What Is KVA in Electrical Terms?


Quick Answer

A kilovolt-ampere, commonly referred to as a kVA, is commonly used as a unit of power in obtaining the electrical capacity of circuit breakers, uninterrupted power supplies and wirings. A kVA is equivalent to 1,000 volt-amperes.

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Full Answer

Electrical power pertains to the rate of energy consumption or generation in an electrical circuit. It is typically measured in watts or volt-amperes. The watt unit is sometimes referred to as "real power," while the volt-ampere is called the "apparent power." The wattage of an electrical component is calculated by multiplying the voltage by the current. It is represented by the equation W = V x I, where "W" indicates the power in watts, "V" represents the voltage and "I" denotes the current. The volt-amperage is computed by multiplying the voltage by the amperage. It is represented by the equation VA = V x I, where "VA" indicates the power in volt-amperes.

In a direct current circuitry, the wattage and volt-amperage of an electrical device is the same. Variations in real and apparent power are the results of inefficient transference of electricity, which can be represented as a mathematical quantity known as the power factor. A power factor of one means that the real power is equivalent to the apparent power. A power factor of 0.5 indicates that the apparent power is double the value of the real power.

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