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Understanding Real, Reactive, and Apparent Power

Category: Power Quality

Understanding Real, Reactive and Apparent PowerUnderstanding Real Reactive and Apparent Power_01

Read how to determine what type of power load a system has and how to make adjustments accordingly.


This white paper defines the differences between Real Power, Reactive Power, and Apparent Power in terms used by the power distribution industry. Here, the relationships between these different types of power are defined and the basic equations for each are given.


The power discussed in this paper is for alternating current (AC) not for direct current (DC), however, the basic definitions are the same. In an AC system, the units of voltage and current used are in RMS.


This Whitepaper Includes:

  • Real, Reactive & Apparent Power

Download White Paper Here