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How to Calculate Amps, Volts, and Watts

How to Calculate Amps, Volts, and Watts

Voltage, amperage, and wattage are all related. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about these electrical terms and how they work together.

Amps: Amperes, commonly known as amps, measure the flow of electricity as an electric current. Specifically, they measure the amount of electrons that flow past a certain point per second. A common analogy used to describe how amps work is a garden hose.  Amps can be compared to the volume of water flowing through the hose. The more gallons of water flowing through the hose per minute, the stronger the current. Or, as the number of electrons flowing past a certain point per second increases, so do the amps.

Volts: How do we make those amps flow? Voltage. In sticking with the garden hose analogy, voltage is similar to the water pressure in the hose. The pressure, or force, is what causes the water to flow. Volts are a measure of how much force each electron is under, which is called “potential.” Potential is what causes electricity to flow.

Watts: Amps and volts combine to create watts, a measurement of the amount of energy being released. In the case of the garden hose, this would be the amount of water flowing. The higher the wattage, which we now know is the combination of electrical potential and flow, the more power and output we’ll see. For example, the more wattage a microwave has to offer, the faster it will cook your food.

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