatly reduces the current flowing in the circuit, so the energy in the battery is released more slowly.

As the battery forces the current through the bulb, the battery's energy is released in the bulb in the form of light and heat. In other words, the current carries stored energy from the battery to the bulb, where it is turned into light and heat energy. The image above shows a light bulb as the main cause of electrical resistance. A watt is the base unit of power in electrical systems. It can also be used in mechanical systems.

It measures how much energy is released per second in a system. In our battery diagram, the size of both the voltage and the current in the bulb determine how much energy is released. In the diagram above, the light bulb would get brighter as the power, measured in watts, increases.

We can calculate the power released in the bulb, and of the electrical system as a whole, by multiplying the voltage by the current. So, to calculate watts, the following formula is used.

For example, a current of 2A flowing through a bulb with a voltage of 12V across it generates 24W of power. If you want to do an electrical calculation involving voltage, current, resistance, or power, reference the formulae circle below.

For example, we can calculate the power in watts by referencing the yellow area in the circle. This formulae circle is very useful for many electrical engineering tasks. Keep it handy the next time you are dealing with an electrical system. Formulae circle for solving electrical unit equations. After reading this article, you hopefully have a better understanding of the difference between electric current, voltage, resistance, and electrical power. Remember that if you know any two of the physical values in the formulae circle then you can calculate each of the other two unknown values.

Question: What is the resistance of the heating element of an electric iron if the ampere draw is 8 amperes when volts are applied? Question: Can I run two appliances at the same time when the max amps available is 5A?

One requires 3 amp, and the other requires 4. Answer: The answer is no. The total current drawn is 7. This would overload a 5A socket, and result in a 5A fuse blowing or a 5A circuit breaker being triggered. I'm trying to attach a cork to my Fork so when I eat I don't hurt myself or others how do I do that. I am trying to design a battery power led light strip.

My question is if my led controller is 12v, what amperage 12v battery supply can I use? Trying to get the answer to this question can anybody help me please need if by the moring for school.

Cooper said he's being simple but he's using highly unnecessary "big" words and it is stupidly simply annoying. I don't care about small electrical quiz I what one question answered what gauge wire is needed to hook up a welder rated at volts amps as far as I got as it is with electricity is this high a amperage will kill you.

Each on their own "Plug Socket" but aren't the Plug Sockets essentially just 'extensions' of the house Mains? Presuming my answer is probably available on the house's Main Fuse Board? I know I could add up all my devices and calculate 'My Specific Total Draw' but how much further 'til I hit the 'maximum for my residence'?

The answer is probably stupidly simple, but I'm being stupidly simple at the moment so such an answer would be warranted :D. Can I run 2 appliances at the same time when the max electric provided is 5 amps? One requires 4. I had to do a speech on inventions that changed the quality of life.

I chose electricity. This website helped. This make me understand how does volts and wats work. Before i cant do the difference between volts and watts. This was an amazing presentation and it helped me alot to understand volts, Amps, Ohms, and Watts! This is an excellent video that I highly recommend for all beginners like me. I now have a good basic understanding of how electricity works in our everyday world.

Thank you! I never understood how that worked. I still am sort of confused. I took a class called physics for poets about 40 years ago. Thanks a lot for your wonderful detail explainatin. I hope it would be very helpful to all beginers. Best wishes for your blog. Thanks for the tutorial According to your article, "A" is short for amperes or amps. Later, "I" is introduced without relating it to amps.

For clarity, you might add that. I required volt w to run my application.