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Understanding Real, Reactive, and Apparent Power

Category: Power Quality

Understand real, reactive and apparent power and the equipment available from PMI to test this and other power monitoring applications.


Apparent power is a combination of both reactive power and real power.


Real power is a result of the resistive component, and the reactive power is a result of capacitive and inductive components.


Since reactive power takes away from a system’s total real power handling capability, it must be considered in the design of the power distribution system to ensure that the apparent power output from a system is sufficient to supply the load.


It is important to understand these basic AC power concepts in order for the sources and distribution system to meet the requirements to be able to supply the necessary volt-amp power for a given application.


As with any system, understanding these specifications and being able to make the proper measurements validate system requirements will ensure success.


This White Paper Includes:

  • Real Power
  • Reactive Power
  • Apparent Power

Download White Paper Here